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Tom Perini’s Chuck-Wagon Stew

Tom 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.

  • 8 lb. of brisket with excess fat trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. bacon drippings
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 medium white onions, chopped
  • 4 to 6 medium-sized potatoes, scrubbed, sliced in half lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 c. fresh corn, cut from the cob (1 ear = about 2/3 c.)
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6-oz.) can chopped green chilies

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.

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