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Picture yourself in a cozy kitchen, stirring a pot of steaming, fragrant Chilean Beef Cazuela, the hearty, soul-warming stew that’s been a beloved staple of South American cuisine for generations. Imagine the delight of your family and friends as they dig into this savory dish, brimming with exquisite flavors and textures that transport them to the rolling foothills of the Andes. Trust us, this is one recipe you’ll want to add to your culinary repertoire, and we’re here to show you how!
You may wonder what makes this particular stew stand out from the rest, and the answer lies in its rich history and unique blend of ingredients. Chilean Beef Cazuela is an irresistible concoction of tender beef, potatoes, corn, and pumpkins, simmered to perfection with a medley of spices that will make your taste buds dance. This dish not only celebrates the bounty of Chile’s agricultural heritage but also showcases the ingenuity of its people who have turned simple, humble ingredients into a culinary masterpiece. So, tie on your apron, grab your favorite wooden spoon, and get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that will take you from the bustling markets of Santiago to the snow-capped peaks of Patagonia – the unforgettable world of Chilean Beef Cazuela awaits!
Yield & Servings:
Serves 4 to 6 people
1.5 lbs beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
½ cup fresh or frozen green beans, chopped
¼ cup long-grain white rice
4 cups beef broth
½ cup white wine (optional)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
Notable Equipment & Tools:
Large pot or Dutch oven
Step 1: Gather and Prep Your Ingredients
All ingredients ready? Let’s begin!
Step 2: Brown Beef and Set Aside
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the beef cubes and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
Step 3: Return Beef, Add Seasonings, and Stir Well
Return the beef to the pot and add the oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes.
Step 4: Add Broth and Wine, Bring to Boil, and Simmer
Pour in the beef broth and white wine (if using) and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 1 hour.
Step 5: Incorporate Vegetables and Rice, Simmer Until Tender
Add the chopped carrots, potatoes, corn, green beans, and rice to the pot. Stir to combine, then cover and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the vegetables and rice are cooked through.
Step 6: Taste and Adjust Seasoning
Taste the cazuela and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
Step 7: Serve Hot and Garnish with Fresh Parsley
Serve the Chilean beef cazuela hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!
Substitutions & Alternatives:
Fear not, dear cooks, for we understand that sometimes you don’t have all the ingredients listed in a recipe, or perhaps you have dietary restrictions or preferences. Here’s a list of possible substitutes and alternatives to keep this Chilean beef cazuela flexible, scrumptious, and adaptable for all!
1. Meat: If beef isn’t your cup of tea or you’re looking for a leaner option, try swapping it with chicken or turkey. For vegetarians and vegans, tofu or your favorite meat substitute will work wonders in this recipe. Don’t forget to adjust the cooking time accordingly, especially if using poultry, as it cooks faster than beef.
2. Vegetables: The great thing about cazuela is that it’s a classic everything but the kitchen sink kind of dish, making it perfect for using up those leftover veggies lurking in the depths of your fridge. Feel free to add in extras like zucchini, celery, or peas. The more, the merrier!
3. Rice: Prefer brown rice or looking to make this dish gluten-free? Quinoa, barley, or even pasta like small shells or orzo would make excellent substitutes for the long-grain white rice. Just remember to adjust the cooking time and liquid amount as needed.
4. Broth: Not a fan of beef broth? Chicken or vegetable broth will do the trick. For an extra rich and savory flavor, try using mushroom broth.
5. Wine: If you’d rather save that bottle of white wine for a toast, or simply want to keep this dish alcohol-free, just replace it with an equal amount of broth or water.
6. Herbs & Spices: Oregano and cumin giving you déjà vu from last night’s dinner? Don’t worry, cazuela is forgiving. Feel free to experiment with other herbs and spices like thyme, basil, or paprika to give this dish a unique twist.
Remember, dear cooks, that cooking is an art, and cazuela is your canvas. So let your culinary creativity run wild and have fun making this dish your own!
Storage & Reheating
So, you’ve made this mouthwatering Chilean beef cazuela and, by some miracle, there are leftovers. No worries, we’ve got you covered! Storing and reheating this delicious dish is a breeze, ensuring you can savor it for a day or two more.
First, let your cazuela cool down to room temperature. This is a crucial step to avoid any unwanted bacteria growth, and it’s also an excellent opportunity for a little kitchen dance party while you wait.
