There are some things about Tita Elvie that I always remember, like how she prayed the rosary every single day without fail and included a long litany of the names of each one of her dead relatives at the end of every rosary. She didn’t forget anybody! I remember how she quietly went about doing her housework without complaint no matter how tired she was. And she saved any and all leftovers, whether it was as big as a half a pan of lasagna or as small as two little shrimps. But most of all, I remember her cooking.
She had a repertoire of dishes that were her family’s favorites. This meat dish was my favorite. She didn’t have any measurements for the ingredients. She would just throw everything together. So these measurements are my own. She also didn’t have a name for this dish so I gave it a Spanish name because it always makes me think of something you might be served in Spain with a green salad and a nice glass of Tempranillo wine.
CARNE CON ACEITUNAS DE TITA ELVIE
- 3 lbs. beef chuck or tri-tip, cubed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- flour for coating beef
- 1 stick butter or margarine
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ small onion, chopped
- ½ cup white wine (I like sauvignon blanc)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 3 tsp. worcestershire sauce
- 1 small jar olives, drained
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Season beef cubes with salt and pepper.
- Coat seasoned beef cubes with flour, shaking off excess.
- Melt half the butter or margarine in a pot or deep skillet and fry the beef in batches, adding more butter as necessary. Set cooked beef cubes aside.
- Once all the beef is fried, add olive oil to the pan.
- Sauté garlic and onions in olive oil.
- Add white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the browned bits at the bottom.
- Add beef broth and worcestershire sauce.
- Return beef to pan and add olives.
- Cook until beef is tender.
- Thicken sauce with parmesan cheese.
NOTE: My ratio of broth to wine is 1 cup beef broth : ½ cup wine. You make as much gravy as you like by adding as much broth and wine as you like following this ratio. My kids like a lot of gravy but I would start with 1 cup of broth and ½ cup wine, and then go up from there depending on how saucy you want the dish.