Tag Archives: chuck roast

Slavonian-Style Shepherd’s Stew with Croatian Mashed Potatoes

This Slavonian-Style Shepherd’s Stew from the Slavonia region of Croatia, čobanac is a meat-centric stew rich with paprika and thickened in part by shredded root vegetables that break down during a long, slow simmer. Though referred to as shepherd’s stew (čoban translates as shepherd), the dish traditionally is made with not only lamb but also beef, pork and wild game. Milk Street simplified the dish using only beef; with chuck roast as the cut of choice for its meaty flavor, nice marbling and ample connective tissue that helps make a full-bodied broth.

NOTE: To achieve just the right amount of earthy flavor and an undercurrent of spicy heat, use both sweet and hot paprika. We didn’t have hot paprika, so 2 teaspoons sweet paprika plus ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper made a fine substitution. Be aware, this recipe uses a LOT of paprika, so make sure to have enough on hand from the start.

Simple dumplings are a classic—and delicious—addition to this stew, but they are not essential. If you’d like to include them, you can obtain the recipe from Milk Street online. The dough is made and added to the pot at the end of cooking. We chose to make the Croatian Mashed Potatoes instead (recipe follows).

TIP: The original recipe calls for 6 cups of water, but in the end, our broth was very thin and watery so we reduced it, uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. To avoid this, use only 4 cups water, or make and insert the dumplings which help soak up the liquid.

It is recommended not to use double-concentrated tomato paste (the type often sold in tubes) or the stew will end up tasting too tomatoey. As you cook the tomato paste and vegetable mixture, don’t worry if the paste sticks to the pot and begins to darken; this browning helps build depth of flavor.

Slavonian-Style Shepherd’s Stew

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Ingredients

  • 2½ lbs. beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems minced and leaves chopped, reserved separately
  • 4 Tbsp. tomato paste, divided
  • 4-6 cups water (see tip above)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sweet paprika, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. hot paprika (see note above)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 Tbsp. brown mustard
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the beef with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; set aside. In a large Dutch oven over medium, combine the oil, onions and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, parsnips, garlic and parsley stems, then cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until it begins to brown and stick to the bottom of the pot, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the ¼ cup sweet paprika, the hot paprika and bay. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the wine and 6 cups water, then bring to a simmer over medium-high, stirring often. (If not making the dumplings which help soak up some of the liquid, you may want to use only 4 cups water which will make the broth less thin.)
  3. Stir in the beef and return to a simmer. Reduce to low, cover and cook until a skewer inserted into the beef meets no resistance, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat. Tilt the pot to pool the cooking liquid to one side, then use a wide spoon to skim off and discard as much fat as possible. Remove and discard the bay.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons tomato paste, the remaining 2 tablespoons sweet paprika and the mustard. Whisk about 1 cup of the cooking liquid into the tomato paste mixture, then stir it into the pot. Return to a simmer over medium-high, then stir in the parsley leaves and half the dill. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with the remaining dill.

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Recipe from Rebecca Richmond for Milk Street

Croatian Mashed Potatoes

Croatian restani krumpir is a hearty, rustic dish of mashed potatoes studded with onions that are sautéed until soft and sweet, oftentimes seasoned with paprika and brightened with fresh herbs. Milk Street’s version is a one-pot recipe—the onion is caramelized, removed and set aside while the potatoes cook. Rather than boiling whole or chunked potatoes in copious water, instead they are sliced unpeeled and steamed in a covered pot with only enough water to facilitate even cooking and prevent scorching. This keeps the potatoes from absorbing lots of moisture so the finished dish tastes rich and earthy instead of thin and washed-out. This dish is a perfect the Slavonian stew.

Tip: Don’t forget to rinse the sliced potatoes before cooking. Rinsing washes off excess starch so the finished dish has a creamy consistency and isn’t dense and gluey. Also, don’t undercook the potatoes—they should almost fall apart when poked with a skewer so they can be easily mashed with a wooden spoon.

