Saturday, February 7, 2009

BEEF, It's What's for Dinner

In the 2009 food trend survey I did in January, braising placed second (More about the winner in a future post). Last night I jumped on the braising trend with beef chuck, mushrooms and squash.
Emily's Braised Beef with Mushrooms and Squash:

1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut in large cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced onion
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup brandy or whiskey (I used Makers Mark)
4 sprigs fresh parsley, stems separated from leaves, don't discard stems
2 bay leaves (not California)
2 cups beef stock
2 cups red wine
2/3 butternut squash, peeled and cut in large cubes
1 pound baby bella mushrooms, sliced

Preheat oven to 250° F. Season beef cubes with salt and pepper. Brown in over medium-high heat in vegetable oil and half of butter. Set aside. In same pan add celery, carrots, onion and garlic. Sauté until tender. Add brandy and cook until absorbed. Add parley stems, bay leaves, beef stock and wine. Cook until liquid is reduced by half then season to taste. Strain liquid. In a separate pan, melt remaining butter. Add mushrooms and saute until tender.

In a braising pot, layer squash with browned beef and mushrooms. Add strained liquid. Cover pot and braise in oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until meat and squash are tender. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes and garnish with chopped parsley. (I served this over a risotto that I made with the remaining 2/3 of butternut squash.)

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