When we got an email from Bertolli about braising beef and Into the Heart of Italy, I was immediately excited. I have been wanting to braise beef for a while now and they were going to send us a home braising “kit” and a coupon for a Bertolli meal. They said we didn’t have to actually braise the beef since it would take a while and Bertolli meals are super easy. But you know me; I obviously wanted to braise the beef (and eat the Bertolli meal, too. ha!). And I was super excited when I opened the beef braising “kit” and found a 5.5 quart Martha Stewart casserole dish (dutch oven), a Crate and Barrel bamboo cutting board and bamboo utensils, and some Crate and Barrel ceramic bowls.
After trying to decide just how to cook my beef, I settled on a recipe from Mark Bittman for Coconut-Braised Beef. I was having my sister and Adam over for a little bit of a birthday dinner for Adam and since we all love Indian food, I thought this Malaysian-style dish might hit the spot.
Coconut-Braised Beef (serves 4):
- 2 hot dried red chiles (I used 3 fresh… and wish I used more. Or hotter!)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 T chili powder
- Juice and zest of 2 limes (or 2 T rice or other mild vinegar)
- 2 T corn, grapeseed, or other neutral oil
- 1 1/2 lb. beef, preferably chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 C coconut milk (I used half regular and half light)
- Salt to taste
Lime, chiles, ginger, and garlic. Does it get any better than that? I think not! Except when you put them on a pretty C&B bamboo cutting board!
After you chop garlic and ginger, put them in the food processor, along with the chilies, chili powder, and lime juice. I used a little bit extra of everything since I had a bit more than 1 1/2 lbs. beef.
Process until minced. If you don’t have a food processor, you can always do this by hand.
Check out the Martha Stewart casserole dish Betolli sent. Swoooon. It is the prettiest color red ever! And I was SO excited to use it (keep reading and maybe, just maybe, one could be yours too!).
I chopped the beef into 1-inch cubes.
Heat the oil over medium-high in the skillet (make sure it can later be covered). Add the spice paste and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and covered in sauce.
Pour in the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a boil. It was here that I put the cover on the dish and popped it in the oven at 250 degrees for about 2 hours. And then uncovered it and let it cook for another 10-15 minutes. You could also just turn the heat to low and continue cooking on the stove for 1-2 hours.
A meal like this is best served with loved ones. We poured some wine and sat down to a feast.
I also roasted some carrots and cooked some spinach with garlic.
And I served the beef over brown rice.
Whoa, this was good! The meat was so, so tender and incredibly flavorful. Braising beef, I think I’m in love with you. Sure, it was a little bit time-consuming, but it was super duper easy! It just had to sit in the oven for quite a while, getting all tender and melding flavors and all that fun stuff. And I just had to sit there waiting. And drooling.
This was also the evening we had the mint oreo ice cream, making it an all-around awesome food night.
Bertolli Beef Braising Giveaway:
Want to braise your own beef? Trust me, you do. Bertolli is going to send one of our readers a home braising kit, just like they sent us. It’s valued at $125 and is oh, so pretty.
The giveaway is in honor of episode 6 of Into the Heart of Italy. After watching the episode, I had such a huge craving to braise my own beef. I also really wanted to try Bertolli’s Tuscan-Style Braised Beef, but none of my nearby grocery stores carried it. I did try the chicken parmesan and it was quite delicious for those evenings when you just want to collapse and can’t even think about cooking.
If you want to win your own beef braising kit, simply watch the episode (below). I mean, it features Rocco DiSpirito and Marisa Tomei, so you know it’s going to be pretty good. Watch it and let us know what your favorite part is
Leave your comments by Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. and you’ll be entered to win the Bertolli home braising kit.
Oh, and if you tweet about it and/or blog about it, you’ll be given extra entries, just make sure you tell us about it!!