Some things are good whatever the weather. One of them is carbonada criolla, a popular creole stew from Chile, which is just the kind of tender, soupy dish that makes a welcome change from summery grills and salads.
It is a good idea to use a cut of beef, such as rump or cross-cut blade, which cooks reasonably quickly so that the colourful array of vegetables in the dish do not get overcooked. It is also best to time the cooking so that the dish is served as soon as it is ready, rather than reheated, so that the potato and kumara are not reduced to a mush. If you do have any stew left for another meal, cook a pot of plain white rice to provide a textural contrast for the mellow vegetables. Although the recipe calls for beef stock, I like it even better made with water, which doesn't muddy the sweetness of the vegetables or the spiciness of paprika and chilli.
|800 g||Beef rump steaks, lean rump or blade|
|2 Tbsp||Sunflower oil, or other mild oil|
|1||Green chilli, or red|
|1 to taste||Salt & freshly ground pepper|
|1||Bouquet garni, thyme, parsley and oregano|
|1 Ltr||Beef stock, or water|
|150 g||White beans, cooked or canned|
|1||Sweetcorn, kernals , or 100g canned or frozen|
- Trim fat and sinew from the beef and cut into medium-sized cubes. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot and add the beef. Once it starts to brown, sprinkle with the paprika and continue to fry until the meat is evenly browned.
- While the meat is browning, peel and dice the onion and prepare the capsicum by cutting out the stem, seeds and white membranes, and cutting into squares.
- Seed and chop the chilli. Peel and chop the garlic. Add all these and the onion, capsicum, chilli and garlic to the browned meat, lower the heat and continue to cook until the onion and capsicum are soft. Peel and dice the potato, kumara and carrots. Add these to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and tuck in the bouquet garni.
- Add enough stock or water to cover the meat and vegetables. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a very gentle simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the meat and vegetables are tender. The time will depend on the cut of meat used, but should be 45-60 minutes. Check from time to time and add a little more stock or water if needed. Add the cooked and drained white beans and corn kernels. Simmer for another 5 minutes before serving