Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bully Porter Braised Beef

It's been frigid in Columbia these days, which makes me want nothing more than to spend my days filling my apartment with scents of home cookin'. Also, we have one of those old school stoves that heats up our apartment whenever we use it -- a definite plus.

I bought some gorgeous local cippolini onions and decided that they NEEDED to be braised and served over polenta. Perhaps using them in a 3-4 hour braise wasn't the best idea, because in the end the onions melted into the braising liquid (my bad). I used Boulevard Bully Porter as a sauce base, but you can use whatever dark beer you have in your fridge.

I used:
2 pound rump roast
1/2 pound of quartered  cippolini onions  
1/2 pound of sliced baby bella mushroom
1/4 pound of sliced shitake mushrooms
(any combo of your favorite mushrooms would work)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme (dried)
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
12 ounce dark beer
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
salt and pepper to taste
(served 3, with leftovers)

My method:
Coat the bottom of a deep skillet (deep enough to cover to put a lid on after all the ingredients are the it) with olive oil. Once oil is heated (medium high), brown roast on all sides. After browned, add vegetables, sugar, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, brown sugar and beer.

Reduce to a low heat and cover pot with lid. After 1 hour of cooking, remove roast and slice into thin pieces (I was worried that the roast wouldn't reach my desired tenderness if it remained whole) and return to pot. Continue cooking for at least 2 hours (the more time you have to braise, the better).

30 minutes before serving, reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid and mix in corn starch before returning liquid to the pot. Remove bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This braise went wonderfully with polenta, but would also be tasty over noodles, gnocchi, rice or any other starchy side.
End result:

Side note: This meal made me want a slow cooker...badly.