Nana Braganza’s Beef Stew

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Today I am going to share with you a wonderful recipe for which I can take absolutely no credit at all. Yup, you heard that right. This is a recipe that my husband remembers and has committed to memory from watching his mother and Nan cook. Can you believe that!!! I love him to pieces and its things like this that earn him extra brownie points. 🙂 I remember the first time he whipped up this beauty was a few years ago. I was out of town for a couple of weeks on work. I had a few things cooked up and kept in the fridge for him to just heat up and eat while I was away. I knew he was good with puddings, breakfast and the like, but wasn’t too sure if he’d manage mains for lunch and dinner. To my delight, when I got back from my trip, waiting for me was a pot of this beautiful fragrant stew. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. Long story short, we both loved it and from then on, each time we have this stew, my husband actually makes it himself.

This is such a simple recipe and it requires just a handful of ingredients. If you use a pressure cooker to cook your meat, its comes together faster, which is what I did. Unlike typical Indian food, this stew is not spicy but is beautifully flavored. You can serve this up with a couple of slices of hearty bread or croutons or even over steamed rice. I personally think it tastes better on the next day, so we always make a little extra to enjoy for even 2 to 3 meals.

Nana Braganza’s Beef Stew

1lb. beef, boneless (I use what we call undercut, very flavorful n tender, cooks up really fast, but you can use what you have on hand)
4-6 cloves
2″ cinnamon
8 pepper corns
Salt, to taste
Juice of half a lime
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 onions, finely chopped
2 potatoes, cut into small cubes
1-2 fresh green chillies, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
3/4″ ginger, finely chopped or minced
1/2 cup of red wine
2-3 rashers of bacon, skin taken off and chopped into small pieces (optional, but yum)
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper powder
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

Cut the beef into 2-3 large pieces.

Sprinkle salt, lime juice and Worcestershire sauce over the meat. Add the cloves, cinnamon and pepper corns and toss well making sure the meat is marinated in this for about 10-15 minutes.

Pressure cook with a couple of cups of water till tender. I cooked it on low for 30 minutes after the first whistle. Let the pressure ease of on its own. Cut the beef into cubes. Reserve the stock.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the bacon. Let the bacon fry a little and release its fats. If you’re using bacon you may want to reduce the amount of oil a little. If your not using bacon, simply move on to the next step.

Add the chopped onions and chillies and saute them.

When the onions have softened a little, add the chopped ginger and garlic and continue sauteing.

After a minute or two add the potatoes and continue sauteing.

Add some pepper powder and stir.

When the onions have slightly started to brown, add the wine to deglaze and add the stock that the beef was cooked in with the whole spices.

Let it come to a boil and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Add the meat and let it all heat through.

Check for seasoning and adjust if needed. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Once the flavors have fully developed, take it off the fire.

Serve hot.

This recipe has been linked to –
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Time to Sparkle

Wonderful Food Wednesday
Back for Seconds
Wow Me Wednesday
Cast Party Wednesday
What’s Cookin Wednesday
Chef’s Day Off

Caldeirada or Goan Fish Stew

Goa – what can I say about this little piece of heaven? Well, our ancestors hail from Goa and ever since I was a little girl, we spent most of our summer holidays there. Even today, my husband and I love going there. We drive down for a few days whenever we get the chance. Goa is along the West Coast of India and the place really needs no introduction. Folks from all over the world holiday here. It has some really amazing beaches, lots of Portuguese influence in the culture (the architecture, the way of life and the food) and, in my opinion, some of the best food, especially the traditional Goan seafood preparations.

This recipe is a mild stew compared to the otherwise spicy food found there. This is the second time I’ve made it and I’ve got to tell you I love it. Its easy to make, the flavors are clean, the colors are really vibrant and have I mentioned that its really delicious. You really should try this, you wont regret it. This one is definitely a keeper for me. The recipe I used is from this really great book that I picked up a couple of years ago called “The Essential Goa Cookbook” by Maria Teresa Menezes. This is a book I use very often and I’ve never been disappointed.
Caldeirada
Adapted from: The Essential Goa Cookbook

6 slices large fish, or 6 small fish whole (I used Kingfish)
10 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1″ ginger, chopped fine
4 green chillies, chopped fine (I used 3)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3 large onions, sliced to get rings
3 large tomatoes, slice to get rings
1 tbsp vinegar (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped, for garnish
Clean and wash the fish. Apply a little salt and keep the fish aside for about half an hour.
Mix the ginger, garlic, chilly and turmeric powder and a little salt in a bowl. 
In a shallow pan, arrange half of the onion slices to form a layer. Layer half the tomatoes over it. Place half the fish over it and sprinkle half the spice mix over it. Repeat the layers with the rest of the onions, tomatoes, fish and spice mix. 
Over this, pour the olive oil, vinegar and one cup of water. Do this carefully so as to not disturb the layers. 
Cover the pan and cook on a medium heat till the fish is done. Shake the pan gently and tilt it to prevent the contents from sticking to the pan. 
Turn off the heat when the fish is cooked and sprinkle with the chopped coriander leaves. Cover and let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
We had this with some plain rice. 
Enjoy!!!
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