Tom Parker Bowles Mexican Beef Stew

Here’s comfort food with a kick. Taken from one of my less used books The Market Kitchen Cookbook, this is a Tom Parker Bowles recipe which brings together the homeliness and comfort of a beef stew with the kick of Mexican Chipotle Chilli.

I used Edible Ornamental Chipotle Chillis for this recipe and was introduced to them by my lovely friends over at the BBC Good Food Show. They have an incredible smokiness which really permeates the dish. They grow all of their chillis in Bedfordshire, just down the road from us here in Leicestershire. They grow over 60 varieites of chilli and also sell sauces, salsas and other gourmet products! Check them out but be careful – I used two (as┬áper the recipe) and this was SPICY!

Mexican style beef stew

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 1-3 dried chipotlechillies, (see cook’s note)
  • 4 tbsp vegetableoil
  • 1 kg chuck orbraising steak, cut into 5 cm cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 350 ml passata
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano, leaves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 75g per person, long grain rice (to serve)


  • Pour hot water over the chillies in a bowl and soak for 30 minutes or until soft, turning them over halfway so they soak on both sides. Drain, then cut off the stems and slit the chillies open. Remove the seeds and veins before chopping the chillies finely.
  • Heat half the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole over a high heat until hot. Brown half the meat for 8-10 minutes over a high heat, then remove and repeat with the remaining oil and meat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Return all the meat to the pan and pour in the passata. Add the vinegar, oregano, chopped chilli and bay leaf, and season to taste.
  • Cover and simmer on top of the stove stirring occasionally for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the beef is tender and the tomato juices well reduced.
  • Add a swirl of creme fraiche to sooth the heat and serve with boiled rice and fresh coriander.
Edible Ornamentals chipotle chilli
soaking the chipotles Browning the beef

If it looks like its drying out a little, just add a dash of water! The finished thing, perfect with a swirl of creme fraiche.

homemade Mexican style beef stew


Leave a comment

  1. 2nd June 2013 / 8:19 pm

    This sounds really lovely. I love any type of beef stew and Mexican food is a real favourite of mine too.

  2. 2nd June 2013 / 8:40 pm

    Thanks Corina, you'll have to try and let me know what you think! I love Mexican food too and this makes a change from fajitas or something more predictable!

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