Happy Father’s Day! I hope everyone had a great, celebratory day. We had a pretty busy day. This morning we went to my parent’s house and had a big breakfast with the family to celebrate my father and husband. It turned out to be a beautiful, sunny morning (first one in a while!). We all ate outside in the sunshine, then relaxed in the shade while my kids got to play with their aunts and uncles. My hubby and I even got to play some badminton against my parents! A great morning! Then, this afternoon it was my husband’s cousins graduation and party. So, we got to spend the afternoon socializing and eating. Pretty good deal in my opinion!
Since we had a pretty busy day today, I planned a big surprise dinner for my hubby the night before. I made some amazing chocolate cupcakes where the tops resembled a charcoal grill, and my husband’s favorite dish; braised beef with sweet potato and butternut squash with green beans. This meal is unreal. Like get-in-my-belly-right-now amazing. The meat is tender to the point of falling apart and beyond juicy. It is over the top with the butternut squash mash on the side. This dish takes quite a while to cook, but it is beyond worth it. And it only gets better the next day, which I don’t even know how that is possible. If you make this dish, I swear that the loved one in your life will be groveling at your knees and whisking you away (even if they already have before!). This dish will make everything right in your life. Okay, okay, I think you get the point. Go make this and be happy.
- 4 lbs. stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 2 medium red onions, peeled and diced
- 1 head garlic, top cut off
- 1 cup pancetta or bacon, diced
- 1/2 bottle of a dry red wine
- 5 peppercorns
- 6 whole coriander seeds (or 3/4 teaspoon ground)
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 whole allspice
- kosher salt
- 3-5 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- fresh ground pepper
- 2-3 cups chicken stock
Toss cubed beef with salt to lightly season.
In a large, dutch oven, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook until beginning to brown. Add the diced onion and cook until the bacon is golden brown and the onion is translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
Add beef and stir to coat with oil and onion mixture. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. In a small baggie made of cheesecloth, add the peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaves and allspice, tie closed with kitchen twine. (This baggie is optional, just make it easier then having to pick out everything at the end) Add to the pot along with the garlic head. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the wine is reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Add the stock and rosemary, and add salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, place a piece of parchment paper under the cover and place in the oven.
Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the sauce is thickened and the meat is tender. For the last 20 minutes of baking, take the the top and parchment paper off to brown the meat.
Let the braise sit at room temperature for one hour.
Squeeze the garlic cloves from the skins into the pot and remove the baggie and rosemary stems. Stir in some fresh ground black pepper. Reheat on the stove before serving.
While the braise is sitting at room temperature for an hour, I like to make the mash.
Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Mash
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 large butternut squash
- grapeseed or canola oil
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter
- sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets by brushing oil over the surface. Set aside.
Slice the sweet potatoes in half, lengthwise. Place, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheets. Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard them. Place the squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheets.
Place both baking sheets in the oven and bake for 30-50 minutes, or until tender and a knife slides easily into the cut side.
Scoop out the insides from the skin into a large bowl. Discard the skins. Add butter, salt to taste, ginger, nutmeg and pepper. Mash until well blended and smooth. Serve warm.