Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coconut-Braised Beef

This was another Sunday night dinner - cooked slow.  I found this recipe from Mark Bittman on the Diner's Journal at New York Times.  Slow is the operative word here, because this method takes a cheaper cut of beef and cooks it until it is fork tender.

Coconut-Braised Beef
from Mark Bittman, New York Times

    * 2 hot dried red chilies
    * 3 garlic cloves, peeled
    * 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
    * 1 T chili powder
    * Juice and zest of 2 limes, or 2 tablespoons rice or other mild vinegar
    * 2 T olive oil
    * 1 1/2 pounds beef, preferably chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
    * 2 cups coconut milk (or 1 can, about 1 1/2 cups, plus 1/2 cup water)
    * Salt to taste

1. Put chilies, garlic, ginger, chili powder, lime juice and zest in bowl of a food processor, and process until everything is minced, or mince by hand and combine.
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a skillet that can later be covered. Add spice paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add beef, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and covered with sauce.
3. Pour in coconut milk, and bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer, stirring only occasionally (but making sure mixture is simmering very slowly, with just a few bubbles at a time breaking the surface) until meat is extremely tender, at least an hour and possibly closer to 2.
4. Uncover and cook until sauce is very thick and caramel-colored, stirring frequently so it does not brown. Season to taste with salt (it needed some, that was for sure), and serve with white rice.
Yield: 4 servings or two very starving Mahannahs.

Another note ... I cook with a gas stove, so the instruction to simmer slowly was darn near impossible for me, even with the flame turned very low.  It was still fine.  I also simmered my beef for about 1 1/2 hours and then served over basmati rice.

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