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!


  1. Okay, so it reminds you of "him". whatever bad karma that may mean to you, BUT, ¡dear God!, that carne con papas you made looks totally awesome! I am salivating just looking at the picture. So turn the page and thank his family for the recipe (lol), if this is in fact their recipe. Seriously, this is one of my favorites Cuban dishes ever. My grandmother, both my parents, your tía Macuca made incredible carne con papas. Sometimes I just eat the potatoes and the rich sauce with a plate of white rice and leave the meat in the pot for others. By the way, you look just faaaabulous for someone who is 100 years old (lolololol). Besitos.

  2. LOL Pedro. It feels like a century ago.

  3. My mom came over last week to watch the boys for me while I packed for our vacation (which was awesome!!) and she cooked for us while she was here. She made this....soooooooo good! We had it with white rice and platanos. Mmmmm, que rico. Great, great dish! Thanks for sharing it!

  4. I really like to brown the meat and stuff because it creates a "fond" like a base the caramelized bits and stuff from the meat, gives the sauces a type of rich smokey flavor. I think they call that "sucs" idk. but yup yup.

    I loooove Carne Con Papas :)everyone does it different however but I'll take anyone's carne con papa (well almost anyones lol. this one looks yummy)

    So anywho i noticed u use ketchup alot in the tomato based sauces? like what does it add and stuff, is it like sweet and sour or tangy? or do u use it to give it a more tomato taste?

    Here's my grandmother's version she throws a whole large beef chuck steak instead of cutting it into pieces haha, then when simmered and tender we all just take whatever piece we are gonna eat from it.

  5. You're right about browning the meat, and meat-lovers will notice the difference, but for me, the goodness is in the flavor of the sauce, the tenderness of the meat and the vegetables.

    I see your grandmother uses basically the same ingredients for the sauce with a better cut of meat. Of course the better the meat the better the dish, brings it up a notch.

    I answered the ketchup question on the "dream on: enchilada de mariscos" post.

  6. PsssSssssttttt so I usually cook traditional blah blah blah... but thanks to your post n cuz i find myself super super busy w/ skool this week and my older sister had a baby n we need to make her dinner...

    Tomorrow morning before going to school I'm gonna make "Guiso de Carne de Puerco" (pork stew) by dumping all the ingredients... and im not even using the typical stuff (pork meat, garlic, onion, bell pepper, tomato, water, salt, pepper, packet of sazon goya culantro con achiote and a couple giant drizzles of olive oil, throwing in potatoes and carrots too lol.) gonna boil the black beans by dumping everything tooo and leave rice in the rice cooker. Then run off to school and be back 3 hrs later during my break to turn everything off (but I leave my mom and grandma supervising so the house won't burn down, as in turn off the heat after 2-3 hours when it's all cooked and be sure no fires lol.)

  7. You're too funny Nathan. I'm sure it will turn out okay. The crock pot may take longer depending on the setting you put it on.

  8. Lucy Riicardo (AKA Cynthia :)October 27, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    Thank you so much for the recipe my husband could be Ricky's brother except, mi esposo has no brother.....& yes yo soy gringa!!! LOL, so I especially thank you...God bless you, SERIOUSLY I thank you...if I would have mad this like traditonal American "beef stew", he would haave told me, "It doesn't taste like anything" you get the picture?? :) Thanks again.

  9. Lucy Ricardo-Cynthia : )October 27, 2011 at 8:18 AM

    OMG-you are my new best glad I found your website. Please tell me you have a recipe for 'Garbanzo'...I couldn't find know the one cooked with pork and (my sister's mother-in-law adds cabbage) what Cuban's here in South Florida call pumpkin, but I notice at the grocery store it's called calabza....(not sure of the spelling)anyway I KNOW it is NOT pumpkin...but don't try and tell anyone else here that :) Anyway, it also has potatoes, and my husband (and I) love it. Thanks again.

  10. Lucy Ricard0-Cynthia.... Sorry I'm getting back to you so late.... here is the recipe.
    you can always do a search on the button on the right. Welcome to the site.

  11. How long should we cook it in the crockpot (if we set it on "low")..

  12. Jessica, I would put it on low in the morning, go to work come back in the evening ad it was perfectly cooked. I'm not sure at what point it was actually ready. If you are home you can check it after about 6-8 hours, but if you're working, don't worry about it!

  13. Thanks for the recipe! Ever since Cuban-fest in Milwaukee this summer, I've really needed to know how to make carne con papas.
    I did brown the meat to get that caramelization and added 16oz of tomato sauce.
    By the looks of my crockpot, my wife and I will be very happy come dinner time.