Zesty Braised Beef
Please don’t look at the cook time of this recipe and close out of this post. Yes, that’s my opening sentence here because it’s time we have a discussion about cook times and why you shouldn’t freak out about long cook times and automatically think the recipe is too hard or intense for you to handle. Take a seat and stay a while!
Here’s my main point. LONG COOK TIMES *SOMETIMES* TAKE LESS WORK THAN THEIR SHORTER COOK TIME COUNTERPARTS. This recipe is one of those short effort, but long cook time recipes. I promise I’m not just saying this so you’ll make this zesty beef, even though you really should. I’m saying this so you don’t automatically shut yourself off to recipes with long cook times, and in turn, shut yourself off to some of the easiest, most flavorful dishes ever. When I first started cooking and looking for recipes to try, I avoided any and all recipes that said “6-8 hours” at all costs. In my eyes, that time frame sounded like a sh*t ton of work, and well, if I’m not being paid….why would I dedicate 8 hours? Ah, how naive I was!!!! Well, now I’m here. I am here to tell you that you should start making one pot meals that stew in their natural flavors and juices for 2 reasons. 1) The flavor of a dish that sits for hours is complex, intense and delicious 2) the majority of work for the recipe happens in the beginning and end…maybe, like in this case, there are a few checkups on the dish during the 6-8 hours, but that’s really it. This zesty braised beef says 6 hours in the cook time, but it really isn’t much work. Start it in the morning and you’ll have the most decadent, exciting taco night of your life.
I’m a huge beef chuck fan because it’s cheap, but because it’s cheap, it’s also an extremely tough cut of meat. That means it takes time for the beef chuck to drink up liquid and absorb flavor. Speaking of flavor, this braised beef dish is very different than those intense red wine or beef stock braised beef recipes you’ll find on the internet. Instead, this is citrusy, zesty, bright, creamy and rich. It’s the perfect braised beef for spring and summer. Serve it over rice, serve it on a tortilla, or just eat it with a spoon when you’re drunk (or sober) — it’s here for you for every occasion.
|2lb beef chuck roast|
|1tbsp whole coriander seeds|
|1tbsp cacao powder|
|2tsp chili powder|
|1tsp ground cumin|
|1 white onion|
|5 garlic cloves|
|Juice of 2 oranges|
|1/4cup apple cider vinegar|
|1 Juice of 1 lime|
|Zest of 1 lime|
|Zest of 1 orange|
|Olive oil for pan|
|1 bell pepper, sliced|
|2 tomatillos, sliced|
|Lime slices, to taste, optional|
|Orange slices, to taste, optional|
|dutch oven or slow cooker|
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
In a skillet, toast the coriander seeds until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Then, remove them from the heat and crush them in a food processor or mortar and pestle.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry rub ingredients: cacao powder, salt, cumin, paprika, chili powder and crushed coriander seeds. Make sure they are all combined.
Pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Whether the meat is already cut into chunks or if it's one big roast, coat the meat thoroughly in the dry rub mixture. If you have any of the dry rub leftover, reserve it for later.
Season a dutch oven with oil and heat on medium high, until shimmering. Whether you're using a roast or pre-cut meat, sear the meat on all sides until crisp, about 1-2 minutes. Once all sides are crisp, remove the meat from the dutch oven, but keep the oil in the pot.
Adjust the heat to medium, then add the onion to the pot and sauté until slightly caramelized and soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and and sauté for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
Adjust the heat to low, then add all of the liquid and citrus zest into the dutch oven. Mix the liquids to fully combine and mix them with the onions and garlic.
Re-coat the meat with any leftover dry rub, then place it on top of the onion and garlic mixture.