Oh wow, the weather has turned so cold. One minute there was I walking around with neither coat nor socks and now all of a sudden I feel the need for three extra layers. No sooner had the rain and general gloom stopped, when we were rewarded with beautifully clear skies ... only the pay off was the plummet in temperature. It won't be long before we see snow in the Vancouver mountains and there's already been a good 'dump' up the road in Whistler *she says excitedly, ringing her frozen hands in glee*!
It was fate, I think, that there was so little snow last year and what there was, came late. You see it was in February that I noticed the painful swelling in my thumb and wrist joints and I remember the thought of falling on the slopes made me fearful of more damage that might occur. This Winter is different though ... thanks to the AIP. The swelling hasn't completely disappeared, but the pain has gone and that alone gives me confidence. So I'm seeing it as a sign that this Winter we'll have lots of quality, powdery white stuff and for that, I cannot wait!
Aside from the fact I need new gloves, I don't mind the cold so much, not if there is a rich and comforting stew like this to stoke the internal fires. Oh yes, some more of this and I shall be more than content. I love the subtle sweetness of orange and maple syrup with the sourness that cranberries bring, it makes for a more than satisfying flavour combination indeed. She drools. And of course this is proper Holiday nourishment.
beef stew with orange and cranberries
As with this stew, the sauce all hangs on your good, quality broth. If it's beautifully gelatinous, you will be rewarded with a wonderful coating consistency without the need for a thickener. My preferred method by far!
Print the recipe here
1 kg boneless grass fed beef chuck steak, cut into 1 +1/2 inch cubes
1 tbsp solid fat (I like duck fat)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp cinnamon (I use this one)
zest and juice of 2 large navel oranges
2+1/2 cups good gelatinous beef broth
1 tbsp maple syrup (I use this one) *
1 large bay leaf (I use this one)
1/2 tsp salt (I use this one)
1 cup (100g) cranberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat oven to 300˚F / 150˚C
For tips on successful browning, please refer to this post.
If you buy nicely marbled meat, there should be no need to put fat in the pan before you sear, however feel free to add some solid fat if you think it necessary.
Heat a large heavy based lidded casserole (Dutch oven). Brown the meat in batches (see above), removing with a slotted spoon onto a plate and set to one side. Once the meat is browned and removed, add the tbsp of fat and then the onions to the casserole. Turn the heat right down and sweat for 6-8 minutes or so until translucent. If, at any point, your pan is a little over brown and parched, a tbsp water will help release the sediment, so quickly scrape it off and incorporate into the onions before the moisture is evaporated.
When the onions are nice and soft, stir in the cinnamon and cook one minute more. Add the browned meat, together with the remaining ingredients, except the cranberries, and mix well, making sure the meat is covered by the liquid. Turn the heat up to a simmer, put the lid on and place into the oven.
Cook for 2+1/2 hours, or until the meat is beautifully tender. Add the cranberries and cook for a further 12-15 minutes.
Serve with garlic cauliflower mash.
* GAPS/SCD : Omit maple syrup, or substitute with honey.