On Friday night, we had a most delicious meal of Mediterranean Beef Ragout with Smashed Potatoes and I can’t wait to share the recipe with you.
Mediterranean Beef Ragout
- 1/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1 t dried thyme leaves, crumbled (I didn’t have thyme, so I used sage instead)
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest, optional (I omitted this)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black peppercorns
- 2 lbs trimmed stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes (I took my meat out of the freezer at 9 a.m. At noon, I cut it up, while still very cold – turns out it was much easier to cut this way… and the meat cooked just fine even though it wasn’t fully defrosted)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 T cumin seeds, toasted (I didn’t have seed, so I just used 1 T of dried cumin)
- 1 cup beef stock (I subbed pareve chicken soup stock – I’m sure the beef stock would have been even richer, but the flavor of this dish was outstanding even with my substitution)
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 can diced tomatoes, including juice
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 roasted bell peppers (I used jarred, since peppers were $1.50 each at my store!)
- 1/2 cup sliced pitted green olives (I used black, since that what we had on hand, and I kept them whole, so they’d be easier to pick out for those of us – uh, me – who don’t like olives)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley (I left this out since I just ran out of time and umph)
1. In a large ziploc bag, combine flour, thyme/sage, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Add beef cubes and toss until coated evenly.
2. Heat up 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook on both sides until browned until 4 minutes. Transfer the browned meat to the slow cooker crock.
3. In the same pan that you cooked the meat, saute the onions and garlic. Once onion is softened, add the toasted cumin seeds and remaining flour mixture from the beef and stir for one minute.
4. Add beef stock, wine and tomatoes with the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cook for another couple of minutes until thickened (it won’t be as thick as a roux, but it will be slightly more dense).
5. Add tomato mixture to slow cooker and mix in well with the beef.
6. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, until beef is tender.
7. 15 minutes before serving, stir in roasted peppers, olives and parsley. Cook on high for 15 minutes, discard bay leaves and serve. (You can totally skip this step – and save some money and a bit of patchkeing. The meat will still be delicious.)
The only thing I’d do differently with this recipe is serve it with couscous the next time. I loved Smashed Potatoes, don’t get me wrong, but this saucy dish really needs something to absorb all that juicy goodness!
My house smelled SO good while this was cooking. I will definitely make this again – and again! If you try it, let me know how it turns out for you.
What’s been cooking in your slow cooker this week!