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LUIS' SUPER BOWL STEW aka THE MOTHER OF ALL CUBAN STEWS

2:25 PM Melanie Bowden Simón 0 Comments Category : , , , , , , , ,

Today, Luis’ contribution to our family's Super Bowl Sunday get-together is Ajiaco Cubano, the mother of all Cuban stews. The recipe reels in more than 500 years of the island's history with the use of indigenous root vegetables squash, yuca, boniato and malanga, as well as the Spanish and African additions of plantains, ñame, corn, tomato, cumin, beef, pork and chicken.

It’s a gorgeous, complex and healthy one-pot dish that will literally steal the show every time.

Check out pics, a video and the recipe below:



This is ñame, a versatile root vegetable that is common throughout the Caribbean, West Africa, India and parts of Asia. It's part of the yam family, but I think the mild taste of the tuber falls somewhere between a potato and turnip. Below, Luis shows you how to peel it.
  
  



Ingredients:
Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
½ cup of olive oil
1 cup of white wine
Spoonful of tomato paste

Meat
2 lbs. bone-in drumsticks
3 lbs. pork chunks, cut into 3-inch cubes
3 lbs. beef tenderloin (Luis had the upgraded meat from the holidays in the freezer and thawed it out, but you can use any type of beef)
2 thick slices of bacon

Veggies
1 pound boniato, peeled and cut into 1-inch squares
1 pound malanga, peeled and cut into 1-inch squares
1 pound yucca, cut into 1-inch rounds (Luis used the frozen, peeled variety from Publix)
1 pound ñame (in the grocery's Latin section), peeled and quartered
1 ear corn, cut into 2-inch rounds
2 large green plantains, peeled and cut into 1-inch squares
2 large yellow plantains, peeled and cut into 1-inch squares
1 pound Calabaza (also called West Indian squash), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips
½ red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped
¼ cup loosely packed fresh culantro (you can find in Latin markets), finely chopped
1 medium tomato, cut in quarters
10 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with a mortar and pestle
5 teaspoons ground cumin
½ cup sour orange juice (in the Latin section)

1 large white onion, cut into thick strips
5 cachucha peppers (also known as ajies dulces in Latin markets), left whole
Salt, pepper and lime juice to taste

How to make it:
Boil chicken in 8 cups of water for about 30 minutes. Pour in the sour orange juice and set aside.

Warm one tablespoon of vegetable oil on low heat and cook the bacon for about 15 minutes.

Luis handed the bacon off to the kids for lunch, then added another tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan, along with the onion, green and red peppers and garlic to make the sofrito. He then cooked all on medium low for about 5 minutes or until bubbling.

Next, you should blend in the tomato paste, the tomato and the olive oil. Pour this mix into the pot with the chicken and its natural broth.

Salt and pepper the pork and sear it in a little olive oil in the pan where the bacon was until the pork is golden. This should take about about 8-10 minutes on high heat while moving constantly. Add the beef and stir together for another couple of minutes. Pour the white wine in and add the cumin. To this pot, add the chicken mix and remaining vegetables and herbs to the pot and salt.  

Let the stew thicken over medium low heat for about 40 minutes. Taste for a balance of salty and sweet and adjust accordingly.

Ladle the stew into individual bowls and give a good squeeze of of lime juice over each serving. Pair it with a chunk of Cuban bread and you've got yourself a Super Bowl winner.






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