This recipe was Cooking Light's Reader Recipe contest winner for the Entrees category and was published in the January 2007 issue of the magazine.

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 pounds top round steak, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil (may need additional)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced organic fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained (such as Muir Glen)
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fresh oregano (optional)


Combine unsweetened cocoa, coriander, garlic powder, cumin, ancho chile powder, paprika, dried oregano and cinnamon in a large bowl, add the beef and toss to coat. The original recipe instructs us to remove the spice-coated beef from the bowl, add flour to "cocoa mixture" and stir with a whisk. Perhaps my beef was juicier than most, but I found that there was no "cocoa mixture" left in the bowl when the beef was removed. Your mileage may vary but I suspect simply adding the flour to the beef mixture and tossing to coat would suffice.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. I found that one tablespoon of olive oil was not enough to cover the bottom of my Dutch oven, so I added a bit more. Whent he oil is shimmering hot, add floured beef mixture to pan and saute 5 minutes, stirring frequently and browning the meat on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add the onion and green bell pepper to the pan; saute 5 minutes more or until tender. Add the red wine and tomatoes; cook 3 minutes. Stir in the beef broth, salt, and black pepper; return the meat and any juices to the pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 minutes or until beef is tender. The original recipe says to "stir occasionally" which for me would be about three times during the cooking, however my beef had begun to stick by the end as the gravy really thickened up, so more frequent stirrings may be recommended. Garnish each serving with fresh oregano, if desired.

I served this with steamed rice. It would be good with egg noodles or couscous as well.

Serves 6

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