When I was young, I loved to watch my grandmother cook cazuela. She’d use the bones of the meat for extra flavour and leave the vegetables whole with the skins on to prevent them from falling apart as they stewed. Because of the nearby Andes, winter in Chile can get quite cold and cazuela is a nourishing, comforting and inexpensive dish to warm up with. But it’s still popular in the summertime as Chileans believe eating hot food in hot weather balances the body temperature. Traditionally, you eat the soup first and then the stewed vegetables and meat afterward, but these days, eating cazuela is an individual thing. My daughter likes to cut up the ingredients on a separate plate and then mix it back into the soup, while some people eat it all directly from the bowl. My grandmother made the best cazuela but now when I cook it, I add my own ingredients and just cook with love. When you cook with love, the food always tastes better.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 4 x 200 g pieces of chuck steak
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 4 whole potatoes, peeled
- 4 x 2 cm thick slices of pumpkin
- 4 corn cobs
- 100 g angel hair pasta, broken into small pieces
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the finely chopped garlic clove and 1 tsp each of ground cumin and dried oregano. Stir for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add the 4 pieces of chuck steak, seasoned with salt and pepper, and cook, turning once, for 6 minutes or until browned.
Add 1.5 litres water and bring to the boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2½ hours or until meat is tender.
Add the grated carrots, sliced spring onions, the whole, peeled potatoes, slices of pumpkin and corn cobs. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a further 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Stir in the angel hair pasta, broken into small pieces. Cook for 2 minutes or until pasta is cooked then remove from heat.
Ladle into serving bowls and scatter with finely chopped coriander, to serve.
Photography Leigh Griffiths.
As seen in Feast magazine, August 2014, Issue 34. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.