Spirit of the Harvest: Seco de Carne (Beef stew with a cilantro-based sauce)

March 24, 2010 1 Comment

Spirit of the Harvest: Seco de Carne (Beef stew with a cilantro-based sauce)
Renowned food author Beverly Cox, winner of the James Beard cookbook award, a Julia Child award and a IACP cookbook award, and food editor for Native Peoples Magazine, contributes a monthly column and weekly recipes to TankaBar.com. The Spirit of the Harvest columns are published the second Wednesday of every month. Recipes from Beverly run on intervening Wednesdays.


2 pounds Tri-tip beef roast, clean from fat and cut in stew size pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 bundle fresh cilantro, washed and stem free
1 cup frozen spinach or 1 bundle of fresh spinach
1 cup water
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut in 1-inch square pieces, keep covered with cold water
1 to 2 tablespoons crushed garlic
2 to 3 cups water
powdered beef broth
zest of 1 lime


1. Season tri-tip roast pieces with salt, pepper, cumin and minced garlic. Set aside and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. In a large and heavy pot, heat vegetable oil, add meat and brown lightly. Add chopped onions. Cook until translucent. Add 1 cup water and boil until meat is tender (this can take up to 45 minutes). Keep adding water until meat is tender.

3. Blend cilantro and spinach with 1 cup water. Add this mix to pot.

4. Add potatoes to pot. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are ready. Add frozen peas cook for two more minutes. Before serving add zest of lime.

5. Serve with white rice.

Beverly Cox is the food editor of Native Peoples Magazine and a former food editor and director of food styling for Cook's Magazine. She holds a Grand Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and apprenticed with Gaston LeNotre.

Beverly has written 13 cookbooks, including Spirit of the Harvest, North American Indian Cooking, winner of the James Beard and IACP cookbook awards in 1992, and Spirit of the West, Cooking from Ranch House and Range, winner of a Julia Child award in 1997, and Spirit of the Earth, Native Cooking from Latin America, an IACP cookbook award finalist in 2002, all co-authored with food photographer Martin Jacobs. Their most recent book is Eating Cuban, 120 Authentic Recipes from the Streets of Havana to American Shores.

Beverly and her husband, Gordon Black, an architect turned rancher, live on the historic Eagle Rock Ranch in Northern Colorado where her great grandfather homesteaded in 1872. Beverly teaches hands-on cooking classes for small groups who want to combine cooking with the experience of visiting a working cattle ranch.

You can contact Beverly at BeverlyCox@TankaBar.com

For more information about Beverly's cookbooks featuring Native American recipes:

Body, Mind and Spirit: Native Cooking of the Americas

Spirit of the Harvest: North American Indian Cooking

Spirit of the Earth: Native Cooking from Latin America

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