Wednesday, January 4, 2012

GIRL & THE GOAT... On A Budget

Being that the majority of my college friends live in Chicago, I feel I stay current on the trendiest restaurants via their Facebook posts. Hence, even though I'm not in the Windy City, I know that nabbing a table at GIRL & THE GOAT is the hottest reservation in town.



So, when I came across chef Stephanie Izard's recipe for 'The Never-Ending Chicago Winter Beef Stew', I had to try it!

And, the best part is, many of the ingredients are pantry staples, so this is a budget friendly dinner for 8! Or, for the hubby and myself, dinner tonight with lots of leftovers in the freezer (never a bad thing). I also like to think I'm sticking to my resolution of being fiscally responsible with this recipe, because this hearty one-pot meal is only $3.50 per serving.

I have to be honest though, I was a skeptic when I first read the through the ingredients. Continued to question as I was halfway through the recipe. And, up until the last hour of simmering, I felt I may have wasted my time on a sub-par dish.

And then, the "ah-hah" moment... The end result is delicious! An interesting blend of unexpected fruits and spices, you would never guess them to blend in such a flavorful way. Trust me, this stew is a unique, play on flavor, keeper!

3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
3 lb. beef, cubed (chuck or short rib)
2 medium onions
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and finely diced
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 pear, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup red wine
1 quart chicken broth
2 cups apple cider
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes (San Marzano)
3/4 cup fish sauce
3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp sambal paste
Freshly gound black pepper and salt

(I know, you're thinking I mis-typed the recipe... I didn't)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over high heat in a large soup pot. Season half of the beef with salt and pepper and add it to the pot. Brown the beef and remove. Repeat with the rest of the meat, removing and setting it aside.

Add another 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the soup pot and lower the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic and sweat them by cooking until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the pineapple, apple, pear and wine and simmer to reduce the liquid by half.

Add back the beef along with the broth, cider, tomatoes, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, mustard and sambal and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.

Cover and simmer until the beef cubes fall apart easily when poked with a fork, a little over 4 hours. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve alone with bread or over egg noodles.

Try it for yourself... If I can make a stew this good at home, the restaurant must be amazing! I'll be making a stop there next time I'm in Chi-town!


  1. Not sure if you will get this note, but I am making this recipe now and have the same trepidation you had at the beginning. The fish sauce, as much as I like it in dishes, I hate the smell and taste of it... it makes me nervous to taste the dish.

    but my question is, if you can recallthe flavors from this dish, do you think it would go well with potatoes or no?

  2. I've made this with potatoes or barley, and have omitted the pineapple before. Both good! I really like the fish sauce though I use less than recommended (can get expensive).