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Beef Onion Pot Roast
  -   Encebollado de Ternera
6 main  
3-1/2 hr  

A good sturdy peasant dish, this delicious braised beef stew with onions and potatoes reheats well and is suitable for family dinners or pot-luck parties.




Beef (1)
Olive Oil
Boiling Onions
Head Garlic
Bell Pepper, grn
Bay Leaves
Potatoes (2)
-- Seasoning
Saffron (3)
Wine Vinegar (4)
  1. Blanch ONIONS in boiling water for one minute to make them easy to peel. Cut off the tips and pull the peels down around the root end. Cut off as little as possible at the root end so the onions hold together well.
  2. Fry Onions in Olive Oil (use Pure, not Virgin) slowly turning now and then until lightly browned. Keeping the oil at about 350°F/175°C this will take about 15 minutes.
  3. Trim the BEEF of any excess fat. Fry in the same Oil until nicely browned on all sides, This will take about 20 minutes for a 3 pound lump of beef, keeping the oil at about 400°F/200°C. See Note-5 for details.
  4. Roast GARLIC. Wrap the whole head in foil, stick it with a skewer for easy handling, and roast it over a gas burner (or whatever you can manage). Turn frequently, and it's done when you see wisps of smoke. Let cool, then remove skins.
  5. Peel TOMATOES and cut into pieces about 3/4 inch on a side. Cut CARROTS into large chunks. Dice BELL PEPPER about 3/4 inch. Mix all.
  6. Put Beef, Onions, Garlic, Tomato mix, and Bay Leaves into a large Dutch Oven.
  7. Add Stock and bring to a boil. Simmer slowly, tightly covered, for about 1 hour if beef is Chuck, 1-1/3 hour if Round.
  8. Meanwhile, peel POTATOES and cut into largish chunks. Hold in a bowl of cold water until needed.
  9. Grind together All Seasonings.
  10. When Beef has cooked its allotted time (see above), add Potatoes and Seasonings. Bring back to a boil and continue to simmer for another hour.
  11. Lift out Beef and set aside to let cool.
  12. Strain out Vegetables and set aside.
  13. De-fat Sauce using your gravy separator. Put in a sauce pan and simmer down to about 1/3, or whatever looks right for your stew. When reduced, stir in Wine Vinegar.
  14. When Beef is thoroughly cold you can slice it neatly with a razor sharp slicing knife. Slice across the grain so it isn't stringy. For a party dish cut the pieces smaller.
  15. Arrange Vegetables in a deep ovenproof dish. Arrange Beef embedded in the center. Pour sauce over it all and slide into the oven to reheat - see Note-y for alternative.
  1. Beef:   I like a chuck roast for this recipe. A round roast can be used, but will take a little more time and is a bit leaner.
  2. Potatoes:   I use Red Potatoes, but White Rose would also work. Don't use "Gold" potatoes, they turn to mush if cooked a little too long.
  3. Saffron:   Spanish recipes tend to use saffron in everything, in quantities difficult to afford in North America (Spain is a major saffron producer). You may want to cut back to a large pinch depending on how flush you are feeling.
  4. Wine Vinegar:   If you have Sherry Vinegar, use 2 t (it's stronger than regular wine vinegar), otherwise 1 T red.
  5. Browning:   This is traditionally done in the Dutch oven the meat will be roasted in, but this can be difficult, depending on the shape and size of the meat compared to the pot. It may be more practical to brown in a large heavy pan. Pour the fat into the Dutch oven and de-glaze the pan with the wine / water mix. I fry in an Indian Kadhai which gives me the best possible control. In any case, browning such a large lump is dangerous (hot oil can splash if it slips when turning), so it needs to be done by a careful, sober adult with no children hanging around. If your SO can meet that description it will free you to do other tasks. A 3 pound lump of beef browns in about 20 minutes, a bit longer for larger lumps.
  6. Serving:   Since I serve this at buffet parties, I arrange it in a shallow coverable electric pan, vegetables around the edge and meat, sliced and cut into modest size pieces, in the center. Pour in hot sauce and heat with the pan set at "low". When it starts to bubble, turn it down to "warm" (about 165°F/74°C is safe). Keep covered so it doesn't dry out.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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