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Super Southwestern Beef

Superb(owl) eats

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By the time you read this, the contestants for Super Bowl XLVII will have been decided (that wasn't the case as of the writing). But to many of us, the teams just don't matter -- especially with the Vikings out of the picture. We're more concerned about what we're going to eat during the big game on Feb. 3 than who will actually be on the field.

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I'm always on the lookout for easy-to-feed-a-crowd recipes for occasions such as Super Bowl Sunday, and Southwestern Beef is just such a dish. It meets all my criteria for fuss-free entertaining: components can be assembled in advance; guests can help themselves whenever they are hungry; and it provides enough options to please all palates.

Notes from the cook:

* Check out available chili powder varieties. The best varieties, in my opinion, come from New Mexico, and they're more complex than what is commonly found in the generic spice section. For the best local options, look in the Hispanic foods section of the grocery store. I also grind up dried chipotle peppers to make my own chipotle chili powder.

* I prefer to use whole coriander seeds (you can also find these at a reasonable price among the Hispanic spices) and crush them up as needed for the spice rub. Coriander is the seed of the herb cilantro, but while I find cilantro to be soapy tasting, coriander has a spicy orange flavor.

* Fire-roasted tomatoes are located in the canned tomato aisle. Tomato sauce can also be used in this recipe.

* Canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are also found in the Hispanic food section. Since you only need a couple of peppers, freeze the rest for later use in a plastic bag.

* While packaged cheese is convenient, freshly-grated cheese has much better flavor and texture, and it's more economical to grate it yourself. I prefer a sharp cheddar variety.

Superb Southwestern Beef

2 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons coriander

2 teaspoons sea salt

3- to 4-pound beef roast

2 tablespoons olive oil

14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

¾ cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped

Combine chili powder, cumin, coriander and salt. Rub all over the beef roast.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides.

Place meat in a slow cooker that has been coated with cooking spray.

In a separate bowl, combine tomatoes, vinegar, onion, garlic and chipotle. Pour sauce over top of roast.

Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, about 6 hours. Shred meat, then put back into sauce in slow cooker.

Serve on small corn tortillas with fixings such as tomato, sliced onion, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and avocado.

In lieu of sour cream, I like to combine ½ cup Greek yogurt, ½ cup bottled ranch dressing and 1 tablespoon hot sauce.

Daily Globe Features Editor Beth Rickers can be reached at 376-7327.

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Beth Rickers
Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at http://lagniappe.areavoices.com/.  
(507) 376-7327
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