The island of Puerto Rico off the coast of Florida may be small, however, the flavors that are created in these Spanish kitchens are big, bold and flavorful. Although Spanish and Mexican cuisines are somewhat similiar in preparation, the ingredients that differentiate the flavors are unique.
My Spanish Style Braised Beef Chili Stew recipe combines ingredients which are indigenous to both cuisines, yet focusing on Spanish flavors. In this recipe, I used green pickled olives stuffed with pimientos and pickled, sliced jalepenos. By adding a little red wine (optional) to give the sauce some depth and vinegar, this recipe turns out bold and beautiful in flavor. Serve this with Spanish style arroz Amarillo (yellow rice,) to turn this into a hearty recipe for a cold and wintry day. Enjoy!
1 1/2 lb. beef (sirloin, London broil, chuck steak) sliced into thin strips
Spice Rub - recipe follows
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves of fresh garlic, roughly chopped
1 cup red wine (I used Burgundy,) optional
2 cups green pickled olives with pimientos (reserve 1/4 cup of the vinegar)
1/2 cup pickled jalepenos
2 cups tomato puree
1 cup (or more) water
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
6 - 8 cups cooked yellow, white or brown rice
3 tbsp. Spanish, smoked or regular paprika
2 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. mustard powder (I used Coleman's)
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
Mix all ingredients together.
1. Combine the sliced beef with the spice rub and approximately 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Mix thoroughly and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or more.
2. Once the meat has marinated, warm the remaining olive oil over a medium heat in a large skillet or dutch oven. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring often until the onions become opaque, approximately 7 minutes and then raise the heat to medium high and add the beef. Stir often until the beef starts to release juices into the pan and the meat turns brown.
3. Add the wine, vinegar and olives - cook uncovered until the sauce becomes thick, coating the beef stirring often(approximately 5-7 minutes.) Next, add the tomato puree, water and cilantro. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil - reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook - stirring occasionally - until the meat is tender. This should take approximately 1 hour or so (check for tenderness often.) While the meat is braising, cook the rice and keep it warm.
This recipe serves 6 people.