Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Carne con Papas de Grace (Cuban Beef Stew)

Several requests for a good and simple Carne con Papas recipe have finally been satisfied. Our teacher Grace welcomed us into her home so we could learn how to make this delicious Cuban comfort food. We were joined by family members who only added to the fun!
Grace served the carne con papas with white rice along with a delicious avocado and tomato salad followed by an amazing flan - we're going to have to recruit her to teach us how to make that flan - and of course, cafecito! Oh and there was plenty of wine to go around of course.


4 medium onions - chopped
2 medium green peppers - chopped
1/4 cup corn oil
5 lbs Beef for stew
2 tsps Lawrey's Garlic Salt with Ground Parsley
4 lbs medium potatoes - peeled and chunked
1 lb jar Ragu Traditional Pasta Sauce
2 14.5 oz cans cut green beans - drained


This recipe makes approximately 10 servings.
  1. Sweat the onions and green peppers in the oil until the onion is translucent.
  2. If necessary, cut the beef chunks into large bite sized pieces.
  3. Season the beef chunks with 1 tsp of garlic salt.
  4. Add the meat to the onion and pepper mixture. Stir to brown evenly.
  5. Season the potatoes with 1 tsp of garlic salt and add the potatoes to the pot.
  6. Add the pasta sauce.
  7. Cover and cook on medium-low for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the green beans.
  8. Cook for another 10 minutes, setting the lid ajar so some of the liquid can evaporate and the sauce thickens a bit.
  9. Traditionally served with white rice.
¡Buen provecho!


Nathan said...

Interesting version... green beans? No cumin, oregano, bay leaves or other typical Cuban seasoning? No garlic in the sofrito or wine?

I've noticed most Carne Con Papas common components are wine, sofrito (fresh garlic, onion, bell pepper), and cumin the rest varies from cook.

Well if your interested in other more common versions of carne con papas here is a few blogs that posted some "Carne Con Papas"

-Recipe 1 (this one is from my blog)

-Recipe 2 (this is from another
great Cubanita cook from Northern Cali):

-Recipe 3 (this is from Marta's Cuban American Blog the cook of Babalublog)

The Vaporous Witness said...

Nathan is correct. If you are lucky enough to find an out of print book called "A Taste of Old Cuba" you will find the only true and AUTHENTICALLY TRADITIONAL CUBAN version of this dish which indeed calls for Dry White WIne, Capers, Chopped green olives (Never in my life did I hear of peas or green beans in this dish - someone from Nicaragua sneaked in the kitchen!) - And yes cumin, sparingly..

Hilda said...


Welcome to the Blog.

First of all - I own "A Taste of Old Cuba", the original hardcover edition. I don't know why you think that you have to be "lucky enough" to find a copy of it or that it is out of print. It's not out of print. It's a relatively new book (1994) and is available in paperback at Amazon ( And for the record, while this is a beautiful book, IMO the value in it is the narrative and the pictures. I consider Nitza Villapol to be the definitive source on Cuban cooking, definitely moreso than Mrs. O'Higgins.

Also, you say (and actually shout)that the recipe for Carne con Papas that appears there is "the only true and AUTHENTICALLY TRADITIONAL CUBAN version". According to who? You? Mrs O'Higgins?

If you know anything about cooking you know that there are very few absolutes, and that recipes are different based on the cook. And no Vaporous, "someone from Nicaragua" did not sneak into the kitchen. The cook is most definitely *Authentically* Cuban.

And finally if you read the title of the recipe you will note that this is "Grace's Carne con Papas". This Blog has never claimed to offer "only true and authentic" recipes. We publish family recipes for traditional Cuban dishes - there's a difference.

Buen provecho.

Anonymous said...

I bought the "Taste of" cookbook for a buck when I lived in Miami but it is difficult to credit the work as the "only true and authentic" source since some of the best Cuban cuisine I experienced had many variations. I took the magical oxtail recipe from this blog and made it in the oven (I'm too lazy to keep working at the stove) and added potatoes, tomatoes and cilantro.