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Hopi Beef Stew with Cornmeal Dumplings

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Hopi Beef Stew with Cornmeal DumplingsWhen the weather starts to cool off, there’s nothing quite so comforting as a hot bowl of chunky, homemade stew. This Southwestern style Hopi Beef Stew with Cornmeal Dumplings brings together some of the crops which originated in the Americas – squash, pumpkin, chile peppers and, most importantly, corn. Corn is considered sacred amongst the Pueblo and Navajo people, and plays an important role in their legends, ceremonies and daily lives. Most of us are used to only seeing yellow corn, but it also comes in a variety of colors, including red, blue and multi-colored. Here, we’ve combined yellow cornmeal along with other traditional ingredients and our own New Mexico Chili Powder, a mild, earthy blend of New Mexico chile, guajillo chile, paprika, cumin, garlic and onion. We’ve also included our own alderwood smoked salt and, in the dumplings, some ground sage to bring a dash of Southwestern flavor.

Recipe adapted from Marcia Keegan, “Pueblo and Navajo Cookery”, Earth Books, 1977

Note: This stew also makes a fantastic breakfast dish when topped with a runny yolked egg and warmed tortillas, either corn or flour, on the side.

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