This unique variation is on the menu of the Acela train that runs between Philadelphia and New York.
Servings: 6 - 8
Yield: Makes 9 cups
- 3 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 2 cups prepared spaghetti sauce
- 1 1/2 cups no-salt-added beef broth
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- One 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup dried unsulphured unsweetened apricots, cut into very thin strips
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup prepared bloody mary mix
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
Season the meat with the salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the meat loses its raw look. Do not drain. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion, garlic, green bell pepper and jalapeno pepper and cook for several minutes, until they have softened.
Stir in the spaghetti sauce, broth, wine, sugar, paprika, cumin, oregano, chili powder, the cinnamon stick and the dried apricots. Once the mixture starts to bubble at the edges, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low.
Make a slurry by combining the cornstarch and bloody mary mix, then stir it into the pot. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring a few times.
Discard the cinnamon stick. Stir in the cilantro just before serving.
Adapted from Bob and Katy Rosar, an advisory team member for Amtrak food.
Tested by Jim Webster.
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