Beer- Braised Beef with Onion, Carrot and Turnips

Cooking Light, Beer-Braised Beef with Onion, Carrot and Turnips: October 2009

It’s safe to say that Cooking Light is most always my favorite “light” magazine to cook from.  Nothing is ever too gourmet or exotic, and the recipes are pretty family-friendly.  Not all of their recipes are super low in calories, but I usually pick and choose and can find some winners in every issue.  The Cooking Light website is also a terrific resource for recipe searching.

Braising is a method of cooking in the kitchen that is nice for winter.  Tough cuts of meat (usually inexpensive) cook for long periods of time in bubbling liquid.  It warms up your kitchen and results in meltingly tender meat.  (Ideally…)  This recipe- Beer-Braised Beef with Onion, Carrot and Turnips– was in a section of the magazine called, “The Enlightened Cook.”  The focus in this section was Budget Cooking:  Feed 4 for less than $10.  That’s a great concept!

Check out my notes below to see what I thought of the recipe…

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Beer- Braised Beef with Onion, Carrot and Turnips

Yield: 4 servings (3 oz beef, 1 cup veggies & about 1/2 cup cooking liquid)

Prep Time: 45 min

Cook Time: 3 hour 10 min

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
One 1-pound boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
4 cloves garlic, crushed
12 ounces dark beer
1 bay leaf
3 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
9 ounces small turnips, peeled and cut into wedges
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Place flour in a shallow dish. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef evenly on all sides with 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Add beef to pan; cook 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through bay leaf), scraping pan to remove browned bits; bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 300 degrees F. for 1 1/2 hours. Add carrots; cover and cook 25 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, turnips and onion; cover and cook an additional 1 hour and 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and beef is fork-tender.
3. Remove beef and vegetables from pan; discard bay leaf. Cover beef mixture; keep warm. Let cooking liquid stand 10 minutes. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain cooking liquid into a medium bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Serve cooking liquid with beef and vegetables. Sprinkle each serving with 1 Tbsp. parsley.

Tips:

*The turnips don't do anything for this dish.
*It might be nice to use whole shallots in place of the onion.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 3 ounces beef and 1 cup vegetables
Calories per serving: 383
Fat per serving: 19.7g
Saturated Fat per serving: 6g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">815g
Fiber per serving: 3.6g
Protein per serving: 24.4g
Cholesterol per serving: 70mg

Source:  Cooking Light, October 2009

The results:

Perhaps my beef wasn’t a great cut or something (I bought exactly what was suggested in the recipe above), but it didn’t turn out to be very tender at all. I found myself wanting some sweet potatoes or some other kind of potato in this dish to make it feel more hearty.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

No.  I didn’t think the dish was all that great.  It was supposed to be the highlight of their theme:  Easy, Hearty Dishes for Fall.  I didn’t think it was particularly all that easy to make, and it didn’t impress either.  The biggest problem was that the meat just didn’t turn out to be very tender.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.

5 Responses to “Beer- Braised Beef with Onion, Carrot and Turnips”

  1. 1

    noble pig — January 14, 2010 @ 9:28 am

    Yeah, I think chuck has to be cooked longer and when all the fat is trimmed it’s hard to get it tender. But it looks pretty.

  2. 2

    Katie — January 14, 2010 @ 9:41 am

    I am glad you tried this. It was on my list of to tries. I will now be taking it off. I am not a big fan of turnips and was going to try something new! Thanks for reviewing.

  3. 3

    Phoo-D — January 14, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

    I agree with Noble Pig – chuck should be cooked longer. 3-4 hours would be probably be more appropriate. What a bummer that it didn’t turn out! Braised meats are one of our favorite winter meals.

  4. 4

    Tracey — January 16, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

    I had a similar problem with tough meat with a chili recipe I tried recently. Sorry this one didn’t work out for you – it does look really good!

  5. 5

    Cynthia — January 20, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    Thanks your insights and comments about this dish – very useful. As for me, I’d have cooked it in a pressure cooker but I guess the whole point is to make it as they suggest right?

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