4poundsbeef or venison shank,or shoulder or neck meat
1teaspoonoregano,Mexican if possible
1teaspoonground black pepper
1/2teaspoonground anise or 1 star anise(optional)
A 2-inch piece of cinnamon(optional)
A pinch of saffron(optional)
6clovesgarlic, whole and peeled
1white or yellow onion, sliced
1 1/2poundspotatoes,cut into chunks
1pound winter squash,cut into chunks
2chayotes,cut into chunks (optional)
4Anaheim or poblano chiles, roasted, seeded and cut into chunks
3ears of corn, cut into 1 or 2 inch rounds
1/2pound green beans,cut into bite-sized pieces
1poundcooked garbanzo beans,canned or pre-cooked
Lime wedges to serve
Salt the meat well before you chop all the vegetables. When those are done, put the meat in a large pot and add about 1 gallon of water, more or less. Bring this to a boil and skim off the froth that floats to the surface. Drop the heat to a simmer and add the garlic and all the seasonings. Simmer, partially covered, for 3 hours.
The meats should be tender by now; check after 2 hours. Remove the meats and strip off the meat, chopping it into bite-sized pieces. Discard any bones. If there is marrow in the bones, scoop it out and add it to the stew; you can break it up if you want. Add in the potatoes and onions. Let these simmer 20 minutes.
Add the winter squash and chayotes and simmer 20 more minutes. Add the green chiles, corn, garbanzo beans and green beans and cook another 10 minutes. Add the cilantro and serve with lime wedges. A drizzle of really good olive oil is a nice touch, too.
Note that all these vegetables are optional. See the post for lots and lots of other options. Basically use a lot, and use what you have.
Keys to Success
Note that my meat choice is great, but you can use really any cheap cut that likes long, slow cooking. Stewing hens, wild turkeys, pork hocks and shoulder, old pheasants, shanks of really any animal, oxtail, mutton, you name it.
The seasoning mix I use is Yucatecan, but you can use all or none of what I use and it'll fine.
Don't like cilantro? Another very common garnish is mint. Parsley is common, too.
Some versions of this stew add sausages, ranging from blood sausage to chorizoto butifarra. If you use sausages, add them in the last 20 minutes.