Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.
We were given three recipes for this challenge; green tea soup, beef stew or Chinese tea eggs. I made the beef stew, primarily because my stews are usually quite similar to each other and I wanted to try something completely different for a change.
The honey was optional and I thought 3/4 cup was too great an amount, so I added 1 tablespoon instead. This amount seemed just right for me. It provided a nice contrast to the spiced and slightly sour stock.
This recipe introduced me to Rooibos tea which I had never tried before. Since making this stew a couple of weeks ago, I have enjoyed a hot cup of this tea with a slice of lemon nearly every evening.
Beef Braised in Rooibos Tea with Sweet PotatoesServings: 4-6
Rooibos tea is an herbal infusion from South Africa. Also called red tea, redbush tea, or honeybush tea, it is honey-flavored and light colored. It is gaining popularity because it is low in bitter tannins and caffeine-free. It can be substituted in this recipe by black tea, or try another dark herbal tea such as one containing licorice.
1¼ pounds (600 gm) brisket or stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) chunks
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (18 gm) (⅔ oz) flour
1 tablespoon (15 m) oil
2 onions, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (8 gm) tomato concentrate
5 rooibos tea bags (or 2 tablespoons loose tea leaves)
1 quart (1 litre) just-boiled water
5 tablespoons (75 ml) red wine vinegar
4 strips unwaxed orange peel, pith removed (the peel of about half an orange)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 inches (5 cm) fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
¾ cup (175 ml) mild honey (optional)
cilantro (coriander) leaves, to garnish
salt and pepper, to taste
- Season the beef and coat in the flour. Heat the oil in a large stock pot and then brown the beef on all sides.
- Add the onions and celery. Put on a tight fitting lid and let soften for ten minutes.
- Add the garlic and tomato concentrate and cook for one minute.
- Meanwhile, place the tea bags in a heatproof pitcher and pour over the water. Allow to steep for four minutes. Then remove the tea bags (or strain out the tea leaves) and pour the tea into the stock pot. Add the red wine vinegar, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and ginger.
- Lower the heat and cover. Let the stew simmer for 2 hours, until the beef is tender.
- Add the sweet potatoes, honey (if using), and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
- Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.