Recipes: Skip the browning step when making beef stew without sacrificing flavor

Nihari is a richly spiced South Asian stew, often made with a special spice blend called nihari masala. Our very simplified version relies on readily available garam masala (a blend of Indian spices) for warmth and complexity, complemented by the earthy and fruity notes of sweet paprika. Add grated fresh ginger and lemon juice at the very end to sharpen up all the flavors.

Serve with warmed basmati rice or flatbread.

4 to 5 pounds boneless beef blade roast, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces

2 large red onions, halved and thickly sliced

2 teaspoons garam masala

1½ teaspoons sweet paprika

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

Chopped fresh cilantro or plain yogurt or Fresno or jalapeño peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced, optional, for garnish

In a large Dutch oven, combine the beef, onions, garam masala, paprika, 1 tbsp salt and 2 tsp pepper. Cover and roast in the oven at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Stir, return to the oven uncovered and cook until a skewer inserted into the beef meets no resistance, about 1 hour. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Skim and discard the fat. Stir in lemon juice and ginger; season with salt and pepper and add garnish, if using.

Beef stew with olives and orangeConnie Miller/of CB Creatives

Beef stew with olives and orange

Makes 6 servings

For this Provencal-inspired braise, we only add a minimal amount of liquid and use the constant heat of the oven instead of the stovetop to simmer. Because the ingredients cook gently in their own juices, the finished stew is meaty and concentrated in flavor, and the liquid doesn’t require thickening.

A Y-peeler is the best tool for removing the strips of zest from the orange.

Serve with crusty bread or fluffy polenta.

4 to 5 pounds boneless beef blade roast, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces

2 medium red onions, ends trimmed, each cut into 8 wedges

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped, divided

Zest strips from an orange (see main note), plus 1/3 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons dried oregano or Provencal herbs

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

½ cup dry white wine

Chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley, optional, for garnish

In a large Dutch oven, combine the beef, onions, half the olives, strips of zest, oregano, 1½ teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper. Cover and roast in the oven at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Stir in wine and cook, uncovered, until a skewer inserted into beef meets no resistance, about an hour longer. Stir in the remaining olives. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Skim and discard the fat. Remove and discard the zest. Stir in orange juice and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil or parsley, if desired.

Moroccan stew of beef, tomatoes and chickpeasConnie Miller/of CB Creatives

Moroccan stew of beef, tomatoes and chickpeas

Makes 4-6 servings

On a recent trip to Morocco, we sampled several versions of the thick, hearty harira stew, and loved the one taught to us by cook Houda Mehdi, who lives in Fez. We’re basing our recipe on his, opting for stovetop simmering instead of pressure cooking and swapping beef for lamb. We also use canned chickpeas for convenience.

Although harira is usually thickened with flour, Mehdi prefers to use mashed cooked vegetables (potatoes and carrots) to add body to the broth, as she says – and we agree – the stew has a cleaner and brighter taste that way. We follow his lead and mash the vegetables that have been simmered until tender in the cooking liquid into a coarse puree (alternatively, you can use an immersion blender for a smoother, more even texture).

Harissa, a North African spice paste, gives the stew a delicious warmth and complexity.

After chopping the cilantro, reserve the stems and leaves separately, as the stems are used early and the leaves are tossed in just before serving. Also, there is no need to rinse the chickpeas – just drain the liquid from the cans. The starchy liquid left clinging to the chickpeas helps give the soup a rich consistency.

Serve the harira with hot bread.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large red onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 medium celery stalks, chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped, stems and leaves reserved separately

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

3 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 tablespoons harissa paste, plus more for serving

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, halved, pulp grated on large holes of a box grater and skins discarded

1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes

1 liter low sodium beef broth

1½ pounds boneless beef ribs, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces

2 cans (15½ ounces) chickpeas, drained but not rinsed

2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add the onion, carrots, celery, cilantro stems and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the paste begins to brown and sticks to the pan, about 1 minute. Stir in the harissa and turmeric, followed by the tomatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Stir in potatoes and broth, then bring to a boil. Add beef, stir to combine and return to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the temperature as needed to maintain a simmer, until a skewer inserted into the beef meets no resistance, about 1½ hours.

Remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces. Using a potato masher, mash the vegetables in the pan into a coarse puree. (You can also use an immersion blender to blend the vegetables and cooking liquid.) Return the beef to the pot.

Stir in the chickpeas. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are hot and tender, about 15 minutes, adding more water, if needed, to thin the soup to desired consistency. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and coriander leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges and extra harissa on the side.


Christopher Kimball is the founder of Milk Street, home to a magazine, school, and radio and television broadcasts. Globe readers get 12 weeks of full digital access, plus two issues of the print magazine Milk Street, for just $1. Go to 177milkstreet.com/globe. Send feedback to magazine@globe.com.

source : https://folobooks.com/

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