Jugged Beef recipe from Falling off the Bone cookbook by Jean Anderson
Author Jean Anderson:
“Jugged” is just another way of saying oven stew. Its advantage, of course, is that there’s less danger of the pots boiling dry and everything in it scorching. Most jugged meats are simmered with wine and this one calls for two–a dry table red plus a sweeter fortified port or Madeira. To trim prep time, I use two handy supermarket items: packaged sliced mushrooms and bagged, peeled baby carrots. In a slow-simmering stew, both work well.
THE RECIPE. Incorporating prepackaged mushrooms and carrots, this simple Jugged Beef recipe involves browning the beef and sauteing the bacon. After that, everything simmers along while you go about your other business (we used our trusty crockpot). The only “problem” is that the aromas will start your stomach growling (trust us).
THE RESULT. We couldn’t find red currant jelly and substituted seedless raspberry jam. I admit to being unsure about the jam and cinnamon in a stew, but I needn’t have been. The sweetness was subtle and melded beautifully with the earthiness of the meat and mushrooms. Our version had a bit more “gravy” than shown in the book photo, but we weren’t arguing about that–more to sop up with the garlic bread.
Yield: 6 Servings
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut in 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup unsifted all-purpose flour mixed with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (seasoned flour)
- 6 thick slices bacon, snipped crosswise at 1/2-inch intervals
- 3 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) sliced cremini or white mushrooms
- 1 package (1 pound) peeled baby carrots
- 2 large whole bay leaves (preferably fresh)
- 3 small sprigs fresh thyme (preferably lemon thyme) or 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried leaf thyme
- 1-inch-long cinnamon stick
- 1 cup dry red wine mixed with 1/4 cup medium-dry Madeira or port
- 1/2 cup tart red currant jelly
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Dredge beef, a few pieces at a time, by shaking in a large plastic zipper bag with seasoned flour and set aside.
2. Saute bacon in a large heavy nonreactive Dutch oven over moderately high heat, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed, until all drippings render out and only brown bits remain--8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift brown bits to paper toweling to drain and reserve.
3. Drain all drippings from pot, stir 3 tablespoons back in, and heat until ripples appear on pan bottom--1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add dredged beef in several batches and brown in drippings, allowing about 10 minutes per batch and lifting each to a bowl as it browns.
4. Spoon remaining drippings into pot, add onions, mushrooms, carrots, bay leaves, thyme, and cinnamon, and saute, stirring often, until onions and mushrooms are lightly browned--10 to 12 minutes.
5. Return beef to pot along with accumulated juices, add combined wines and jelly, and bring to a boil over high heat. Slide pot onto middle oven shelf, cover, and braise until meat is fork-tender and flavors marry--2 to 2 1/2 hours. Discard cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs, if used. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
6. Ladle jugged beef into a heated deep platter or tureen, scatter parsley and reserved bacon on top, and serve with boiled potatoes, buttered broad egg noodles, or spaetzle.
© 2010 Jean Anderson
From Falling Off the Bone, by Jean Anderson, photography by Jason Wyche (John Wiley & Sons)