February 2014 Bon Appetit magazine has more recipes circled in it than any of the other issues— at least any in a very long time. The Braised Beef with Red Onion Gremolata had my attention immediately.
Now, in some ways this is a complex recipe but you can do it in several parts. You can braise the meat up to two days ahead, for example. None of the techniques are difficult there are just several and it can be overwhelming to those of you who aren’t very experienced.
Well, I want to encourage you to step out and do this. It is much easier than it sounds and when you’ve done it you’ll have one go to recipe that is guaranteed to impress everyone from potential in-laws to bosses. I was impressed with it and it is pretty hard to impress me.
Tips for making Braised Beef with Red Onion Gremolata
- Read through the recipe carefully twice. It is lengthy and easy to miss important instructions. Highlight important steps that you might miss.
- Make this in two chunks. Make the beef one day while you are getting dinner and then finish the dish the next day.
- Use a food processor for chopping the ingredients for the gremolata.
- If you don’t have kitchen twine button thread works fine, too.
- Tie the thyme in a bundle. It makes it easier to remove at the end of cooking.
- 1/4 cup lemon zest is equal to about 4 lemons. Use the lemon juice to make a lemon bundt cake to go with dinner.
- I used a red pepper olive oil to brown the meat in. It added a little more flavor.
- I added about 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning to the flour before dredging the meat.
- Serve with tiny fingerling potatoes and a salad.
- Reducing the sauce will take about 10 minutes each time you are told to reduce it.
To Char Ancho Pepper:
Although the recipe called for jalapeno I used a charred ancho pepper because I wanted the heat and slight smokiness. Charring the pepper is easy. Just hold the pepper over a flame or use a plumbers’ torch until the outside is blackened. You can rub the skin off at that point or you can leave it on, whatever you like.
This Braised Beef with Red Onion Gremolata recipe is from the February issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I stayed pretty close to the original with a few tiny changes like the ancho pepper and I added a little flour to the sauce to make it thicker and then I blended the braised onions in. The end result is amazing.
OK… one more look at this mouthwatering dish then you need to head to the store for the supplies!
Braised Beef with Red Onion Gremolata
- 5 pound boneless beef roast
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 large onions , sliced
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 garlic cloves , crushed
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 bunch thyme , tied in a bunch with a string
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup finely chopped charred ancho chile
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup Meyer lemon zest
- Kosher salt , freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup flour for dredging
- 1 tablespoon Cajun spice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Tie the roast with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large, oven safe pot with lid ( I used my Le Creuset)
- Cook onions until they are soft - about 10 minutes.
- Add the wine, vinegar, and sugar.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes or until it's reduced by half.
- Add the garlic and broth and bring back up to a simmer.
- Add the thyme and beef.
- Cover and braise in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until meat is tender.
- Transfer the roast to a baking dish and strain the broth over it.
- Cover and chill for 12 hours or up to 2 days.
- Cover and chill onions separately.
- Combine onion and vinegar in a medium bowl.
- Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Drain liquid off.
- Add pepper, basil, chives, parsley, and lemon zest.
- Toss and season with salt and pepper.
- Scrape fat from beef.
- Place cold beef on a cutting board and remove twine.
- Slice in 8 - 10 slices.
- Set aside.
- Bring the braising liquid to a boil.
- Simmer until it is reduced by 2 cups.
- Whisk in the flour and allow to thicken.
- Add the braised onions back in.
- Add the last 2 tablespoons wine vinegar.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix the Cajun spice with the 1 cup flour.
- Dredge the sliced beef in the flour.
- Heat oil in a large pan.
- Cook beef until brown and crisp on each side.
- Arrange on plates, drizzle with sauce, and top with gremolata.