Carne con Nopales y Papas (Beef with ancho chiles, cactus and potatoes)

From The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Schneider

Serving Size:  6 peps
Time: 6 hours (1 hour prep & 5 hour in Slow Cooker on low heat)

Ingredient List

6 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded

3 cups hot water

 2 Roma tomates

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tbs fresh lard

2 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-in pieces

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 cups Beef Broth

1 white onion, diced

6 tomatillos, husked, washed and diced

2 small red potatoes, peeled and diced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

( opt ) 8 oz cleaned nopales cut into 1/2 in pieces 


  1. Heat a large skillet over med-high heat, add chiles and toast on both sides, turning occasionally and pressing down on chiles with a spatula until soften and blister

  2. Remove chiles from pan and let cool. Once cooled tear into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl

  3. Add hot water and soak chiles for 15 min, Drain, reserving 1 cup of the soaking liquid

  4. Line skillet with a piece of aluminum foil and roast the tomatoes on all sides over med heat, until softened and charred in places

  5. In a blender put garlic, tomatoes, ancho chiles and garlic, puree until smooth added the reserved liquid as needed

  6. Heat the lard in the large skillet and brown the beef on all sides until dark brown. 

  7. Place the beef in 5 quart slow cooker and add salt & pepper

  8. Add the chile puree to the skillet, cook over med heat, stirring and scraping until the puree is thickened and bubbling 5 minutes roughly

  9. Add the broth, stir well and simmer 5 min

  10. Pour chiles mixture over the beef in the slow cooker

  11. Add the onion, tomatillos, potatoes and oregano

  12. Slow Cooker cooks for 5 hrs on low

  13. (Opt) 30 minutes before serving prep the nopales in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for  15 minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water. 

  14. 15 min before serving stir in the nopales into the slow cooker to heat throughly

  15. Serve with warm tortillas, diced onion and cilantro on the side

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