Creole Puchero (Puchero Criollo)

First of all, great news: Paleo Takeout is now available for pre-order! Alright, back to the food.

Puchero is a popular stew in many Spanish-speaking countries (the word puchero means “stewpot” in Spanish). There are many variations to this dish, but I was especially drawn to the version that comes from the Río de la Plata region, where Argentina and Uruguay share a border. One dish from this area in particular is called Puchero Criollo, indicating it is of Creole origin. That led me to read up a bit on Creole history, and that settled it – this was the dish I wanted to share with you folks.

The term “Creole” generally refers to cultures of mixed European and native heritage. The most popular use of the term in the US is Louisiana Creole, indicating those descended from French or Spanish colonists prior to the Louisiana purchase. In terms of this stew, Puchero Criollo refers to a dish that is inspired by its Spanish heritage but uses items native to the Río de la Plata region; in this case, beef (primarily osso buco) is the common protein used in this dish since cattle are plentiful in the region. To have a little fun with the dish, I added a few staples of Louisiana Creole cuisine to the stew, like Creole seasoning and some andouille sausage.

In keeping with the tradition I started a while back, I’ve included Instant Pot electric pressure cooker instructions for this dish, to cut down on the cooking time. stovetop instructions are also included.

Creole Puchero (Puchero Criollo) - Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Creole seasoning:
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp ghee
3 osso buco beef shanks (~3 lbs total)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

4 medium golden (waxy) potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-sized chunks
3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into bite-sized chunks

6oz bacon, coarsely chopped
2 fully-cooked andouille sausages, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

Instant Pot instructions (~1 hour):

1. Combine the Creole seasoning ingredients and set aside. Press “Sauté” on the Instant Pot, and add the ghee and warm it until shimmering, about 1 minute. Slice one of the osso buco shanks in half, along the bone (one half will have the bone, the other half will have most of the meat). Add one of the shanks plus half of another shank, then brown them on both sides, about 4 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the other shank and half, then transfer to the plate. Add the chopped onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes, then add the garlic, tomato paste, and Creole seasoning. Sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute, then add the broth and vinegar and stir to combine. Return the shanks and any accumulated juices to the Instant Pot. Cover and set to “Meat/Stew” for 35 minutes. Once done cooking, allow to set at the “Keep Warm/Cancel” stage for 15 minutes, then release pressure and uncover.

2. As the beef is cooking, cut and prepare your veggies, and cook the bacon until crispy, and brown the sausages (use a bit of bacon grease when browning them); set everything aside. Once you uncover the Instant Pot, fish out the beef and bones with some tongs. Spoon out the marrow and enjoy it as you finish the recipe – we spread it onto rice crackers to munch on as we cooked. Slice the rest of the meat into bite-sized pieces. Add the potatoes and squash and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the carrots and simmer for another 5 minutes, then add the celery and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the beef and sausage to the pot, then taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve garnished with bacon pieces and chopped parsley.

Stovetop instructions (~2.5 hours):

1. Combine the Creole seasoning ingredients and set aside. Warm the ghee in a dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Slice one of the osso buco shanks in half along the bone (one half will have the bone, the other half will have most of the meat). Add one of the shanks plus half of another shank, then brown them on both sides, about 4 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with the other shank and half, then transfer to the plate. Add the chopped onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes, then add the garlic, tomato paste, and Creole seasoning. Sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute, then add the broth and vinegar and stir to combine. Return the shanks and any accumulated juices to the dutch oven; you should have enough liquid to reach halfway up the shanks, if not more; if needed, add more broth. Cover and set to reduce heat to med/low and simmer until the meat is tender, about 2 hours (check for tenderness after 90 minutes). Reduce heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.

2. As the beef is almost finished cooking, cut and prepare your veggies, and cook the bacon until crispy, and brown the sausages (use a bit of bacon grease when browning them); set everything aside. Once finished, fish out the beef and bones with some tongs. Spoon out the marrow and enjoy it as you finish the recipe – we spread it onto rice crackers to munch on as we cooked. Slice the rest of the meat into bite-sized pieces. Add the potatoes and squash and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then add the carrots and simmer for another 5 minutes, then add the celery and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the beef and sausage to the pot, then taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve garnished with bacon pieces and chopped parsley.

** Double (Triple!) the Creole seasoning for other creations – it’s especially great with seafood.

17 thoughts on “Creole Puchero (Puchero Criollo)

  1. Another good looking recipe – and I did get an Instant Pot that I’m anxious to try so this one will be first on the list. Thanks for including both sets of instructions!

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  2. Pingback: The Roundup

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