Slow cooked stews are great. For many centuries they have been an important part of the traditional Spanish cuisine. However, they seem to come from a past time when people were spending longer hours in the kitchen. Unfortunately we don’t seem to have enough time to cook these days, and they’re slowly disappearing from our recipe books.
However, I don’t think it takes that much effort to cook a good stew. I myself cook them quite often as I’ve learnt that once you get them ready you can leave them simmering for hours whilst you focus your energies on something else. This is the case with this beef stew with chocolate, mushrooms and chestnuts.
This recipe today is the perfect late autumn, early winter stew. Although my favourite version is made with wild boar, there are slight variations of the same recipe all over the inland regions of Spain. And since wild boar is difficult to get these days, not to mention the price, today I’ll be using the much more humble onglet steak, also known as the hanger steak.
For those who aren’t familiar with onglet, this inexpensive cut is really tasty and gives excellent results when slow cooked in stews. But of course, you can also use shin, chuck, brisket or whatever beef cut you feel more comfortable cooking with.