Total time: 3 hours
Servings: 4 to 6
1 1/2 pounds stewing beef, cut into large chunks
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped, plus ½ cup minced onion, divided
1/4 cup brandy
6 cups water
3 large beef bones (any kind will do)
2 to 3 beef bouillon cubes
3 carrots, cut in rounds
2 chayote squashes, peeled, seeded and cut into large pieces
3 zucchini, washed and cut into large pieces
4 ears of corn (fresh or frozen), cut into rounds
1/2 cup green beans
2 habanero chiles, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, minced
2 radishes, minced
1. In a large bowl, toss the beef with 1½ teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper, or to taste.
2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil until hot. Add the beef (just enough that it fits in a single layer — this may need to be done in batches) and sear until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the coarsely chopped onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened and lightly colored, about 6 minutes. Add the brandy and continue to cook, scraping any flavorings from the bottom of the pan.
3. Stir in the water and beef bones and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the bouillon cubes. Loosely cover the pot and gently simmer for 1 hour.
4. Stir in the carrots, chayote, zucchini, corn and green beans, and continue to cook until the beef is fork tender, about 1 more hour. The vegetables will be extremely soft.
5. Taste the stew again, and adjust the seasonings, then ladle the stew into a large soup bowl for serving. Place the minced onion, habanero, cilantro and radishes in small bowls alongside the stew for serving.