Croatian Mashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, halved lengthwise and sliced about ¼ inch thick
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 Tbsp. (½ stick) salted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • ¼ tsp. sweet paprika, plus more to serve
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives, divided

Directions

  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and well browned, 22 to 25 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the onion to a small bowl and set aside; reserve the pot.
  2. In a colander under cold running water, rinse the potatoes. Drain well, then add to the pot. Stir in ¾ cup water and 1 teaspoon salt, then distribute the potatoes in an even layer. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-­high. Reduce to medium and cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the slices almost fall apart when poked with a skewer, 18 to 20 minutes.
  3. If there is water remaining in the pot, increase to medium-high and cook, uncovered and stirring often, until no moisture remains. (We had to cook ours another 7 minutes for the pot to become dry.)
  4. Reduce to low, add the butter and cook, stirring and mashing the potatoes with a spoon, until the butter is melted and incorporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the onion, paprika, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  5. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the chives, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with additional paprika and the remaining 1 tablespoon chives.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe from Milk Street

French Onion Pot Roast

Is it soup, or is it an entrée? Call it whatever you want, but this richly flavored main dish is sure to get your attention. And once you taste the end product, you won’t believe how GOOD it is with very little work and not a lot of ingredients. It is rich folks, so a simple side salad pairs well.

We already know that a large chunk of time is necessary to achieve a successful fork-tender, falling-apart pot roast. Like at least three hours in the oven, depending on the size of your roast. But the good news is the low and slow oven does most of that flavor-building for you.

The credit for this recipe goes to 12tomatoes.com. Of course we usually have to make some changes to suit our preferences, one of which was the addition of four large garlic cloves. Plus we sautéed the onion and garlic in the braising pot after removing the seared roast. And next time (because that WILL be happening) we intend to increase the number of onions to 5 or 6. Then midway through the braising, about 90 minutes in, the roast was turned over so that both sides made contact with the bed of caramelizing onions.

Three cups of broth results in a brothier outcome, so if loose and yummy is your desire, stick with that. If you want more of a slice-able pot roast with French onion flavor, scale the broth back to two cups—although we don’t advise it. Much the same way it does in the original French Onion Soup incarnation, the bread soaks up a good bit of that beefy, oniony, brothy deliciousness here.

TIP: Culinary bear claws work best for shredding the roast after the braising step.

French Onion Pot Roast

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3-4 lb. chuck roast
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4-6 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (you might not need the entire loaf)
  • 1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Season roast liberally with salt and pepper, and some of the thyme.
  3. Add olive oil to a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
  4. Once oil is hot, add roast and sear until deep brown, 4-5 minutes per side. Remove roast and set aside.
  5. Add onions and garlic to pot, sauté for 4-5 minutes. Nestle the remaining thyme into the onions, place the chuck roast on top, add beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Lay a sheet of parchment over the top of the pot extending beyond the edges, cover, and transfer to oven.
  6. After 90 minutes, turn the roast over, recover the pot with parchment and lid, then cook another 1 1/2 to 2 hours, for a total of 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  7. Remove from oven and remove thyme sprigs. Shred beef into chunks.
  8. Turn oven to broil on high.
  9. Top with baguette slices and Gruyere and return to oven, uncovered. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden brown, about 2 minutes. (Under our gas broiler it took 5 minutes before the cheesy baguettes became golden brown.)

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Two Countries, One Meal

A rare cool, rainy Sunday afforded us the opportunity to cook a slow braised dish for a summer dinner. While thumbing through several favorite cookbooks, I happened upon this Roman Braised Beef with Tomatoes and Cloves in Milk Streets “The New Rules” by Courtney Hill.

The “new rule: don’t sear your meat” goes against something we typically do, brown our meat beforehand. But because you cook it uncovered for the last hour or so, the meat will brown at the end of the process.

Pot roast comes to mind with this meal, and in Rome, cloves are used to flavor the dish known as “Garofolato di Manzo alla Romana” because cloves are called chiodi di garofano. Here, the earthy, subtly smoky and slightly bitter flavor of cloves complements the natural sweetness of onion, fennel and tomatoes.

