Members' Recipes Archive

September 2007
Asturian beef casserole with herbs (Estofado de buey)
Clarissa Hyman

Asturian beef casserole with herbs (Estofado de buey)

By: Clarissa Hyman

Serves: 4

Clarissa Hyman is an award-winning food and travel writer. A member of the Guild of Food Writers’ committee, her most recent book is The Spanish Kitchen published by Conran Octopus in the UK and Interlink in the USA. To find out more, do visit

Asturia, in north-west Spain is renowned for the outstanding quality of its beef, and many recipes for this classic casserole include either a knuckle of veal or a calf's foot, which adds a wonderful quality to the sauce and a lustrous brown jelly when cold. But, even without them, the dish still tastes pretty good, with a touch of tartness from the vinegar and a layer of rich heat from the smoked pimenton spice. Personally, I like to eat the virtually disintegrated vegetables with the meat but it's a question of both aesthetics and personal preference.


1.5kg brisket, rolled and tied
Half tablespoon lard or oil
100g of tocino or fat bacon, chopped
400g onions, thickly sliced
200g carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
200g turnips, peeled and thickly sliced
1 tablespoon hot pimenton, heaped
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato puree
A bunch of herbs: thyme, parsley, mint and a bay leaf, tied together
200ml red wine
50ml sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper


1. Melt the lard over medium heat in a large casserole and brown the beef on each side.
2. Strew the bacon and vegetables around the side of the meat. Turn the heat down to medium-low. As the onions soften, give an occasional stir. Once they start to collapse, add the pimenton, tomato puree, herbs and seasoning.
3. Mix the wine and vinegar, then pour over the meat. Bring the liquid up to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and leave to cook over a very low light for 3-4 hours.
4. Remove the herbs and serve sliced with the mushy vegetables (optional) and cooking juices (essential). Alternatively, rub the vegetables through a sieve, adjust the seasoning and re-heat briefly.

© Recipe copyright 2007 Clarissa Hyman


Author: Clarissa Hyman Email:

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