Maple Braised Beef Stew
Serves 6 to 8
By preparing the stew a few days in advice, the flavors meld together and become strong and piquant. Make a big pot for hungry dinner guests, or keep it for yourself and you’ll have a comforting dish you can reheat and enjoy all week.
6 pounds bone-in short ribs
FOR THE MARINADE
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
1/2 tablespoon red chile flakes
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup maple syrup
FOR THE STEW
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 carrots, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 cup pearl onions, peeled
2 bay leaves
2 cups porter ale
2 cups beef stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl mix together the garlic, salt, pepper, fennel, chile flakes, thyme,rosemary, and maple syrup to make a marinade. Place the ribs in a large bowl, rub the marinade over the ribs, and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Remove the ribs from refrigerator and bring them to room temperature. Coat each rib lightly with flour and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the ribs and brown them on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a large plate and set aside. In the same pot, add the carrots, celery, and pearl onions, reduce the heat to medium-low and saut. until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the bay leaves, ale, and stock, then the ribs, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat, cover the pot, and transfer it to the oven. Braise until the meat is very tender, about 3 hours. Allow the stew to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. We like to make the stew 1 to 2days ahead of time to let the flavors develop.
To serve, remove the stew from the refrigerator, skim the fat from the surface, and remove the bay leaves. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat and season with salt and pepper. I like to serve my stew it with Celery Root, Potato, and Pear Mash (recipes follows).
Celery Root, Potato, and Pear Mash
Serves 6 to 8
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium celery root, tough outer parts removed, peeled, and cubed
4 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into cubes
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the potatoes and celery root in a large saucepan and and fill with enough water to cover the vegetables by 2 inches; season generously with salt. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cookuntil the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Add the pears during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Mash the celery root, potatoes, and pears with a hand masher, slowly adding the heavy cream and butter to the mixture and continue to mash until well combined. Season with salt and pepper and serve.