Thursday, November 09, 2006

Braised Beef and White Asparagus

Copyright 2006 by Cooking With The Single Guy


1 lb. white asparagus
6 oz. lean beef (chuck or round cuts), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup shiitake mushrooms (stem removed)
2 bulbs shallots (diced finely)
1 can low-sodium beef broth (14 oz.)
1 T Worcestershire sauce
3 T Marsala wine
2 t ground star anise (or two whole star anise)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T flour
1 t thyme
2 t oyster sauce
2 t sea salt
1 t pepper

Season meat with salt, pepper, and star anise powder. Add olive oil to hot large saucepan or dutch oven and cook shallots over medium high heat for about 2 minutes. Then add meat and brown on both sides. Add Marsala wine to deglaze your saucepan. Cook away the alcohol (about 2 minutes). Then add broth and season with worcestershire sauce and thyme. Simmer for 2 hours.

Half-way through the cooking (about an hour), prepare your mushrooms by removing the stems and sweating them in a saute pan. Then add to meat and continue cooking for another hour.

Cut off bottom 2 inches of asparagus (or snap at the end) and peel stalk with vegetable peeler. Boil in salted water for 2 to 5 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Mix flour with some water in a small bowl to create a slurry. Add this to finish off your meat and thicken the sauce. Add oyster sauce for taste.

Plate your asparagus and place meat and mushroom with sauce over.

Makes four to six servings as an appetizer/starter or two to three servings as an entree. (As an entree, serve it with polenta and dark green vegetables like chard for added color to your plate.)

Serve with glass of Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon.

TIPS: Unlike green asparagus, you must peel the stalk of the white asparagus. Don't be lazy! Also, you want your asparagus tender but if you cook them longer than five minutes they'll get stringy.

CUTS OF MEAT: I find that braising meat makes them incredibly tender and tasty. So you don't really need to buy the best cuts of meat because you'll really just be wasting your money braising a rib eye or sirloin cut. Use meats you'd typically use for stews but leaner cuts are healthier for you.

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