Trinchado, a spicy South African braised beef dish, is brimming with flavor from onions, red chile peppers, garlic, beef stock, red wine, and olives. Serve with lot of bread and French fries.
Some people request recipes, others demand them, but those who wrote me about trinchado pined for it. Many of them had recently been to South Africa on vacation and wanted to recapture the taste of this spicy beef dish.
As is common with peasant food, the origin of such a dish is hard to verify. It’s believes it’s popular in South Africa because of the Portuguese immigration from nearby Angola and Mozambique. The dish is traditionally served with a heap of chips, a.k.a. French fries. (I wonder if this was a holdover from colonial days?) The Portuguese serve trinchado with chips at their own cafés (small delicatessens) throughout the country. I still have my doubts whether this is a British inﬂuence, but it’s delicious either way.
Trinchado is meant to be spicy. But be extremely careful when preparing the hot peppers: Wear rubber gloves if you have sensitive skin and don’t touch your face or eyes. When ﬁnished, wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water.–David Leite
Trinchado | Spicy South African Beef
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 3 H, 20 M
- Serves 4
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (1/2 oz)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pound chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 3 or 4 small hot red chile peppers, stemmed and chopped (retain the seeds)
- 4 garlic cloves (or more if you're a garlic head), minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup good quality store-bought or homemade beef stock
- 1 cup red wine or 1/2 cup (120 ml) brandy
- 1 bay leaf
- 24 oil-cured black olives
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bread for dunking
- French fries for serving (optional; not classic but popular)
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- 1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the butter and oil. Once the butter is melted and sizzling, add the beef cubes in 4 or 5 batches and brown well on all sides. Don’t crowd the pan or rush this step; this is what gives the dish its ﬂavor. Remove the cubes with a slotted spoon to a warm plate and set aside.
- 2. Lower the heat to medium, add the onions, chile peppers and their seeds, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Sprinkle the ﬂour over the vegetables and stir until the ﬂour’s fully cooked, about 2 minutes.
- 3. Pour in the stock and red wine (or brandy). Stir until the sauce thickens a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the bay leaf, olives, browned beef cubes and any juices that may have accumulated on the plate. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Check every 15 minutes or so until the meat is very tender. Season with salt and pepper.
- 4. To serve, scoop the trinchado into a large bowl and top with fries, or serve them on the side. Have lots of bread on hand for dunking.