Estofado

Estofado is the Spanish word for stew.  However, when was growing up, it referred to a stuffed eye of the round, which was then braised and served, typically, for Sunday dinner.  My parents were English speaking Norh Americans living in Spanish speaking South America.  Because this dish is a stuffed eye of the round, it is entirely possible that my mother conflated things a bit and called it Estuffado.  At any rate, the dish was very, very popular in my neighborhood and a frequent guest at our table.

An eye of the round is of specific size.  Half of one will feed a large family and a whole eye of the round will feed a crowd.  Sometimes we did have a whole eye of the round and, in that case, the meat was punctured at both ends.

What I like about estofado  as ” The mom who likes to cook” is that with our now small family there is always roast left over.  No problem.  Slice thinly and serve in a sandwich, cold.

Or, another way to serve left over estofado is to slice it thinly, as in the following illustration, and serve on a bed of greens…arugula, for example.  In this photo I took several years ago I must have stuffed the meat with pickles…yes, that is an option…because there are definitely no carrots in the salad estofado.

Ingredients:

  1. half an eye of the round
  2. 1 cup onions, chopped
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. ¼ cup mixed fresh herbs
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. ¼ teaspoon salt
  7. ¼ teaspoon pepper
  8. two medium size carrots
  9. two or three toothpicks
  10. 1/2  cup red wine, more if needed,
  11. ½ cup unsalted chicken or beef stock, optional 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Using a sharp knife, begin cutting a slit into the flat side of the half eye of the round about ½ inch from the edge at the middle of the piece.  Dig deep into the meat and continue cutting until you get as far back into the piece as possible.  Cut through to about ½ inch from the other side.

Place the next six ingredients in a food processor and mince together

Carefully, with a long handled spoon, spoon the mixture into the meat cavity formed by the knife. Stuff in a carrot or two in the middle.

Try to close the filled cavity with a few toothpicks, or even tying the roast with kitchen twine to keep the stuffing in.

Brown roast on all sides in a skillet,  stove-top.

Add the wine and optiomal chicken or beef stock.

If your skillet has a top to accommodate the roast, simply put the top on the skillet and place in the oven.  If not, transfer the roast to an oven-proofed dish with a top on it and place in the oven.

After an hour check the roast and adjust the liquid either by adding more wine and stock or water.  Continue monitoring the roast from time to time.

Cook at 350 degrees for 3 hrs.

Optional: An hour before removing add potatoes, carrots, celery, or any other vegetable you might want to have.

Remove from the oven, set the roast on a plate and cover with tin foil for about 15 minutes so it will be easy to cut.

Correct the sauce.

Slice and serve on noodles, mashed potatoes, or any other cushion that appeals to you.  Pass the sauce boat!

Note:  Whatever is left over, refrigerate, and a day or two later, slice thinly over a bed of arugula, lettuce, or pasta salad.

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