Finally! It seems the autumn is actually starting to take root in my city and I can finally switch my electric fan for my radiator. Autumns here are not like those I used to enjoy back in the UK where you could actually tell the season had changed and you could roll around in piles of crispy golden leaves, here it just means that there may actually be some rainfall for a nice change.
The best thing about the autumn has to be its food. Apart from the bountiful harvest of amazing fruits and vegetables you can also look forward to hearty comforting soups and stews, much like this one which also incorporates lush cranberries into the mix to make what would normally be a run-of-the-mill (for my standards, anyways) stew into something a bit more special.
600g stewing beef
3 Tbsp. spiced flour (plain flour mixed with pimenton, black pepper, mixed herbs and cumin)
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 turnip, diced
1 leek, sliced
1 celery, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. ajo y perejil
1 ripe tomato, grated
2 potatoes, cut into chunks
2 tsp. pimenton (or paprika)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cumin
5 Tbsp. dried cranberries
3 cups cranberry juice
2 Tbsp. honey
Handful green pitted olives (optional)
Salt, to taste
1 Add spiced flour and beef chunks into a ziplock plastic bag, close and shake to evenly coat each beef chunk.
2 Fry beef in a casserole dish til golden brown on each side. Remove and reserve.
3 In this same oil, fry onion and leek til translucent. Add ajo y perejil, carrots, turnip, celery, red pepper, cinnamon and cumin. Fry for 2 – 3 minutes.
4 Add pimenton for a few seconds before adding the grated tomatoes. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
5 Return the beef to the pan and add cranberries. Mix well and add cranberry juice, honey, salt and enough water to fully cover everything. Bring to boil and simmer on low for 1 hour 15 minutes. Check on it every once in a while to make sure it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan or running dry, if so add more water.
6 Check seasoning and adjust to your preference. Add potatoes and olives and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are done.