This hearty braised beef chuck makes a warming end to a frosty winter day. Take time to brown the cut-up meat thoroughly, working in small batches so it caramelizes all over. Simmer with red wine, wine vinegar, and red currant jelly for several hours or until the beef is fork-tender, then add a little cream and grainy French mustard to finish the sweet-and-sour sauce. The grainy mustard is essential, but if you can’t find red currant jelly, use the same amount of cranberry sauce or lingonberry jam. Serve with egg noodles or potatoes. It’s just right after a day on the slopes or in your own driveway, shoveling till you’re freezing.
Sweet-and-sour braised beef
|3||pounds beef chuck, cut into 2½-inch chunks|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|3||tablespoons canola oil|
|3||cloves garlic, finely chopped|
|1||tablespoon chopped fresh thyme|
|1||tablespoon tomato paste|
|1||cup red wine|
|½||cup red wine vinegar|
|¾||cup red currant jelly|
|2||cups chicken stock|
|½||cup heavy cream|
|¼||cup grainy French mustard, or another grainy style|
|¼||cup chopped fresh parsley|
1. In a large bowl, sprinkle beef with salt and pepper, Sprinkle with flour and toss well.
2. In a wide flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Working in batches, brown the beef for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until very well browned. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Stir in the wine , scraping the sediment on the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3 minutes.
4. Add the vinegar, jelly, stock and stir well to incorporate the jelly. Return the beef and any juices in the bowl to the pan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 2½ hours, or until beef is quite tender when pierced with a fork.
5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a clean bowl. Stir in the cream and cook, stirring often, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until juices thicken.
6. Stir in the mustard and return the beef and any juices in the bowl to pan. Toss gently to heat the meat and coat it with sauce.Karoline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org