Spicy Jalapeño Beef Stew

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Delicious beef stew, made with hearty pinto beans and vegetables, tender stew meat, and spicy fresh jalapeños!

A bowl of stew with meat, beans and jalapenos.
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Spicy stew with meat and jalapeño peppers in a bowl.

Tex-Mex Jalapeño Beef Stew

Delicious rich meaty stew with vegetables, beans, stew meat, and fresh jalapeños.

A jalapeno beef stew is a hearty and spicy dish that combines tender chunks of beef with the bold flavors of jalapenos and various seasonings.

This stew offers a perfect blend of heat from the jalapenos, the rich umami of beef, and the comforting warmth of spices. It’s a delightful comfort food, perfect for warming up on chilly days, and it can be customized to your preferred level of spiciness.

Whether served with crusty bread, rice, or other sides, this jalapeno beef stew is sure to satisfy your craving for a flavorful and hearty meal with a spicy kick!

A spicy spoonful of beef and bean soup with jalapenos.

How to Make Spicy Jalapeño Beef Stew

To make this recipe, we will need the following ingredients:

  • Stew Meat (Cubed): Stew meat, typically from tougher cuts of beef, provides hearty and tender chunks of meat in the soup. It adds protein and a meaty flavor to the dish.
  • Fresh Jalapeño Peppers (Finely Chopped): Jalapeño peppers are the star of the show, bringing intense spiciness and a bold, peppery flavor. You can adjust the quantity to control the level of heat in the soup.
  • Onion (Diced): Diced onions add a sweet and savory base to the soup, providing depth of flavor and a slight sweetness when sautéed.
  • Garlic (Minced): Minced garlic contributes pungency and aromatic complexity to the soup, enhancing its overall flavor profile.
  • Carrots (Diced): Diced carrots bring natural sweetness, color, and a slightly earthy flavor to the soup. They provide a balance to the spiciness.
  • Celery (Diced): Diced celery adds a mild, herbaceous note and a pleasant crunch to the soup, complementing the other vegetables and meat.
  • Bell Pepper (Seeded and Diced): The bell pepper contributes a subtle sweetness and additional color to the soup. It complements the spiciness of the jalapeños.
  • Diced Tomatoes (Canned): Canned diced tomatoes provide a tangy and slightly acidic element to the soup, enhancing its overall richness.
  • Pinto or Pink Beans (Canned and Drained): Pinto or pink beans add creaminess and protein to the soup. They also contribute a mild, earthy flavor.
  • Beef Broth: Beef broth forms the flavorful base of the soup, infusing it with a deep, savory taste. You can use store-bought broth or homemade for added richness.
  • Cumin Powder: Cumin powder offers warm and earthy notes, adding depth and complexity to the soup’s flavor.
  • Chili Powder: Chili powder provides a bold, spicy kick to the soup, intensifying its heat and flavor profile.
  • Paprika: Paprika adds a subtle smokiness and a touch of sweetness to the soup, enhancing its overall taste.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: These seasonings help balance the flavors, enhance the spiciness, and ensure the soup is properly seasoned.
  • Cooking Oil: Cooking oil is used for sautéing the vegetables and searing the meat. It prevents sticking and helps develop the soup’s rich flavors.
  • Fresh Cilantro Leaves (Optional for Garnish): Fresh cilantro leaves, when used as a garnish, add freshness, aroma, and a burst of green color to the finished soup.
  • Sour Cream (Optional for Garnish): Sour cream can be added as a garnish to provide creaminess and a cool contrast to the soup’s spiciness.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following process:

  • Sear the Stew Meat: In a large pot, heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the cubed stew meat and brown it on all sides. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.
  • Sauté the Aromatics: In the same pot, add the diced onions, minced garlic, and chopped jalapeño peppers. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
  • Add Carrots and Celery: Stir in the diced carrots and celery. Sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes to soften the vegetables.
  • Season the Pot: Return the seared stew meat to the pot. Add the cumin powder, chili powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Stir to coat the ingredients with the spices.
  • Pour in Tomatoes and Broth: Add the can of diced tomatoes (with their juices) to the pot. Then, pour in the beef broth. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Simmer: Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer uncovered for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the stew meat becomes tender and the flavors meld together. Skim any foam that forms on the surface.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, or spices if needed to suit your taste.
  • Serve: Ladle the spicy Jalapeño Beef Soup into bowls. If desired, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and a dollop of sour cream to balance the heat.
  • Enjoy: Serve hot and savor the bold and spicy flavors of this comforting soup.
A spicy bowl of beef stew with peppers.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Jalapeño Beef Stew

Choose the Right Cut of Beef: Opt for a tough, collagen-rich cut like chuck roast or stew meat. These cuts benefit from slow cooking, becoming tender and flavorful.

Sear the Meat: Before adding it to the stew, sear the beef chunks in a hot skillet with a little oil. This step adds depth of flavor and locks in the juices.

Use Fresh Jalapeños: Fresh jalapenos provide the best flavor and heat. Remove the seeds and membranes for a milder stew, or leave them in for extra heat.

Balance the Heat: Be cautious with the number of jalapenos you add, as their heat can vary. You can always start with a few and add more later if needed.

Toast the Spices: Toasting ground spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika in a dry skillet for a minute or two before adding them to the stew enhances their flavor.

Incorporate Tomato Paste: A tablespoon or two of tomato paste adds depth and richness to the stew’s base.

Deglaze the Pan: After searing the meat, deglaze the skillet with a little beef broth or red wine to scrape up any flavorful bits from the bottom.

