Sunday, May 6, 2012

Carne con Papas (Stew of Beef and Potatoes)

Spanish speakers might do a double-take at the title of this recipe, but I used Gardein's beefless tips for the carne in this Cuban beef stew.  The flavors of olive, raisin, and capers are similar to picadillo, but with more liquid. 

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds frozen Gardein beefless tips (about 5 and 1/2 cups)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 crumbled bay leaf
  • 1 and 3/4 cups vegan beef broth (prepared from Not Beef bouillon)
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed baking potato
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pimento-stuffed olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers
1. Heat the canola oil in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add the beefless tips and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the onion, bell pepper, salt, black pepper, and garlic; saute for 3 minutes.

2. Add the water, oregano, paprika, cumin, bay leaf, and beef broth; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Stir in the potato, raisins, olives, and capers; cover and cook for a final 20 minutes over medium heat, lifting the lid to stir occasionally.

Serve the stew directly over white rice, or with rice on the side to complete the meal.

Try pairing this stew with a Syrah; it has notes of chocolate and espresso that will pair well with the complex, briny tastes from the capers and olives. And c'mon, who doesn't love friendly wine? 

Nutrition Info:
5 servings (about 1 and 1/2 cups), Calories 410 

Tasting Notes:
The Gardein and the potatoes were both cooked to tender perfection.  What made the stew surprising and different - at least if you don't often eat Cuban cuisine - were the briny olives and capers and the sweet raisins.  To that effect, I would definitely increase all three ingredients.  The broth was richly savory, but would benefit from a touch of ground cinnamon, and a bit more cumin.  I enjoyed this over rice best, which provided a backdrop to the contrasting flavors in the stew.


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