Monday, February 20, 2012

SRC: Beef Braised in Rooibos Tea with Sweet Potatoes

This month for the  Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog Manu's Menu.  Manuela resides in Australia, but was born and raised in Milan Italy.  Her blog is very impressive.  Her pictures are beautiful and her recipes are very authentic and interesting.  Please stop by and visit her! 
I chose her braised beef in tea recipe.  I had seen braising in tea somewhere before but had never tried it. Well, of course, it was delicious!  I only wish my picture could do it justice.  I made this for dinner one night and being the middle of Michigan winter, there is just not enough light.  It is very hard to get a decent picture in my kitchen this time of year.  Even during daylight, it is often very gray here.  So, my apologies Manuela, for not doing your food justice here.  You can see her original post here.  The only thing I might have done differently is the tomato concentrate.  I used tomato paste, and in Manuela's picture hers looks more like a tomato sauce.  Otherwise, I did just what the recipe says.

1 1/4 lbs chuck steak, trimmed and cut into 2 inch chunks

2 Tbs flour

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
5 Rooibos tea* bags
1 quart just-boiled water
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 strips unwaxed orange peel, pith removed (the peel of about half an orange)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup mild honey (optional)
Cilantro leaves, to garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste

Rooibos tea can be substituted in this recipe by black tea, or try another dark herbal tea such as one containing licorice.
Season the beef with pepper and coat in the flour. Heat the oil in a large stock pot and then brown the beef on all sides.
Add the onions and celery. Put on a tight fitting lid and let them soften for ten minutes.
Add the garlic and tomato concentrate and cook for one minute.

Meanwhile, place the tea bags in a heatproof pitcher and pour the hot boiled water over them. Allow to steep for four minutes.

Then remove the tea bags and pour the tea into the stock pot. Add the red wine vinegar, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and ginger.

Lower the heat and cover. Let the stew simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the beef is tender.

Add the sweet potatoes, honey (if using), and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft.

Serve with some steamed rice and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Please check out The Secret Recipe Club for lots of super yummy recipes.  And if you're interested in becoming a member of the Secret Recipe Club, all the info is on the site.


  1. Tea makes for an intriguing ingredient, doesn't it?

  2. Great choice for SRC, this looks so delicious! So glad to be in Group C with you! :)

  3. Ohhh you chose one of my favourite recipes!!! I am so glad you liked it!!! Also, thank you so much for all your sweet words on my blog! I am very happy to be in group C with you! <3 Great job Chellie! <3

  4. What an interesting recipe! I'm glad you gave it such rave reviews. Here is another one I am saving to try later. Is it just me or are there a lot more savory dishes this reveal? I love it!

  5. This looks delicious! I have never heard of braising in tea, but what a wonderful idea! I am looking forward to trying this!

  6. What a unique recipe - love the flavors! Glad to be part of SRC group C with you!

  7. I just recently started experimenting cooking with tea, its wonderful!

  8. I've never heard of beef braised in tea but I love the idea and rooibos tea is one of my faves, I'll have to five it a try.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my Group 'A' SRC entry: Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites

    Cook Lisa Cook