Traditional Argentine Carbonada (Carbonada al Zapallo)

Traditional Argentine Food — By


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carbonada criolla argentina

This is a classic Argentine recipe, and perfect for the cold winter days. Although not as common in Buenos Aires as puchero or locro, it is still well known traditional Argentine dish, and you can find it at most of restaurants serving traditional (or criollo) Argentine food. It is basically a stew, though it often has peaches in it, and can be served inside a giant squash. As with most recipes for stew, people tend to have their own recipe, and will often use whatever they have on hand. Here is a recipe for you to follow, but feel free to experiment and change the recipe to how you like it. My favorite thing about the Argentine carbonada is that it is often served in a giant squash, which makes for great presentation and extra flavor. This recipe includes instruction on how to make the carbonada “en zapallo” (in squash).

1 large, round squash (needs to be able to stand up on its own).
½ cup milk
2 tbsp butter

Cut off the top of the squash, and clean out the seeds and any loose pieces of squash. Poor in the milk and butter. Place in the oven at 350F, and cook until soft, usually about 1 hour. While it is cooking, you can start preparing the rest of the carbonada.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, cut into large pieces
3 tomatoes

½ kg meat, in cubes. Any meat will do, that has little fat, and no bone.
½ kg of pork in cubes. With or without bone. If it’s with the bone, you will have to remove them later. With bone will add more flavor.
2 fresh pork sausages
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp Oregano

4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cubed
2 carrots – peeled and cubed

1 green pepper
1 red pepper
4 peaches or 1 large can of peaches, cut into small chunks (optional)
1 large corn of cob, or 2 smaller ones. You can either cut the kernels off, or cut the cob into 1 cm wide slices
Salt, pepper

Get a big pot, add some oil, and sauté the onions and garlic, until the onion Is slightly clear. Add the meats, sausage, and spices, and continue cooking on medium heat until the meat is seared. Add one cup of water, cover, and cook slowly for another 20 minutes.

Add the potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Cook for five minutes, then add the peppers and the peaches. Cover and cook on medium low heat until all the vegetables are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place stew inside the cooked squash, and place in the oven for another 10 minutes, at about 300F.

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6 Comments

  1. Anquises says:

    Mmmmm … se me hace agua la boca. El zapallo es un ingrediente esencial, pero ese detalle de usarlo como recipiente es genial. Lo intentaremos. 🙂

  2. admin says:

    Ojala que te guste tanto como yo 🙂

    – Matt

  3. Dan says:

    One note for the traditional minded, it’s generally not fresh or canned peaches used, but dried ones – they rehydrate in the cooking process, absorbing all that wonderful stew flavor, and it also keeps the dish from coming across as too sweet.

  4. admin says:

    Hey Dan,

    Sounds tasty, I’ve never heard of it with dried peaches, but it sounds like it would be even better. I’ll try it out next time.

    – Matt

  5. Katie says:

    This recipe sounds delicious! I’m bookmarking it for when winter rolls around. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. admin says:

    Hi Katie,

    Ya, its a perfect winter recipe (definitely wouldn’t want to eat it now!). I hope you like it as much as I do….

    – Matt

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