January 06, 2008

Spanish Daube

This is another recipe from the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of Cooking Light. They call it "daube", I might call it pot roast - but what an elegant pot roast it is! The combination of sherry, smoked paprika, and saffron makes for a particularly delicious broth.

The recipe calls for braising the meat for 2 hours. I found that the beef was not quite perfectly tender in the center, so I think I'd go for slightly longer braising, or cut the roast into smaller chunks to help it braise through more.

The Ingredients

The Steps

  1. Coat a large Dutch oven or other pot with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add beef to pan, and cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef and set aside.
  2. Add the onions to the pot and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the salt, thyme, paprika, fennel seeds, pepper, and saffron. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the sherry and the hot pepper sauce, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to get up all the browned bits. Cook until the liquid is reduced by about half (~4 minutes).
  5. Add the beef and broth to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours or until beef is tender. (As I noted above, 2 hours wasn't quite enough to get the beef perfectly tender all the way through.)
  6. Remove the beef from the pot and slice into thin slices across the grain.
  7. Add peas, parsley, and sherry vinegar to the pot and cook 5 minutes.
  8. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Add to the broth and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute.
  9. Add the sliced beef back to the pot. Cook for 1 minute or until beef is heated through.
Makes 8 servings.

Posted by spaceling at 08:48 PM

December 30, 2007

Ropa Vieja

I made this recipe, which comes from the January/February issue of Cooking Light for dinner tonight. It fulfilled a culinary ambition of mine, which is to become more familiar with braising. As a braised dish, it takes a couple of hours to prepare, but almost all of that time can be spent lounging around with a book, enjoying how good the house smells.

Braising really ought to be done in a proper dutch oven. I only have a biggish soup pot, which is a bit too tall. I improvised by putting a layer of aluminum foil just over the surface of the stew, and then putting the lid on the top of the pot. It seemed to work fine. I certainly had no complaints about how the dish came out.

We folded the beef and peppers into warm tortillas, and then ate the broth with a spoon.

The Ingredients

The Steps

  1. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the flank steak for about 2 and a half minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, peppers, and garlic to the pot, and cook, stirring, until tender (about 7 minutes).
  3. Stir in the olives and the spices and cook for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the vinegar and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to dissolve any browned bits. Cook for 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.
  5. Stir in broth, tomato paste, and bay leaves. Add the steaks and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1.5 hours or until steaks are tender.
  7. Remove the steaks from the pan and shred with two forks. Stir the shredded beef and cilantro into the pot. Serve in shallow bowls with warm tortillas on the side.
Serves 6-8

Posted by spaceling at 08:21 PM