Today is the fifth day of May, or Cinco de Mayo — a Mexican holiday commemorating the 1862 victory of the Mexican army over French forces at the Battle of Puebla. Here in the U.S., the day is meant to celebrate Mexican heritage. To college kids, that means shots of tequila and buckets of Corona. To me, it means Mexican food. If you’re of the same mindset, here are some ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
1. Have chilequiles for breakfast. Dip tortilla chips or stale corn tortillas in warm enchilada sauce. Top with cooked Mexican chorizo, queso fresco, and a couple of fried eggs.
2. Make Chili Colorado and use it to simmer turkey legs or goose thighs.
3. Go ahead and do a shot or two of tequila. But not too many. You’re not in college anymore.
4 . Set up a taco bar. It’s simple. It’s fun. It’s delicious.
5. Make venison guisada. My go-to recipe for carne guisada (a spicy stew of meat and peppers) was adapted from the NRA Members’ Wild Game Cookbook, but this one from Hatch is well worth trying.
Hatch Venison Guisada Recipe
– 1 Tbsp. of olive oil
– 3 lbs. venison, diced
– 2-3 large cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 10-oz. cans of Hatch Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
– 2 4-oz. cans of Hatch Nacho Sliced Jalapeños
– 1 serrano chile pepper
– 1 large onion, chopped
– 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
– 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
– 1 tsp. chili powder
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Water as needed
1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven set over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the minced garlic until fragrant, then add the meat and brown all sides.
2. Add the tomatoes, jalapeños, onions, peppers, and spices.
3. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water as necessary.
4. Just before serving, whisk a tablespoon of cornstarch into a tablespoon or two of water and add to the gravy to thicken. Serve with tortillas, beans, and Spanish rice.