Monday, December 20, 2010

Braised Beef with Cranberries

This is a great tasting, easy dinner!  Plus it sounds so fancy.  A couple of friends commented when I told them what I was making... "oh, you are so talented!"  Well, the compliment is appreciated, but this really doesn't take any talent.  It's also quite festive for this time of year.  Fresh Cranberries are seasonal at the grocery store, so buy extra and freeze them.  They freeze great.

3 pounds chuck roast (brisket works well too)
coarse salt and ground pepper
3 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 can beef broth
1 cup dry red wine (merlot or cabernet Sauvignon)
1 bay leaf
2 Tbs unsulfured molasses
2 cups water
1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
1 bag (1 pound) frozen pearl onions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 with rack in lowest position.  Season beef with salt and pepper.  Heat a 5 quart dutch oven or heavy pot over medium high.  Add chuck roast, cook until browned, 8-10 minutes, rotating once.  Transfer beef to a plate

2. Add flour to pot and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.  Add broth, wine, bay leaf, molasses, half the cranberries, and 2 cups of water; bring to a boil.  Return beef to pot, and cover.  Transfer to oven; bake 3 hours.

3.  Stir in onions; cover, and return pot to oven.  Cook 30 minutes more.  Stir in remaining cranberries; return pot to oven.  Cook uncovered, until beef is fork-tender, 30 minutes more.  Discard bay leaf before serving.

Isn't it festive?  

I served it up with some baked potatoes, and a green salad.   

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