Main Dish

Catalan Stew with Saffron Rice and Toasted Almonds

Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves

9711 West Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448

This traditional Catalan recipe combines the influences of the Andalusian culture with Arabian and New World. Sirloin steak is stewed with Bella red wine and chocolate, then served with saffron rice.

  • 3 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups Bella Pinot Noir
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons honey (preferably local)
  • 1/2 canned chipotle pepper, seeded
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet Spanish paprika
  • Saffron rice for serving
  • Toasted almonds for garnish


Season the steak well on all sides with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches,  add the meat and brown on all sides; cook in small enough batches so the meat sears, rather than steams. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the onions and celery to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Stir in the garlic, coriander and cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the wine, adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and simmer for about 5 minutes. The wine should reduce until it just covers the bottom of the pot but is not completely evaporated.

Meanwhile, in a blender, combine half of the tomatoes, the honey and chipotle pepper and blend until completely smooth. When the wine has reduced, add the tomato mixture and return the meat to the pot. Add enough of the stock to cover the meat and stir in the remaining tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. While stirring, slowly add the paprika so that it is incorporated without clumping. Simmer on low heat for 2 hours, gently stirring often to prevent sticking and adding more stock if the stew becomes too thick. 

When the meat is completely tender, let the stew thicken to a pleasantly rich consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt. Serve the stew with saffron rice and garnish with almonds.

Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves

9711 West Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448