Saturday, July 24, 2010
Carne con Papas
I don't make this too often because it reminds me of my first husband. Although he was born in Brooklyn, he was raised very Cuban. I mean in an old-fashioned has-to-have-dinner-on-the-table-when- he-gets-home Ricky Ricardo sort of way. Nothing store bought or out of a box, had to have Cuban food the way his mother (or father) made it... yada, yada, yada. This is one of the first Cuban meals I learned to make way back then—about 100 years ago.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves pressed
2 pounds lean stewing beef, cubed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 green pepper, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 cup beef stock (or 1 cup water with one beef bouillon cube)
1 tbsp. ketchup
A few pimento-stuffed green olives (optional)
2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
Salt to taste
Okay, now here's the easy part. Take all of the above mentioned ingredients and toss them in a crock pot. Whaaaaa? Yes, meat for stew is very tough. You could make this on the stovetop, but after you sautee your onions and peppers and brown your meat and pour in the tomato sauce and the sherry, etc. you'd still have to let it simmer for at least 2 hours or more just to get tender meat. The alternative would be to make it in a pressure cooker, like my mother used to... but I'm afraid of those! And no, the potatoes won't fall apart from sitting in the crock pot for so long, just leave them in big chunks.
Serve over white rice (of course). Plantains as a side dish are the best!