Welcome to 2010 everybody (although compared to our relatives in Australia, we are *so* late to the party). The last decade was certainly an interesting one for us. Where did these two kids come from? Here’s hoping for a great next ten!
This recipe was simply an inevitability in this household. I love braises. I love ratatouille. Why not do them together? I mean, come on, we’re talking about *fewer* pots here. WIN.
Ratatouille Beef Braise
3 lb hunk of chuck or rump beef, trimmed of excess fat
1 large spanish or sweet onion, diced
1 large eggplant, cut into ~1″ cubes
3 green zucchini, halved and cut into 1/2″ slices
1 green pepper, diced
5 or 6 garlic cloves, peeled
handful of mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
bouquet garnis of parsley, bay leaf
1 tbsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of vermouth or white wine
Pre-heat oven to 300F.
Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the outside of your beef, and sear each side in a dutch oven. Remove to the side.
Add a couple tbsp of olive oil to the pot and saute the onions on medium-low heat for 10 or 15 minutes, then turn the heat up to medium and add the eggplant and cook for 5 to 10 minutes before adding the zucchini. Cook for another 10 minutes, then add everything else: the green pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes (and their juices), oregano, vermouth/wine and a tsp of salt. Cook for another 10 to 20 minutes, then nestle the beef in the middle. You don’t want the beef to be swimming, but make sure there is liquid up about 1/3 of the side of the meat, so add water (or more wine) if necessary.
Cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook for an hour then flip the beef and cook for another hour. At this point, taste the vegetables for salt and oregano, and return the pot to the oven uncovered. Cook for another 2 hours, turning the beef every 30 minutes or so.
The braised rump before plating.
Slice the beef against the grain and serve with rice and a fresh vegetable like green beens or broccoli. Skim excess fat from the ratatouille, and generously spoon it over the beef on the plate (and possibly over the rice too).
There you have it, as best as I can remember. The leftovers were awesome. And now you’ll have to excuse me because kiddo is napping, Lisl and munchkin and guests are off skiing, which means there’s two things on my agenda: get a stew on the pot, and get some work done. Happy new year!