Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cuban Beef stew - Carne con Papas

It is cold and rainy outside and nothing will warm you up like a hearty bowl of stew.  This one take a little prep work but can simmer low and slow until you need it.  I have made it in the crock pot with great success as well.  You can skip the browning of the meat but I don't recommend it, browned just tastes better!  I also like to cut my own stew meat, that way I control the size of the pieces and can make them more uniform. 
This recipe is geared for 12 servings.  I like to freeze some for a quick meal another day.

6 pounds beef round cut into chunks
1 Tbsp ground oregano
1 1/2 Tsp ground cumin
3 Garlic cloves minced
4 Tbsp vinegar
3 Tbsp Sherry or dry white wine
1 large onion - chopped
1 large green pepper - finely chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
9 cups water
1 cup tomato sauce
4 large potatoes chopped into small pieces
4 large carrots sliced
2 cups green beans (fresh or frozen)
6 Tbsp Sherry or dry white wine
30 Spanish olives
Salt to taste

Trim excess fat from your roast and cut into desired size pieces  - I cut smaller for small people if only for adults I will cut into larger chunks.

Place cut pieces into a large bowl

In a small bowl combine - oregano, cumin, garlic, vinegar, Sherry, onion and green pepper and stir to combine marinade.

Pour over meat and coat meat well.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pan over medium high heat.  Shake excess marinade off the meat and brown each piece.  For small pieces brown on 2 sides, for large pieces brown on all sides.  Work in batches until all the meat is browned adding oil as needed.

Combine browned meat, marinade, water and tomato sauce to a stock pot and bring to a low boil over medium heat.  Turn heat down and allow to simmer for 1-2 hours until meat is tender.  Do not allow the water to fully evaporate.  If water level gets low add more. (Crock pot directions at the end of the post.)

Slice carrots and chop potatoes, I like to do the ahead of when I need them and I cover them with cold water until I am ready for them.

If you are freezing any portion you want to remove it now before adding the potatoes - they just do not do well in the freezer.  We will talk about reheating later. 
Now add the carrots, potatoes and green beans.  Add water if needed to cover at least half way.

Bring heat back up to a low simmer and cook until vegetables are done and sauce has thickened.
Add the remaining Sherry and the olives.
Salt to taste - First taste the stew THEN add the salt!
Serve over hot rice or alone with crusty bread.

Freezer directions -
Basically you are freezing the stew half way made.  You can just defrost and continue the recipe from where you stopped or for a quick meal defrost then add in a bag of frozen vegetables, heat and serve.

Crock pot - After browning meat combine all remaining ingredients in the crock pot and set on low for 6- 8 hours.

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