Sunday, August 2, 2009

Spiced Braised Beef with Sweet Potatoes

It's been months since posting anything. Here's a nice slow cooker recipe that doesn't take much pre-preparation.

hands on time: 15 minutes | total time: 4 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours (depends on your crock pot)| serves 6

1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes (about 1 pound) cut into 1/2 inch thick half-moons
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (you can use canned diced as well)
1 large red onion, cut into wedges (I only use a half, otherwise it takes over the dish)
1/2 cup dried apricots (I used these once, but didn't like the texture or flavor so you can leave them out)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt
1 10 oz. box couscous (1 1/2 cups)
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
2 cups baby spinach (1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped

  • In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, combine the beef, potatoes, tomatoes (and their juices), onion, aprictos, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water.
  • Cook, covered, until the meat is tender, on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low for 7 to 8 hours
  • Ten minutes before serving, prepare the couscous according to the package directions.
  • Add the chickpeas to the slow cooker and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach. Serve with the couscous and sprinkle with almonds
It comes out kind of like a stew, so you'll want lots of couscous. I've made this recipe twice and cooked the potatoes two different ways. The first time I followed the recipe, which is very good. Today I tried something different and made mashed sweet potatoes instead for a different texture. It's great either way, but I think I like the mashed potato style. I know Jaclyn preferred it that way. I just added a tablespoon or so of sour cream, a little brown sugar and salt. You could probably leave out the brown sugar and still get the nice sweetness of the potato with the savory beef and sauce.

I like this recipe for the combination of flavors. It's got mediterranean feel with the cinnamon and ginger with the tomatoes and beef. You could even add some nutmeg to really put it over the top. The addition of the chickpeas sounds a bit strange, but it works. 

Like a mentioned, we did not like the apricots. They do not soften up that much leaving a weird texture and they turn quite bitter which ruined the sweet and savory blend that the recipe is supposed to feature. Enjoy!



Hey you need to post the recipe for the beans and fajitas that you made when you were here in St. George!