A Texan's Version of Peruvian Stew

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(and, yes, we live in California)

If I were food I would be stew. I would be hearty and simple, and I would be nourishing and humble. But I?m really not any of those things, so I guess I?m not stew. That's okay, because I still get to make stew, and an especially tasty one at that.

There is nothing about this dish that makes it more Peruvian than Texan, except for how it is served. The recipe is basically meat, potatoes, and carrots simmered in a tomato- based sauce. However, instead of this being served with crusty bread and a salad (as I would serve it in Texas), it is served with rice and olives (as it would be eaten in Peru). So very different, wouldn't you say?

This makes quite a lot of stew, so its good for a few meals. I generally cook (and clean) a lot on Sundays, which means we get a nice Sunday family dinner, plus leftovers for some of the week. If you need a smaller quantity, the recipe divides in half rather easily.

Basic Stew Recipe
serves 6 - 8 people

  • 3 lbs. stewing beef (I prefer cross-rib roast), cut into 1 1/2 in cubes
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 onions, chopped medium
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 in rounds
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 in chunks
  • cooked white rice (use brown if that's your thing)
  • pitted black Kalamata or botija olives (probably 5 or 6 per serving)

      1. Heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat in large Dutch oven. Season beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches so as not to over-crowd the pan (which will steam the beef), brown meat on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove meat and set aside on plate. Repeat process with the remaining meat and oil.

      2. Add onions to the empty Dutch oven and saute until softened and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute.

      3. Stir in red wine and scrape up all fond (brown bits) from the bottom of the pan. Once the wine has reduced and thickened, about 3 minutes, add tomatoes, chicken stock, salt pepper and bay leaves to the pot.

      4. Bring stew to a simmer. Add meat and any accumulated juices and return to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

      5. Add carrots and potatoes. Cook for another 40 minutes, continuing to stir on occasion to prevent stew from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

      Serve stew with white rice and a side of olives. Traditional Peruvian-style.

      I think you could safely substitute lamb shoulder or pork shoulder for the beef, if you prefer. Of course, then it wouldn't be Texan or Peruvian, it would be your own.

      As always, eat well!


      By: Linda Radwanski | Mar 9, 2016 06:55 AM | Permalink
      I can not lie, this is the best stew ever! You'll want to eat it for days! Thanks for posting! It's just fabulous!

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