Milk Street advises not to use ground cloves that have gone stale, as they won’t add much flavor or fragrance to the braise. If your cloves have been in the pantry for more than a few months, uncap and take a whiff. The aroma should be sharp and strong. If not, pony up and get a new jar.

Unlike pot roast where you cook the large piece of meat whole, the beef is cut into chunks and simmered as a stew resulting in succulent meat throughout. Polenta is an excellent accompaniment for absorbing the flavorful sauce. In a unique pairing, we wedded the meat with another Milk Street recipe Spanish Green Beans with Ham, Almonds and Smoked Paprika.

This recipe is an adaptation of the remarkably delicious green beans from Extremadura, Spain, home of pimentón, aka Spanish smoked paprika. For perfectly crisp and tender beans, cooking techniques are combined. You start by searing the veggies in a hot pan to develop browning and flavor. Then add water and a tight fitting lid to steam them until tender. Voila!

Roman Braised Beef with Tomatoes and Cloves

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 6-7 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • ¾ tsp. ground cloves
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. pancetta, roughly chopped
  • 6 med. garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 med. yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 med. fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Place the beef in a large bowl and season with the cloves, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper.
  2. In a large Dutch oven over low, cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally, until sizzling and the fat has begun to render, about 5 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces begin to brown, another 7 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, onion and fennel, then increase to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and translucent, about 6 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Stir in the beef, then cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 2 hours.
  6. Remove the pot from the oven. Stir, then return to the oven uncovered. Cook until a skewer inserted into a piece of beef meets no resistance, another 1 to 1½ hours.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a medium bowl. With a wide spoon, skim off and discard the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid, then bring to a boil over medium-high, scraping up any browned bits. Cook until the liquid has thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, 10 to 12 minutes.
  8. Stir in the thyme, then return the beef to the pot. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is heated through, about 5 minutes.
  9. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Spanish Green Beans with Ham, Almonds and Smoked Paprika

First, the almonds. Begin by toasting them in olive oil to deepen their nutty flavor, then add the garlic and thinly sliced serrano ham, cooking the mixture until the meat crisps and the garlic is fragrant. Then remove that mixture from the pan and add the green beans and char them in the flavorful fond left behind. 

For the final flourish of smoked paprika, first deglaze the pan with another 1⁄4 cup water, scraping up any remaining flavorful bits, then remove the pan from the burner and stir the spice in off heat. This preserves the paprika’s smoky aroma, resulting in a pan sauce that is as quick as it is deeply smoky-savory.

Don’t stir the beans too often after adding them to the pan. Stirring only a few times allows the beans to take on some char that adds flavor the finished dish. If you’re entertaining more than four people with the braised beef dinner, you’ll want to double this bean recipe.

My mistake here was using a nonstick skillet so the beans didn’t get as good a sear as I wanted. But in the end since there were no browned bits left in the pan, there was no reason to perform Step 5. Instead, I just sprinkled the smoked paprika right onto the finished beans, stirred and served. OMG, so friggin’ good!!

Spanish Green Beans with Ham, Almonds and Smoked Paprika

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced serrano ham or prosciutto, sliced into ¼-inch-wide ribbons
  • 2 med. garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed and halved
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika

Directions

  1. In a 12-inch skillet (don’t use nonstick) over medium, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the almonds and cook, stirring often, until lightly golden, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the ham and garlic and cook, stirring, until the ham crisps and the garlic is fragrant, another 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; set aside.
  3. To the same skillet over medium-high, add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and heat until smoking. Add the beans and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring only a few times, until the beans are lightly charred, about 4 minutes.
  4. Return the ham-almond mixture to the pan and add ¼ cup water. Cover, reduce to low and cook, occasionally shaking the pan, until the beans are tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving dish.
  5. Set the skillet over medium-high and add ¼ cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook, scraping up the browned bits, until the liquid has reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the paprika. Drizzle the sauce over the beans and serve.

http://www.lynnandruss.com