Thursday, September 5, 2013

Braised Beef with Root Vegetables

I like good beef. I like it to be grass fed and humanely raised and slaughtered. I like to know what that animal ate while it was alive, and I want to know if it was given any chemicals or drugs. In order to be sure of what I'm buying and what my family is eating, I buy my beef in bulk from a rancher I've met, talked to and like. We usually get 1/4 of a beef once or twice per year and store it in our big chest freezer.

When you get beef in bulk you get all sorts of cuts of meat. There's no cow out there that's made up of all T-bone steaks. You get some steaks, some roasts, some stew meat, ground beef, and soup bones. Some of the cuts are better when you throw them on the grill for a minute or 2 then eat them very rare. Some require more cooking. I've also found that some cuts suit me more in the summer and some are better for winter. I usually thaw my stew meat in the winter when I want to make a big pot of soup or stew, but in the summer I'm not really in the mood for that. I have found, though, that stew meat makes really good braised beef any time of year. I also happened to have a turnip that I pulled yesterday that was begging to be eaten, so that got thrown into the pan as well. You can use any root veggie you like in this dish. Carrots, onions, potatoes, rutabaga, parsnips or others would be tasty. Braising takes some time, so plan accordingly. Just like stewing meat, braising is low and slow cooking as well. Enjoy

Braised Beef with Root Vegetables
2 T coconut oil, bacon grease or butter
1 lb stew meat
1-2 C root vegetables (turnips, onions, carrots, potatoes, rutabaga or any others)
4 C warm water - divided
2 tsp. salt or to taste
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. rosemary or other favorite herb

In a skillet (I like cast iron), melt fat. Rub meat with salt and garlic powder then brown meat in fat. When meat is just seared on all sides, add 2 C water to pan, cover and cook on medium low for about 30 minutes adding water as necessary to make sure the bottom of the pan is covered. Add chopped vegetables and rosemary at the 30 minute mark, cover and cook on low for another 45 minutes adding water as needed. Serve immediately with some liquid drizzled over the top of meat and veggies.

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