This Panamanian Beef Stew Is Comfort Food at Its Finest

The following post was originally featured on Ethnic Spoon and written by Analida Braeger, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Latina.

Panamanian beef stew is a humble yet delicious dish. It is a staple in most Latin American homes. The flavors explode in your mouth, and the simple ingredients work together like a symphony to produce a fabulous concert of aromas and flavors that will have your mouth watering while the stew is cooking. This was one of my favorite things to eat as a child, and every time I cook it for my family, a flood of memories come back. Make it, eat it, and let me know how you like it. And if you can, use the homemade sofrito and recaito.

Panamanian Beef Stew


2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup of chopped onion
2 pounds of sirloin cut into small cubes
3 tomatoes diced
2 teaspoons salt (Paleo diet: sea salt)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 large jalapeño – cored, seeded, and diced
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
3 teaspoons cumin
1/3 cup of chopped celery
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into cubes (Paleo diet: sweet potato or cauliflower)
4 cups of water
8-10 sprigs of cilantro tied with butcher’s twine
1 cup of sliced carrots (about 1/4 inch thick)
3 tablespoons sofrito
3 tablespoons recaito


  1. In a soup pot on medium, heat the oil. Add the onions, and cook until translucent. Add the beef, and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, jalapeño, paprika, cumin, celery, and the potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low. Add the water, the tied bunch of cilantro, and the carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the sofrito and the recaito.
  2. Cover and cook for about 1 hour on low. Remove from heat. Serve over rice, or if you are feeling international, eat with a piece of nan bread. You could also eat it with noodles, if you want.


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