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Coffee-Wine Beef Stew

This is from the Cooking Light Website, with some modifications.
Original recipe:


pound boned rump roast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee
cup no-salt-added beef broth
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup dry red wine
garlic cloves, minced
cup diced peeled taro root or potato
cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup whole pitted dates, chopped
tablespoon capers
cups hot cooked long-grain rice
1/2 cup shredded chayote or yellow squash


Trim fat from beef, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beef, and cook 5 minutes or until browned. Add coffee and next 4 ingredients (coffee through garlic), and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes.

Add taro, mushrooms, dates, and capers; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Serve over rice; top with chayote.


4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups stew, 1/2 cup rice, and 2 tablespoons chayote)


Instead of rice and chayote squash, I served over homemade garlic croutons and topped roasted, herbed, buttered red onion. (Quarter an onion, top with butter an herb of choice, roast at 400 degrees until soft and carmelly.)  You could also use fried potatoes in place of rice.

Capers are a little expensive, but worth keeping in the house.  Make them part of your pantry, to be occasionally restocked.  They last a long time, so unless you use tons, they shouldn't be difficult to keep in the house.  And if you do use a ton, maybe they're a good investment for you.

Instead of roast, or beef, use hamburger, chunks of pork or chicken thigh meat. 

Substitute prunes, raisins or golden raisins for dates-even apricots, anything sweet with a slightly dry texture will work.

Lots of cooking sites say don't cook with wine you wouldn't drink, but for cooking, I regularly use cheap wine, and my food is usually yummy. The trick is to keep the wine fresh.  I buy the little four packs of, like, Beringer. Usually one red and one white.  I cook with wine more than I drink it, and if I open a whole bottle just for cooking, it sours before I can use all of it.  Figure, usually, 2 meals per little bottle, and each pack is about $3, I think.


Lots of cooking sites say don't cook with wine you wouldn't drink, but for cooking, I regularly use cheap wine, and my food is usually yummy.

This works out well for me, because I usually only drink the cheap-ass wine anyway. Hah. Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon is cheap and tasty enough for my un-refined palatte.

But this recipe sounds good. I'm-a try it. Seems like it will be good for making ahead and freezing.
This sounds delicious! Only thing is...I'm vegetarian. Does anyone know what would be a vegetarian protein that would work in place of the beef (ie hold up to the cooking)? i know of a vegetarian beef broth substitute, so that's not a problem.

Also, on the subject of wine: if you have a Trader Joe's around, they have some awesome $3 bottles of wine (full-sized). The brand is Charles Shaw, and not one of them tastes like a $3 bottle, so you could drink it or cook with it without feeling guilty. The best for drinking, I think, is the Shiraz. Could totally pass for a $12 bottle.
I've never worked with it before, but homemade seitan might be the way to go for a long braise. The recipes I've looked at usually involve first a lot of needing, then a long, slow braise. Also, it doesn't have to be protein. I bet you could use some hard root veggies and come up with something pretty yummy-I'm thinking of beets right now. It would be considerably less braising time, but good.

And instead of a veggie beef substitute-what about a mushroom broth? When I was veggie, I always preferred that kind of stuff to mock-meat-type things. Or even just a good veggie stock-maybe a roasted veggie stock, so it has a deeper flavor. Good luck!