Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Next, onto the braised beef.

My hubby found this recipe in a men's magazine ages ago....and I mean ages!

He held onto it and has said on numerous occasions that I should make it for him.

Like everything else, on numerous occasions, I have just ignored him.

This week though we were doing a little "spring cleaning", he found the magazine, tore out the recipe and it finally made it's way onto my kitchen counter.

Feeling the need for a little comfort food myself, I decided to go ahead and make him the recipe he's been waiting for since May 2009.  (See how it really is all about me)

So it's not really a recipe, it's more about the process of braising meat.

Braising is a great way to feed a hungry family of meat eating men, on the cheap.

Braising takes cheaper cuts of meat that are generally too tough to eat any other way, and turns them into heaven on a plate.

But, it also takes time.   Take the time to enjoy the aroma, take the time to feel the passion that is building in your kitchen, take the time to go redecorate a bedroom....because it's a long process!!!

First, THE MEAT!

The recipe, or should I say, the process, says to pick sinewy cuts such as pork shoulder, lamb shank or beef chuck.  Once you have mastered this process you can substitute whatever meat of veg you want and the end result will be a crowd pleaser.

I chose an Inside Round roast at the recommendation of the butcher.  It cost $18, which to me, was not cheap.  Anyway, it cut into 2" chunks nicely and did provide an great end result.

So first, chop 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, and 1 onion and place in a large pot (with a lid).  I used my cast iron dutch oven.

Add, springs of fresh thyme, a bay leaf, parsley some peppercorns and a whole head of garlic, cut in half.

Then add a cheap bottle of red wine.  The whole bottle!!!  No sneaking a swig, it's too early to drink!

Simmer until all the wine has evaporated and you are left with syrupy glazed veggies

Add another carrot, onion and stalk of celery and set aside.


Cut into 2" cubes,  pat dry with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour.  The flour keeps the meat dry, because wet meat will not brown in a pan, and the browning gives it a lot flavor.

Add a few tablespoons of canola oil to a frying pan and brown the meat cubes on all sides.   Don't burn the meat, but you really want a rich dark brown color.

Once browned, placed the meat on top of the vegetables and add enough beef stock to surround the meat, do not cover the meat, just surround it.

Bring the pot to a simmer and place the lid on, not to completely cover the pot though.

Place in a 350 degree oven.

Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

Once done, remove the meat and discard the vegetables.   Strain the liquid over top of the meat and once cooled, place it in the fridge for 2 DAYS.  Or longer, because braised meat gets better with age.  So the longer it can still in the juice the better the flavor will be.

After 2 days, skim off any fat that has congealed on top, heat up your pot just enough to loosen the meat from the juices and remove the meat.   Heat up the juices until it's a syrupy consistency.

Put the meat back into the juices and place in a 250 degree oven for 15 minutes to warm the meat through.

The meat is soft, tender, full of flavour.....hardly any chewing required.

I served the meat with Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.

It was amazing, truly amazing!   Heaven on a plate!!

We only had enough for 2 servings of leftovers the following day.

It is a long process, a lot of back and forth with the meat, makes a bit of mess as far as dishes (but that's what husbands are for).

It's not difficult,  and really does make a comfort food that you will crave!


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