Spicy Ancho Chile Pot Roast

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

Suggested Use:
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.

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One 4-lb chuck eye roast or other chuck roast, tied
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour, for dusting
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 large ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves
4 cups beef stock or low-sodium broth
6 thyme sprigs, 6 parsley sprigs and 2 bay leaves, tied
1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water


Preheat the oven to 300°. Season the roast with salt and pepper and dust with flour. In a medium, enameled cast-iron pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the roast and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over, 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Meanwhile, soak the ancho chiles in 1/2 cup boiling water for 20 minutes. In a food processor or blender, puree the chiles with their liquid.

Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the chile puree, stock and herb bundle and bring to a boil. Return the meat to the pot, cover and transfer to the oven. Braise for 2 1/2 hours or until tender, turning once halfway through.

Transfer the roast to a plate. Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl and discard the solids. Skim off the fat and return the liquid and meat to the pot. Add the potatoes. Cover and braise in the oven for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Transfer the roast to a work surface. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a deep serving platter and cover. Boil the liquid until reduced to 3 1/2 cups. Stir the cornstarch slurry and whisk it into the simmering liquid until thickened.

Remove the strings from the roast and cut into thick slices. Arrange on the platter and pour the sauce on top.

Serves 8.

Recipe by Grace Parisi, foodandwine.com.