There are many versions of this stew throughout Argentina and Chile in particular. Some include peaches or apricots, others have a hit of tomato, while others still contain corn. Some are cooked inside a pumpkin, and it's also common to roast pumpkins separately and serve the stew in them. Of course, you can simply skip this altogether - it will still taste just as good.
- 800 gm beef chuck, diced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 6 dried guajillo chillies (see note)
- 3 onions, peeled
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 litres beef stock (8 cups)
- 100 gm dried apricots, halved
- 3 oregano sprigs
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into rough 3cm chunks
- 500 gm Kent pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2cm wedges
- Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges to serve
- Finely chopped Spanish onion, coarsely chopped coriander and toasted pumpkin seeds, to serve
- 1Combine beef, spices and half the garlic in a bowl, season to taste and toss to coat well, then leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
- 2Meanwhile, dry-roast chillies in a frying pan over medium-high heat until fragrant and darkened (1-2 minutes). Coarsely chop 1½ onions and combine in a food processor with toasted chillies (discard chilli seeds for a milder stew), remaining garlic and 250ml water. Stand for 10 minutes to allow chillies to soften, then process to a paste.
- 3Heat oil in a casserole over medium-high heat, add beef and brown well all over (5-6 minutes), then transfer to a plate. Add chilli paste mixture to casserole and simmer until reduced by half (8-10 minutes). Cut remaining onion into wedges and add to casserole along with beef, stock, apricots, oregano and 500ml water, season to taste, bring to a simmer and cook, half-covered, until beef begins to fall apart (2½-3 hours). Add sweet potato and pumpkin and simmer half-covered until tender (25-30 minutes). Squeeze in lime juice, season to taste and serve hot scattered with Spanish onion, coriander and pumpkin seeds to taste.
Dried guajillo chillies are available from Monterey Foods (montereyfoods.com.au), Herbie's Spices (herbies.com.au) and Fireworks Foods (fireworksfoods.com.au).
Drink Suggestion: Full-bodied malbec. Drink suggestion by Max Allen
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