Time for some comfort food.......

MM - Mar 2019 - Smokey Beef & Bean Braise

This week I have another recipe from fellow foodie Jen Pomeroy (www.themodernmess.com).

This Smokey Braised Beef is a fantastic winter dish, and Jen originally made it to use up excess turnips and pumpkin. It does take a bit of time in the oven, but makes a lot and freezes well. Its also good cooked in a slow cooker. (see Note below). Could be good for a weekend dinner when you have extra time for cooking, and just reheat any leftovers during the week for a quick meal.

The Cornbread is a bit of fun, and you can mix up the flavours to your taste. Leftovers are delicious toasted and topped with butter!




Recipe by Jen Pomeroy - The Modern Mess


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Braised Beef
800g chuck beef, diced 
1 onion, sliced

1 carrot, diced

1 c celery, diced 
4 cloves garlic, crushed

500g pumpkin, diced 

300g turnips or potatoes, diced 

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp ground cumin

2 dried chipotle chillies (used Tio Pablo brand from the supermarket) 
2 tins tomatoes or 1 x 680g jar Passata

500ml beef or vegetable stock

2 tsp maple syrup

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1 cinnamon quill or half a tsp of cinnamon

1 - 2 tins of black beans, rinsed 
salt & pepper to taste
Pickles, Coriander, Tabasco & Sour Cream to serve 

125g flour

145g fine polenta/cornmeal (not instant) 
2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 small onion diced

250g yoghurt

1 egg

3 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp or ¼ c milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar or any vinegar 
½ tsp salt

1 tbsp maple syrup
½ c grated cheddar cheese for the top (optional).


Braised Beef
Season the beef and brown well in a frypan in two batches. Remove beef and set aside.

Add a little oil to the frypan and add in the onion, carrot, celery and garlic, and sweat for a few minutes until soft. Place the browned beef back into the frypan and add the spices, stir to coat. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. 

Transfer the Braised Beef to an oven proof dish with a lid (if not already in one) and cook at 140°C for about 2.5 hours until the beef is very tender. Depending on the dish you’re cooking it in, you might need to add more liquid. The vegetables breakdown and help thicken the sauce. You can also cook this dish in a slow cooker, but I would reduce the added stock. 

Season the Beef Braise to taste, and top with pickles (or jalapenos), a little sour cream, chipotle tabasco and coriander. You can rest the braise with the lid on while you cook the cornbread or alternatively cook it in advance and re heat gently on the stove.

A Note on Heat... 
The dried chipotle chillies aren’t that hot, and add a nice flavor. My kids are fine with them with an added dollop of sour cream on top. I like spicy food so I might add in an extra chopped chipotle chilli to the adobe sauce after I’ve taken theirs out. I’m also quite a fan of extra chipotle tabasco on top! 

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Place the mixture in a lined loaf tin and top with grated cheese, bake for 20 - 25 mins at 200°C or until a skewer comes out clean. 

You can also cook the Cornbread in muffin tins if you’re short on time. Check the cornbread after 1 - 15 mins, as it will cook quicker than in a loaf tin. 

For a bit of variation, you can also add chopped jalapenos, crumbled feta and corn kernels to the Cornbread mixture. 

Serve with the Smokey Beef Braise or your favourite chilli. 

 Serves 6 - 8

All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2019