Sunday, December 5, 2010

Azorean Beef Stew

I recently read an article about a woman who blogged her year of cooking dinner every night for a year in her slow cooker. I decided to check out her blog and I found this interesting recipe for an international twist on beef stew.
I felt a connection to this recipe because my grandmother (from my adopted family) came from the Azore Islands in Portugal when she was a little girl, and I grew up with stories and food from there. The combination of sweet and savory is a classic feature of the cooking from that part of the world, as in perhaps their most celebrated dish of Sopas (beef cooked in a spiced broth, then ladled over bread and topped with sprigs of mint). Other typical dishes are cod (lots of fishing in the islands), sweet bread, and Coconut Tarts.
My husband (who also has relatives from the Azores) raved about this dish, and loved the bold flavors of the sauce. Allspice, cinnamon and garlic will help warm you up on a cold winter's night! I recommend planning to be out of the house while this cooks, because the wonderful smell may drive you mad if you have to wait a full 8 hours before eating it.

Azorean Beef Stew

1 lb beef chuck stew meat
5-6 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
2 potatoes, chopped in 1 inch chunks
1/2 c. onion, chopped
3 cups beef stock
2 large chopped tomatoes, or 1 cup canned tomatoes
1/2 T red pepper flakes
1 tsp all spice
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin
2 cinnamon sticks, broken

Put the meat into your crockpot. If you are using frozen meat, it's fine, just know it will take longer to cook and get tender.

Add the broth. Chop up the tomatoes, potatoes, onion, and garlic. Throw them in.

Stir in the salt, red pepper, all spice and cumin. Float the bay leaf on top and add 2 cinnamon sticks.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for about 6. Stew tastes better the longer and slower you cook it.


  1. Sounds yummy:) About how long is the prep time beforehand?

  2. Only like 10 minutes, as long as it takes to chop your veggies really!


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