Updated 09/17/2012 04:28 PM
Recipe: Beef Stew with Root Vegetables and Pomegranate
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2 pounds beef stew meat (cut into 1 - 2 inch cubes)
salt and pepper
all-purpose flour for dusting beef
vegetable oil as needed for browning beef
1 1/2 cups pearl onions (or rough chopped onion)
1 - 1 1/2 cups pure, unsweetened pomegranate juice (or dry red wine)
4 cups beef stock (unsalted or low sodium if possible)
1-2 cups water as needed (as stew reduces over time)
1 - 1 1/2 cups peeled, rough chopped carrots
1 - 1 1/2 cups peeled, rough chopped parsnips
1 - 1 1/2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
salt to taste
chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional...see hints below)
Season the cubed beef with salt and pepper....lightly flour it....and then, working in batches, brown it up in vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot.
Once you've browned up all of the cubed beef and it's out of the pot, you can add 1 - 1 1/2 cups of rough chopped onion or a similar amount of pearl onions......stir those around for a minute.....and then add the beef back to the pan and add 1 - 1 1 /2 cups of unsweetened pure pomegranate juice and 4 cups of beef stock and bring it up to a simmer.
The stew will take around 2 1/2 - 3 hours for the beef to become nice and tender and you want to let it simmer along with just the onions and beef, at a gentle simmer, for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours before adding the rest of the vegetables.
After that time has passed, add 1 - 1 1/2 cups each of peeled and rough chopped carrots and peeled and rough chopped parsnips.....and also an equal amount of peeled and cubed potatoes......and since the liquid will be reducing as it cooks, you may need to add some water to help cover those vegetables.
Let is simmer along until the meat is nice and tender and the vegetables are cooked through, and then season it to taste and serve it up with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley and an optional sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.
The pomegranate seed garnish is a textural thing that some folks might not enjoy so much...it can be seen as more of a nod the tradition of including pomegranates in the celebration of Rosh Hashanah..
This same technique could work for beef brisket but the timing might be slightly different depending on size of brisket.....and feel free to let the beef gently simmer/roast in the oven at around 350 degrees instead of on the stove top. Just check it to make sure it is simmering along nicely.