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Mexican Bison Stew
“Mexican cooks are great at turning tough chunks of meat into delicious and tender stews. This one, which uses tougher cuts of bison, such as chuck or brisket, is flavored with chili powder, cumin and tequila. Serve with warm tortillas.”
3 tablespoons chili powder, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 pounds bison chuck or brisket, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped onion
3 mild green chiles, such as Anaheim or poblano, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ cup tequila or water
1 (15 ounce) can white or yellow hominy (see Note), rinsed
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 cups diced (1-inch pieces) patty pan, chayote or summer squash (see Tip)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
8 lime wedges
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1Combine 1½ tablespoons chili powder, salt and cumin in a large bowl. Add bison and toss to coat.
2Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, add half the meat and brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and brown the rest of the meat. Transfer to the plate.
3Add onion to the pot and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chiles and garlic; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons chili powder and stir until the vegetables are well coated. Add tequila (or water), scrape up any browned bits, and simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated. Stir in hominy, tomatoes, broth, orange juice, lime juice and the reserved bison. Return to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook until the bison is easily pierced with a fork, 1½ to 2 hours.
4Stir in squash and cook until just tender, 8 to 15 minutes, depending on the type of squash. Season with pepper. Serve the stew with lime wedges, cilantro, cabbage and red onion on the side, if desired.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3; let cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Skim any fat from the top, reheat and finish with Step 4.
Note: Hominy is white or yellow corn treated with lime to remove the tough hull and germ. Canned cooked hominy can be found in the Latin section of large supermarkets—near the beans—or at Latin markets.
Tip: Look for chayote in well-stocked supermarkets or Mexican grocers.