Spiced Stewed Beef

I will be the first to admit that I am more of a baker than a cook.  Maybe it’s because of my strong penchant for eating sweets.  Or maybe because I have slightly more experience baking than cooking.

Maybe it’s the fact that I slap some cheese and hummus on a slab of bread, chase it down with two brownies and call it dinner.  I have those days a lot.  But I have another mouth to feed.  A mouth that thinks hummus is disgusting and bread could never constitute an actual meal.

I can only watch him eat so many microwave pizzas before I have to put my foot down and make something that contains nutritional value.

I try to plan meals ahead of time, and since I still had wine leftover after making this cake, I decided that I would use it to stew some meat.  I’m not ready for beef bourguigon, nor did I have enough wine for it, so I went with something a little different that turned out to be very tasty.

The beef in this dish is simmered with beef stock, red wine, and star anise until it is tender and extremely flavorful.  Most of the accompanying veggies are chopped up in a food processor, so they become part of the sauce.

It is definitely best served over rice or polenta, or, my personal favorite, sitting atop a nice broad piece of sourdough bread.

Spiced Stewed Beef

Adapted from Framed Cooks

Makes 4-6 servings

2 large onions, roughly chopped

2 large leeks, white and light-green parts only, roughly chopped

3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley

8 oz mushrooms, chopped

1/3 cup flour

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 pounds chuck steak in 2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or more as needed

pinch ground cloves

1 1/2 cups red wine

2 cups beef stock or canned beef broth

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 star anise

1 Tbsp light brown sugar

 Working in batches in a food processor, process onions, leeks, carrots and parsley until finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and set aside. Place flour in a freezer bag or other plastic bag. Season with salt and pepper. Add steak cubes, seal bag, and shake until cubes are well coated.

Place a dutch oven over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons oil. When hot, add beef in batches, turning until well seared on all sides. As beef is browned, transfer to a plate, and set aside.

If the dutch oven is dry, add 1 tablespoon oil. Place over medium heat, and add the vegetable mixture, mushrooms, and ground cloves. Sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine wine, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, star anise and brown sugar. Place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. When vegetables have softened, pour liquid over vegetables.

Return beef to the dutch oven, and stir well. Bring to a boil, partly cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently until beef is tender, about 2 hours.  Serve over your grain of choice.

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