We were stranded in Agnes Water at the beginning of February 2016 after a massive storm decided to roll in and stay for over two weeks. We were ready to bail out on the while situation but we couldn’t leave without risking running into flooded roads (worst case scenario) or creating wet and mouldy equipment (best case scenario) by packing up in the downpour. The storm was hardcore as well, and brought gusty winds and lots of rain that left us with very little dry space to be around. We were wet and feeling a little bit miserable and it was this little dish, the Chilean Carbonada that my grandma used to cook for me, that brought the smile back to our faces.
Like we Chileans say “guatita llena Corazon contento” literally meaning “full tummy, happy heart”.
Ingredients for Chilean Carbonada:
- salt & Pepper
- a pinch of merken (smoked chilli), can be replaced for a teaspoon of smoked and sweet paprika and a bit of dry chilli
- a pinch of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 big tablespoon (or one individual cube) of beef stock
- 1 medium onion diced small
- 1 big potato diced
- 1 medium carrot diced small
- 150gr of round beans chopped in 2 cm pieces
- 1 big garlic clove diced
- 400grm of blade steak, fat trimmed, diced
- 2 tablespoons of rice
- coconut oil
- Warm up the oil in a POT in medium heat. You will need to cover it at some point and to stir so make sure you have a wooden spoon and the lid for that pot handy.
- Start cooking by chucking the onion and garlic in the pot and cook for a minute or so, until they are all well covered with oil and sound like they are cooking (sizzling sound) add the merken (or mix of smoked paprika and chilli), oregano and the sugar to the pot and keep stirring.
- Add the diced beef to the oil and keep cooking ’till it changes colour – a couple of minues or so. Then add a pinch of salt, a bit of pepper and stock and give it a good stir.
- Now is time to chuck in all those veggies and the rice (yes, add the rice before the water) and give it a good stir so every ingredient in your pot is covered by the mixture of oil, onion, spices and beef.
- Add enough water (cold or luke warm, not boiling!!) to cover all the ingredients in your pot, don’t let them go floating or you will end up with a soup, a good carbonada should have more liquid than a stew but not enough to look like a soup. The meat and the veggies are the star in this dish, the broth should be like a supporting actor that is nominated for an oscar, get it? It should taste awesome but not have too much of it. Now bring that pot to a boil and right when it does it (boil, bubble or reach 100c however you wanna call it) bring it down to a gentle simmer.
- Let everything simmer away gently for 10 minutes then try the broth and adjust the flavour (salt, pepper, sugar, chilli) to taste. Let it go for another 10 min or until the potatoes are soft and the RICE is cooked. Please note: the rice is what helps the broth to thicken, if you decide to put more rice in it, it would thicken even more, if you want a clear light broth you can reduce the amount of rice or forget about it all at the same time. I think it adds body and soul to the dish so I never avoid it when cooking it.
NOTE: You can also add in or exchange your veggies for pumpkin and corn. Both will go really good in your Chilean Carbonada. This is just a simple, cheap version that bring full flavour and comfort when all your stuff is wet.