Jamie Oliver’s Beef Stew with Butternut Squash and Sunchokes

stew

This recipe is a Jamie Oliver classic, by way of my aunt. I am a big fan of Jamie, in particular what he’s doing across the pond at Recipease. I would love to travel to London and teach take a class there one day…

At first glance, this looked like any old recipe for beef stew. But looking closer, there was squash and sunchokes and a garlicky gremolata. What really caught my attention was the cooking method: Jamie doesn’t brown his meat, instead he sweats the onions, then throws everything else in the pot. This goes against all my training, but lo and behold: it worked. With the addition of the vegetables, the stew had a distinct sweetness; a welcome change from most other dark, intense beef stews.

Feel free to play around with the vegetables here. Swap out the butternut for sweet potato or kabocha squash and use any root vegetables you like (turnips would be good). Do not skip the gremolata – the stew needs a bit of herby tang to bring all that butternut sweetness into focus.

Jamie Oliver’s Beef Stew with Butternut Squash and Sunchokes

Serves about 4-5

Ingredients

Stew:

  • Olive oil
  • A small knob of butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • handful of fresh sage leaves
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
  • Handful sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes), quartered (optional, see note)
  • 1 lb. small potatoes, quartered (optional, see note)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-1 3/4 lbs. beef stew meat (such as beef chuck), cut into 2″ pieces and tossed with a bit of flour
  • 1/2 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 1/4 cups beef or chicken stock

Gremolata:

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Handful fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1 glove garlic, minced

Heat oven to 300F. Melt butter and oil in a large oven-safe Dutch oven. Add onion and sage and sweat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the parsnips, carrot, butternut, sunchokes and/or potatoes. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables. Add the meat, wine and stock and stir together. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Season well with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and place in the heated oven.

Braise the stew for 2-4 hours, checking after 2 hours for doneness. The meat should fall apart easily with a fork. Cooking time will depend on your meat; it may take as long as 4 hours depending on how fresh your meat is. Taste and season with salt and pepper. You may hold the cooked stew until ready to serve at 225F.

Stir together the lemon zest, rosemary and garlic. Sprinkle a bit of the gremolata on each bowl of stew before serving. Best eaten with good red wine.

Note:I decided to omit the potatoes, as the sunchokes provide enough texture for my taste. One of my favorite ways to serve a braise like this is over mashed potatoes, so in lieu of potato overload, I opt to nix them.

You may find sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes) at Whole Foods or your local farmer’s market. They look like a gnarly potato, but have a sweet, nutty flavor reminiscent of chestnuts. If you can’t find them, don’t sweat it, just add potatoes.

Grilled Asian Steak Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing

Lately, my cooking has been leaning towards the Asian persuasion. I can’t get enough of all things ginger, soy and sesame. One of my favorite things to order out is a good steak salad. There is something inherently delicious about crisp, leafy greens and crunchy veggies topped with tender slices of sizzling steak and piquant dressing. Don’t be shy with the marinade here – add a bit more of this or that as you please.

Grilled Asian Steak Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing

Serves: 2 (plus extra dressing)

Ingredients

For Marinade:

  • 1/2 lb. flank steak
  • 2 T. fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T. honey
  • Pinch dried red chile flakes

Ginger-Lime Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T. finely minced scallion
  • 1 T. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 T. olive, canola or peanut oil

For Salad:

  • 1/2 head red leaf or Boston bibb lettuce, roughly chopped or torn
  • 1 small carrot, peeled
  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shelled, cooked and cooled edamame
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

Directions

For Marinade/Steak:

Combine ginger, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and chile flakes in a shallow dish or heavy-duty plastic bag. Place the flank steak in the marinade, turning to coat a few times. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours in advance).

Preheat a grill or broiler. Remove steak from marinade and scrape off excess marinade. Grill 4-6 minutes on each side or broil 7-8 minutes on each side (for medium-rare). Let meat rest while you assemble the dressing.

Dressing:
In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, soy sauce, vinegar, scallion, ginger and honey.While whisking, stream in the oil. Taste and season with additional honey, lime or soy sauce to taste.

Salad:
Slice steak very thinly, against the grain at a slight diagonal. Place lettuce on a serving plate. Top with carrot peels, scallions and edamame. Top with sliced steak and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with cilantro.