Carbonada Criolla (Argentinian Beef Stew)

Carbonada Criolla (Argentinian Beef Stew)

“Beef Up Your Pumpkin” via Tablet


6 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 pounds boneless beef or top round, cut into 1 1/2 -inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups red wine
One 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 pumpkin or squash, large enough to hold 10 cups of stew
3 carrots, cut into large chunks
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks
2 large potatoes, peeled and kept whole
1 1/2 cup fresh grapes or dried plums
1 bunch parsley (1 1/2 cups divided)


    1. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a 4-to-5-quart stew pot. Toss in the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent and fragrant. Remove from the pot and set aside.

    2. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Then brown in the same pot on all sides. Add back the onions and garlic.

    3. Pour in the wine and increase the heat to reduce the liquid by half. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano, paprika, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour, then season with salt and pepper.

    4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Carefully cut the top off the squash or pumpkin, scoop out the seeds, and sprinkle with salt, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a few splashes of water to keep it from drying out. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin meat is tender and the shell still holds its shape.

    5. While the pumpkin or squash is baking, put the carrots, potatoes, grapes or dried plums, and 1 cup of the parsley in the stew. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat to cook for 30 minutes or until tender.

    6. When the pumpkin or squash and the stew are done, remove from the heat and the oven. Put the squash or pumpkin on a large serving dish, remove the bay leaf from the stew and spoon the prepared carbonada inside the squash. Serve, sprinkled with the remaining parsley and tilt the top of the squash or the pumpkin alongside.

    Yield: 6 to 8 servings