Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spicy Beef and Chocolate Casserole: Guest Post


Today I welcome Dave Harrison, a British based foodie and chocoholic currently working with Le Creuset cookware. How lucky is he? I always enjoy a savory chocolate recipe, and this is one I know I'll be trying soon. Measurements are set for the UK, but you can easily convert them to US. Lots of conversion tables on line.

DAVE HARRISON:

If, like me, you’ve ever said you can eat chocolate every meal of every day, then this recipe for a Spicy Beef and Chocolate Casserole is something you’ll want to try. Yes, you read that right-- beef and chocolate cooked together! I know it sounds a crazy idea, but it works, as it has done for centuries in Mexico, where chicken or turkey are also cooked with chocolate, to produce “Mole” a traditional dish.

If you’re expecting a beef covered in chocolate sauce like ice-cream then think again. Only a small amount of chocolate is used, which thickens the juices as it cooks, resulting in a sauce that is dark and velvety smooth. Combined with the hotness of the chillies and the aroma of cumin, cinnamon and parsley this is a delicious recipe, and great for special occasions. The puff pastry heart croutons are not a must, but could add that touch of romance if you are cooking for that someone special.

SPICY BEEF AND CHOCOLATE CASSEROLE
 Serves 4 

Ingredients: 

Casserole

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 red onion, sliced thinly
• ½ kg good quality braising beef cut into 2.5 cm cubes
• 1 medium size red chilli, seeded and chopped
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 400g can Italian plum tomatoes
• 1 bay leaf • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
• 40g plain chocolate
• salt
• freshly ground black pepper

Pastry Croutons

• 200g readymade puff pastry
• a little beaten egg
• 1 tablespoon pine nuts

1. Heat the oil in the heart casserole over a medium setting. Fry the onion until beginning to soften, but not brown.
2. Add the cubed meat and brown evenly, stirring occasionally. Stir in all the remaining ingredients with one full (tomato) can of water. Season.
3. Cover and cook in the oven for 2-2½ hours on 120ºC. Stir once during cooking. When the meat is tender, remove the casserole from the oven and raise the temperature for the pastry croutons.
4. Whilst the casserole is cooking roll the pastry out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Use a large heart shaped cutter (approx 9cm long) to cut out 4 hearts. Brush with a little beaten egg and press a few pine nuts into the centre of each. Chill the hearts on a baking sheet for at least 1 hour before cooking
5. Bake the hearts for 10-15 minutes on 200ºC until well-risen and golden brown.

Serve a portion of the beef and chocolate casserole topped with a pastry heart. 

Photo: Dave Harrison

6 comments:

yummychunklet said...

Great guest post!

Choc Chip Uru said...

You are a chocolate god here :D
Great guest post and amazing blog - chocolate and beef???
Say what ;) - still looks awesome!

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Anonymous said...

Delicious! I would add some garlic and up the spicy heat. This would pair well with a dark rich beer.

Carole said...

I was wondering if you would like to put up a link to this nice beef recipe in my Food on Friday Series. This week the ingredient is beef.

Janet Rudolph said...

Love to, Carole, how do I do that?'

Carole said...

Great that you linked in. Don't worry - I put the recipe title in for you. Very happy to have you link in any of your own recipes that fit the various food on fridays I have done so far - eggs, bacon, fish and seafood and asian food.