Photo by Liz Caskey

Carbonada Stew

Cuisine: Argentinean
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
This may be a rhetorical, but don’t forget the Malbec or the Tannat. Puh-lease. Salud che!

This recipe from Argentina and Uruguay is prepared throughout the country’s regions, particularly in the winter. It's a sweet-and-savory dish that always includes stewed beef; onion; tomatoes; fresh starchy vegetables like corn, squash, or sweet potatoes; and the unusual addition of fruit such as peaches (canned in the colder months), pears, or grapes.

In Argentina, I have even seen people traditionally prepare carbonada inside a whole pumpkin. The contents are added and the whole pumpkin is baked in the oven or over hot coals. The most important component beyond the flavors is the soupy nature. If the liquid disappears, it’s not truly Carbonada so ojo, careful, with that.

I suggest that you experiment with your favorite flavors for your own unique carbonada.


Photo by Hispanic Kitchen. Recipe excerpted from Liz's cookbook, "Knack South American Cooking." Get your copy here.

Liz is a cookbook author, wine expert and author of Eat Wine, a blog focused on wine and food from the Southern Cone. To learn more about Liz Caskey’s culinary and wine tours in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, visit Caskey Culinary & Wine Experiences at


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  1. Heat half the oil in a heavy pot. Add beef and brown. Reserve. In the same pot, heat remaining oil and sauté onions until soft. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and pepper; sauté 5 minutes until tomatoes are soft. Mash slightly.
  2. Add the bay leaves, oregano, vinegar, stock, and wine. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.
  3. Incorporate reserved meat with potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin or squash. Cover and simmer on low, about 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender. During the last five minutes of cooking, add in the corn and fruit; simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. To serve, ladle into deep bowls with ample room for the meat, vegetables, and the delicious broth. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty country bread.
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