Enjoy a private, remote stay at Argentina’s Caballadas ranch. The 60,000 acre property has been in the family for generations and promises entertainment, beauty, and superb meals and wines of the region. Try Mr. Uriburu’s, the proprietor, beef stew.
By Kurt Winner
Caballadas is a multi- night stay at a private, secluded and stunningly beautiful estancia in Patagonia, Argentina. The family members of this generation of owners have decided to open the estancia for a few weeks each year. Part of the forward-thinking team caring for this magical place are two sisters, Agustina and Isabel Lagos Mármol who do world-wide promotions, bookings and lodge management. To help preserve the private 60,000-acre ranch, they operate the estancia program ‘ Caballadas’ as a means to be able to pass the estancia in good shape on to the next generation. Isabel’s husband, Santiago Uriburu is a polo-playing horseman who runs the incredible riding series here. For serious riders who want to ride in the mountains and explore thousands of acres of nature on fabulous horses; you must be experienced, skilled on outdoor terrain, posses a great sense of adventure and be willing to ride steep mountain trails. Meals and wines are included at the wood and stone lodge house where you will sleep in a private room with a bath. This is truly one of the last remote places in Argentina.
As he is on the polo field, Mr. Uriburu is a skilled technician in the kitchen too. He sent along this favorite stew, a staple of ranch life in Argentina. He says “it is like a goulash”. You can put in whatever you have on hand. Here is the recipe for a classic, simple, never go wrong recipe, typical of Patagonia, Carbonada Criolla . This beef stew from Patagonia Argentina is slightly unusual but quite delicious. Dried fruits (apricots or raisins) sweeten the stew, as do the sweet potatoes. Tomatoes and onions, winter squash, and hearty chunks of beef round off the complex flavor of this wonderful stew. Carbonada Criolla is perfect for when the weather turns chilly, served with cornbread, a salad and a good bottle of Malbec.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1.5 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- 2 cups beef broth
- 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 white potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large winter squash, peeled and cubed
- 7 ounces dried apricots, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup sliced wild Patagonian mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, sauté the onions, green pepper, mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil until golden and soft.
- Add the beef and cook on medium-high heat, turning to brown all sides.
- Add the stewed tomatoes, beef broth, potatoes, sugar, squash, and apricots, and lower heat to a simmer.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for one hour. Taste for seasoning, and season with salt and pepper. Add more beef broth if stew seems too thick.
- Cook for about a half hour longer, until beef is tender. Stir in the frozen corn, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more.