Friday, August 1, 2008

Chilindron de Carnero (Cuban Lamb Stew)

Someone commented my blog, they said they wanted to learn to make, "Chilindron" which is the Cuban Lamb stew. It can also be made with "mutton" or "goats meat." This would also taste wonderful using beef or pork maybe rabbit or veal (not so sure about the last 2)

I honestly had no idea how to make it at the time they asked, so I talked with my grandmother but she didn't remember well because she said she never made it that her father is the one who made it (you can imagine how long ago that was)

Well so I searched several recipes, told them to my grandmother in an attempt to maybe help her remember.

After much searching I bumped into many "faux" Cuban "Chilindrones" some sounded authentic but way to bland and not proper to get rid of the odd lamb taste. Some sounded like they could possibly be from Cuba's "Oriente" provinces that use "allspice" in many things but it didn't appeal, I lean more towards more Spanish style of cooking especially in Cuban food.

Well the closest one I found was one from a book called, "Memories of a Cuban Kitchen" the writer was from Havana, Cuba, left in 1958, etc. (so she can be trusted I assume when it comes to cooking, but none the less I ONLY USED IT AS A GUIDE LINE. After reading it was SOOOOOOOOO SIMILAR to my grandmas style except when it came to the proportions of added spices and also usually when cooking Cuban food the cheaper the wine the BETTER ahahaha. So I didn't use no good "Sherry" or anything like that. I used "GOYA'S Dry White Wine" perfect for Cuban cooking IMO.

So I pretty much made the recipe my own, it is not like the original, close but not really so Im confident to put it as MY OWN, it's not my grandmas, it's not the authors BUT MINE. Influenced by both, perfect results. :)

Ingredients to marinade meat:
-2 1/2 pounds lamb shank (I used "mutton" but if you can I suggest lamb, it's softer and might not need to cook as long)
-1-2 teaspoons salt (or less to taste)
-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.
-Juice of 2 juicy limes or 2-4 tablespoons of white vinegar (we prefer white vinegar)

Ingredients for the rest:
-1/4 cup or more extra-virgin olive oil
-6 slices of bacon minced
-1 whole medium or large onion finely minced
-1 whole large green bell pepper julienned (thinly sliced)
-1/2 head of garlic (about 5-6 cloves) peeled, minced finely (pressed or mashed in a mortar)
-2 cups tomato puree (I used 4 cups but thats because I like it tomato alot, I used fresh tomato, I blended it in the blender with no water in it's own juices)
-1 teaspoonful of ground cumin
-1 teaspoonful of paprika (whatever you have on hand hot smoked is good so is sweet)
-1/2 teaspoonful dry oregano
-2 bay leaves
-1 teaspoon salt or to taste if needed.
-1 cup water (because it will reduce significantly during cooking.

(1)Marinade meat for atleast 2 hours, I left mine overnight about 12 hours or so. When ready to use dust with flour.

(2)Now heat olive oil on medium high heat in a deep- shallow pan, or in a dutch oven, brown the meat on all sides it takes about 3 minutes on each side. It's okay to do it in batches. (DO NOT DO IT ON SUPER HIGH MEAT YOU WILL DESTROY THE OLIVE OIL BY SMOKING IT)
(3)Now set meat aside.
(4)In same pan and same heat (medium to medium high) add bacon and sautee until browned (about 5-7 minutes). Now add onion, garlic, and bell pepper sautee it for 5-6 minutes until caramelized and soft while doing this scrape to pick up tasty burnt toasted parts of the meats browning.(5)Stir meat back in, add tomato puree/ sauce, dry white wine, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and bay leaves.
(6)Cover and simmer for about 2-3 hours, check every 1 hour add water if it reduces to much.

When done transfer to a nice large serving thing.

This is one of the best Cuban stewed meat dishes I have ever had honestly DO NOT LET THE MUTTON OR LAMB TURN YOU OFF IF IT DOES JUST USE BEEF ROAST OR PORK BUTT OR SHOULDER.

P.S. I have a great story to say, kinda funny (to me) but I'm putting it last here because some might want to skip haha. Here goes:

Well my Dad always say's, "Ew I don't eat mutton or lamb that's garbage"(he said it in Spanish to make of me) so I didn't tell him I was making it, it was really well seasoned so it got rid of the strong smell and taste people dislike.

I was like, "Im gonna make it really good and fool him into eating it" I prepared it and told him, "Oh es una carne de res entomatada con tocino" (translates to it's a Beef In Tomato Sauce with Bacon)

He was so hungry to, so I served him immediately, laughed inside so hard and didn't tell him anything I will tell him some other day hahaha! So he will have to swallow his words hahahaha!!!!!!!!

When he walked into the house he was like, "Oh it smells so good what you cooking" (me in my head rolling on floor laughing my ass off, I'm sooo imature)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your recipe! Had this at a Cuban restaurant in southern California and fell in love with the dish! Your blog is great ... you are too cute, and such a foody at such a young age! Keep it up kiddo, you are terrific! Glad your Dad now likes lamb (he-he)! As a Britt, lamb does not have an odd taste, just divine, and this is another recipe to back up that claim!

Nathan said...

No problem if there is any particular Cuban dish you wanna learn feel free to ask and I'll post it eventually.

Anonymous said...

Hey there.. I was asked to make a cuban dish for 30 people and i must say I got a bit stressed about it because so many people and I personally have no clue what Cuban food is. I have been searching the net for simple and delicious recipies and have found many but this one really caught my eye.. Its easy, its simple and it looks great.. I give you feed back after I have made it.. thanx and keep on cooking .. ;)I Love Lamb mmmmmm

Aidan said...

I just tried this out yesterday evening - it's fantastic! Easily the best lamb dish I've ever made ( or eaten ). Thanks for posting it!

Nathan said...

Glad you enjoyed it :) It's my pleasure.

Anonymous said...

Googled "cuban lamb stew" and came across this recipe. Fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I found this via Google also (googled Chilindron de Chivo). My father is Cuban and was remembering and missing this dish from his past. He has not had it in 45 years - I look forward to making it for him so he can try it again. Thank you for sharing... now, we can keep it and carry it on as something of our heritage to our children.