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my last blog entry I presented a ritual that my Argentinean friends Elena, Mónica and I started a while ago: all three families spending a day together, cooking and eating Argentinean food. Today, Elena is sharing with us her recipe for one of the dishes that she prepared for our first Argies in Dutchland party: the carbonada criolla, or pumpkin beef stew.
|Elena pouring mates (the Argentinean national drink) for her guests.|
Instead, it seems that the carbonada criolla hails originally from Belgium where it is known as carbonade or more specifically, carbonade flamande which is, "a sweet-sour beef and onion stew made with beer and seasoned with thyme and bay." (source, Wikipedia) Interesting how this dish started its journey not too far from where we, the argies in the team, are living right now!
Besides this unexpected discovery, I found that the name carbonada refers to the cooking method: the stew was or is cooked traditionally on a pot over the flame very slowly until all the logs in the open stove are reduced to ashes, which in Spanish is carbonizados. Then the criolla part of the name, refers to the indigenous ingredients that were added by the locals -the criollos- like the corn on the cob, the pumpkin and the fruit. The pumpkin shell is sometimes used to serve the dish.
|Carbonada criolla served in the pumpkin shell. Photo courtesy of Recetario Cocina|
Carbonada Criolla for the Argies in Dutchland, by Elena:
Heat some oil in a pan and brown two cloves of garlic and a finely chopped onion for a few minutes until soft. Add a pound (1/2 kg.) of steweing beef cut in small cubes and seal it in the garlic and onion before adding two peeled tomatoes chopped, 100g. of butter and a bunch of fresh herbs, one potato, a chunk of pumpkin, and another of sweet potato, all cubed; then some pieces of corn still on the cob, three ladelfulls of stock. Season with salt and pepper.
Put the lid on the pan and let it boil until everything is tender. Add then 250g of rice, one peeled apple cubed, three peeled peaches also cubed (it can also be whole small peaches, always peeled). Cook on a low flame until the rice is cooked, which should be about 20 minutes.
Add more stock if necessary, but bear in mind that the carbonada should have the consistency of a broth.
This dish tastes better when its made on the same day, since it will get too mushy if you prepare it the day before.
Elena's delicious carbonada, served on the beautiful dishes she brought over from Argentina.
The recipe was taken from El Libro de Doña Petrona, a book containing the recipes of the "guru" of Argentinean cooking: Petrona C. de Gandulfo.