Estofado (Canarian beef stew)

I have found no definitive version for Estofado thus far and so this is my version that borrows a number of goodies from lots of other variations…….

Ingredients for 4 very hungry people

  • 1 kilo shin of beef or skirt or other cheap cuts, cut into large chunks (or use pork instead….)
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 125g streaky bacon in cubes/squares/cut up small
  • 125g chorizo, cut into thin slices
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained & rinsed)
  • ½ litre beef stock (2 stock cubes)
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced into ½” slices
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthways
  • 2 small peeled sweet potatoes in large chunks
  • 2 medium onions; one finely chopped and the other just peeled and quartered
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into robust, large rondels (big chunks)
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Olive (or rapeseed/veg) oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Pour a couple of good-sized slugs of cheaper olive oil (or veg/rapeseed oil might be better I suppose, as the smoke temperature is higher….) into a large saucepan, casserole dish, frying pan or Spanish cazuela and pop onto a med/high heat
  • Add the beef, and seal it until browned (for larger quantities, you may need to do this in batches or it may start to exude its juices too much and start to stew early…… and that’s about as bad as having a ‘soggy bottom’ in other cooking….sorry, Mary & Paul)
  • Chuck in the flour, cumin and paprika and give it a good stir
  • Pour in the wine and stir again
  • Throw in all the veggies and stir well
  • Add the beef stock and bring to the boil. Top up to just cover with water/wine/stock
  • Reduce the heat down to its very lowest possible on the hob, cover it and leave it for a couple of hours, alternatively pop it into slow cooker for all day whilst you’re at work, or even in a very low oven, say 95C
  • When the meat is tender, serve… it’s really lovely with oodles of freshly cut bread in chunks.
  • How about serving it with Canarian ‘Wrinkly Popes’? (See this interesting recipe nearby……)
  • It freezes really well too, so if you’re like me and often over-cater, the remainder can be frozen for other meals……in fact it tastes even better the second time around; just after thawing, just very gently heat it through again (don’t stir it very much at all or it’ll fall to bits as the meat’s so tender) until you’re ready to serve.

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