Once cooled, transfer your culinary masterpiece into airtight containers. You can store the cazuela in one large container or separate into individual portions – the choice is yours, chef!
Pop those containers into the fridge, where your cazuela can chill out for up to 4 days. If you’re not planning to eat it within that time, you can also freeze your cazuela for up to 3 months. To prevent freezer burn, make sure to use airtight, freezer-safe containers, and maybe give your cazuela a little pep talk about the cold journey ahead.
When you’re ready to reheat and revel in your cazuela once more, follow these simple steps:
For refrigerated cazuela:
1. Transfer your cazuela to a pot or Dutch oven, and reheat it over low heat on the stove. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating and prevent sticking.
2. Once heated through, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. You’re now ready to serve up that cazuela magic!
For frozen cazuela:
1. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost function on your microwave. Be patient, young grasshopper – good things come to those who wait.
2. Follow the same reheating steps as for refrigerated cazuela.
And there you have it! With these easy storage and reheating tips, you can enjoy your scrumptious Chilean beef cazuela for several meals. Just be prepared for a potential influx of friends and family wanting to share in this global culinary delight!
1. A Taste of Chile: Transport your taste buds to the heart of South America! Spice up your Chilean beef cazuela with some ají (Chilean hot sauce) or pebre sauce (a traditional Chilean condiment made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, and cilantro). This will add an authentic Chilean kick to your dish and make your dining experience all the more exciting!
2. Soup-er Bowls: For a fun and interactive dining experience, serve this hearty and comforting Chilean beef cazuela in large, wide-rimmed bowls. Make it a cozy family affair by gathering around the table, ladling out generous portions of steaming cazuela, and breaking bread together. Don’t forget to tuck in a spoon and a fork—this delicious dish deserves both!
3. Bread and Butter: Serve your cazuela alongside a crusty, warm baguette or some delicious, homemade cornbread. Use the bread as a mop to soak up every last drop of that incredible broth—because trust us, you won’t want to leave a single bit behind!
4. Salad Days: Balance out the richness of this dish with a light, refreshing salad. A Chilean ensalada chilena (a simple salad made with thinly sliced tomatoes, onions, and cilantro) or a crisp green salad with a tangy vinaigrette would be the perfect accompaniment to your cazuela.
5. Wine Not?: This dish is already scrumptious, but pairing it with the right wine will elevate it to new heights. A Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot would be an excellent choice to complement the flavors in the cazuela. ¡Salud!
6. A Sweet Ending: Finish off your Chilean culinary adventure with a traditional dessert, like a decadent tres leches cake or a plate of warm, sugar-dusted sopaipillas (fried dough) drizzled with honey. Your sweet tooth—and your dinner guests—will thank you!
Variations & Customization
Fear not, dear reader, for the versatile Chilean beef cazuela has a little something for everyone! Whether you’re vegan, gluten-free, or on a specialized diet, you can still enjoy this hearty and flavorful dish with a few simple tweaks and twists.
Vegan: For a plant-based rendition of this classic, swap out the beef for a meat substitute like seitan or tempeh, or opt for hearty vegetables like mushrooms or eggplant. Replace the beef broth with vegetable broth, and you’re good to go!
Gluten-Free: Ensure your beef broth is gluten-free, or make your own using gluten-free bouillon cubes or concentrate. If you’re concerned about the rice – don’t be! Long-grain white rice is naturally gluten-free, but feel free to experiment with other gluten-free grains like quinoa or millet for a unique spin.
GAPS/AIP: For those following the GAPS or AIP diet protocols, make a few simple modifications to this recipe. Replace the white rice with cauliflower rice for a grain-free alternative. Omit the nightshade vegetables (bell peppers) and white wine, and choose a GAPS/AIP-friendly broth to keep your meal compliant.
Keto: For our low-carb comrades, swap out the potatoes, corn, and rice for keto-friendly alternatives like radishes, cauliflower rice, or low-carb veggies like zucchini or green beans. Use a sugar-free broth, and you’ve got a delicious, waistline-friendly cazuela.
