You don't have javascript enabled! Please download Google Chrome! SLOW COOKED MEXICAN BEEF WITH ROOT VEGETABLE SLAW - The Wholehearted Cook


Dani VennMeat Lover

We are well into the depths of slow cooking season, unless of course you have been sunning yourself in Europe these past few months and if that’s the case then we simply are no longer friends. But there’s something completely brilliant about a pot of beef leisurely bubbling away, usually because it’s the weekend, you may have a glass of red in your hand (general rule of thumb 1:2 ratio, the former being for the stew, the later being for you, naturally) and if you’re anything like me you get a whiff of domestic pride as your dish delicately perfumes your home and you revel in the knowledge that this one meal can be stretched out to at least two dinners, a lunch and still have leftovers to be frozen. Move over Martha!

This recipe is on high rotation at my place at the moment because it is so darn yummy and everyone loves a one-pot wonder. Am I right? It’s also a favourite of mine as it contains dried Mexican chillies that take your cooking to the next level. If you haven’t experimented with Mexican chillies I would encourage you to get amongst them as they add so much smoky, rich, sweetness and spice to your cooking. Thankfully they are not so difficult to source in Australia anymore, look out for them in good deli’s, gourmet supermarkets or you can purchase them online.

When I’m cooking I tend to use whatever Mexican chillies I have on hand and don’t get too concerned if I don’t have all the chillies listed in the recipe. But a staple chilli that I always like to have in the pantry that provides that lovely smoky flavour is the chipotle, however an alternative if you cannot source this kind of chilli is smoked paprika. I also like to throw in some pasilla or ancho chillies for a bit of sweetness and then kick the heat up a notch with maybe one or two habeneros, depending on my mood. If I lost you at Mexican chillies, don’t despair, try using this recipe with smoked paprika and some ground chilli or cayenne pepper for heat instead, it will still taste great.

As this recipe is quite rich I like to freshen it up by serving with a seasonal root vegetable slaw and quinoa, but you could just as easily serve with brown or cauliflower rice instead or use the stew as a filling for a burrito if that’s your jam. If you have made the stew too hot, which I am guilty of doing regularly, then you can dull down the heat with some sour cream or coconut milk. Enjoy.. Dani x

PS: Do you like the photography on my website?

They are taken by the talented Iron Chef Shellie. Shellie and the equally talented Ewen Bell are spreading the word that Nepal has suffered enough after the shock of the series of devastating earthquakes earlier this year and to make matter worse tourism, that so many people rely on, has decreased. They would like you to think about travelling back there again and to help you get on your way they have designed two tours – a Gourmet Cook Book Tour and Motorcycle Mustang – which will head off later this year with the aim of raising $20,000. Please check out their website for more info so you can #BringYourSmileToNepal


Takes about 40 minutes to prep and 4 hours to cook

Serves: 8


1.5kg diced chuck beef steak, bought to room temperature

Olive oil, a few good glugs

2 onions, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 – 3 dried chipotle chillies (depending on your tolerance to chilli) *see note

2 dried ancho or passila chillies (or both)

1 – 2 dried habanero chillies (depending on your tolerance to chilli)

700g tomato passata

1 litre good quality chicken stock or water

½ cup maple syrup

Salt flakes, to season


3 large carrots, julienned (cut into matchsticks)

1 bulb fennel, julienned

2 medium sized beetroots, julienned

1 small celeriac, skin removed, julienned

2 apples, julienned (not technically a root but I like it for sweetness)

Handful of fresh parsley, mint and coriander


Add the dried chillies into about 1 litre of freshly boiled water to rehydrate, allow them to soak for at least 20 – 30 minutes until soft

Dry beef with paper towel, add a few glugs of olive oil into a hot stockpot, in small batches brown the beef on each side then remove and repeat with remaining beef

When all beef has been browned, add a little more olive oil, reduce heat to medium and fry off onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until softened. Add beef back to the pan, then add tomato passate and stock, scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to ensure all that nice golden caramelisation flavour gets into your dish.

Now it’s time to add your chilli, I tend to remove the chillies from the water give them a rough chop and throw them into the stew. BUT if you don’t like too much heat, use gloves and remove the seeds from the chilli. DON’T throw out the water that the chillies have been soaking in, add that into the stew as its full of yummy flavour

OK now I told you earlier that the stew deserves a glass of red and your deserve two. Well, this stew doesn’t actually require red wine, but go ahead and pour yourself a glass anyway because all the hard work has been done! Place the stew on low and let it bubble away for about 3.5 – 4 hours. Of course if you have a slow cooker you can use this too.

Before serving, add salt flakes and maple syrup to season your dish.

To make your winter root vegetable slaw, simply whisk together olive oil, lemon, apple cider vinegar, fennel seeds and honey. Combine vegetables and herbs and dress slaw before serving.

I like to serve this dish with some steamed quinoa.


Chipotle chillies are often found in a can with adobo sauce, they are fine to use also but if you are steering away from no refined sugar or additives then it best to use dried chillies

If you cannot source Mexican chillies, use about 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika and a little ground or cayenne pepper as a substitute

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