Saturday, November 17, 2012

Apple Cider Braised Beef with Celeriac

Tart apple cider makes for a sweet but not too sweet, tangy braising liquid, perfect for fall.  If you don't have access to a tart cider (I used the Vintage blend from Clarkdale Fruit Farms), substitute beef stock for part of the cider and add a little cider vinegar at the end if desired.  I used beef shanks, but the recipe would work for any good braising cut - short ribs, brisket, or anything else you'd use for pot roast.  While you could substitute other root vegetables for the celeriac, I recommend using it because the texture and flavor work really well cooked in the cider.  You can serve this over egg noodles or mashed potatoes, or serve it like a stew with some good bread for dipping.

2-3 lbs beef ( such as shanks, short ribs, brisket, etc)
Canola oil
Salt and pepper
1 large tart apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 medium onion, in wedges
1 large celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
3 cups tart apple cider
Beef stock (if needed)
1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Lightly coat the beef on all sides with oil, then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Brown in the oven for 10 minutes on each side.  (You can also do this on the stovetop, but I personally find it too smoky.)

Heat a little more canola oil in a Dutch oven.  Add the apple, onion, and celeriac and brown them a bit over high heat, stirring often.  Add the browned beef, then pour in the apple cider.  Add beef stock if needed to bring the level of the liquid such that it covers the beef most but not all of the way.  Stir in the mustard.

Bring the braise to a boil, then reduce heat to very low and simmer for at least 2 hours.  When ready to serve, take the beef out of the pot and cut into serving sized pieces, removing any chunks of bone.  Mash the apple chunks with the back of a spoon.  Serve the beef with plenty of liquid and chunks of celeriac.

Serves 4-6.

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