Sunday, July 25, 2010

Beef and cranberry - a odd combo that works

So, we just got back from holiday and have no veg in the fridge but we are never short on meat.  One of the nice things about being in a CSA and having a freezer to store all the bounty - is that you are never short on food. Anyway - I pulled out some pot roast and took stock of what we had -- dried cranberries that I normally use for salads, onions, garlic, 1/2 bag of frozen peas.... umm. It was going to be tough.

Off to the web I go to see what I can find to make with my meager rations.  I found this recipe on BBC Food that might actually work.   OK, I wasn't going to use the recipe exactly - but then again - when do I?  I must say, at the end of the day - YUM. it works.  However, I did go to the grocery store and that helped as well.*grin*  Since the picture made me think of mash potatoes and well, once I get something like that in my pea brain... well, I had to go shopping.

So, too make mash potatoes that are lower in carbs - do a percentage of the "potatoes" with cauliflower.   I made ours with 2/3 cauliflower and 1/3 potato and lots of butter, cream and cheddar cheese.  The BF dislikes the taste of cauliflower, but he did like this version.  So, if you are minding your carbohydrate intake but do not like cauliflower, this might be a option. It does taste great with this stew.

Braised Beef with Cranberries

  • 1-2 pounds braising steak/pot roast cut into 1" pieces
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups stock (beef, chicken, veg, even plain water will do)
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons for browning beef and onions

brown beef in butter or bacon fat, pull out and set to a side.  You may need to brown the beef in batches, depending upon how big your dutch oven or oven safe pot is. Then, brown onions
once onion are browned, add the wine and give it a good stir.  Basically deglazing the pan, by getting all those nice dark bits from the bottom of your pan into the sauce. Add in stock, beef, cranberries and bring liquid up to a simmer.  At this point the liquid should be covering the beef. Cover pot loosely and cook on low heat for a minimum of 1 1/2 hrs.  You want the liquid to be a low bubble and just enough venting on the cover so that it doesn't boil in the pot. 

Note: the amount of stock and wine is based upon how much sauce you want and how long you want to braise the beef.  I braised mine for about 5 hrs and so used a lot more stock and wine.

Cranberries - you need to look at the ingredient list carefully on dried cranberries.  Actually, dried fruit in general, since they tend to add sugar and sulfur to the product.  Health food stores usually have dried fruit that does not have sugar added and is sulfur free.

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