Jardineira – a Portuguese peasant dish

Hi again!

After a (too long) break, I decided to share with you a family recipe.

It was originally conceived as a sort of a peasant dish, as people would use the cheapest cuts of meat and whatever vegetables they had in season. The name literally means “gardener”! Traditionally, you would use beef, potatoes, and a veggie assortment – peas, green beans and carrots is the usual combo. However, neither me nor my husband are the biggest fan of peas, so I chose to left those out. Here’s what I used for my “Jardineira”:

  • Beef – I chose a piece of brisket, as it’s a good cut that is often used for slow cooking
  • Potatoes
  • Assortment of vegetables – as mentioned before, I used green beans and carrots; you can choose whatever you prefer!
  • Onion
  • Tomato sauce or Tomato paste
  • Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • White wine
  • Mixed herbs

Method:

  • Prepare the meat, potatoes and vegetables: dice the meat and the potatoes roughly the same size, and chop your vegetables.
  • In a large pan, heat up some olive oil; add the chopped onions and garlic and stir as it browns.
  • Add the vegetables and stir until they start to get soft.
  • Add the meat, stir to incorporate, and start seasoning with salt, pepper and herbs.
  • Add the potatoes, and again check the seasoning.
  • Add a bit of tomato sauce or paste and incorporate.
  • Add some wine, incorporate, season again, and let it sit over medium heat.
  • Keep in check and stir every 5-7 minutes, making sure nothing boils over. After some 15 minutes, put it on low heat and stir every 5-7 minutes.
  • Repeat the process of stirring and checking the seasoning for about an hour. It’s important that you keep a low heat, otherwise the meat will get tough and the potatoes chewy – the opposite of what we’re going for!
  • When the meat is cooked through, and the potatoes are soft and just starting to crumble, you’re good to go!

Here’s what my Jardineira looks like:

Not only is this recipe super easy to make, you can personalise it and make a huge batch – and save time later! You can also add a little heat by throwing in chilli flakes or a bit of olive oil infused with hot chillies – not too much though!

I hope you like this recipe. Now it’s your turn – please let me know in the comments if you’ve tried it, what you thought, and maybe even send a picture of your version!

Happy cooking!

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