Spanish Beef Stew

A very good slow cooker recipe. What makes this recipe different is the fact that no browning of the meat is needed, flavour comes from the sofrito or sautéed vegetables and Liquid Beef Stock which supplies additional depth of flavour and colour. The anchovies are the secret to unlocking the flavour of the meat. Like a well trained waiter, it disappears quietly after having done its job. This stew, like all stews and curries, improves if prepared the day before.

YOU WILL NEED

Meat

  • 1 kg beef short ribs, cut into 5 cm lengths
  • 1 T (15 ml) Ina Paarman's Garlic Pepper Seasoning

Sofrito (vegetable base)

  • 2 T (30 ml) olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 t (10 ml) sugar
  • 1 t (5 ml) Ina Paarman's Vegetable Spice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup (250 ml) white wine
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 1 x 25 g Ina Paarman’s Liquid Beef Stock
  • 4 anchovies, chopped
  • ½ cup (125 ml) green olives, pipped

Picada (final flavouring and thickening)

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) raw almonds
  • 1 thick slice of white bread, cut into blocks
  • ½ cup (125 ml) parsley tops
  • 1 T (15 ml) grated lemon rind
  • 1 T (15 ml) fresh lemon juice or sherry vinegar
Method

Season the meat with the Garlic Pepper Seasoning, cover and leave to stand at room temperature while preparing the Sofrito. Sauté the onions in the olive oil with the sugar and Vegetable Spice, for about 20 minutes until soft and caramelised. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Position a sieve over a bowl and pour the tinned tomatoes into it. Add the tomato solids to the onions and reserve the juice for later.

Add the bay leaf and thyme and continue cooking while stirring to concentrate the flavours, ± 5 minutes.

Add the wine and boil fast over high heat until reduced by half.

Add reserved tomato juice, water and Liquid Beef Stock. Bring to the boil. Add seasoned beef, stir through. Transfer to the slow cooker. Set on High until it boils and then set on Low and allow to cook slowly for 7 hours. Add the anchovies and green olives in the last hour of cooking.

Alternatively it can be cooked, covered in a preheated oven at 150°C for ± 3 – 4 hours.

Can be pre-prepared the day before up to this stage

To prepare the Picada

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil, add garlic, almonds and bread. Cook slowly, while stirring now and again, until the bread is toasted golden brown. Cool a little.

Decant into a processor. Add parsley and lemon rind. Pulse until coarse textured.

Just before serving, remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf from the stew and stir the Picada and lemon juice into the stew. Taste for seasoning.

Ina's Tip

We tried both the slow cooker and oven methods, but preferred the slow cooked variation. The meat was slightly more tender and flavourful.

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