I am riding an insane high as I type this. Now if you hate basketball, college sports, or just plain sports, feel free to skip to the recipe (don’t skip that–it’s outstanding). I was the class of ’95 at the University of Michigan. For those of you not keeping track, that is the same class as the Fab Five. In other words, I am a Michigan basketball fiend, who has suffered through 2 decades of sadness and humiliation since Michigan last made a run in the NCAA basketball tournament. Tonight we earned a ticket to the championship game. Hubby is in China, the kids are asleep, and I am full of hyperactive excitement and I have no outlet. So forgive any typos or any outburst of Go Blue! If I start humming the fight song, just ignore me.
I am happy tonight.
OK back to food. I realize this blog has been dessert central for a while. For the foreseeable future, the first week of each month will have certain blogging events going on. I love these events because they keep me blogging even when I start to get “blogging block,” and, as evidenced this past week, they have kept me blogging through a vacation for the first time ever. So yay for the events, but without a doubt they are baking heavy. But those of you reading regularly may remember that I recently got super inspired instantly by Bruce Aidell’s The Great Meat Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Cook Today’s Meat. This is the second recipe that I made that was inspired by the cookbook.
Cooking is very different for me from baking. When a baking recipe is inspired by a cookbook recipe, chances are I have only tweaked here and there, leading to the phrase “adapted from” or “closely adapted from.” Cooking is different. 9 times out of 10 it bears no resemblance to the recipe I started with, even though I am very much inspired by that recipe. So don’t go looking for this recipe in Bruce Aidell’s book because you won’t really find it. Just know that I think the book is full of wonderful ideas that I am too stubborn/lazy/distracted to follow
perfectly much at all.
- 3-4 lbs beef chuck
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 T garam masala, plus more below
- 2 T ghee plus vegetable oil to need
- 1-2 T cider vinegar
- 1 T dark mustard seeds
- 2 large onions, chopped, plus more below
- 2 inch piece of ginger, minced
- ¼ cup minced garlic
- 1 T garam masala
- 2 T coriander
- 2 t cumin
- 1 t turmeric
- 1 t paprika
- ½ t Ceylon cinnamon
- ¼ t cloves
- 1½ cups beef or chicken stock
- 20 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
- 5 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 2 large onions, thickly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped, including fine stems
- For serving:
- Basmati rice
- chopped cilantro
- lime wedges
- Greek yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 300 F.
- Rinse and pat dry the chuck roast. Pat all over with salt, pepper and the tablespoon of garam masala. Let sit for 10-20 minutes (20 is ideal).
- Prep your onion, ginger and garlic so they are ready to go immediately after browning the roast.
- Heat the ghee over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add as much oil as you feel like you will need to brown the chuck roast. Brown the chuck thoroughly on each side, around 8 minutes per side.
- Have a large bowl ready, and when the roast is browned on both sides, remove it to the bowl.
- Immediately dump the chopped onions into the Dutch oven and add the cider vinegar to help deglaze the pot. Add a pinch of salt to the onions and toss, scraping the bottom of the pan as you do.
- As soon as the vinegar has evaporated, add the mustard seeds. If you need more oil, add it now, to encourage the mustard seeds to roast (if there is still plenty of oil from browning the chuck, do not bother).
- Stirring occasionally, cook the onions over medium high heat until they are caramelizing. If they start to stick or scorch, splash a little water into the pan.
- Add the ginger and garlic, and continue to stir and caramelize. Continue to use water if necessary to prevent burning, but do not be afraid of a deep reddish brown color. When you hit that color, add the remaining ground spices and stir, roasting the spices for about 30 seconds.
- Add the beef or chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the chuck roast back into the pot--make sure you also add any juices in the bowl.
- Bring to a boil and then cover with a heavy fitted lid. Place in the oven.
- Let cook for 1½ - 2 hours.
- If dinner is still a long way off, turn the heat down to 250 F until you are about an hour away from dinner.
- An hour out from dinner, add the mushrooms, carrots, thickly sliced onions and chopped cilantro to the Dutch oven. Cover tightly and return to a 300 F oven.
- Cook for one hour. Taste for salt, pepper and additional garam masala. Serve with plain Greek yogurt (preferably whole fat, 2% at a minimum), lime wedges and Basmati rice. Sprinkle with cilantro sprigs.
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