Chilindron: The Ultimate Spanish Beef Stew

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This naturally gluten-free Spanish beef stew simmers all day in a slow cooker or in the oven. It uses red wine, roasted red peppers and stewing beef. This one-pot comfort food is decadent enough for entertaining.

The general term for a Spanish stew is estofado de carne or carne guisada and is a basic stew recipe, similar to this Irish beef stew or this Chianti beef stew. It’s a great every day stew with beef.

But this is chilindronwhich is just a bit flavourful.

Chilindron Stew

Chilindron de cabra, a Cuban goat stew on a table with plantains and tomato salad.

This Spanish stew is so popular that Spanish conquistadors brought it to the new world.

Traditional Cuban food also includes a chilindron that once used lamb, but it’s now more common to have as chicken or beef.

I ate it outside Trinidad as a goat chilindron, which is the photo above.  This is definitely not traditional as goat is somewhat new in Cuba.

The government has been encouraging raising goat as a more sustainable animal to rear for food as it requires less feed and time to raise than a cow.
 
 

 
Red wine Spanish stew on white plates in a marble background

An Easy Spanish Stew

This is an easy crockpot stew (or dutch oven if you prefer) made with tomatoes, roasted peppers and paprika.

Like all good Spanish stews it requires a bit of wine to add flavour.

But like all great rustic Spanish recipes, it requires just a few quality ingredients in one pot and then time to let it simmer.

I love this chilindron recipe because it’s an easy weeknight meal.

But it’s also fantastic for entertaining as many people have not tried this type of red pepper beef stew. 

And the absolute best part is that it’s better the next day.

So if you’re having people over make this Spanish beef stew the night before and simply reheat it.
 
 

 
Beef stew on a white plate.

Using Red Wine in Beef Stew

This stew is hearty and rich and much of the flavour comes from the wine. Combined with the roasted red peppers this one pot dish is a gorgeous colour. 

I made this dish for this sponsored post about pairing food with Spanish wine. Pairing wine with Spanish beef stew is easy if you just a good quality wine in the stew as well.

For this chilindron recipe I used Monastrell. It is a lesser known variety from the Alicante, Jumilla, Almansa and Yecla regions in Spain, along the Mediterranean coast.

If you like cabernet sauvignon, or bold reds with medium tannins this is the wine for you. It has notes of plum that pair so well with the roasted red pepper and beef.

And to be honest it’s also great with hamburgers and especially cheeseburgers with strong cheddar.

But that’s a recipe for another time.

You can find it here at the LCBO: Alceño 12 Meses Monastrell 2014, $15.95
And many quality wine shops outside Ontario also carry it.
 
 

 
Spanish beef stew with roasted red peppers on a white plate with a fork.

Secrets to a Better Beef Stew

One of the reasons I love stew in general is that it is tough to screw it up. But I have a couple of tips to ensure for a good one:

Fat = Flavour

Do not try to use a lean cut of beef for a stew. You want tough cuts with fat marbled throughout it, which will melt and tenderize while cooking for hours.

And the best part is that they are cheaper cuts of beef.

An expensive beef tenderloin is going to turn into mush. Don’t do it.

Make it Gluten-Free

Many beef stew recipes require browning the beef in flour. However, I’ve always been skeptical of this practice.

Then I read this Martha Stewart post that confirmed my suspicion.

You can get more caramelization without browning the beef and there’s less opportunity to burn it. I haven’t been using flour for years and haven’t noticed a difference.

Don’t Feel Guilty About Cheating Some Steps

This recipe calls for roasted red peppers. If you have time to roast them yourself go for it.

But sometimes buying a jar of roasted red peppers like this one that are already chopped is cheaper than buying it fresh and taking the time to roast it yourself. 

I won’t judge you!

Substitutions are OK in Stews

This recipe calls for red wine, but understanding that some people prefer not to cook or drink wine simply substitute the wine with good beef stock like this one.
 
 

 
Spanish beef stew with roasted red peppers on a white plate with a fork.
 
 
 
Spanish beef stew on a white plate with a spoon.

Spanish Beef Stew

Yield: 8-10 portions
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

This Spanish beef stew simmers all day in a slow cooker or in the oven. Naturally gluten-free, it uses red wine, roasted red peppers and stewing beef. It is a comfort food decadent enough for entertaining.

Ingredients

  • 3lbs stewing beef, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 10 small starchy potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups red wine, such as Monastrell
  • 1/2 cup bacon, diced
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove stewing beef from fridge, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow beef to come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat cast iron pan to medium high heat. Once hot add vegetable oil. When oil shimmers add beef and brown 1-2 minutes per side. Do it in batches and set beef aside.
  3. Turn heat down to medium, add onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add bacon and cook 3 minutes more. Add garlic and cook 45 seconds or until you can smell garlic.
  4. Add beef back to pan. Add two cups of red wine, use spatula to pick up bits sticking to bottom of pan. Bring wine to a boil and let it cook until wine is reduced by half.  
  5. Move everything to slow cooker or dutch oven, except for potatoes and corn starch. Add fresh thyme sprigs. Cook on low for 3 hours in slow cooker or at 190F in oven with top on.
  6. At 3 hour mark add potatoes, ensuring they are submerged in liquid.
  7. At 3 1/2 hour mark take a cup of the stew liquid and add a tablespoon of corn starch to it. Mix thoroughly and to stew.
  8. Serve after 4 hours, removing thyme sprigs.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 238mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 6g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although BaconisMagic.ca attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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Join the Conversation

  1. Carmie Brogan says:

    I was luckly enough to sample this. It was really good and I’m not a stew lover.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I know when I can impress you then it’s a good recipe.

    2. Made this tonight for my family. It was delicious. We all loved it after a long day road tripping.

  2. Eeks! Am I missing something!? At what point do we add the tomatoes and peppers?? Gonna have to cross reference w/ other recipes!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Step 5, everything is added except for potatoes and corn starch.

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