Web Extra: Tom Perini’s Chuck-Wagon Stew
In the February issue’s Taste department, writer Jessica Dupuy embarks on a wine-tasting trip on the Rio Grande with folks from Terlingua’s Far Flung Outdoors Center and Lubbock’s Llano Estacado Winery. Along with wine, she and the rest of her companions enjoy gourmet meals prepared over a campfire or in Dutch ovens. We thought we’d revisit some old favorites with these classic Dutch-oven recipes from the Texas Highways recipe vaults. (You can make these dishes in a regular Dutch oven, as well.) Enjoy!
Tom Perini’s Chuck-Wagon Stew
Tom Perini, chef and owner of Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap, likes to serve this dish from his restored 1800s chuck wagon. He says the fat from the brisket and the bacon drippings add flavor, and he notes, “I like to leave the pot on the fire for some time to let the flavors marry.” This recipe comes from Tom’s 2000 cookbook, Texas Cowboy Cooking , which also includes his recipe for skillet cornbread, a fine accompaniment.
Cut brisket into bite-sized cubes, and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
Heat bacon drippings in a 14-inch or 16-inch Dutch oven or heavy pot, and brown meat in batches, being careful not to crowd meat in the pot. After all the meat has browned, return it to the pot, add garlic and onion, and cook over low heat about 4 minutes, or until garlic and onion are tender. Add water to cover, and bring to a slow boil; cook about 1 hour, or until meat is tender.
Add remaining ingredients and additional water to cover, and bring back to a slow boil for about 1 hour, or until stew is fully cooked. Add more seasoning, if desired. Yield: About 20 servings.
From the June 2012 issue.