For Xmas I made a completely unsuccessful Madeira Peppercorn Reduction sauce which required the purchase of green peppercorns in brine (which I found at the Pasta Shop at the Rockridge Market Hall). I wanted to use the leftover peppercorns for other dishes, so I looked for suggestions in my favorite cooking site, epicurious.com – fortunately there were several recipes that included the peppercorns.
Saturday night I made Chicken in a Dijon Sherry Sauce, which was OK though a bit bland for my taste (despite the fact that I added extra mustard & sherry). Mike liked it, though. Still, I don’t think I’ll make it again.
Last night, I meant to make Beef and Guinness Pie, but I couldn’t find puff pastry at the supermarket (and I was not going to make it myself). So I followed the recipe to make a beef stew, which I served over mashed potatoes (the box kind 🙁 ). The stew was amazing, very deep and rich, without being too dark, and just plain tasty. I am, therefore, copying the recipe below, because I mean to make it again (perhaps for St. Patrick’s Day). I think it’d be even better with bread (sourdough would be my choice, but then again, it always is). One thing – though I loved the stew, I didn’t particularly like the peppercorns. Next time I’ll omit them altogether.
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- a sprinkle of black pepper
- 2 lbs beef chuck
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 Tbsp. water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup Guinness
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 tsp. brined green peppercorns, drained & chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Mix the flour with the salt and pepper in a medium-size bowl. Cut the beef into chunks and put in the bowl with the flour. Coat well.
Heat the olive oil in a medium to large oven-safe pot, over medium-high heat. Add the beef and stir until it browns on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot (you can put it in the same bowl it was before).
Add the onion, garlic and water to the bowl. Cook until the onions softened, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add tomato paste and stir for one minute. Add the broth, Guiness, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and green peppercorns (if using) and mix well. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat, cover and put in the oven. Cook until the beef is very soft, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve.