Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Braised Beef with Porcini Mushrooms

A few years ago our family spent Christmas in Sarasota, Florida. We wanted to make something festive to celebrate the holiday so my mom made the below Braised Beef recipe. It was super easy, just required a some time in the oven, and turned out fantastic. This year we decided to make the recipe again for our family Christmas in Kansas City and it was as good as I remember.

I think this is a perfect recipe for the holidays, entertaining during the winter months, or even just a Sunday family dinner. It's hearty and warming and makes the kitchen smell great plus it will please even the pickiest of eaters (maybe just don't mention there are mushrooms in the sauce). Depending on the crowd you are feeding, you are also likely to end up with leftovers that can be made into a simple beef and vegetable soup. Can't beat a great meal plus the possibility of leftovers!

I planned to take a second picture once we put everything on the serving platter but forgot. 
Braised Beef with Porcini Mushrooms
** adapted from Food Network, recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Serves 6
Prep/Cook Time: 3 1/2 hours

1 (4 pound) boneless beef chuck roast
salt and pepper
3 T. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry red wine
1 3/4 cup beef broth
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 large sprig fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish
1 bag whole carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
10 small yukon gold potatoes, cut in half

Preheat oven to 350.

Dry the beef with a paper towel and then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Transfer the beef to a plate. Add remaining tablespoon oil to the pan, add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the wine, broth, and mushrooms and boil for about a minute. Return the beef to the pan, bring the liquids to a boil and then cover and transfer the oven. Braise for 1 1/2 hours and then add the carrots and potatoes to the pan and braise for another 1 1/2.

Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the meat to a cutting board. Tent the beef with foil and let stand 15 minutes. Meanwhile, skim off any fat from the pan juices and set aside the potatoes and carrots. Add the rosemary to the dutch oven and heat the sauce over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then season with salt and pepper to taste. (If you prefer a thicker gravy you could add a little cornstarch while the sauce is being heated).

Cut the beef across the grain into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange the sliced beef on the patter and garnish with rosemary. Arrange the potatoes and carrots around the beef and spoon the sauce over when serving.

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