Cuban-Style Stewed Beef

We love stew meat. Here’s a good recipe for dinner on a cool spring evening.

This is a mild, family-friendly stew. You can always omit the olives for those opposed.



2 tablespoon lard or rendered beef tallow

1 package stew meat (about 2 pounds) or beef chuck roast cut into 1” cubes

1 quart water

1 quart beef broth (or water, if not available)

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1 garlic cloves minced

2 teaspoons salt


2 tablespoons rendered tallow or lard, or olive oil

1 medium onion, quartered and sliced thin

1 red pepper, quartered and sliced thin

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 16 oz. can crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup red wine

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 cup olives drained and halves

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 cup peas

Salt and Pepper

Rice and black beans for serving

To braise the meat:

In a heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil and brown stew meat, about four minutes. Add broth and water, and the other ingredients for the braise and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until meat is tender, about two hours.

Remove meat and bay leaf from liquid. With a fork and knife, shred the meat into small pieces. Pour braising liquid into a bowl. If there’s a lot, reduce in a pot until about three cups remain.

In a clean, nonreactive skillet, heat oil. Add onions and pepper and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, thirty seconds. Add shredded meat, two cups of braising liquid, tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, oregano and cumin. Simmer, uncovered, twenty minutes. Add vinegar, olives and peas and continue to simmer five minutes more. Add more braising liquid as necessary to reach desired consistency. Adjust seasonings. Serve with rice and black beans. 🙂