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  • Slow-Cooked Southwest Beef

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  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck (cut into 1-inch pieces), or stew meat
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1/4 cup beer, red wine, broth or water
    1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
    1 (16-ounce) jar commercially prepared picante sauce (or thick and chunky salsa)
    2 tablespoons ground cumin
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon chopped, fresh cilantro (optional)
    About 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, brown the beef in the vegetable oil.
    Place browned meat in a slow cooker. Deglaze pan by pouring in the beer (or wine or broth or water), stirring and scraping to dissolve all cooked-on bits of food. Scrape this sauce into slow cooker.
    Add the beans, picante sauce, cumin, chili powder and cilantro. Stir to combine ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 9 hours, or until beef is tender. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.)
    Adjust seasonings, adding the salt and pepper to taste.
    Serve in bowls with tortilla chips, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheese and/or chopped onion, as desired.
    Makes about 4 servings.
    — Recipe adapted from "Cook-Ahead Beef Favorites," by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
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