It’s finally feeling like autumn, so we’re cooking up some stews! Stews and soups are a huge part of the traditional Spanish cuisine. Because so many tourists who visit Spain travel to the warm and sunny beaches of the Mediterranean, most people don’t realize that the average Spaniard eats hearty stews and soups often. The beef stew recipe below is one of my favorites because of its thick sauce and mellow wine flavor.
Think you don’t have time to prepare a stew after work? You do! Use a pressure cooker and reduce the cooking time to about 30 minutes.
- 4-5 medium (375 gr) carrots
- 1 medium or large yellow onion
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1 3/4 lbs (800 gr) beef stew meat, or chuck roast, cut in chunks
- 1/4 cup flour, approximately
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil to sauté
- 8-12 oz (250-375 ml) canned crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups (500 ml) red wine
- 2 cups (500 ml) water
- 1 medium bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the carrots, onions and garlic. Rinse carrots thoroughly, rubbing off any dirt and debris. Chop carrots into small pieces (1/4-inch). It is not necessary to peel the carrots. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Set aside.
Pour a few tablespoons olive oil into a large pot or pressure cooker and heat on medium. While oil is heating, spread flour over a large dinner plate. Then, add beef, a few chunks at a time and coat with flour.
QUICK TIP: Instead of using a plate, pour flour into a clean, dry, food-grade plastic bag. Place beef chunks into bag, grip or seal the top of bag and shake to coat the beef. Toss the bag when finished!
Add the flour-coated beef to the pot and brown on all sides. Remove beef from pot and set aside on a plate.
Sauté the carrots, onions, and garlic in the same oil (add more oil if needed, so vegetables do not stick.) When onions turn transparent, stir in crushed tomatoes. Add browned meat back into pan. Raise heat to high and add wine, water and bay leaf.
- If using a pot: Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Simmer loosely covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir occasionally, and add water as needed. Add the spices during the last 30 minutes.
- If using a pressure cooker: Add the spices. Lock on top and raise heat to high. When pressure has built up, and it is “hissing,” reduce the heat slightly. Cook for 10-15 minutes at a steady pressure. Remove from heat and release pressure. Remove the lid, and check the tenderness of the meat. If further cooking is needed, secure the lid and cook another 5 minutes after pressure has built up again.
Serve with rice or fried potatoes. Our favorite? Home-fried potatoes in olive oil.