Every month there is an event going on at Jenn’s blog, where the winner chooses three ingredients with which we have to cook. Although I love participating at this event as we challenge ourselves to create recipes we would never dream of making, most of the times the ingredients given are not so easy to find in Greece. When I saw the ingredients this month, which were Black beer, sugar and pumpkin,I was really happy and knew I could make a recipe with the three ingredients chosen by the last winner of the Royal Joust.
Although I have never cooked with pumpkin before (except of course for making pies), I knew that the natural sweetness of the pumpkin, plus that of the black sugar would perfectly match with the toasted/roasted malt aroma with a hint of caramel and some minimal fruitiness and a little bitterness of the bock beer, so my choice was to make sweet and sour.
Although originally I was thinking to leave the dish as it was, when it was cooked, I was really skeptical if my teenage daughter would eat it at the sight of cooked pumpkin and onions, so I had to think of something that would appeal to her. She loves pasta and she doesn’t mind eating carrots, so that is the reason why I decided to puree it, in case she would ask «what’s in the sauce mum?» I would tell her carrots.
The meat was tender and flavourful and the sauce was delicious. My daughter ate it without any complaints and the rest of us kept adding more and more sauce, mixing it with the pasta. This is definitely a dish I will make again.
Beef in Dark Beer and Sweet and Sour Sauce, Recipe by Ivy
Preparation time:30 minutes
Cooking time:2 hours
Serves:5 – 6
- 1 kilo veal top round roast (in Greece it is called noua or stroggylo, which means round)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small piece of cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves garlic, divided
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 big red onions, quartered
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups mixed fruit juice (orange, apple, peach, pineapple)
- 0.33 L Amstel Bock beer
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 8 medium carrots, cut into small pieces
- 2 cups butternut squash, cut into small pieces
- 1 packet (500 grams) tagliatelle
- Wash and pat dry beef. Make two slits in the meat and add 1 clove garlic in one and the cinnamon stick in the other and season well with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil and brown the meat on all sides. Add the carrots and pumpkin around the meat and saute for a few minutes and transfer browned beef and vegetables to an ovenproof baking casserole with lid. (Procedure can be done directly in casserole but mine is a Tupperware casserole, not suitable for stove top).
- Add the onions to the skillet and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until onions are browned, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining 1 clove garlic, finely chopped and cook for a few more minutes.Add the flour and stir until onions are evenly coated and flour is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in beer, thyme, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits. Add the fruit juice and increase heat to medium-high and bring to a full simmer.
- Pour the onions with all the juices over meat and vegetables.
- Cover with lid and place in a preheated oven and cook at 200°C for two hours.
- Half way through cooking, mix sugar and mustard seeds with balsamic vinegar and pour over meat, mixing well.
- When cooked, remove the cinnamon from the meat and set aside to cool before cutting the meat into thin slices.
- Discard the bay leaves and strain the vegetables, reserving the broth.
- In a food processor, puree the vegetables with only 1 cup of broth and transfer to a saucepan and simmer until the sauce is thick. (After straining the vegetables to make the sauce, the remaining beef stock can be refrigerated and used in other recipes).
- Just before the meat is cooked, boil tagliatelle according to package instructions, strain and serve pasta with a slice of meat and lots of sauce on top.
I am sending this recipe over to the Royal Foodie Joust, hosted by Jenn, the Leftover Queen. If you liked my recipe, you may vote for me after the 1st November, when the polls are open, here. If you are not already a member, come and join us there. We are now over 5500 members.
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