- Sofrito is a slow-cooked mixture of onions, tomatoes, spices, and herbs which forms the flavor base for the stew.
- Picada is a mixture of toasted bread, toasted almonds, garlic, and parsley which thickens and flavors the stew.
- The original recipe called for boneless short ribs. Since these can be expensive and hard to find I suggest substituting boneless chuck.
- Serve the stew over boiled, mashed, or baked potatoes.
Sofrito and stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions
½ teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 medium tomatoes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
1½ cups dry white wine
1½ cups water
1 large sprig thyme
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2½ pounds boneless beef short ribs or beef chuck
¼ cup whole blanched almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 slice white bread
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
½ pound oyster or button mushrooms
1 teaspoon sherry or red wine vinegar
- Sofrito and stew: Peel and chop the onions fine.
- In a Dutch oven over medium-low heat, heat the oil until shimmering
- Add onions, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and cook with frequent stirring for 30 to 40 minutes until the onions are deeply caramelized.
- While the onions cook, cut the tomatoes in half through the poles and grate the pulp on a box grater, discarding the skins.
- Trim the beef, removing hardened fat and any silver skin, and cut it into 2-inch cubes.
- With rack in the middle position, heat the oven to 300°.
- Add tomatoes, smoked paprika, and bay leaf to the Dutch oven and cook with frequent stirring for 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture is darkened and thick.
- Add wine, water, thyme, and cinnamon to the sofrito, scraping up browned bits from the bottom and sides of the Dutch oven.
- Season the beef with 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper and add to the Dutch oven.
- Bring to a simmer over high heat.
- Transfer the Dutch oven to the oven, uncovered, and cook for 1 hour.
- Stir the stew to redistribute the beef and continue to cook until the beef is tender, 1½ to 2 hours more.
- Picada: While the stew is in the oven remove the skins from the almonds, if necessary, by blanching them.
- Peel the garlic cloves.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil and the almonds over medium heat for 3 to 6 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown.
- Transfer the almonds to the bowl of a food processor.
- Remove the crust from the bread, tear it into 1-inch pieces, and add it to the skillet over medium heat and cook 2 to 4 minutes, stirring as needed, until toasted.
- Add toasted bread and peeled garlic to the food processor and process for about 20 seconds until the mixture is finely ground.
- Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, stir in the parsley, and set aside.
- Clean the mushrooms and remove woody stems, separating the oyster mushrooms from their common stem.
- Return the empty skillet to medium heat and heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering.
- Add the mushrooms and ½ teaspoon salt and cook with frequent stirring for 5 to 7 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.
- Remove the bay leaf and thyme from the stew.
- Stir in the picada, mushrooms, and vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
|Cook finely chopped onion with salt and sugar until well caramelized.|
|Grate the pulp of two tomatoes and add to the onions with a bay leaf and smoked paprika.|
|Cook until dark and thick.|
|Cut beef into 2-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper.|
|Add water, wine, cinnamon, and the beef to the sofrito and cook, uncovered, in a 300° oven.|
|If necessary, blanch almonds to remove their skins.|
|Toast the blanched almonds in a skillet.|
|Toast a slice of bread, torn into pieces, in the skillet.|
|Process the almonds and bread with garlic and add parsley.|
|Cook mushrooms until tender.|
|Add the picada and mushrooms to the stew and serve.|