Catalan beef stew recipe

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serves: 6
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 20 min
Cooking: 2 hr 30 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 600 kCal 30%
Fat 23g 33%
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  • This classic Catalan beef stew recipe is a family favourite. Saffron, thyme and white wine combine to give this Spanish beef stew a unique flavour. A tasty winter warmer! This Catalan beef stew recipe takes around 2hrs and 50 mins to prepare and cook and will serve around 6 people. This hearty stew turns your cut of beef into a tender, soft dish you’ll want to make time and time again.


    • 3tbsp olive oil
    • 1.3kg (3lb) lean chuck steak, cut into 2½ cm (1") cubes
    • 100g (4oz) streaky smoked bacon
    • 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
    • 225g (8oz) white rice
    • 300ml (½ pt) dry white wine
    • 600ml (1pt) beef stock
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 x 400g tins tomatoes
    • Good pinch of saffron
    • 1 bunch thyme, stripped from stalks and finely chopped
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley


    • Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F, gas mark 3). Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the meat in small batches. Transfer meat to a 2.5 litre (4½ pints) flameproof casserole dish.

    • Cut the bacon into small pieces and brown in the frying pan with the onions, then add to the dish. Fry the rice in the remaining fat in the frying pan until it turns a milky, opaque colour then set aside.

    • Add the wine to the pan, bring to the boil and add to the casserole dish along with the stock, garlic, tomatoes, saffron, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil on top of the stove, then cook in the oven for 2 hrs.

    • Then, remove the dish and increase temperature to 190° (375°F, gas mark 5). Skim any fat that has risen to the surface. Add the rice, stir well and return to the oven for 30 mins, by which time the rice should be cooked. Sprinkle the parsley over and serve.

    Top tip for making Catalan beef stew

    Top tip: Make sure you steam the meat in small batches - otherwise it will steam and not go brown.

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