Monday, January 3, 2011

Boeuf à la Bench

Beef Braised with Onions, Mushrooms, and Sino-Franco Flavors

yield: Makes 4 servings
active time: 15 min
total time: 2 3/4 hr


• 1 (2-lb) well-marbled boneless beef chuck pot roasts (1 1/2 inches thick)

• 1 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1 tsp. cinnamon,
• 2 tsp. ground all spice
• 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
• 1 tsp. grated nutmeg
• 2 tsp. ground coriander
• 1 tsp. ground sichuan peppercorns (toasted, ideally; you may need to grind them in a mortar and pestle, or, failing that, a bowl and a glass)
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp ground black pepper

• 1 lb onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise (4 cups)
• 1 lb mushrooms, in 1/8th inch slices
• 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 star anise rounds
• 4 dried facing-sunward chiles (Chiles de arbol might be substituted.)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.
Pat meat dry. Stir together spices for rub in a bowl and rub all over meat.
Spread half of the anise, half of the chiles, half of onions, and half of garlic in a dutch oven and arrange meat on top. Spread remaining anise, chiles, onions, and garlic over meat. Tightly cover dutch oven with foil and roast, turning meat over after 1 hour, until meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours total.
Skim fat from pan juices. Slice meat across the grain and serve with onions, mushrooms and pan juices.

Note: Flavor improves with a day or two in the fridge.

[Adapted from Gourmet's November 2005 recipe for Braised Beef and Onions.]