Bifes a la criolla (Argentine beef stew)

It is not a secret that I LOVE a good stew, particularly when the weather gets chilly and wetter! This traditional argentine stew is just absolutely perfect – healthy, cheap, filling, heart warming and a ONE POT DISH!! 🙂

Bifes comes from the English word ‘beef’ and criollo is a Latin American who is of sole or of mostly Spanish descent however this very typical argentine recipe is called bifes a la criolla because the beef is cooked in a tomato sauce called ‘salsa criolla’.

This recipe is incredibly amazing because everything cooks in the same pan! For this to cook perfectly, we build layers in the pan with the ingredients and therefore we need to ensure that the vegetables are cut the correct size so they all cook evenly and come out perfect at the end!! How each vegetable should be cut is in the instructions below!


With these ingredients, you make 4 portions!


  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 thin beef steaks cut, each cut into two smaller portions.
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 large potatoes (4 medium sized)
  • small bunch of spring onion
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can of plum tomatoes (chop the plum tomatoes)
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 1 can of peas or a good handful of frozen peas
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley
  • bay leaves


How to cut the vegetables for the layers:

  • onions: Cut the onions into thin slices
  • carrots: Cut these into slices which are medium sized
  • spring onions: cut the spring onion into small pieces
  • potatoes: cut into 2cm thick slices – this is particularly important as the potato determines how long the stew should cook for and so we don’t want them to cook too quickly but also we don’t them to break away if everything else still needs cooking!
  • red pepper: deseed and cut into slices thicker than the onions
  • garlic: mince or cut into very small pieces

To make the stew:

  1. Start to layer your ingredients by pouring 1-2 tbsp of olive oil on the pan and scattering 1/2 of the chopped onions on top. To this, add some garlic, sliced peppers, sliced carrots, sliced potatoes, spring onion and beef steak.
  2. Once the first layer is done , add salt and pepper and build a second layer of chopped onions, garlic, sliced peppers, sliced carrots, sliced potatoes, spring onion and beef steaks and once again salt and pepper.
  3. Once the two layers are built, add more onions, garlic and spring onions on top. Add the bay leaves and the chopped plum tomatoes with the tomato sauce from the can and the vegetable stock.
  4. WITHOUT stirring, put a lid on the pan and heat at high temperature until it starts to boil.
  5. Once it begins to boil, lower the temperature to medium heat and open the lid to stir gently all the ingredients. Put the lid again on the pan but do leave a small gap.
  6. Cook for 30-40 minutes and stir often to ensure that no vegetables or meat stick to the bottom of the span. The stew is ready when the potatoes are cooked.
  7. 5 minutes before the bifes a la criolla are ready, add the can of peas, cover and let it cook for the 5 minutes. If frozen peas are used, add the peas at the beginning of the recipe when making the layers.
  8. Just before serving, sprinkle fresh parsley over the bifes a la criolla.
  9. ENJOY!! 🙂

I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on this AMAZING bifes a la criolla and look forward to seeing your wonderful creations!! 🙂

Buen provecho! 🙂

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