J – Braised beef is such a good old friend.
With all their richness, old friendships can, and should be, renewed from time to time. The addition of Guinness and the mini poix vegetable preparation to this dish renewed my friendship with braised beef in a wonderful way.
That’s the nice thing about old friends, you can always discover something new and exciting if you stay mindful of their best qualities. Funny how food and people can be such strong influences in our lives. I like that.
I learned how to braise beef by doing Suzanne Goin recipes. That’s somewhat similar to learning how to ski (or, snowboard, for Christina’s benefit) on advanced-intermediate slopes. You need to be very precise and get good quickly. Everything counts. Or you fall.
I value my hard-won early experience. Now, I can experiment in pretty much anyway I want and still end up with a tasty dish.
Luke suggested we do a Guinness-infused braised beef. Since we were planning on serving it in parfait glasses as an appetizer, as well as in traditional bowls, we needed to invent a way of handling the requisite mirepoix in the final serving … hence, Mini Poix. Works either way.
|Braised Beef Stew with Mini Poix|
- 3 pounds beef brisket
- 1 cup flour
- Canola oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan + 2 Tbsp
- ½ large shallot
- 2 large carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 onion, cut into eights
- 4 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 – 5 thyme sprigs, whole
- 12 oz bottled beer (We used Guinness)
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 cups chicken stock, approximately
- 2 carrots, small dice, ⅛ inch
- 2 stalks celery, small dice, ⅛ inch
- 1 onion, small dice, ⅛ inch
- 3 – 4 thyme sprigs, leaves only.
- 1+ Tbsp unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Zest of ¼ lemon
- 1 sprig chervil (parsley is also an option)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Trim the fat from the brisket. Cut into manageable pieces.
- Heat dutch oven on high. Cover the bottom of the dutch oven with canola oil.
- Dredge beef with flour and add to oil. Brown all sides. About 10 minutes, but do not rush this.
- Remove beef from pot and set aside.
- In the same pot on high, add more oil and heat. Add large shallots, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Cook and stir until translucent.
- Add beer and cook for 10 minutes more.
- Add meat on top of vegetables and beer.
- Add enough stock to cover beef well.
- Cover with heavy foil and then the pot top set firmly in place.
- Cook in oven until meat is tender. About 2½ to 3¼ hours. Check at 2½ hours.
- Once meat is tender remove pot from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
- Remove meat from liquid and set aside.
- Strain liquid, pressing to get all the braising liquid. Discard cooked vegetables.
- Place liquid back into dutch oven, heat and reduce by half.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- In a separate saute pan, add oil and heat on medium high. Add small diced carrots, celery and onions (mini poix). Add lemon zest and thyme leaves. Cook until almost soft and tender.
- Cut brisket into ½ inch cubes and place back into pot. Add mini poix. Bring to a simmer.
- Add butter and stir to heat and combine well. Sauce should thicken nicely.
- Place roasted potato wedges on the bottom of the serving bowl.
- Add stew on top.
- Garnish with a little finely chopped chervil (or parsley) and lemon zest.
- Serve immediately.
I got to cook this one. Nice. Came out well.
Thanks. Luke, for the suggestions. Very nice to get a high-five-dude from the chef!!