Carne Con Papas (Cuban Beef Stew) is a classic Cuban recipe that just fills the soul. This is one of those traditional Cuban dishes you just want to serve in a bowl and curl up with on the couch while eating. It is comfort food at its finest.
The flavors resemble that of a beef stew or pot roast. The succulent meat is stewed in wine, aromatics and tomato sauce, and the vegetables and meat absorb all those flavors.
In a Good Carne Con Papas- The Beef You Buy Matters
The type of beef you buy for your Cuban Beef Stew (Carne con Papas) really makes a difference here. The ideal cut is a boneless chuck roast because it is packed with fat and flavor. It’s a tough meat that needs time to break down and become tender, which makes it perfect for carne con papas.
The market will sell it to you already cut into chunks for stewing or whole. You can cut it yourself or ask the butcher to cut it in large chunks for stew. Even though it’s a “cheap cut” try buying good quality meat. It makes all the difference.
Some Other Tips for a Delicious Carne Con Papas
You want to use a heavy bottom pot like a Le Creuset Dutch Oven or something like THIS, which is the same idea but more affordable. If you are pressed for time you can also think about doing this recipe in the Instant Pot.
In the recipe below we call for mini potatoes because they are adorable and delicious. But if you want to go with a classic Russet Potato that will also work. Just remember to try and cut your vegetables around the same size so they cook evenly.
As far as Vino Seco, we are partial to Artañan because it is dry and brings just the right flavor. However if you don’t have this one or a Vino Seco you like, a dry white wine that you like to drink will also work.
Finally, be patient. This low and slow method yields a very flavorful dish but it’s worth every minute.
Serve over White Rice or our Malanga Mash.
What to do with Carne Con Papas Leftovers
If you happen to have leftovers, the best thing to do is shred the meat and have tacos the next day or put it in an Empanadas. Just sub the beef with shreds of the carne.
Cuban Beef Stew (Carne Con Papas)Course: EntreeCuisine: CubanDifficulty: Easy
4 pounds of “meat for stew” also known as chuck roast, cut in 2-inch cubes (try for the best quality meat you can find)
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 bell peppers, I like using red, yellow, poblano, or cubanelle pepper,
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound bag of mini baby potatoes, rinsed and left whole
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced in 1-inch pieces
3 medium/large carrots
14-oz can of crushed tomatoes
14-oz of vino seco (I like Artañan. If you don’t have use dry white wine you would drink)
4 cups of chicken or beef stock
2 tablespoons of Abuela’s sazon
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup of olive oil
2-3 tablespoons of salt
1/2 cup of parsley, chopped finely
- The first thing we need to do is brown the meat. But before we get there we must rinse and pat dry the meat. Then season the meat with 2 tablespoons of salt and pepper.
- In a large pot, heat half of the oil over medium/high and begin browning the meat in batches. You don’t overcrowd your pan, otherwise the meat won’t brown as well. As you add more meat, you may need to add more oil so make sure to watch that. You want to brown each piece on all sides. As you finish have a platter ready to set the browned pieces aside. . Once you have browned all the beef, it’s time to work on the sofrito.
- You will use the same to make sofrito. If you feel like there is too much oil drain some off but it should be just enough oil to cook the veggies. (You can always take out the excess oil, set aside and use it as you go if needed).
Add the onions, peppers, bay leaves, sazón, the remaining salt and more cracked pepper. Scrape the bottom of the pan to bring up all the flavorful brown pieces. Cook for 10-12 minutes until soft.
- Once the onions and peppers are soft, clear some space in the pan and add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Once the garlic is cooked, add the crushed tomato and mix thoroughly.
- Now it’s time to add back the meat pieces to the pot and mix together.
- Raise temperature to high and add the vino seco, broth and two cups of water. The meat should be just covered by the liquid. You don’t want to add too much or too little.
- Once it starts to boil vigorously, lower the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
Check on it every 30 minutes to be sure there is still liquid in the pot and nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- After 2 hours check the meat for tenderness and seasoning. The meat should be starting to break down. If it’s not soft enough, just raise the heat slightly and cook for another 30 minutes before adding the other vegetables.
- If the meat is tender enough for you, then add the potatoes and carrots. Then cook for another 20 -30 minutes so the potatoes cook and meat continues to stay tender.
- Add some of the extra water if it needs to be thinned out. Taste and check for seasoning and make sure there is enough liquid. (It should resemble a gravy) Finish with parsley for color and freshness. Serve over rice or malanga mash.