Sukalki – a typical beef ragu

Sukalki – a typical beef ragu

At the table

By
From
Basque
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Laura Edwards

Sukalki is another traditional dish from the Basque Country, and means ‘make at home’ or ‘stew’. It’s very similar to a ragu and is traditionally found in the sociedades or txoko (traditional Basque gastronomic societies). The king of the concursos gastronómicos (the most popular culinary competition) takes place in Mungin and is called Sukalki Eguna. It’s been running for decades and quite often hosts more than 300 contestants.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
olive oil
1.5kg beef shin, cut into large pieces
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
150ml cognac
2 dried choricero peppers, seeds removed
or 2 teaspoons sweet pimenton
750ml fresh beef stock
500g medium waxy potatoes, thickly sliced
200g fresh peas

Method

  1. Heat a layer of oil in a heavy-based pan. Season the beef and fry in batches to brown all over. Transfer to a casserole dish.
  2. Heat a little more oil and fry the onion and carrot for 10 minutes, then pour in the cognac and carefully light it so that it flambés. Once the flames have died down, tip into the casserole with the meat. Add the dried peppers.
  3. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 3–3½ hours. Add the potatoes for the last 20–30 minutes. Once the potatoes are tender and the beef falls apart when you prod it, add the peas and cook through.
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