Uruguayan Beef Stew
with Vegetables and Fruit
Carbonada Uruguaya


Serves 6

"Carbonadas are for Uruguayans what paellas are for Spaniards," says cookbook author Maria Rosa Garcia de Hermala. This Uruguayan specialty was probably created by the Basques, who had a penchant for using fruit in savory dishes, a tradition left in Spain by the Arab occupation. It is usually rooked in a cazuela de barro (earthenware crock) and served in the shell of a calabaza (winter squash). Uruguayans use a mature veal that looks more like beef. This specialty is also popular in Argentina, with slight variations.

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 medium-size onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds boneless beef sirloin or veal cut from the leg,
  •      trimmed of fat and cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • One 16-ounce can pear-shaped tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 cups beef broth, or more if needed
  • 2 ears corn, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds
  • 8 ounces winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large ripe but firm Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, cored,
  •     and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large ripe but firm peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a heavy 6-quart casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, green pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring a few times, until the onions are transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the meat, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, black pepper, and salt and cook, stirring a few imes, for about 5 minutes. Put the tomatoes and their juices in a blender and process until coarsely chopped. Add to the casserole along with the beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 hour.

2. Remove the bay leaf. Add the corn, squash, potatoes, and sweet potato and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the pears and peaches. If the juices in the pan have dried up, add more beef broth; there should be plenty of sauce to cover the meat and vegetables. Heat the fruit through and taste for salt and black pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with the Parmesan.

To Serve Uruguayans serve carbonadas with rice.

  • from:
  • The South American Table
  • The Flavor and Soul of Authentic Home Cooking
  • from Patagonia to Rio de Janeiro with 450 Recipes
  • by Maria Baez Kijac
  • Harvard Common Press
  • Paperback (2003)
  • ISBN-10: 1558322493
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

Buy the Book

The South American Table


Visit Destinations page for more South American food by individual country.

This page modified February 2007

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