I’m so excited to share this wonderfully easy and delightful Chilean sweet potato stew with you. This is the perfect blend of veggies, fresh oregano and smoked paprika. Clean eating, full of flavor, satisfaction with a bullet -this is what plant-based cooking is all about.
This recipe is a loose adaptation of Porotos Granados, which is a traditional Chilean summer stew made with beans, corn and squash. Like so many ‘rural’ recipes, this one doesn’t require any plant-based adjustment – it’s always been that way.
Traditionally, Porotos Granados is made with cranberry beans (or pinto beans). I chose to use a relative – brown borlotti beans which hale a bit further away in Italy. My advice is to use what you can easily find. Pinto beans are also a great idea for this recipe.
Regional food is all about availability. What’s growing and when. Summertime, when corn in in abundance is one reason it features in our stew. Corn is just starting to appear in our local markets, but you can easily make this recipe with canned corn.
Beans, corn and something orange. That’s our foundation. The more traditional ‘orange’ is squash, but I chose to make Chilean sweet potato stew because I wanted to balance out the spiciness of the smoked paprika. Also, if you want your stew thicker, you can mash a few of the sweet potato cubes again the side of the pan once they soften up. They will naturally break down and help thicken this savory and sweet stew.
This short list of complimentary vegetables is another great example of my endeavor to streamline cooking. One-pot cooking isn’t about modifying ingredients and certainly it isn’t about compromising our all-important eating experience. One-pot is a process of layering food and developing flavors. It works for all sorts of main meal dishes, from Chana Masala to Briam to dahl to red beans and quinoa.
If you have a favorite recipe that would be all the better in one big pot, start with a plan. Consider when, why and how long ingredients are cooked. Yes, beans and quinoa can be cooked together – they might need different times if they want to swim together. Think about your foundations, such as onions, celery or garlic. Consider your spices and fresh herbs. Are they hearty such as thyme? Or a bit more delicate such as cilantro or basil. You’ll want to put those delicate herbs in toward the end.
I’ve discovered that regional, rural foods are the mother load when it comes to plant-based recipe development. They tend to be uncomplicated and more often than not, plant-based (or very easily adapted). “Poor people food”, someone said the other day. Perhaps. But it isn’t eating poor. There are lessons waiting to be learned from folks to cook what’s readily available (locally) and what tastes good. I’m always up for learning something new. Off to enjoy my next lesson. Peace.Print
Chilean sweet potato stew: Porotos Granados – flavorful, satisfying and guilt-free using simple ingredients – plant-based at its best all in one-pot.
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp. fresh oregano or marjoram, chopped
- 3 medium sweet potatoes (1 ½ pounds/750 gm.), peeled and diced into small cubes (3 medium sweet potatoes)
- 2 – cans (15 oz./400 gm.) borlotti brown beans, pinto, navy or cannelloni beans
- 4 cups (1 liter) vegetable stock or the equivalent of 4 cups water and 2 veggie stock cubes
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 oz. (200 gm.) green beans, trimmed and broken in half or into bite-sized pieces
- Kernels from 2 cobs of corn or 1 can
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, sauté the onion for 5 minutes until it becomes soft and translucent. Add water a tablespoon at a time if the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the garlic, paprika and 1 tbsp. of the fresh oregano or marjoram. Mix well for 30 seconds.
- Add the beans, sweet potatoes, bay leaf and vegetable broth and simmer until the sweet potatoes are almost tender (about 15 minutes depending on the size of your sweet potato cubes).
- Add the green beans and corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining tbsp. of fresh oregano and add salt and pepper to taste.
- The prep time accounts for preparing the beans and corn while the sweet potatoes and beans are cooking.
- If you don’t have fresh oregano or marjoram, you can substitute dried. Cut the total amount to 1 tablespoon as dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh.
- Although this recipe calls for sweet potatoes (and they are my personal preference), you can also use squash or pumpkin.
- Category: Soups & Stews
- Cuisine: Chilean
Keywords: Chilean sweet potato stew: Porotos Granados