Monday, March 2, 2015

Estofado de Res - Colombian Tomato Beef Stew!

     One Of The Best Tasting Traditional Beef Stews That There Is!
     The weather was very cold and rainy in Chicago when I made this traditional Columbian stew a few years ago.  The weather happens to be cold and rainy here in Las Vegas right now and it is snowing on Mt Charleston.  Since this is one of the last cold spells in the west, I figured that getting a good stew recipe readied for transferring to this new comfort food website would be well within order.
     Today's Estofado de Res recipe is a signature Colombian entrée.  Some people have a hard time imagining that stew would be popular in a hot tropical climate.  I lived in the sub tropics for many years and stew revitalizes a body that is fatigued from heat and humidity like no other kind of food.  This is probably why stew is so popular in Colombia.
     The flavor of Colombian Estofado de Res is different than American or European stews.  This stew is not spicy either.  In South America, hot chile peppers are not often used in stew recipes.  Overall, South American food tends to be mild tasting, a little bit exotic and quite savory.  Today's Colombian style beef stew is a perfect example of South American cuisine.
     For today's recipe, a fully ripe red tomato is necessary.  An over ripe tomato is a good choice for this stew.  By the time the stew finishes simmering, the ripe tomato will add a nice sweet flavor to the stew.  Cumin is what sets this stew apart from all others.
     Colombian Estofado de Res:
     This recipe yields 1 large portion!  The amount of cumin might seem like a lot, but the cumin flavor mellows after simmering for an hour.
     Step 1:  Cut an 8 ounce piece of lean chuck roast steak into large bite size cube shaped pieces.  (Chuck roast is from the beef shoulder.  Chuck roast is one of the best cuts of beef for stewing.)
     Lightly dredge the beef pieces in flour.
     Step 2:  Heat a small stew pot or a wide sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of pomace olive oil.
     Stir the beef occasionally as it sautés.
     Sauté the beef, till it is light browned on all sides.
     Step 3:  Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1/3 cup of chopped onion.
     Sauté the onions, till they are clear in color.
     Step 4:  Add 3/4 cup of finely chopped ripe red tomato.  (Try to remove any excess amount of seeds.)
     Add 1/4 cup of tomato puree.
     Add 1 cup of russet potato that is cut into large bite size cube shaped pieces.
     Add 1/3 cup of carrot that is cut into thick bite size slices.
     Add enough rich beef broth to cover the ingredients.
     Add 1 bay leaf.
     Add 1 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 5:  Bring the stew to a boil over medium high heat, while stirring occasionally.
     Step 6:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Gently simmer the stew for one hour.  Stir the stew occasionally.
     *After an hour, the stew's gravy should simmer and reduce to a medium thin consistency and the beef should be tender.  Add beef broth if the stew sauce is too thick.

     Remove the bay leaf.
     Ladle the Colombian Estofado de Res into a stew bowl.
     Garnish the stew with a cilantro sprig.
     Serve with plain white rice on the side.
     This is a delicious beef stew that is not heavy on the tummy.  If you like nice exotic beef stews, then this Colombian Estofado de Res recipe is worth trying!  

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