After taking many, many months off of entertaining friends at our house, I think I am ready to start again. A cookbook I got for Christmas from brother is going to help that a lot! Perfect One-Dish Dinners is full of manageable dinners to make with optional menu pairings and wine suggestions. My favorite thing about it so far though, is that it takes one dish to prepare the food in and the two recipes I've tried were almost completely hands-off the last 45 minutes of cooking, allowing me to visit with my friends. Fabulous.
The first recipe I tried, just for our family, because I am never quite sure whether or not to trust new cookbooks/cookbook authors, was Rioja Beef. One things I will say about this cookbook, it is very meat heavy. It doesn't have a lot of recipes laden with the produce I find in my CSA book. This recipe was feasible for a weeknight meal because of the 1/4 cow that is languishing in my freezer.
This will serve 6 - 8 people.
from Perfect One-Dish Dinners by Pam Anderson
3 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2 - 2" cubes and patted dry
3 T olive oil
1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into 6 pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 6 pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 lg garlic cloves, minced
2 T sweet paprika
1 T ground cumin
1/4 t saffron threads
3 T flour
1 c chicken broth
1/2 - 1 c dry red wine (rioja, if possible)
1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 t grade orange zest and juice from 1 large onion
Heat a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 T oil to the pot and heat. Add the meat and sear, turning once, until 2 sides are darkly browned. Repeat until all the meat is browned. Transfer to bowl and set aside. Add 1 T oil to the hot pot. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until softened 4 - 5 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, cumin, and saffron. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute. Whisk in the flour, then broth, wine, and tomatoes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Return beef and any accumulated juices to the pot. Carefully place a sheet of heavy duty foil over the pot, pressing the foil down so that it touches the stew. Seal foil completely around the edges. Set pot in oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
While beef is in oven, add 1 T oil to a frying pan and heat over medium-high heat until oil starts to smoke (just wisps). Add the peppers and cook, stirring until peppers are lightly browned and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside. (You can also do this in before browning the meat in the same pot you brown the meat in).
Remove pot from oven and set over low heat. Carefully remove foil. Stir in peppers, chickpeas, orange zest and juice, and a little water, if necessary, to make a gravy. Carefully re-cover the pot and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Serve.
We loved this recipe. I really can't say much more about it than that. I made a couple of changes to the recipe, utilizing a second pan, but it made the flow seem better.
This recipe will serve 6- 8 people.