Brazilian Food,  Mains

Carne de Panela – Beef Stew Brazilian Style

Carne de Panela is the ultimate Brazilian winter comfort food – it warms up the soul.

Back home my stepfather sometimes cooks this after work on a Wednesday night, with some rice and pirão – a boiled cassava flour, similar to polenta.

Another variation he does is galinha ensopada, which uses chicken instead of beef. He loves to cook this for Sunday lunch. The only problem is that my younger brother has been eating it for so many years, that now my mum ends up having to cook something different for him.


  • 1kg gravy beef, cut in cubes
  • 1 onion, cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 carrots, cut into cubes
  • 2 potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 350g cassava, cut into cubes
  • 100g cheiro-verde*
  • 1L beef stock, plus another 750mL

*Cheiro verde is a equal mix of parsley, coriander and spring onion.

To make the Carne de Panela

  1. Sautee the onion and garlic, then add the meat and sautee for about 5-10 minutes more to give a golden colour.
  2. Add the spicies, cheiro-verde , tomato paste and the litre of beef stock and let them cook for 50 minutes.
  3. Add 750ml more stock then add the potato. Let it cook for 10 min.
  4. Add the carrot and cassava and leave to cook for another 10-15 minutes until all the veggies are cooked.

To make the Pirão

  1. Take about 500ml gravy from the meat and put in other pot, bring it to boil.
  2. Add about 150g cassava flour or breadcrumbs to the gravy and cook until all flour are combined and you have more liquid mixture like polenta.