Mexican Wedding Meal

So the only impetus for this meal was seeing Diane Kennedy’s recipe for Estofado de Bodas or wedding stew.  She has me at dried chiles and tomatoes with fruit and vinegar.  I can’t imagine a more delicious combination.

Now strangely I learned that potato salad is a pretty common fixture of Mexican special events.  Kennedy suggests a pickled salad as an accompaniment so I kind of split the difference and adapted a potato salad that has pickled jalapenos/onions and a fairly sour dressing.

Finally, Kennedy’s recipe originally called for crumbling sweet rolls into the stew directly.  I am not a fan of thickening stews with bread/tortillas so I intend to just make some rolls to serve along side to mop up the sauce.  I took a milk bread recipe from Cook’s Illustrated and added more sugar, dropped some butter and then added in another egg yolk for eggy goodness and color.  We will have to see how it turns out.


For the stew: (Estofado de Bodas from Kennedy’s Oaxaca Al Gusto)

4¼ pounds (about 2 kg) stewing beef on the bone
1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock or more, as necessary
½ teaspoon whole cloves, ground
½ teaspoon whole allspice, ground
¾ inch (about 2 cm) cinnamon stick, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2¼ pounds (about 1 kg) tomatoes, roughly chopped
8 ancho chiles, veins and seeds removed, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes and strained
8 guajillo chiles, veins and seeds removed, soaked for 15 minutes and strained
1 underripe plantain, peeled and cut into small cubes
4 apples, peeled and cut into small cubes
½ pineapple, peeled and cut into small cubes
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons mustard

  • Put the stock into the blender.  Add the tomatoes and blend well, then add the chiles, a few at a time, blending well after each addition. Add a little more water, if necessary, to loosen the blades of the blender. The mixture should be slightly textured.
  • Saute onions and garlic in large dutch oven until they start to brown.  Add spices and bay leaves and fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add chile tomato puree and rest of ingredients.  Cover and cook in a 225-degree oven until the meat is so soft it is falling apart, about 6 hours.


Spicy Potato Salad: (Adapted from Cook’s Country Texas Potato Salad)

½ cup red wine vinegar
1½ tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 small red onion, sliced thin
2 jalapeño chiles (1 sliced into thin rings; 1 stemmed, seeded, and minced)
3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch pieces
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons of chipotle in adobo sauce
2 large hard-cooked eggs, cut into ¼-inch pieces

1. Combine vinegar, sugar, 1½ teaspoons salt, and mustard seeds in bowl and microwave until steaming, about 2 minutes. Whisk until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add onion and jalapeños and set aside until cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Strain onion and jalapeños through fine-mesh strainer set over bowl. Reserve pickled vegetables and vinegar mixture separately.

2. Meanwhile, combine potatoes, 8 cups water, 2 Tablespoons of reserved vinegar mixture and 1 tablespoon salt in large pot and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Drain potatoes thoroughly, then transfer to large bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons reserved vinegar mixture over hot potatoes and toss gently until evenly coated. (Reserve remaining vinegar mixture for another use.) Refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through chilling.

4. Whisk mayonnaise, mustard, ½ teaspoon pepper, and chipotle together in bowl until combined. Add mayonnaise mixture, reserved pickled vegetables and eggs to potatoes and stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors blend, about 30 minutes. Serve. (Salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)


Sweet Rolls: (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Fluffy Dinner Rolls)

½ cup water
3 tablespoons bread flour
½ cup cold milk
1 large egg + 1 yolk
2 cups (11 ounces) bread flour
1½ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened,
plus ½ tablespoon, melted
1. FOR THE FLOUR PASTE: Whisk water and
flour together in small bowl until no lumps remain.
Microwave, whisking every 20 seconds, until mixture
thickens to stiff, smooth, pudding-like consistency
that forms mound when dropped from end of whisk
into bowl, 40 to 80 seconds.
2. FOR THE DOUGH: In bowl of stand mixer,
whisk flour paste and milk together until smooth.
Add eggs and whisk until incorporated. Add flour
and yeast. Fit stand mixer with dough hook and
mix on low speed until all flour is moistened, 1 to 2
minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes.
3. Add sugar and salt and mix on medium-low
speed for 5 minutes. With mixer running, add softened
butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to mix
on medium-low speed 5 minutes longer, scraping
down dough hook and sides of bowl occasionally
(dough will stick to bottom of bowl).
4. Transfer dough to very lightly floured counter.
Knead briefly to form ball and transfer, seam side
down, to lightly greased bowl; lightly coat surface of
dough with vegetable oil spray and cover with plastic
wrap. Let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
5. Grease 9-inch round cake pan and set aside.
Transfer dough to counter. Press dough gently but
firmly to expel all air. Pat and stretch dough to form
8 by 9-inch rectangle with short side facing you. Cut
dough lengthwise into 4 equal strips and cut each
strip crosswise into 3 equal pieces. Working with 1
piece at a time, stretch and press dough gently to
form 8 by 2-inch strip. Starting on short side, roll
dough to form snug cylinder and arrange shaped
rolls seam side down in prepared pan, placing 10
rolls around edge of pan, pointing inward, and
remaining 2 rolls in center. Cover with plastic and
let rise until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
6. When rolls are nearly doubled, adjust oven rack
to lowest position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake rolls until deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
Let rolls cool in pan on wire rack for 3 minutes;
invert rolls onto rack, then reinvert. Brush tops and
sides of rolls with melted butter. Let rolls cool for
at least 20 minutes before serving.


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