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Canberra Chefs Do Christmas: Mr Papa

Belinda Neame

At HerCanberra, we love supporting local – including (and especially!) Canberra’s many bars, restaurants, cafes and food trucks. 

This festive season, we wanted to bring a touch of our favourite restaurants into our homes to share with family from far and wide. So we asked four top Canberra chefs to share one of their favourite Christmas recipes.

“This dish brings back a lot of memories as it is a family recipe shared from Grandma’s house where she also had the catering business and this was cooked for special family events like Christmas,” says Carlos Ramirez-Roldan, founder and owner of Mr Papa.

“Turkey and chicken were also part of the menu but this meat was our favourite.”

“We used to spend our weekends there, helping with anything we could to help out grandma and the cooks in the kitchen. This dish was very particular because grandma would use her long and old rustic stone oven, run by kerosene only. Despite the time it took to get it done (myself and cousins used to stop our soccer games in order to run and pinch some of the offcuts of this meat) it was just pure happiness.”

“Family would sit together afterwards and share this with mashed potatoes, arroz arabe (a type of savoury rice made with Coca-Cola and angel hair noodles), grilled potatoes and obviously a thousand different types of handmade chilli creams.”

Peruvian Asado


Serves 4 

Preparation time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 2 hours approx.

Total time: 2 hours 20 mins approx.


  • 3 tbsp. Veg oil
  • 1 kg Eye Round Beef
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 5 tomatoes cut in 8 pieces each
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 bottle of red cooking wine
  • 4 cups (beef stock)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp corn or potato starch
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper  

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat, sear the beef in order to form a golden crust all over.
  2. Put the onions, tomatoes, and garlic into the pan and stir until the juices are released.
  3. Time for the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and, last but not least, add half of the wine. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Turn the heat to low, cover it with aluminium foil and a tight-fitting lid for one hour (do not open).
  5. Remove the beef from the saucepan, make sure is well drained and proceed to slice it in quarter inches.
  6. Strain the veggies. Keep the broth and put it back in the saucepan. Add the remaining wine and more water stock if necessary. (Always check salt)
  7. Slices of beef back in the saucepan, check if more soy sauce is required.
  8. Keep cooking over low heat until the meat is very soft. Approximately 45 minutes.
  9. When the meat is ready, dissolve starch in 4 tablespoons of water and gradually add it to the saucepan. Stir constantly and consider how thick your broth is, as perhaps not all the starch is required.

Serve with white garlic rice, mashed potatoes or green salad.


Belinda Neame

Belinda is HerCanberra's Production Manager. A foodie and lover of handmade, Belinda enjoys nothing more than a good coffee and seeing Canberra businesses thrive. In her 'spare time', Belinda organises the quarterly Canberra street food event, The Forage with her husband Tim. More about the Author

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