Serving
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Beef Chiveci Stew
Bulgaria / Romania
  -   Chiveci
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4-3/4 #  
***
4 hrs  
Best
This famous beef stew uses an "absurd number of vegetables". Simpler versions were developed during the Soviet era, but this one is close to original. In Romania it is often made half and half beef and pork. This recipe is better if rested overnight and reheated. It is excellent served with steamed rice.



1-1/4
12
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4
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5
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4
1
4
4
4
4
8
1/2
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1/4
1
1/2
2-1/2
1-1/2
3
1/2
#
oz
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oz
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oz
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oz
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oz
oz
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c
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c
t
c
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T
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Beef (1)
Onions
-- Diced mix
Cabbage
Carrot
Parsnip
Celery
Bell Pepper, grn
-- Sliced mix
Okra, small
Tomatoes
Green Beans
Cauliflower
Eggplant (2)
Zucchini (3)
Potatoes (4)
Peas, frozen
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Olive Oil, pure
Paprika, hot
Water
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil, ExtV
Water
Prep   -   (1 hr)
  1. Cut BEEF into cubes about 2/3 to 1 inch on a side.
  2. Chop ONION fine.
  3. Dice all Diced mix items, from fine to chunky depending on your preference.
  4. Trim OKRA caps into a cone, avoiding cutting into the inside. Mix with vinegar and let soak 20 minutes or more, tumbling now and then (this keeps them from splitting during cooking). Rinse well and drain.
  5. Scald TOMATOES in boiling water one minute, quench in cold water and peel. Cut into quarters lengthwise and into 1/2 inch slices crosswise.
  6. Tip and tail GREEN BEANS and cut in half crosswise, thirds if really long.
  7. Break CAULIFLOWER into moderate size florets.
  8. Slice EGGPLANTabout 3/8 inch thick or as needed (see Note-2). Hold until needed in cold water acidulated with a bit of Citric Acid or Lemon Juice.
  9. Slice ZUCCHINI about 3/8 inch thick (see Note-3). Hold in the same water as Eggplant.
  10. Peel POTATOES and cut into about 1 inch cubes. Hold in cold, but not acidulated water (acid hardens potatoes).
Run   -   (3 hrs)
  1. in a 3-1/2 quart sauté pan heat Olive Oil and fry Beef over highest heat until all exuded liquid has evaporated and the meat is lightly browned on all sides. Take care the fond stuck to the bottom of the pan doesn't burn.
  2. Stir in Onions and Paprika. continue frying over declining heat until onions are starting to color.
  3. Stir in 1/2 c Water, cover tightly and simmer, stirring now and then, until beef is not quite tender, about 30 minutes, depending on cut.
  4. Drain all Sliced mix items and mix with all Diced mix items, Salt, Pepper and 3 T Olive Oil.
  5. Cooking: (see also Note-5).
    Traditional Method
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
    2. Butter a casserole sufficient to hold the recipe.
    3. Layer half the Vegetables on the bottom, and layer the meat over, then the other half of the vegetables on top.
    4. Pour over 1/2 cup Water
    5. Cover the casserole (lid or foil) and place in the oven. Bake for about 2 hours (do not stir - but shake the casserole now and then to discourage sticking) or until the vegetables are fully cooked. Test by sampling a chunk of Potato. Add a little boiled water if it gets too dry. Take the lid off for the last 15 minutes to brown the tops of the vegetables.
    6. Serve moderately hot.
    My Method
    1. Butter the inside of a 4 quart slow cooker crock.
    2. Layer half the vegetables in the slow cooker. Layer the meat over and the rest of the vegetables on top.
    3. Pour over 1/2 cup boiling Water.
    4. Cook on High setting until the vegetables are done, 2 to 2-1/2 hours. This can be tested by trying a chunk of potato.
    5. Serve moderately hot.
NOTES:
  1. Beef:   Weight is without bones and all excess fat removed. Chuck is good for this recipe, round is ok but takes a bit longer cooking.
  2. Eggplant:   Use long narrow eggplants if possible. If all you have is a big globe eggplant, peel it and cut into 1 x 1 x 3.8 inch pieces.
  3. Zucchini:   These should be very small diameter. If more than 1-1/2 inch, cut disks in half.
  4. Potatoes:   White Rose type potatoes work well here because they become tender but hold together well. Avoid Yukon Gold type potatoes, they disintegrate into mush if cooked just a little long. For details see our Potatoes page.
  5. Method:   If you will be reheating, stop cooking just a shade less than done. I usually serve this buffet style, and want it evenly mixed, so after the recipe is cooked, I pour it into a shallow 14 inch stainless mixing bowl, mix it gently, and either pour it into a clean slow cooker for serving (set to "keep warm"), or seal it in 2-mil poly bags for refrigeration. For serving I heat back up in a large sauté pan or similar, then pour into a slow cooker set to "keep warm". Slow cookers, even on "High", take forever to heat anything up.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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