Cazuela de Vaca (Beef and Pumpkin Stew)


  • 1 1/2 pounds beef roast
  • 1 (32 ounce) carton beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup polenta (coarse or fine)
  • 8 red potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 1/2 pounds slice of pumpkin (calabaza)
  • 2 ears corn, cut into thirds
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
  • 1 leek, split in half, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon mild paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves (lightly packed)



  1. Cut the piece of beef into 6 large chunks (one per serving). Place the beef into a large saucepan; pour in the beef broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until nearly tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Stir the polenta into the stew along with the potatoes and onion. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Cut the pumpkin into 6, serving-sized pieces, and add to the stew along with the corn, carrot, bell pepper, celery, and leek; simmer until the vegetables are tender, adding more water if needed to barely cover. Stir in the oregano and paprika during the last 5 minutes.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into serving bowls, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

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Cazuela de Vaca (Beef and Pumpkin Stew)

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