CARNE CON PAPAS-Meat & Potatos

I've been tending grandchildren while their parents are out of town, it's a lot of work but oh so very rewarding. Got me thinking about the wonderful and almost magical bond between grandchildren and their grandparents. My children were blessed to grow up with grandparents that were very available to them.

When my parents got close to retirement, my husband suggested we invite them to come live with us. Not having housing expenses they would be able to stretch their retirement income and do a little traveling. We felt it was a way of thanking them for the sacrifices they had made for us, and their courage in leaving Cuba and starting over in the US to provide a chance for us children to live free. 

For a long time they hesitated to accept our invitation.  They feared that moving in with us would be too great an imposition. My father used his colorful language as an excuse not to take us up on our offer.  He was concerned about the grandchildren picking up his Cuban swearing!  But finally, they accepted and came to live in an apartment we created for them in our basement. 

For more than twenty years, during Spring, Summer and Fall, our family had the blessing and challenge of having three generations living together under one roof. Winters they would drive to Miami and visit family.  Our children grew up enveloped in their grandparents love, this more than compensated for the loss in privacy.

Of course, another great benefit was being able to enjoy Mamina's cooking! Here is one of the stand-by dishes she cooked quite often, because it's simple to make and we all loved it. 

I liked Carne Con Papas best when Mamina made it with carrots and potatoes (sometimes even broccoli) from Papillo's garden.

It might seem similar to a stew, but it is not as soupy.

CARNE CON PAPAS- Meat & Potatoes

Olive oil to coat the frying pan
1 onion 
½ to 1 green bell pepper 
3-5 garlic cloves
1- 8 oz can of tomato sauce 

2 lbs. cubed Stew Meat
4 to 6  Potatoes, cubed
3 to 4  Carrots chopped 
1 tsp  Salt
¼ cup Cooking Wine (optional-it’s still great without it)

2 cups of broccoli florets- if you happen to have some around

Make sofrito: chop onion, garlic and pepper finely. Sautee in olive oil on medium high, for 3 to 4 minutes. 

Add the meat and brown it for about 5 minutes.

Cube potatoes, cut carrots in large round pieces.

Add the tomato sauce, potatoes, carrots, salt, and cooking wine to the meat, (broccoli too, if you are including it). Turn temperature down to medium-low, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.

Serve with rice and a salad.