Comfort Food: Sugar And Spice Edition


Comfort Food: Sugar And Spice Edition

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As the temperatures drop, we grab our cozy sweaters, our snug throw blanket, and indulge in our favorite warm dishes.

So this season Morning Shift will indulge in one of our favorite topics — food — with conversations about comfort foods. We swap recipes with Chicago chefs, cooks, and food bloggers and hear from listeners about their go-to dishes. And because comfort food can be an entree or dessert, we kick off our first conversation with pastry chef and spice expert Malika Ameen, who shares her favorite savory and sweet comfort food recipes. Ameen’s most recent cookbook is Sweet Sugar, Sultry Spice: Exotic Flavors to Wake Up Your Baking.

Here the is recipe of the dish Ameen discussed during our interview.

Braised Beef Stew with Red Miso

Serves 12 or a crowd

3 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed and cubed into 1 inch pieces

1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

For the slow braise:

2 large onions, peeled and diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

3 celery stalks, halved

1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves discarded and ends trimmed.

1 teaspoon vadouvan curry powder(regular curry powder is fine)

1 heaping teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup red miso

3 tablespoons soy sauce

Make a spice sachet with cheesecloth and fill with:

1-2 star anise pods

2 dried bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

4 quarts low sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

6-8 stems of cilantro (leaves and stem)

To finish:

4-5 carrots peeled and cut into 3-4 large chunks

4 celery stalks, cut into thirds

1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and cut in half

In a large bowl combine meat with flour and pepper. Be sure that the flour coats all the meat in a thin layer.

In a large dutch oven, or saucepan, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add cubes of beef in 3 batches and sauté until well browned (removing each browned batch before adding the next and adding extra oil if needed).

Reserve meat. Add 2 tablespoons butter, onion, carrots, celery, and lemongrass. Sauté until onions are translucent.

Add ginger, garlic, and curry powder and sauté for 30 seconds until aromatic. At this stage, you may need to add a 1/3 cup water to loosen the browned bits at the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching. If so, add water and cook until liquid is down to about a tablespoon.

Add red miso and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add soy sauce, tomato paste, and spice sachet. Stir for a minute and then add stock,, water, reserved meat, and cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover.

Cook for about 2 hours on a gentle simmer until meat is fork tender. When meat has cooled, strain entire pot, and remove cooked meat from the strainer. Discard cooked vegetables and add stock back to the pot with the meat, vegetables, and mushrooms. Cook again for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Check seasoning and add salt and fresh pepper to taste.

Note: This is a large recipe and freezes well. If freezing, do not freeze the stew with the additional cooked vegetables at the end. You can add fresh vegetables to the sauce when you rewarm the dish

You can use any vegetables you like. Sweet potatoes, squash, beans, turnips…etc.