BEEF STEW WITH PIMENTO & RUM
Eat Caribbean by Virginia Burke
This dish is quite traditional in both technique and flavour. The rum element is very mild. The quality of meat will dictate the cooking time. Feel free to add a few carrots if you like.
Preparation time: 1 hour marinating + 15 minutes + 2 hours cooking
• 3 lb braising steak, cubed
• 1 1/2 tbsp ground allspice
• 1 tsp salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 large onions, sliced
• 2 tbsp Pickapeppa Sauce (use Worcestershire Sauce as a substitute)
• 2 tbsp flour
• about 2-3 tbsp oil, for browning
• 2 cups beef stock
• 1/2 cup dark rum
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 whole cloves
• 1 tbsp tomato puree
• 2 tsp brown sugar
• 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives, to garnish
1. Season the meat with allspice, salt, pepper, garlic, onions and Pickapepper or Worcestershire sauce. Allow to marinate for an hour at least. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
2. Brush the seasoning off the meat and reserve it. Dust the meat with the flour and shake off excess.
3. Put some oil in a large ovenproof skillet (with cover) and heat on stove top. Brown the meat in batches for about 10 minutes each time. Then return all the meat to the pot with the reserved seasonings De-glaze the pan with half the rum, making sure to scrape off the sticky bits on the bottom. Then stir in the stock, adding the bay leaf, cloves, tomato puree and brown sugar Place in the oven and cook for an hour.
4. Stir and check how tender the meat is Add the potatoes to the stew (and carrots if you wish) Cover and continue to braise until meat is tender, which could be from 30 minutes to 1 hour, keeping an eye on the liquid. Remove from oven.
5. Place on stovetop on low heat and stir in the remainder of the rum Simmer for 2 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with the parsley or chives.
Cook's tip: I have also used beef tenderloin and done the whole dish on the stovetop in half the time. Your only adjustment is to use about 1/2 cup less stock (as there is not so much time for reduction). Cut the potatoes smaller so they cook and thicken the gravy faster otherwise you will be tempted to use cornflour, which will dull the flavour at bit.