I may be late to the party but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a good time.

That’s how I feel about True Love and also Sweet Smoked Paprika.  The sassy

Spanish spice made culinary headlines a while ago but I’m just discovering it

now. Unlike regular paprika, Smoked Sweet Paprika has a smokey, pleasingly

bitter barbeque flavour.  I used it recently in a beef stew and it was

revelatory. I love how it made a healthy homespun dish seem so edgy and hip.

Like accessorizing a plain dress with chunky boots or a sparkly belt, this spice

makes a simple stew go from humdrum to Holy Crap!


Smokey Beef and Sweet Potato Stew


(Adapted from Alive Magazine in an article about the benefits of eating Low GI


A smokey nutritious wintertime warm up, this stew is elegant for dinner parties

but also low key enough for an apres ski meal for you and your favourite

rooster.  The smoked sweet paprika really makes it hop. (I made it for a dinner

party Friday night for Louisa and Georgia, then served the leftovers to the FC

the following day as an apres ski supper. Everyone loved it.)




2 lbs (1 kilo) stewing beef (choose leaner-looking beef to keep this dish as healthy as intended)
1/4 cup diced pancetta (optional because it amps up the fat)
1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp each dried oregano and thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2-3 cups beef broth (I went with organic, but if you’re penny pinching,
regular is okay too)
1 cup water
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks/cubes
1 orange (optional, the dish totally works without it)




Place beef in a bowl and coat with dried spices and salt.


Heat 1 tsp oil in Dutch oven (big saucepan with lid) and brown beef on both

sides. Remove beef and set aside.


Heat 2nd tsp oil in the same pan, adding onion and celery. Cook over medium

heat until softened (about  five minutes.)  Add pancetta and garlic. stir for

one minute.


Return beef to the pan, half the stock, cover and let simmer for 2 hours,

stirring occasionally and adding a bit of water (another 1/2 cup.)


Meanwhile, cut potatoes into chunks. With vegetable peeler, skin 3 thick strips of peel

from the orange. Cut remaining peel from orange and discard. Slice orange cross

wise into thick pieces, then cut into quarters. (Note: This dish is just as

yummy without the addition of any orange.)


When beef has simmered for 2 hours, stir in sweet potatoes, orange peel and

remaining 1 cup broth and 1/2 cup water. (You can add more broth for more



Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring

occasionally, until meat and potatoes are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.

(Longer cooking time means more tender beef, just add sweet potatoes a little

later if you plan on letting the dish simmer a little longer.)


Serve stew on a bed of couscous (or pasta or rice) and garnish with orange

cubes.  Serves 4-6 (4 generously, 6 modestly.)

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