Even though a lot of people are beginning to stay away from beef because of several health and general wellbeing challenges, there are still a good number of people who are ardent beef lovers. For this set of people, a quick trip to Argentina will be the perfect satisfaction for the huge beef cravings.
Argentine cuisine may be described as a cultural blending of Indigenous, and Mediterranean influences. This is largely influenced by agricultural products which fall within certain areas in the country. It is important to note that the Argentine annual consumption of beef has averaged 100 kg (220 lbs) per capita, approaching 180 kg (396 lbs) per capita during the 19th century; consumption averaged 67.7 kg (149 lbs) in 2007.
Beyond the Argentine barbecue popularly known as asado, no other dish more genuinely matches the national identity. Nevertheless, the country’s vast area and cultural diversity, have led to the local cuisine of various dishes.
Argentine people have a reputation for their love of eating. Social gatherings are commonly centred on sharing a meal. Invitations to have dinner at home is generally viewed as a symbol of friendship, warmth, and integration. Sunday family lunch is considered the most significant meal of the week, whose highlights often include asado or pasta.
Another feature of Argentine cuisine is the preparation of homemade food such as French fries, patties, and pasta to celebrate a special occasion, to meet friends, or to honour someone. The tradition of locally preparing food is passed down from generation to generation, and homemade food is also seen as a way to show affection.
Argentine restaurants include a great variety of cuisines, prices, and flavours. Large cities tend to host everything from high-end international cuisine to the inexpensive less stylish restaurants, bars and canteens offering a range of dishes at affordable prices.
For today we shall explore the Argentinean style beef stew which is unique in that it contains a hint of fruit, and sometimes with the traditional inclusion of corn usually found in this dish.
This rich delicacy is usually eaten as lunch or dinner and very easy to prepare with simple ingredients which include: 2 lb. beef steak for stew cut in small cubes, 1 onion, chopped, 1 large tomato, chopped, 1 ¾ cup beef broth, 3 sweet potatoes, cut in small cubes, 1 winter squash (such as butternut), cut in small cubes, 1 ½ cup diced fruit, such as fresh pears (dried apricots also often used instead), 2 bay leaves, 1 TB paprika, a pinch of cumin, traditional fat of choice, salt and pepper
In order to prepare this scrumptious meal, the following steps are necessary.
- In a large pot with lid, heat the fat of choice and then sear the meat until golden brown on all sides.
- Add the onions and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the tomato, paprika, bay leaves, cumin, and one cup of beef broth. Cook covered over low heat for about 30 minutes.
- Add the sweet potatoes, squash, fruit, salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes more.
- While cooking, check the amount of liquid. If it is too dry, add more beef broth.
So when next you take a trip to Argentina simply request for the Argentine style beef stew, or follow the steps above to get the savouring difference in this unique blend of spices.