This chunky Mexican beef stew is slow-cooked in a hearty tomato-based gravy for 3 hours to get a tender, succulent and gelatinous texture! Accompanied by an appetising rice infused with olive oil, tomato, garlic and onions, and topped with a generous sprinkling of raisins.
Wash the beef shin and cut into 5-cm-thick cross-sections or cut into 3 or 4 pieces per shin. See picture for what beef shin looks like.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the beef for about 15 mins to get rid of the blood clots. Then discard the water and wash the beef thoroughly removing any blood clot and set aside for later use.
Wash 5 cups of jasmine rice and pour over a sieve to drain dry.
Remove the skin from the carrots and wash. Cut the carrots into chunks about 3 cm.
Wash the leek and cut into 3-cm lengths. Wash the fresh tomatoes and cut into large cubes.
Remove the skin from the yellow onion and garlic and chop them finely.
Rinse the bay leaves and set aside.
In a large pot, boil the beef shank with the 4 litres of water for half an hour at medium heat. Skim off any scum with a ladle. Transfer the beef onto a bowl. Set aside the 5 1/2 rice cups of beef stock to cook the rice, and the rest of the beef stock (about 2.5 litres) for adding to the stew
In the wok, add in the 8 TBsp of olive oil and heat over low heat. Add in 1 1/2 cans of tomato paste and fry constantly stirring to prevent it from getting burnt until the oil separates from the tomato paste.
Add in the chopped onion and garlic to the tomato paste and fry till aromatic.
Set aside a bowl of the tomato paste mixture for frying the rice later, leaving the rest of the tomato paste in the wok.
Next, add in the 2 cans of diced tomatoes as well as the fresh tomatoes into the tomato mixture and continue to fry for another 2-3 minutes over low heat.
Then add in the leeks and bay leaves and fry over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Add in 2 1/2 tsp salt to the mixture.
Finally, add the beef and continue to fry until well incorporated with the tomato mixture. Add in 2 1/2 litres of the beef stock and bring to a boil over high heat.
Transfer the beef mixture into a large pot, and add in the carrots.
Give the mixture a stir, then cover the pot leaving a gap and allow to simmer using medium low heat for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, stirring it occasionally to prevent the mixture from getting burnt at the bottom of the pot.
It is best to check the beef after 1 1/2 hours by using a chopstick to pierce through the meat to see if it is soft. If not, continue to stew checking on the meat occasionally.
If the gravy is drying up, add a little more of the remaining stock to it. If there is too much stock towards the end, turn on to high heat to reduce until the gravy is thickened and about 1/3 left.
Once the beef is soft and tender but not disintegrated or until the stock thickens, the beef stew is ready to be served. Best served with Mexican Rice.
Heat up the wok over medium heat. Pour in the drained rice and fry for about 10-15 mins until the rice is very dry or turns opaque but not burnt. (Tip: It should be the colour of glutinous rice. Be careful not to char the rice, you may need to turn the heat to low if necessary). Remove and transfer into a rice cooker pot to cool down.
Add the 1 bowl of tomato paste mixture back into the wok and turn heat to low. Stir in the rice until it is uniformly coated with the tomato mixture. Add in 2 1/2 tsp of salt and mix well and fry for another 3 mins.
Transfer the rice back to the rice cooker. Add in the 5 1/2 cups of beef stock to the rice and cook as per normal. (Tip: The rice and the stock must both be cooled down before combining)
Once the rice is cooked, add in the raisin and mix well. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Best served hot with slow-cooked Mexican beef stew.
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