Estofado de Ternera a la Sidra: A Savory Beef Stew Infused with Cider

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Estofado de Ternera a la Sidra, or Beef Stew with Cider, is a beloved dish from Spain that marries the rich flavors of beef with the fruity and slightly tangy notes of cider. This stew exemplifies the Spanish tradition of slow-cooking, allowing the ingredients to meld together to create a hearty and comforting meal. Perfect for cool evenings or gatherings with loved ones, Estofado de Ternera a la Sidra is sure to warm both the body and soul.


  • 1 kg stewing beef (such as chuck or brisket), cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced (or 1 cup canned diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup cider (preferably Spanish cider or hard cider)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Brown the Beef:
    • In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef cubes in batches, browning them on all sides. This step enhances the flavor of the stew.
  2. Sauté the Aromatics:
    • Add chopped onion to the pot and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Add Vegetables:
    • Stir in diced carrots, potatoes, red bell pepper, and tomatoes (or canned tomatoes). Cook for 5-7 minutes, allowing the vegetables to soften slightly.
  4. Deglaze with Cider:
    • Pour in the cider, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits (fond). Let the cider simmer for a few minutes to reduce slightly and infuse its flavors into the stew.
  5. Simmer with Beef Broth and Seasonings:
    • Add beef broth to the pot, enough to cover the beef and vegetables. Stir in a bay leaf, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  6. Cook the Stew:
    • Cover the pot and simmer the Estofado de Ternera a la Sidra for 2 to 2.5 hours, or until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally and adjust the liquid level if needed.
  7. Adjust Seasoning and Serve:
    • Taste the stew and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in chopped fresh parsley just before serving.
  8. Serve Hot:
    • Ladle Estofado de Ternera a la Sidra into bowls, ensuring each serving has a generous portion of beef and vegetables in the savory cider-infused sauce. Serve hot, accompanied by crusty bread or over cooked rice.

Variations and Serving Suggestions:

  • Cider Varieties: Experiment with different types of cider for varied flavors, from dry to sweet varieties.
  • Additional Herbs: Enhance the flavor profile by adding fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary during cooking.

Conclusion: Estofado de Ternera a la Sidra captures the essence of Spanish comfort food, featuring tender beef stewed with vegetables and cider for a unique and flavorful experience. This dish showcases the art of slow-cooking and the use of cider, a traditional ingredient in Spanish gastronomy. By following this recipe, you can recreate the authentic flavors of Estofado de Ternera a la Sidra in your own kitchen, bringing a taste of Spain’s culinary heritage to your table.

Enjoy the hearty flavors of Beef Stew with Cider and savor the tender beef and aromatic sauce, creating a memorable dining experience that celebrates Spanish cuisine!

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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