Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pepper beef with mashed potatoes (Rindfleischpfeffer mit frischem Kartoffelstock)

Wow. This dish was incredible.  All of you who have a large fridge...make this soon...those without...wait til the temperatures are in the 40s and keep it outside.  This dish, you keep in the fridge for a week. That`s right, 7 days (6-8 recommended).  This is definitely an Autumn dish, and while Summer seems to have hidden from us, Fall will be here and you must try this.  It reminded me a lot of my mom`s steak and mushroom pie, though this was served in a lipped dish with mashed potatoes on the side.

Our teacher had prepared the dish a head of time, as obviously we weren`t going to be in class for an entire week, so we got to see the results and learn how to make it. Kind of like the time elapsed cooking shows...I wish my kitchen would do that by itself sometimes.

This is the second installment of the August cooking class, there will be one more, on a marinade/dip recipe -my shocking discovery on how a bowl full of chili peppers did not cause me to turn into a dragon and breathe fire.

What you need:

Beef ragout - stew meat, but cut it into smaller pieces,  at least 500 g
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
celeriac, peeled and chopped
red wine, enough to cover the meat
1/3 - 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
gravy thickening agent (bratensauce)
3 or 4 bay leaves
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp white peppercorns, crushed
1 tsp green peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
grapes or pineapple, whichever you prefer
optional: 1 finely sliced leek

For the potatoes
peeled potatoes, 500 g, steamed until tender
1/3 cup milk, may use more
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated

Peel all your vegetables and dice up the beef.  Slice and put your veggies in a bowl

Add the beef and bay leaves

Add the rosemary

 Add crushed white peppercorns. You can put them on the counter and hit them with the bottom of a frying pan

Add black peppercorns and a few crushed garlic cloves

Add the red wine, enough to cover the beef


Add the red wine vinegar and put it the fridge for between 4-7 days.  I think the longer the better, if you have the room.  You need to mix it up once per day, so there should not be any worry that you will think it is forgotten leftovers and just toss it away :)

This is the difference between the one we made on the left, and the one that had sat in the fridge, on the right.  (There are also sliced leeks in the one on the right, feel free to add them if you would like)

mine after 6 days in the fridge

Next, using a sieve if you have one, scoop out the meat and put it in a hot frying pan to sear it. 

Remove the meat and put the sauce, without vegetables on the stove. Add a gravy thickener (see below). Bring to a simmer and add the beef. 

Add sliced mushrooms and whole grapes or pineapple chunks. Simmer for 1.5 hours, until the beef is tender. You may need a little longer or a little less depending on the size of the beef chunks. 

Just before serving, mix about 1/4 cup of cream into the mixture. 

I added pineapple to mine instead of grapes. I also did half beef and half pork. It just melted in your mouth it was so tender. 

For the potatoes:

Peel them and then steam then until they are tender

Using your massive kitchen grinder...
yes, well, as most of us are not lucky enough to have the massive amount of room this requires, you can use a small mixer or a potato masher

Put the milk in a large saucepan. You can always add more milk, but you can`t take it away, so start out easy.  Warm it up and add some freshly grated nutmeg, if you have it, otherwise from the jar is fine. Add a dollop of butter, let it melt and then add the potatoes.  Mix well

Plate and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

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