Veal and Vegetable Stew
2 medium white onions
3 cloves garlic, mashed
3 sweet potatoes
1 small acorn squash
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 pounds veal, cubed
2 cups beef broth, or as needed
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ cup water, or as needed
1 cup canned apricots or peaches
This stew can be prepared in advance and frozen— just don't add the potatoes until you defrost and reheat.
Peel and chop the white onions. Smash, peel, and chop the garlic cloves. Wash and peel the carrots and cut into matchsticks. Peel and chop the potatoes and the acorn squash.
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add half the veal and cook over medium-high heat until browned. Remove from the pan. Brown the remainder of the veal and remove from the pan. Do not clean out the pan.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the carrots. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 5 more minutes, until the carrots are browned and the onion is softened. Deglaze the pan by adding ½ cup beef broth and bringing to a boil, using a spatula to stir up any browned bits from the bottom of the saucepan.
Add the tomatoes and remaining 1½ cups beef broth. Bring to a boil. Stir in the salt, pepper, and dried parsley. Add the veal, chopped potatoes, and squash. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the veal is cooked and the vegetables are tender (about 45 minutes), adding water as necessary. Add the canned apricots. Heat through and serve hot.
When in Ecuador, try to sample the following dishes: caldo or sopa (soups, available as a breakfast item in markets); lechón (roasted suckling pig); llapingachos (potato and cheese pancake, often served with small bits of meat); locro, soup (with potatoes, corn, and avocado); parrilla (mixed meat bar-bequed Argentine style).