On Monday I’ll post a review of Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook. Dorie’s newest cookbook is awesome. When I got my copy of this book, I simply opened it at random and found this dish. What can I say? Perfection.


Subtly Spicy, Softly Hot, Slightly Sweet Beef Stew

Yield: six cups, enough for 12-24 drinks depending on the cocktail

Ingredients:

For the beef and marinade:

  • 1 bottle (750 ml) red wine, preferably fruity but dry
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons gochujang (spicy ketchup), or more or less to taste
  • 5 quarter-sized slices peeled fresh ginger
  • Scallion greens, reserved from the gremolata, below (optional)
  • Cilantro stems, reserved from the gremolata, below (optional)
  • 3 pounds (about 1 ½ kg) beef stew meat (see headnote)

For the stew:

  • 3 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large onion, trimmed, cut into 8 pieces, rinsed and patted dry
  • 6 carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut into 4 pieces each
  • 3 garlic cloves, germ removed and slivered
  • One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and slivered
  • ½ cup (50 grams) fresh cranberries
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) water
  • 2 cups (480 ml) beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 points star anise
  • Pinch of black peppercorns
  • A small sliver of cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A strip of orange peel (save the orange for the gremolata)

For the gremolata

  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated or minced garlic, or more to taste
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange (orange reserved from the stew)
  • Fleur de sei or fine sea salt
  • Cooked rice, quinoa or egg noodles, for serving (optional)

Preparation:

WORKING AHEAD

The stew is tastier if you marinate the beef overnight, or even up to 3 days in advance, and it’s easier to skim off whatever fat accumulates during cooking if you chill the broth for a couple of hours before serving time. You can also make the stew itself up to 3 days ahead. The gremolata can be made a few hours ahead and refrigerated.

TO MARINATE THE BEEF: You can marinate the beef in a Dutch oven or a jumbo zipper-lock plastic bag. (I prefer a bag because it takes up less room in the refrigerator.) Mix the wine, soy sauce and gochujang together until blended, then add the remaining marinade ingredients and stir. Add the meat and turn it around so that it’s submerged; cover or seal and refrigerate overnight. (Themeat can marinate in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

When you’re ready to cook, transfer the beef to a plate lined with a triple thickness of paper towels. Cover it with three more towels and pat dry. Strain the marinade into a bowl; discard the solids. If some of the solids have stuck to the meat, remove and discard them (without being too fussy).

TO MAKE THE STEW: Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the beef in batches — don’t crowd the pot — and cook, turning to brown all sides for about 8 minutes. Let each side of the beef get dark before turning it and browning another side. As the pieces brown, transfer them to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Pour off the fat from the pot and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. When it’s hot, add the onion and carrots, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, turning as needed to color the vegetables — don’t be afraid of getting a little char here and there. Add the vegetables to the beef. Lower the heat and toss in the garlic, ginger and cranberries. Cook, stirring frequently and taking care not to blacken the garlic and ginger, until the mixture is fragrant and the cranberries have popped. Scrape over the beef and vegetables and stir.

Return the pot to high heat, pour in the water and cook, scraping the bottom, until you’ve picked up all the browned bits and most of the liquid has evaporated. Return the beef and vegetables to the Dutch oven and stir in the broth and all the remaining ingredients, including the reserved marinade, firing to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 2 ½  to 3 hours, until the beef is fork-tender.

Transfer the beef to a bowl — be gentle; you want to keep the pieces intact. Strain the broth and discard the vegetables, herbs and spices (they’ve done their job and they’re too tired to be good now).

If you’ve got time, put the broth in a shallow pan and freeze it until the fat rises to the top so you can skim it off and then reheat the broth when needed. If you want to serve the stew now, skim off as much of the fat as you can. Taste the broth for salt and pepper, return the meat to the pot and reheat. (The stew can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.)

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE GREMOLATA: Stir all the ingredients together. (You can make the gremolata a few hours ahead and keep it covered in the refrigerator).

I like to serve this in wide shallow soup plates, although bowls are fine. If you’re serving rice, quinoa or noodles with the stew, spoon it into the plates or bowls and top with the beef. Ladle over the broth and sprinkle with gremolata, or pass the gremolata at the table.

STORING: Stored in an airtight container, leftover stew can be frozen for up to 2 months.


Source: Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook by Dorie Greenspan

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/5 for 1/50th second at ISO‑3200