How To Make Braised Beef with Tomato and Cloves by Christopher Kimball

How To Make Braised Beef with Tomato and Cloves by Christopher Kimball

November 3, 2019 4 By William Morgan


This is Christopher Kimball. This is his new book from Milk Street, also a great publication. We’ll show you recipes that change the way you cook, meaning, you’ll get out of the kitchen quicker or you can do things in a more efficient or smarter way and you’re like, “Ha, why did I not think of that before?” Anyway, that’s the basis of The New Rules, literally, he wrote the book! (Audience applauds) On, the new rules. The first rule is when you make a beef stew, you don’t, ready? Don’t saute the meat. I do, no, no, no.
Na, no, no? I’m down with this in two different schools of thought. In traditional bolognese cooking, you never brown the meat, in fact, you barely take the color out of the meat. That’s right.
You barely take the pink out of it.
I was just in Bologna. We made ragu bolognese. And, a bolognese… 30 seconds then they move on. They barely take the color out of the meat. It’s considered very bad form if you brown the meat. So, I understand that thinking, I do, I really do. Phew, okay! No, we’re good, we’re good, although for many dishes, I do say color equals flavor in cooking and it can.
That’s true. So, we’re going to take six pounds of beef shoulder, which we’ve cut up. Never buy the round, y’know that stuff that’s already cut up in the supermarket. You know that, cause it’s from the top of the leg, it’s not great. We have a tablespoon of salt, a little bit of pepper and we’re going to throw in also, sort of interesting, you can put warm spices with meat, Yeah, yeah. You can put cinnamon, you can put cloves. Allspice, clove. Put just a little bit of clove in there and mix that up and let that sit while you’re preparing the rest of it. So, we start with an onion, we start with a fennel bulb, and we start with four ounces of pancetta, of course, which is just salt cured– Rolled, cured meat, similar to bacon, but not smoked. Yeah, not smoked and that’ll provide nice flavor and the fat. Saute the onion and the fennel bulb, and then we’ll add the meat to that and add one can of tomatoes. No wine, no stock, no water, so another rule is when you’re doing a beef stew, it’s more of a braise, you don’t add a lot of liquid. Now, when I’ve cooked, and you know this, like a Tuscan beef stew
Right, right, right. with a lot of Brunello, sometimes that wine kinda sucks some of the flavor out of the meat. So, we’re not using a lot of liquid here, which means it goes in the oven for a couple hours, then you take the top off. The oven browns the meat. Nice. Because, the meat’s now above the liquid. It’s now–
So, you can see– I was just going to say, the level rises. So, it does get brown. So we split it.
Just in reverse, in reverse. And so, it does give you some browning. But, y’know the other thing is with six pounds of meat– Cause you’re so fascinating, why don’t you keep talking to people and I’ll just try some. Another thing is when you have so much meat, you need more umami, you know. And sometimes, you want to let other things come through. That’s a– And I’m guessing the fennel salad? Fennel, tomato salad. I can put this right on it? Why not? I want to. You’re gonna do it whether I say you can or not. I want the texture, I want the texture, I want the brightness, I want the acidity. I’m sorry, you want to get in here? Yeah! Yay, you want to share some with me? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. How hard is that, huh? (audience cheers and applauds)