Other Popular Variations: The beauty of cazuela lies in its adaptability – feel free to get creative with your protein, vegetables, and seasonings! Try using chicken, pork, or even fish for a different take on this classic dish. Vegetables can be swapped out for seasonal favorites or what you have on hand. For a global culinary twist, experiment with spices like smoked paprika, curry powder, or za’atar to put your own stamp on this Chilean classic.
Now, armed with knowledge and a dash of culinary creativity, you can whip up a Chilean beef cazuela that suits your dietary needs and preferences. Enjoy, and buen provecho!
Notes & Tips
- To save time, consider buying pre-cut beef chuck from your local butcher or grocery store. It might be slightly more expensive, but it’s a great time-saver for those busy weeknights.
- Don’t be shy with the spices! Chilean cuisine is known for its bold flavors, so feel free to add a little extra oregano or cumin if you want to amp up the taste. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also add a pinch of smoked paprika for a subtle smoky touch.
- If you’re not a fan of white wine, you can substitute it with an equal amount of beef broth or even water. However, using wine will add a depth of flavor to the dish and help tenderize the beef.
- When cooking the vegetables, make sure they’re softened but not mushy. Chilean beef cazuela is all about the different textures, so keep an eye on them to ensure they’re cooked just right.
- To make this dish extra hearty and satisfying, serve it alongside a warm, crusty loaf of bread. It’s perfect for soaking up all that tasty broth!
- For a vegetarian version of this comforting dish, replace the beef with your favorite plant-based protein like tofu or tempeh, and swap the beef broth with vegetable broth. You’ll still get the same delicious, warming flavors, but without the meat.
- Embrace global culinary heritage by trying different variations of this dish. For instance, you can swap out the white rice for quinoa, a staple grain in South American cuisine. Quinoa is also a complete protein, making this substitution a more nutritious option for your meal.
- Finally, don’t forget to have fun and experiment! Feel free to add your favorite veggies or try different spice blends. Cooking is all about making a dish your own, so let your creativity shine and enjoy the process.
Ah, cazuela, the ultimate Chilean comfort food! But, as with any recipe, there are some common mistakes that can trip up even the most skilled home chefs. Fear not, for we’re here to guide you through the pitfalls and help you achieve that perfect, hearty cazuela every time.
1. Not browning the beef: This first step is crucial for developing a depth of flavor in your cazuela. Make sure to brown the beef cubes on all sides, creating that beautiful caramelization. Skipping this step or rushing through it will result in a less flavorful dish. Patience, young grasshopper!
2. Overcrowding the pot: We get it, you’re excited to make cazuela, but don’t cram all your ingredients into a too-small pot. Give them some breathing room! Overcrowding the pot will lead to uneven cooking and may even cause the ingredients to steam rather than brown. A large pot or Dutch oven is ideal.
3. Skimping on the spices: This dish is all about the perfect blend of earthy oregano and warm cumin. Don’t be shy with these spices, as they are what give cazuela its distinct flavor. Of course, adjust to your personal taste, but remember that these spices are what make cazuela, well, cazuela!
4. Not tasting and adjusting the seasoning: The cardinal sin of any recipe is failing to taste and adjust the seasoning. Our taste buds are unique, and what may be the perfect amount of salt and pepper for one person may be too much or too little for another. So, be brave, taste-test, and make the dish your own. Trust your instincts; you got this!
5. Ignoring the garnish: You may think that the chopped parsley is just a pretty green addition, but it serves a purpose! The fresh, bright flavor of parsley adds a pop of freshness that balances out the rich, hearty cazuela. So, don’t skimp on the garnish, and make sure to sprinkle it with love and pride!
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge to avoid these common mistakes, you’re well on your way to mastering the art of cazuela. Happy cooking, and enjoy your culinary journey into the flavors of Chile!
Health Risks & Benefits
Let’s talk about the health benefits of this scrumptious Chilean beef cazuela! First off, the lean beef chuck provides a generous dose of protein, keeping you fueled and satiated for hours. Plus, it’s packed with essential nutrients like iron, B12, and zinc, which help maintain energy levels and support a healthy immune system.
As for the veggies, we’ve got a cornucopia of colors and nutrients! The red and green bell peppers are bursting with vitamins A and C, acting as powerful antioxidants that promote healthy skin and vision. Carrots contribute a hefty dose of vitamin A, supporting eye health and boosting your immune system as well. And let’s not forget about the potatoes, corn, and green beans, which provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber to help keep your digestive system running smoothly.
