Just Stew It.

Cati was handed-down a nice estofado recipe from her mom.  The only complaint we have about it is that we never seem to make enough when we make it (for just the two of us, mind you). There are few things better on a cold day than a nice hot bowl of this stuff:   

The Recipe: 

  • ~1 lb stewing beef  (we use the local organic stuff).  I bet lamb would be good too. 
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/2 bulb garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1.5 medium size onions
  • 1 heaping tsp of black peppercorns
  • one small shot of cognac
  • one small shot red wine vinegar
  • 4-5 table spoons olive oil
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 2-3 Maria crackers/cookies (available in the Goya section of your grocery store)
  • 2 TBSP sliced almonds

The Process:

Peel the carrots, potatoes, and onions.  Slice the carrots into 0.5″ thick rounds and cut the potatoes into chunks.  Poke the cloves into one of the onions (like a pin cushion).  Heat the oil in a large stewing pot and make sure the oil covers the bottom of the pan.  Add the meat, the clove-covered onion, the black peppercorns, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt.  Once the meat is browned, add the shot of cognac, mix well, add the shot of vinegar and mix again.  Then add the potatoes and carrots; then cover with water.  Bring to a boil, taste and adjust the salt, and then maintain at a simmer.  While you’re waiting for the dish you’ll have to make the “picada.”  Grab your trusty mortar and pestle.  Chop the 0.5 onion and add to the mortar along with the sliced almonds and the 2-3 Maria cookies.  Pulverize into a coarse paste and set aside.  Stir the stew every twenty-thirty minutes and it should be ready in about 1.5-2 hours.  You’ll know it’s ready when it thickens to a hearty consistency.  When there’s about 20 min to go on the stew, add the picada and mix in well.  This dish takes a whille so it’s good to make while doing other chores around the house. 

Here’s a little hint:  If you are in kind of a rush, or just want the stew to be thicker (we like it like that), you can add 2-3 tablespoons of unseasoned bread-crumbs to the stew at the very end. 

Please find some photos of the process below:

The Fixin’s

The Peel Sessions

Brown the meat.

Add the chopped veggies.

A shot of cognac and a shot of vinegar

Cover with water, and bring to a simmering boil.

Make the picada to be added near the end.

Make the picada while the stew cooks.

A coarse paste is fine.

Now Enjoy:


Que aproveche!

I am extending the ransom deadline [wink] for Nacho by one more week (see bottom of previous post). 

Recognize this?  Anyone?  Anyone?

All kidding aside, as I train for the marathon and (occasionally) complain about having to wake-up early, run in the rain, or run at all for that matter, I consider what a luxury it is for me to be able to train at all.  There are a lot of people who are fighting for their lives and faced with their own mortality as they battle cancers, like leukemia and lymphoma.  If you haven’t contributed to the LLS on my behalf yet, please take a minute to do so now by grabbing your credit card and clicking HERE.  Every little bit helps.    

Runner-up title: “What Would Jesus Stew?”  (Get it?  What would hay-SOOS stew?  Why, estofado, of course.)

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