|Lean stewing beef||2 Pound, cut in 2" cubes|
|Onion||1 Medium, cut in-large slices|
|Garlic||2 Clove (10 gm), unpeeled|
|Ripe tomato||1 Large, unpeeled|
|Olive oil||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Dry white wine||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Flour||1 1⁄4 Tablespoon|
|Boiling water||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Thyme sprig/1/2 tsp dried thyme||1|
Heat 3 TB olive oil over high heat in a heavy metal casserole.
When oil is on verge of smoking, brown meat rapidly, 1 pound at a time.
When browned, remove it to a bowl.
(If you do not have a metal casserole,-brown the meat in a frying pan; then continue, using earthenware casserole.) Add olive oil if needed and allow it to heat before frying the onion and garlic until brown.
Add tomato cut in eighths; fry until juice has evaporated.
Add cognac and wine; continue cooking over high flame until liquid evaporates.
Reduce flame, add salt, paprika, cinnamon, thyme, bay leaf, and flour.
Stir vigorously until flour is browned.
Put meat back in casserole.
Add a cup of boiling water, mix, cover, and simmer for 2 hours or until meat is tender.
If the sauce becomes too dry during cooking, add boiling water in small amounts.
If the sauce is too thin when the meat is done, remove meat and boil sauce uncovered until thick enough.
The consistency of the sauce will vary with the amount of juice released by the meat.
Before serving, place meat in a dish and strain sauce over it note: Estofado is a convenient dish for the hostess-cook because it is particularly delicious if prepared several hours in advance and reheated just before being brought to the table.