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PUCHERO DE RES : Beef Soup With Corn And Potatoes

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Hearty puchero de res is a classic home-style soup that is served in every tiny lonchería (a snack bar usually run by a one woman who cooks and serves) and fonda (an inexpensive home-style restaurant) in Mexico. It always includes generous chunks of beef and corn, plus potato or yam and the cook’s choice of seasonal vegetables. It’s one of easiest soups to make: just toss everything in the cooker, turn it on low, and let the magic happen. Note that the jalapeño is not stemmed; that keeps the seeds from falling out and floating around the soup. The soup may become quite thick when cooked, so you may want to add more broth at the end. Presented in big bowls with the tortillas on the side, there isn’t much more you could want.

SERVES 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS
2 Roma tomatoes, roasted
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 white onion, diced
2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
1 ear fresh corn, husked and cut into 6 (1-inch) wheels
1 jalapeño chile, split in half lengthwise
1 small white rose potato or yam, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small zucchini, such as green calabaza or chayote, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds lean stew beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
5 cups Caldo de Res, or more as needed
2 cups water

TO SERVE
Warm corn tortillas

DIRECTIONS
In a blender, combine the roasted tomato and garlic and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a 6-quart slow cooker and add all the remaining ingredients, placing the harder vegetables on the bottom and the meat on top. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Turn the cooker to the warm setting and uncover. Let the soup settle for 15 minutes, then, using a large spoon, skim off as much fat as possible. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in big bowls, with the tortillas on the side.

VARIATIONS
• Add 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans during the last hour of cooking.

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