3 lb boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large white onions, chopped (4 to 5 cups)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
2 to 2 1/2 Cups water
1 lb fresh New Mexico chile or Anaheim chile (8 to 10), roasted and peeled
Accompaniments: cooked pinto beans and rice
Pat beef dry and season with pepper and 1 tsp salt.
Heat vegetable oil in a big (5- to 7-quart) dutch oven or other heavy pot, over moderately high heat until the oil is hot but not smoking. Add beef chunks to pan in two or three batches, and cook , turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer browned beef to a bowl.
Add onion and garlic to dutch oven and cook over moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until garlic and onion are softened, about 8 minutes. Add cumin and remaining tsp salt and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
Return beef (with any juices accumulated in bowl) to pot of sauteed onion and garlic, and then stir in tomatoes with juice. Add just enough water to cover meat, then bring entire mixture to a simmer.
Discard seeds, ribs, and stems from chiles, then cut the peppers lengthwise into long narrow strips. Add chiles to beef stew and simmer, uncovered, until meat is tender and falling apart, about 3 hours. Stir occasionally, and break up tomato chunks.
Stew can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, and in fact this is recommended, so as to allow flavors of the chiles and spices to deepen. If prepared beforehand, allow the pan to cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Reheat before serving.
Serve with flour tortillas, pinto beans, and rice