Relleno is the spanish word for stuffing and we call it that because it is a recipe from my great-grandmother, Mama Chata. That and it “sounds more exotic,” according to my grandma. The way I think about it is a modified tamale stuffing, or “relleno,” that must have made perfect sense to my great-grandmother when she began celebrating her first Thanksgivings after moving to the United States from Mexico. However it came to be, it is definitely a tradition I am thankful for. Every person that gets their hands on this recipe (only family so far) changes it a little bit so I am going to try and let you see how I have changed it (just a little) with a different color.
For the Shredded Beef (the day before):
- 3 lbs chuck roast (also called 7 bone roast); boneless or bone-in
- 2 cubes beef bullion
- 1 large yellow onion; quartered
- 3 cloves of garlic; halved (I used 4)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 5 bay leaves
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 2 tbsp cooking sherry
- shredded beef
- 1 yellow onion; diced
- ¾ cup celery; diced
- ¾ cup carrots
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 ½ tbsp. sweet relish (3 tbsp.)
- 1 apple; diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small can black olives
- chopped bell pepper (optional) <- part of the original recipe, but hasn’t been done for years
- 1 ½ tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (2 tbsp.) <– the original recipe says 4-5 good shakes, but I measured that out for you
- 1 ½ tsp. red chili powder
- 1 package of frozen veggies (peas, green beans, carrots, corn)
- 1 box of stove top turkey stuffing (with seasoning)
- ½ cup broth
- 1 cup cooking sherry
- salt and pepper to taste
Using 2 tbsp of olive oil, or 2 tbsp of the fat from the top of the chilled beef broth, sauté the diced onion, celery, and carrots. Reduce heat to medium-low and add in the beef relish, apple, olives, Worcestershire, red chili powder, paprika (for color) and frozen veggies. Mix well.
When you are near ready to stuff the turkey (or bake casserole style) add in the Stove Top. Add broth and then sherry slowly. Tasting as you go and making sure the bread stuffing does not get too soggy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Use relleno just like you would use a bread stuffing. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes if serving casserole style.
Hope everyone has a safe, heathy, and joyous Thanksgiving!