Spanish beef stew comes to the rescue when you're craving a comforting weeknight meal. The tender fall-apart beef swimming in a sofrito-based stew comes together to warm you up from head to toe.
Watch how to make this
What makes this dish special
There's nothing better than sitting down to a piping-hot bowl of stew on a cold day. True, it only gets to about 40 degrees here in LA during the winter but I still crave my winter stews. What's the current recipe on rotation? This Spanish beef stew. Inspired by Spanish flavors, this stew hits all the marks of comfort in a bowl. Plus, you really can't go wrong with a bold sofrito-based stew, tender beef, and buttery potatoes, am I right?
This Spanish beef stew takes the concept of a classic beef stew with potatoes and carrots and gives it a twist. I fell in love with Spanish flavors while visiting Spain last year and so I decided to gather that inspiration and pour it into this dish. The result is a stick-to-your-bones damn good bowl of deliciousness. Trust me, you need to give this a try.
- Chuck roast: A cut of beef that comes from the shoulder area of the cow. It is known for its rich flavor and is often used in slow-cooked dishes like pot roast. I purchased my chuck roast at Snake River Farms. Other beef cuts suitable for slow cooking, such as brisket or shoulder roast, can be used as substitutes.
- Anaheim pepper: A mild to medium-hot chili green pepper. If you can't find Anaheim peppers, use poblano pepper or green bell pepper instead.
- All-purpose flour: The flour acts as a thickener for the stew. You can substitute it with gluten-free all-purpose flour for a gluten-free version.
- Smoked paprika: The smoked red pepper spice adds another layer of flavor, contributing smokiness to the stew. You can also use regular paprika if you prefer or chipotle powder for a slightly spicier kick.
- Sherry: The fortified wine adds a unique flavor to the stew. If you can't find sherry, use vermouth or dry white wine instead.
- Spanish olives: I used manzanilla olives but you can use green or black Spanish olives as the finishing topping.
How to make Spanish beef stew
Step 1: Make sofrito
Like all beef stews, this one starts with the beef. What's great about this dish is that you don't need to empty out your wallet to purchase the ingredients. You need a leaner roast, which means you don't need to buy expensive cuts. In fact, if you use more tender cuts, they will end up being tough by the end of the cooking process because all of the fat will melt away. I personally prefer chuck roast but you can also use a round steak.
Cut the beef into large chunks and sear them until browned. Remove the beef and start working on the sofrito. What is sofrito? Simply put, it's the flavor base for stews, beans, rice, and other dishes. If you ever heard of mirepoix, it's the same idea.
Saute the chopped onion, Anaheim pepper, and garlic until softened. Toss the vegetables in flour and add the beef back to the pot. The flour will thicken up the stew and give it that rich thick consistency beef stews need.
Step 2: Braise
Add the remaining ingredients including the sherry, beef stock, canned tomatoes, paprika, and dried herbs. Now cover the pot and let it do its thing for the next 2 hours or so. You can also prepare this Spanish beef stew in the instant pot or slow cooker.
In the last half hour, add the potatoes and carrots and continue cooking the stew until the vegetables are tender. Give it one last seasoning and finish the stew with olives and fresh parsley.
I gotta say, when you make beef stew, the smells are almost intoxicating...in the best possible way. It built up my anticipation so much for dinner and luckily, this Spanish beef stew delivered. Flavor bomb to the max!
Frequently asked questions
Although this Spanish beef stew is a complete meal, you can pair it with crusty bread, dinner rolls, or even a bowl of rice. You can also enjoy a simple salad on the side.
Yes, you can freeze the stew for up to 3 months. Store the stew in zip-top freezer bags, leaving about ½-inch of space at the top. Squeeze out the excess air and freeze flat. Thaw it in the fridge when ready to consume.
Spanish Beef Stew
- 3 tablespoons oil divided
- 2 lb chuck roast cut into large chunks
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 anaheim pepper diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup sherry
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup water
- 4 medium potatoes peeled, cut into large chunks
- 4 medium carrots peeled, cut into large chunks
- ¼ cup Spanish olives sliced
- ¼ cup parsley finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chuck roast and sear on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the roast with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Heat another tablespoon of oil in the Dutch oven and add the onion, Anaheim pepper, and garlic. Saute the vegetables until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Add back the beef along with the remaining ingredients, except for the potatoes and carrots into the pot. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and continue to braise the meat in the oven for 2 hours.
- Remove the pot from the oven and add the potatoes and carrots. Continue to cook the stew in the oven for another 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Season the stew with salt and pepper. Ladle the Spanish beef stew into bowls and top with sliced Spanish olives and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.