Use Low-Sodium Broth: Controlling the salt content is easier with low-sodium beef broth. You can always adjust the salt later to taste.

Simmer Slowly: Allow the stew to simmer on low heat for an extended period, which allows the flavors to meld, the meat to become tender, and the stew to thicken naturally.

Add Potatoes and Vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, and onions are classic additions to beef stew. They absorb the flavors and add heartiness.

Taste and Adjust: Taste the stew as it simmers and adjust the seasoning to your preference. You might need more salt, pepper, or additional jalapenos for heat.

Serve with Fresh Herbs: Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley adds a burst of freshness and color when sprinkled over the finished stew.

Garnish with Sour Cream and Cheese: A dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of shredded cheese can provide a creamy, cooling contrast to the spicy heat.

Let It Rest: Allow the stew to rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the flavors to settle and intensify.

FAQs

Can I adjust the level of spiciness in the stew?

Yes, you can easily adjust the spiciness of the stew to your preference. You can control the heat by adding more or fewer jalapenos or adjusting the amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper. Start with a milder version and gradually add more spice until it reaches your desired level.

Can I use a different type of meat in this recipe?

While beef is traditional for stew, you can experiment with other meats like chicken, pork, or even lamb. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as different meats may require varying levels of cooking to become tender.

What are some good side dishes to serve with jalapeño beef stew?

Common side dishes to complement jalapeño beef stew include crusty bread, cornbread, rice, mashed potatoes, or a simple green salad. These sides help balance the spiciness of the stew.

Can I make this stew in advance and reheat it later?

Yes, you can make this stew in advance and reheat it when needed. In fact, many stews taste even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld. Store it in the refrigerator and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Can I freeze leftover jalapeño beef stew?

Yes, you can freeze leftover stew for future meals. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or freezer bags. Freeze for up to three months. When ready to use, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as desired.

Are there any recommended garnishes for this stew?

Popular garnishes for spicy jalapeno beef stew include chopped fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, sour cream, grated cheese (such as cheddar or Monterey Jack), or diced avocado. These additions can enhance the flavors and provide a refreshing contrast to the spiciness.

Can I make this stew in a slow cooker or Instant Pot?

Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker or Instant Pot. For a slow cooker, follow the same steps to sear the meat and sauté the onions and garlic, then transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the beef is tender. For an Instant Pot, use the sauté function for searing and sautéing, then pressure cook on high for about 20-25 minutes with a natural release.

A spicy spoonful of beef soup with meat and beans in a bowl.

What to Serve With Spicy Jalapeño Beef Stew

Crusty Bread: Slices of crusty bread, like baguette or French bread, are perfect for soaking up the flavorful broth of the stew.

Rice: Steamed white or brown rice is a classic side dish that can help balance the heat of the stew and absorb its spicy flavors.

Cornbread: Sweet and savory cornbread is an excellent choice to complement the spicy stew. It adds a delightful contrast in both flavor and texture.

Tortillas: Warm flour or corn tortillas are versatile and can be used to scoop up the stew or to make mini tacos.

Tortilla Chips: Serve the stew with a side of tortilla chips for a crunchy element that adds a different texture to each bite.

Avocado Slices: Creamy avocado slices can provide a cool and refreshing contrast to the heat of the stew.

Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream on top of the stew can help mellow the spiciness and add a creamy element.

Shredded Cheese: Sprinkle some shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican cheese blend on top of the stew for extra richness and flavor.

Chopped Fresh Cilantro: Fresh cilantro leaves add a burst of freshness and herbaceousness to the stew.

Lime Wedges: Provide lime wedges for a squeeze of citrusy freshness that balances the stew’s spiciness.

Pickled Jalapeños: If you love the heat, consider serving pickled jalapeño slices on the side for an extra spicy kick.

Green Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing can provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty stew.

Coleslaw: Coleslaw with a creamy dressing can offer a cooling and crunchy side to balance the spiciness.

Steamed Vegetables: A medley of steamed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or green beans can add nutrition and a different texture to the meal.

Mexican Salsa: Fresh salsa or pico de gallo can add a burst of fresh tomato and cilantro flavors to complement the stew.

Try these other favorites:

A bowl of spicy beef soup with vegetables and jalapeños.

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Spicy jalapeo beef soup.

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A spoonful of spicy beef stew with jalapenos.
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Spicy Jalapeño Beef Stew

Delicious spicy jalapeno beef stew is perfect for a cold winter evening!
Course Stews
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, jalapeno, main dish, soup, spicy stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 248kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 1 pound stew meat cubed
  • 4-5 fresh jalapeño peppers finely chopped (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 can 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1 can 14.5 ounces pinto or pink beans, drained
  • 8 cups beef broth or broth + water equal to 8 cups
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish optional
  • Sour cream for garnish optional

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the cubed stew meat and brown it on all sides. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.
  • In the same pot, add the diced onions, minced garlic, and chopped jalapeño peppers. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
  • Stir in the diced carrots and celery. Sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes to soften the vegetables.
  • Return the seared stew meat to the pot. Add the cumin powder, chili powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Stir to coat the ingredients with the spices.
  • Add the can of diced tomatoes (with their juices) to the pot. Then, pour in the beef broth. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer uncovered for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the stew meat becomes tender and the flavors meld together. Skim any foam that forms on the surface.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, or spices if needed to suit your taste.
  • Ladle the spicy Jalapeño Beef Soup into bowls. If desired, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and a dollop of sour cream to balance the heat.
  • Serve hot and savor the bold and spicy flavors of this comforting soup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 1442mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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