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Beef by Choice

Ham might replace turkey, but here's a beefy alternative for the holiday feast.

by Jean Hecker

There is nothing I like better than a whole roasted turkey with all the trimmings for Christmas It is just never going to happen if I invite my sister—she hates turkey. I even had to make her a ham for Thanksgiving. Sometimes I wonder if we really grew up in the same house, but I have learned to make the adjustment and for Christmas it’s always beef for us. This year it’s Moroccan braised beef. It can be made a day ahead and actually improves with a night in the fridge. All of the flavors meld and a re-heated dish is easy and more flavorful without all the fuss on Christmas Day. Serve over couscous or rice.

Moroccan Braised Beef
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 1/2 lbs boneless chuck roast, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 cups chopped onions
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 tbsp. garam Masala
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup dry Sherry
2 cups beef broth
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup golden raisins

Heat two tablespoons of oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper, add to pot and saute until browned, about five minutes.

Transfer meat to bowl, add one tablespoon oil to pot and add onions. Saute until lightly browned, add garlic and spices. Stir one minute, then add wine and sherry, boil until reduced to glaze, about eight minutes.

Add broth, tomatoes, and raisins; stir, then add beef. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer uncovered for about an hour, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Season stew with salt and pepper to taste.

Jean Hecker has a BA in Home Economics Education from Rowan University and enjoys exploring all facets of the food and restaurant industry.

Food for Thought