Monday, January 18, 2010

Estofado de Ternera Con Patatas de Nuria (Nuria's Beef and Potato Stew)

I was craving a delicious beef stew today, but wanted something different from the typical Cuban "Carne Con Papas" (Cuban beef and potato stew) I usually eat, and didn't feel like eating any of the stews with "Pimienton" in it (sweet smoked or hot smoked Spanish paprika) or sauces heavy on tomato....

and so I browsed around online and remembered way back in Nuria's blog called "Spanish Recipes" I saw a delicious veal and potato stew she makes with fresh herbs she labeled as "Meat Stew with Potatoes". I decided to make it today and it was a hit in my house.

If you love gravy you'll love this the stew is flavorful coated in a rich meaty brown gravy sauce with hardy potatoes with peas and carrots for color. Perfect for the rainy cold weather we faced in Southern California today.

I didn't use her exact recipe instruction by instruction, I just read it once and did everything kind of my way using her's as a guideline but it is almost the same.


-2 1/2 lbs. beef or veal stew meat I used beef shoulder clod steak
-salt and black pepper to taste
-flour to dust meat
-extra-virgin olive oil
-2 onions minced
-1 head of garlic, peeled and minced
-1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce (or 4 fresh tomatoes grated)
-1 cup white wine
-water enough to cover all meat
-3 bay leaves
-a small bunch fresh thyme sprigs
-a couple sprigs fresh oregano
-2 large or 4 small potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
-2-3 carrots peeled and sliced into thin rounds
-1 cup frozen green peas or canned drained
-1 teaspoon monosodium glutamine/ msg (optional I use it sometimes)


(1) Cut meat into cubes, season liberally with salt and pepper. Then dust in flour.

(2) Heat a large deep pan with generous amounts of olive oil. When hot on medium high heat, add meat and brown on all sides then set aside.

(3) In same pan add 2 minced onions, cook down about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic minced and cook until fragrant. Then stir in tomato sauce or fresh tomato, if using fresh tomato you have to let the fresh tomato cook down.

(4) Finally stir in white wine, bring to a boil on high, then add meat and enough water to cover, bring to a boil, add msg, taste for salt add more if necessary, add oregano, thyme, and bay leaves tide with a string. Allow to simmer about 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.

(5) This part is optional in my opinion, but I like to do it, remove the tied bunch or oregano, thyme and bay leaves then puree the sauce until smooth (if you have a hand blender you don't have to remove meat, but if you don't then you have to add small batches into the blender then add back to pot I used a hand blender)

(6) Now add potatoes simmer 30 minutes until tender. Then add peas and carrots and let boil an additional 5-7 minutes. Turn off heat your done :)
(7) I like to eat it with white rice but bread is also good.
Please Note:
*I'm sure your favorite combination of fresh herbs would be wonderful in this dish. Also if you don't have fresh thyme or oregano I'm sure the dried would work in a pinch just remember when herbs are dried you use 1/2 of what you would use fresh even less. I'd use about 1 teaspoon dried thyme and 1 or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano.

*Next time I'm throwing the carrots in in very large pieces like just cut into 3 pieces a whole carrot and stew it with the potatoes jsut for a hardier appearance. Or you can also finely chop the carrots and sautee them together with the onion to get a sauce with a hint of sweetness which is what Nuria did but I had forgotten so I threw them in towards the end :)