Monday, 18 June 2012

Braised Beef in Wine with Potato and Celeriac Mash

Another inspiration from Masterchef 2012. Contestant Andy prepared braised beef cheeks with potato fondant and green beans for an elimination challenge two weeks back. I was so looking forward to Masterchef posting this recipe on their site; but they didn't. Guess it is a secret recipe and cannot be shared with the commoners. :(

So here I am, trying to make braised beef cheeks - only that neither my local supermarket nor my local butcher sells beef cheek. The next best option was boneless chuck beef which is commonly used for braising and I happily settled with it.

Now for the recipe. There are tons of recipes that use different ingredients for braising. Recipes with wine, beer, plain old beef stock, herbs and spices and served with mashed potato. A simple winter comfort food. I used Shiraz and beef stock as the braising liquid, added a little bit of smoked paprika and served it with celeriac and potato mash (just doing something different from a mashed potato and I also wanted to taste celeriac).

Serves: 4
Prep Time + Cooking Time: 50 minutes + 2½ hours in oven


Braised Beef
  • 8 chuck beef, around 125g each
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 medium carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 cup Shiraz
  • 2 cups + 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 tsp Parisian essence
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Celeriac and Potato Mash
  • 1/2 a Celeriac
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 1/4 cup warm milk 
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add beef, cook over high heat till browned and transfer to a an oven proof dish. Add onion, garlic, start anise and carrot and sauté over low heat till onion is caramelised. Add paprika and mix well. In a bowl mix together Shiraz, 2 cups of beef stock, tomato paste and salt and pepper. To this add caramelised onion. Pour the mixture over beef and add bouquet garni. Cover tightly with aluminium foil. Transfer to oven, reduce temperature to 170°C and cook for 2 to 2½ hours or until beef pieces are tender. (The idea is to tender the sinews so that it melts in your mouth when you eat it. If you are using 250g/ per piece of chuck beef, you will have to cook them for 3 to 3½ hours.)

                                        Beef with braising liquid - after cooking in oven for 2 hrs.

3. Remove beef to a plate and strain the braising liquid into a medium frying pan. Add remaining beef stock and Parisian essence. Cook over high heat and reduce until liquid is syrupy. Alternately, you could also use cornflour to thicken the sauce.
4. Cook celeriac and potatoes separately in salt water and drain off water. Puree celeriac in a food processor. Mash potatoes and mix well with celeriac puree, melted butter and milk. Season to taste.
5. To plate, dollop mash over plate. Heat beef pieces in a pan and place over mash. Pour braising liquid over and serve with garlic button mushrooms and steamed veggies of your choice.


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