Today's classic Catalan recipe represents part of the illustrious gastronomic history of Casa Leopoldo, the famous restaurant on Barcelona's Raval frequented by the writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, who dedicated cheap, tasty dishes to Pepe Carvalho, the hero of his novels.
The Catalan name, capipota comes from the cuts used, the head (cap) and leg (pota). The dish is as rustic as that makes it sound. Don't be put off by the idea of the cheaper cuts of beef, they end up beautifully tender and tasty with a long, slow cook. If you can't find them though, you can substitute almost any cut, but something with a bit of fat on it is good, and you should boil it first, especially if it's a tougher one, the way a Catalan butcher would give you your cap and pota.
"And the bread!" chef Oscar Manresa notes as he explains the video, "without that, there's no capipota".
- 500g/17.5oz beef, diced (see above)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 vine tomatoes, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon spicy paprika
- 2 chillis, chopped
- 1 glass chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
- Splash of white wine
- 200g/7oz boiled chickpeas
- Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan
- Add the onion and let it get a little colour on a medium heat
- Add the tomato and then the paprika
- Mix well, then add the diced beef
- Stir well again to cover the beef and give it a bit of colour
- Add the chilli, then the wine, then the stock, mixing between each
- Leave it to simmer for a good two hours
- Season to taste
- Two to three minutes before serving, add the chickpeas to heat through