I like different. I love chocolate. And I’m feeling inspired….even if the weather is not exactly appropriate for stew right now. It’s boiling hot in London! I love it, although I think it’s a bit uncomfortable with the humidity factor. But I’m not complaining; it’s a rarity to see the sun around here…so, I’ll take it in any form it comes!
This is an easy dish to make and it’s delicious and slightly exotic as well. It’s very typical to add chocolate to game, usually to compliment the stronger flavours of the meat. In Spain, growing up, a dear friend of the family’s would regularly go hunting for wild boar, venison and pheasant. My father went along a number of times. And we kids would also join in on the field trip, which entailed going into the sierra to spend the day in nature, running through the fields, climbing acorn oaks, and jumping in haystacks. And of course, one of the best parts of the adventure was the end of the day when we got to enjoy some of the meat on an open wood-fire, with the noises of the night and the moon and the stars as our companions.
I’m not keen about hunting; in fact, I hardly eat game anymore, although I do admit that the flavour is incomparable to farm-grown animals. However, today I indulged in my passion of chocolate with a beef stew.
Chocolate Beef Stew – Estofado de Ternera al Chocolate
Ingredients, for 4
- 1 kilo of a tender cut of beef, diced for stew
- 3 large onions, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 100g of pure cocoa powder
- 1 cup of vinegar (I used balsamic as it’s sweeter, but you can use wine vinegar too)
- 4-5 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large squares
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- fresh ground nutmeg, to taste (I used about 3 teaspoons)
- sea salt, to taste
- olive oil
Rinse the beef and pat dry. In a pressure cooker, place enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot. Over medium heat, brown the beef. Add the onions and garlic and saute about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, cocoa powder, and nutmeg. Mix well and saute about 1 minute. Add the potatoes and carrots, and enough water to cover, or according to the instructions of your pressure cooker. Cover and seal the cooker; cook for 25 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow for the steam from the cooker to be released. Open the pot when there is no steam left. Check the meat for tenderness. Add the salt and cook a bit longer, with no cover, to reduce the sauce, about 5-10 minutes or longer if necessary.
I like to add a teaspoon of honey or raw maple syrup over my plate and mix it in with the stew. It adds just a touch of sweetness that makes the dish all that more delicious.