Beef Stew “A La Guatemala”
1 cup long-grain rice
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion (about 1 cup chopped)
1 lb. 97 percent lean ground beef
1 large, green bell pepper (about 1 ½ cups chopped)
1 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1 can (14 ½ ounces) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup salsa verde or more to taste (see note)
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, such as Veg-All
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. dried oregano leaves
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
Bring 2 cups of unsalted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice and cook until tender, about 17 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium-high heat in an extra-deep, 12-inch nonstick skillet. Peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to the skillet as you chop. Add the beef. Cook and stir to break up the beef.
While the beef cooks, rinse and seed the bell pepper. Coarsely chop the pepper, adding it to the skillet as you chop. Add the garlic. Continue to cook and stir until the beef is completely brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes with their juice, the salsa verde, frozen vegetables, bay leaves, oregano and cloves. Let the mixture boil until thick and the rice is done. Remove the bay leaves, and serve at once over a bed of hot rice.
Note: Salsa verde is found in the supermarket alongside other Mexican foods. It may be called green taco sauce or tomatillo salsa. Any green sauce that contains tomatillos may be used. While this condiment gives the dish a distinctive flavor, it is fiery hot, so you might want to add it by the tablespoon to taste.
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