Healthy Family Recipe: Celebrating Columbus Day with Potatoes and Paprika

Take out your pots and pans to celebrate this fall holiday with a typical recipe from the Old World that adds flavors originating in the New World.

When Christopher Columbus navigated the oceans in search of a new route to reach the valuable spices of the time, he could not have imagined that one of the fruits of the discovered New World would contribute to the striking of so many palates over the centuries.

He brought to Spain an unknown type of the Capsicum pepper which, when cultivated in the region de La Vera, gave rise to the famous Pimenton de La Vera, a spice used in so many dishes of the Spanish cuisine.

The region of La Vera is located in the province of Caceres, around the river Tietar. It provides the right climate, with the appropriate amount of humidity and sunshine to create this unique red pepper. When harvested in the fall, the peppers undergo a unique process of drying using the smoke from oak wood responsible for the exceptional taste. The dried peppers are then milled, stored and distributed from the La Vera region to the world.

Some of us are familiar with the paprika pepper powder that we buy at the store. This one has a distinctive taste and it is the real one if bears the denomination “Pimenton de la Vera”.

Here is a perfect fall dish adding flavor and nutrition that can be enjoyed by young and old when the temperatures start to go down.

Potatoes with Beef and Pimenton

Ingredients (for 4 people):

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ green pepper
  • 1 lb of beef, cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons of Pimenton de la Vera
  • 1 teaspoon of Saffron
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt


Dice the onions, carrots and green pepper and cook them in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until the onions are transparent. Add the beef and stir in the Pimenton, allowing to cook, covered, for 15 minutes.

Add the potatoes, cut in medium size pieces. Add water until the potatoes are barely covered by the water, add a teaspoon of saffron and cook partially covered for 45 minutes at low heat, stirring frequently.

Add salt to taste.

Allow resting for a few minutes before serving.