The modest amount of white rice adds some carbohydrates for energy, while the beef broth and optional white wine infuse rich, savory flavors without excessive calories or fat. On top of that, the herbs and spices—including oregano and cumin—offer a subtle yet delightful kick, all while potentially boasting some anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Just remember, moderation is key when enjoying this hearty dish, so stick to reasonable portion sizes to avoid overindulging. And for our vegetarian friends, consider swapping out the beef for some protein-packed beans or lentils to enjoy a meat-free version of this comforting cazuela.
In summary, this Chilean beef cazuela recipe is a veritable treasure trove of nutrition, flavor, and global culinary heritage. So put on your chef’s hat, and get ready to whip up a delicious, healthful meal that will transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Chile!
Recipe History & Context
The Chilean beef cazuela, a beloved culinary treasure from the South American country of Chile, has a rich history that is deeply rooted in the nation’s vibrant and diverse food culture. This hearty stew-like soup has been nourishing the people of Chile for centuries, dating back to the indigenous Mapuche people who originally prepared a simpler version of the dish using local ingredients.
Fast forward to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, and the cazuela began evolving into the delicious and satisfying dish it is today. The Spanish influence introduced ingredients like beef, carrots, and potatoes, while also infusing the dish with aromatic spices like cumin and oregano. As a result, the cazuela became a beautiful marriage of flavors and textures that showcases the best of both culinary worlds.
But the cazuela’s journey didn’t stop there! As Chile began to trade with other countries, even more ingredients were added to this already delightful dish, including green beans and corn which are now integral components of the recipe. This scrumptious stew has truly embraced a global culinary heritage, making it a mouthwatering celebration of different cultures and their flavors.
So, what makes this humble soup so beloved by Chileans? For one, it’s an incredibly versatile and comforting dish that can be enjoyed year-round, whether you find yourself shivering in the Andean highlands or basking in the sun along the coast. It’s also a fantastic choice for feeding a crowd, as it’s easily customizable to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Plus, who doesn’t love a good one-pot meal for easy cleanup?
In conclusion, the Chilean beef cazuela is not only a delicious and satisfying meal, but it’s also an edible testament to the rich history and diverse culinary influences that have shaped Chilean cuisine over the centuries. As you gather your ingredients and start cooking, take a moment to appreciate the cazuela’s fascinating journey and savor the love that has gone into creating this delightful dish. So go ahead, dig in, and join the generations of Chileans who have proudly called this comforting soup their own. ¡Buen provecho!
Absolutely! Beef chuck is an affordable and flavorful option, but feel free to substitute it with a different cut of beef or even another type of meat, such as chicken or pork. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as leaner cuts or different types of meat might cook faster or slower than beef chuck.
Of course! While long-grain white rice is traditional in Chilean beef cazuela, you can easily swap it out for your favorite grain. Some great alternatives include brown rice, quinoa, or barley. Keep in mind that different grains have varying cooking times, so be sure to follow the package instructions and adjust the recipe as needed.
Certainly! To make a vegetarian or vegan version of this cazuela, simply omit the beef and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. You can add more vegetables, such as mushrooms or zucchini, to make up for the missing meat. You can also throw in some hearty beans, like kidney beans or chickpeas, for an extra dose of plant-based protein.
No problem at all! While a Dutch oven is a versatile and convenient option for making this cazuela, a large pot will work just as well. The key is to use a heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid to ensure even cooking and to prevent the cazuela from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Yes, Chilean beef cazuela is a great make-ahead meal! It tastes even better the next day, as the flavors have more time to meld together. Simply allow the cazuela to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently warm it on the stovetop over low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a splash of water or broth to thin the cazuela if it has thickened up too much during storage.
- Large pot or Dutch oven
- Wooden spoon
- 1.5 lbs beef chuck cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 2 large potatoes peeled and chopped
- ½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- ½ cup fresh or frozen green beans chopped
- ¼ cup long-grain white rice
- 4 cups beef broth
- ½ cup white wine optional
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Brown beef cubes for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add onion, garlic, red and green bell peppers to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Return beef to pot. Add oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add beef broth and white wine (if using). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add carrots, potatoes, corn, green beans, and rice. Stir, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley.