Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wine-Braised Beef - 2 ways

I grew up in a meat and potatoes family, my husband is Italian. Roasts were a regular part of the menu plan growing up. Typically they were prepared simply, roasted in the oven and served with delicious pan dripping gravy and mashed potatoes and a side of some vegetable. When I tried to make a roast for my husband, he wasn't really into it. This bummed me out, I certainly couldn't make a 2-3# roast for myself. I would have to eat it for weeks. Despite this, a few weeks ago when the chuck roasts were on a BOGO sale, I picked two up.

I started searching for some recipes that I thought could work for my husband. I found a recipe that used a Wine-Braised Beef in a Shepherd's Pie. I made some simple adjustments, but mostly followed the braised beef portion. I wanted to keep it simple, so I made the beef, the potatoes and the peas and we built deconstructed Shepherd's Pie...especially important for me who doesn't eat peas. My kids didn't care for the Shepherd's Pie approach, so we came up with a sandwich that was similar to the Mongolian Beef with Spicy Mayonnaise that we had experienced at the Epcot Food and Wine event...not a perfect match, but we hadn't found any other options.

Wine-Braised Beef
2 pounds beef chuck pot roast cut into big hunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large carrot
1 stalk celery
1 large shallot
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups sherry
15 ounces beef broth
3/4 cup water

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Season beef on all sides liberally with salt and pepper then place inside pot and sear for 3-4 minutes on the top and bottom, until a golden brown crust has formed. Add carrots, celery, and shallots then cook until vegetables are tender, 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle in flour then stir and cook for 1 more minute.

Pour in sherry, beef broth, and water then bring to a boil. Place a lid on top of the pot then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for 2 - 2-1/2 hours, or until beef can be easily shredded, turning beef over halfway through. Remove meat then shred. If liquid is not thickened, turn heat up and simmer until thickened then return beef to the pot.

To make deconstructed shepherd's pie, prepare mashed potatoes and peas. Assemble in a dish, layering the beef, the peas and the potatoes.
To make braised beef sandwiches, prepare some siracha mayonnaise (1/2 c mayo, 1-2 tbsp siracha) and serve beef on a roll, with a smear of the siracha mayonnaise.