The orange and cumin turn stew into a wonderful experience. A great dish to serve on a chilly Fall evening with friends.
By Nicole Criss
There are foods that we expect to taste the same every time we eat them. That’s part of the attraction; they are foods we can depend on to make us feel a certain way. This recipe, however, is the revival of beef stew, a trusty old comfort food. And watch out, this is not your grandmother’s stew. This one is daring and bold with a flavor combination that sets it apart from the classic and sends it into the realm of legendary. A dish that you’ll want to make over and over because it will be hard to forget.
My mother used to make this stew for “company” and it has been in my family for 30 years so I am not sure where she originally got the recipe. It’s special enough for any family gathering but also remarkable enough to share with friends, guests, or “company” in the old-fashioned sense of the term. Serve with some crusty French bread and a full bodied red wine and wait to hear the symphony of “mmmmmm….!”
- 3 pounds (1 kilo 300 grams) chuck for stew, cut in 1 inch cubes
- canola oil
- ¼ cup (59 ml) orange juice
- grated rind of 1 orange
- ½ cup (118 ml) beef broth
- 1 6-ounce (170 grams) can tomato paste
- ¼ cup (59 ml) red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 4½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons allspice
- 8 ounces pearl onions
- 1 pound (450 grams) small mushrooms
- butter for sautéing
- salt and pepper to taste
- Saute the beef in medium hot oil a few pieces at a time to brown each side.
- Transfer all the beef to a pot and add all the other ingredients except the onions, mushrooms, butter, salt and pepper.
- Simmer for about 1½ hours over medium to low heat, covered or until the beef is tender.
- Saute the onions and mushrooms briefly in a bit of butter, then add them to the stew.
- Simmer again briefly.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve.
Nicole Criss is passionate about international foods and the cultures from which they stem. Nicole writes the blog 'And Baby Cakes Three,' chronicling stories of her global food adventures from New York City where she resides with her husband and toddler.