The other day, in a rare occurrence of daytime television viewing, I happened to catch an episode of Chef Michael Smith’s “Cooking at Home” show. The dish he made completely inspired me; in fact, I went out that afternoon to buy the ingredients I needed and made it for our dinner.
I didn’t write down the recipe or look it up online; rather I went by memory and what I thought would work. The Culinary Enthusiast and I both enjoyed the resulting complex depth of flavour in the rich broth and tender beef. Ginger and orange complement each other so well, and the addition of the Chinese five spice powder upped the Asian flavour profile.
I’ve only used this spice blend once, years ago, and didn’t care for it at the time. Fortunately, my palate has developed to the point where I now enjoy savoury dishes with this aromatic combination of star anise and other spices that I was previously associated with desserts.
I’m so glad I happened to sit down in front of the TV and catch this program. I now have another tasty dish in my repertoire that would be great to serve to company (if I ever entertain again, but that’s another story …).
Ginger Orange Asian Beef Stew
This dish is inspired by Chef MIchael Smith’s Orange Ginger Beef recipe. Check his out, and see how mine compares to the original! The next time I make this I may add a minced red chile pepper to increase the heat level. One more thing: I forgot to warn the Culinary Enthusiast not to eat the ginger slices – he found out the hard way they’re too intense to chew.
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- about 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of blade steak (mine was organic Canadian beef)
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 3-inch knob of ginger, scrubbed and sliced about 1/8-inch thick
- 2 carrots, sliced about 1/2-inch thick
- bunch of scallions (green onions), sliced (divide the green and white parts)
- zest of 1 orange
- juice of 2 navel oranges (about 1/2 cup)
- 1-1/2 cups beef broth (low sodium)
- 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp low sodium soya sauce
- small bunch cilantro, chopped
- 4 to 6 ounces (or one bag) baby spinach
Heat the coconut oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat, then brown the steak on both sides. Set the meat aside, and add the onion, ginger, carrots and the white part of the scallions to the pot. Turn the heat to medium, and stir until all the caramelized bits (excuse me, the fond) have released from the bottom of the pan.
Add the orange zest, juice, broth, Chinese five spice, pepper, salt, honey and soya sauce. Give everything a good stir, then return the beef to the pot. Cover, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to simmer and cook for about an hour. The beef will be fall-apart tender when it’s done. At this point, you could remove the meat, cut it into pieces and return to the pot; otherwise leave it as is. Sprinkle the green parts of the scallions, cilantro and spinach over the stew. Cover and let them wilt. Then immerse the greens into the stew and serve.
We enjoyed this stew with fragrant basmati rice. So good!
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