Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Portuguese Soupas

This was adapted from Rick Rodgers Ready and Waiting cookbook.

2 lb well marbled chuck roast cut in 1.5" chunks (don't worry about the size - 1-2" is fine)
2 medium or 1 large onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 60z can tomato paste
1 28oz can diced tomatoes (and juice)
1 cup dry red wine
1 T pickling spice
Salt and pepper (original called for 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt - unusual for me but I added more salt
oil for browning
*Fresh mint leaves or 1 tsp dried mint
**(1 tsp ground cumin)

Brown the meat in batches in the hot oil, and add to cold crockpot as browned. Soften onions in fat until browning, then add garlic. Turn heat down, and add wine scraping up any brown bits then add tomato paste and diced tomatoes and pickling spice, salt and pepper. Bring to simmer and then pour on top of browned meat in crockpot.

Cook on low for apr 6 hours.

This was designed to be served over chunks of Portuguese bread but as I had none, I made a savory bread pudding to use up some bread bits that weren't that substantial. I think it would also taste great over polenta.

* I had neither fresh mint nor dried but will try this one time. Peppermint?
** The stew tasted rather bland to me as it was cooking so in checking other recipes, I saw one that had cumin. I added a bit and dh said the final dish reminded him of the taste of stewed pork cheeks he had while we were in Spain. What can I say?

This dish could also be cooked in a cast iron pot (e.g. like the Le Creuset you see in the photo) and I'd just keep adding the ingredients on top of the beef and either simmer for 3-4 hrs or cook in the oven for that time...300 or so degrees, I'd think.

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