On Sunday I went to a cooking class at Williams-Sonoma. It was a lot of fun and just for attending the class I received 10% off my purchase! If you’re interested in going to an upcoming class, the schedule can be found here. All you have to do is call your local store and reserve a spot. Easy peasy. Anyway, this particular class was all about “Hands-Off Cooking.” Basically we focused on recipes using slow cookers, food processors, pressure cookers and bread machines. My favorite dish that we prepared was the beef with endive and sun-dried tomatoes. So easy and so delicious! Now that the weather is getting cooler, this dish is perfect for fall and winter when we crave robust, comfort-food flavors but don’t have time to spend all evening in the kitchen (especially now that it’s starting to get darker earlier!).
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 lbs beef bottom round, trimmed of most fat (you don’t want to have to keep skimming the fat off the top) and cut into large chunks
- Salt to taste, plus 1/4 tsp
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 5 Tbs olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 1/3 cups beef stock
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbs sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbs walnut oil
- 2 large heads Belgian endive, cored and sliced (or you can use immature endive – if you do this you won’t need to core it because the core will still be soft)
- 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Season the beef generously all over with salt and pepper. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, add the beef and sear until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon transfer the beef to the slow cooker.
2. Pour off most of the fat from the pan and return to medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
3. Pour in the beef stock and wine and stir to dislodge any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme springs and bay leaves and transfer the contents of the pan to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instruction for 5 to 6 hours. The beef should be tender and moist.
4. Just before the beef is ready, in a bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, walnut oil, the remaining 3 Tbs olive oil, the 1.4 tsp salt and a pinch of freshly ground pepper. Add the endive, olives, tomatoes, lemon zest and parsley and toss to mix thoroughly.
5. Shred the beef using two forks. Transfer to individual plates or a serving platter. Moisten the beef with a little bit of braising liquid, if desired. Top the shredded beef with the endive salad mixture. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from The New Slow Cooker, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2013).