Sunday, November 11, 2007
Elsa's Cider Beef with Smashed Cheddar Potatoes
My new claim to fame is that I met Rachael Ray! She has just come out with a new cookbook and kicked off her book tour this past Friday night at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square. She did a Q&A session and then a book signing. It was a long wait but totally worth it. She personalized our book by saying, "Jake and Beth, Keep your pots hot! Rachael Ray" Well that's exactly what we did. We chose a new recipe from her book to kick off our week and it was great!
2 tablespoons EVOO
3 tablespoons butter
2 pounds top sirloin, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
salt and black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 pound turnips, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups good-quality apple cider-go dark and cloudy
1 (15-ounce) can of beef stock
3 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped or snipped chives
Preheat the oven to 425.
Place a large stew pot or Dutch-oven with lid over medium-high heat. Add EVOO and butter. When the butter melts, season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Brown on all sides, 7-8 minutes total. Add onions, carrots and turnips and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the vegetables with the flour and stir to combine and coat, 1 minute. Stir in apple cider and the beef stock, bring to boil, cover the pan, and transfer to the over. Braise the beef for 45 minutes.
Once the beef has been in the oven for about 15 minutes, place the potatoes in a large sauce pot with water to cover by at least 1 to 2 inches. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce the heat a bit, add some salt, and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes.
When the potatoes are tender, drain them and return them to the pot. Add the milk, sour cream and cheese. Use a potato masher to smash them to your preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper and add the chives. Cover and keep warm until the beef it done.
To serve, ladle the stew into sallow serving bowls. Make a well in the center and fill with the potatoes. (It should be noted, however, that there are members of our family-like my brother-who would fill a bowl with potatoes instead, leaving a small well in the center to hold a few bites of stew.)
My tips: We eliminated the turnips, something we've never tried and we weren't daring enough tonight. My husband doesn't like white cheddar so we used regular sharp cheddar. We also forgot to buy the chives at the grocery store. We both enjoy a good amount of spice and felt this was lacking some spice. Note: This is one of her 60-minute meals and it serves 4.
Husband Rating: A+ He says it needs to be well seasoned when cooking but over all he enjoyed.
Wife Rating: A+ I really liked the cider, it adds a sweetness to an otherwise regular beef stew. I didn't love the onions but they add good flavor. We also opted to fill the bowl with potatoes and then pour the stew over top like Rachael's brother. I won't lie the potatoes are why I chose the recipe and they were amazing!
Recipe from: just in time! All-new 30-minute meal, plus super-fast 15 minute meals and slow-it-down 60 minute meals by Rachael Ray
Picture take by me