This can only be described as a “Macho” paella. Not for those seeking delicate flavors. This is a slam, bam, in your face robust, rich, unctuous meat and rice dish. It was an experiment, with wildly successful results. The inspiration was a steak paella we had at a Cebu restaurant called “The Corner Table” several years ago. I had never come across a beefy paella and it just seemed like a wonderful idea… and it tasted great. I had vowed then to try making one some day, without a recipe nor ingredients list. It’s probably not classic and perhaps may even offend some sensibilities, but hold your horses before you pass judgment… scrumptious trumps tradition in this case! A quick google suggests it’s not so strange, there are beef paella recipes out there…
We had several several ribs leftover from a prime rib we served at an earlier holiday dinner, and split it in two for some roast beef hash, and for this paella experiment. In a medium sized paella pan, I sautéed some garlic and onions in olive oil until fragrant and onions translucent. Next I added an assortment of sliced mushrooms (porcinis, portobellos, oyster, shiitake, button, etc.) and sautéed them for a minute or two. I added two cups of Spanish “bomba” rice, coated them in the oil and then added my normal sofritto concoction for paella, some saffron, and stirred until everything was coated. Next I added 5 cups or so of hot beef broth (made from canned broth, trimmings of fat and meat from the roast) and when this came up to a boil, stuck it in a 350-375F oven.
I added a few sliced pieces and chunks of beef to the rice mixture as well. But for the most part, I wanted the beef to remain medium rare, so I sliced up remaining pieces, and just lay them ON TOP of the finished paella, knowing they would heat up from the hot rice underneath. The ribs were a bit bigger so I stuck them in the oven to heat up for a few minutes before arranging them on top of the paella. Just before serving, I sprinkled some chopped flat leaf parsley over everything. Serve with wedges of lemon.
The rice was intensely and beautifully flavored… beefy with a nice comforting tomato/saffron paella base. The mushrooms provided more meatiness, texture and moisture. The slices of prime rib on top were the the “gilding on the lily” so to speak. I had made this as an experimental side dish to roasted cornish game hens, as well as the full crew buffet menu with lechon, seafood paellas, etc. for the crew party… but no one touched the cornish hens and this medium-sized pan of beef paella was nearly wiped out! Definitely a keeper of a recipe, and it has zoomed up to my Top 3-5 list of paellas ever!