Great Recipes From Jennifer Stack’s New Book
Beef Braised in Beer and Onions with Caraway Cauliflower Mash and Sautéed Kale with Shallots. A Diabetes-Friendly Low-Glycemic Meal.
Beer, onions, beef…need we say more? And when you serve them with Caraway Cauliflower Mash and Sautéed Kale with Shallots, you’ve got a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal that has the succulence of a stew but is not loaded with fat or salt.
“This flavor- and fiber-rich meal has a low glycemic impact,” says Registered Dietitian and Associate Professor at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Jennifer Stack. “It is a perfect meal for someone with pre-diabetes or diabetes, or who simply wants to enjoy the energy and weight-loss benefits of low-glycemic foods.”
When the autumn chill hits the air, Stack, a 2003 graduate of the CIA, likes to turn on the oven and start braising. This popular moist-heat cooking technique can take a tough cut of meat and make it fork-tender with succulent gravy. For the beef, start with a two-pound boneless beef shoulder or chuck roast that will easily serve eight people or make wonderful leftovers for a second meal. The Beef Braised in Beer and Onions should be made a day or two in advance so the fat solidifies at the top and can be skimmed off before reheating. In addition, braised dishes always taste better a day or two after they are prepared.
Stack’s mantra for braising is “season, sear, sweat, and simmer.” Season the meat with salt, pepper, and one tablespoon of flour to create a dry surface. This is an essential step for properly searing the meat and developing the maximum amount of flavor. Make sure you are using a heavy pan with a lid, such as an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, and get it very hot. The sound of the sizzle when the meat hits the pan lets you know you got it right. Sear all sides of the meat until it is well-browned.
Remove the meat once it is well-browned, reduce the heat, and add the sliced onions. As they sweat, they will loosen up the browned bits of meat at the bottom of the pan. Take your time and slowly let the onions develop a golden-brown color, as this is a key step to developing flavor in the dish.
When the onions are done, add the meat, broth, tomatoes, and beer to the pan and place, covered, in the oven to slowly simmer until the meat is fork-tender.
The recipe calls for 16 ounces of dark beer, or 1 and 1/3 bottles. Although most of the alcohol will burn off during our extended cooking, you need to determine what to do with the remaining 2/3 bottle of beer.
If you have diabetes, Stack cautions that you need to ask yourself and your diabetes treatment team some questions. One, is it safe for me to consume alcohol with my current diabetes treatment? Two, can I fit the 10 g of carbohydrate from this 2/3 bottle of beer into my carbohydrate budget? Three, what should I eat with this beverage to prevent my blood glucose from dropping too low while my liver breaks down the alcohol? If you don’t want the temptation, you can also decide to prepare the dish with only one 12-ounce bottle of beer—but make sure it is a dark beer, as it is an important part of the flavor.
By serving the braised beef with Caraway Cauliflower Mash and Sautéed Kale with Shallots instead of potatoes, we have a meal with 43 grams of carbohydrate, of which 7 grams come from fiber. This means you can enjoy this hearty fall dish with less chance of your blood glucose quickly rising too high.
The following recipes are from Jennifer Stack’s new book, the CIA’s The Diabetes-Friendly Kitchen (Wiley, 2012), available for purchase at bookstores nationwide or at www.ciaprochef.com/fbi/books.html.
Beef Braised in Beer and Onions
Makes 8 servings
- 2 pounds boneless chuck pot roast
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 4 medium onions, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pint dark beer
- 1 quart low-salt beef broth
- One 14.5-oz can low-salt diced tomatoes
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 small parsnip, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig parsley
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 black peppercorns
- Season the meat with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Heat the canola oil in a heavy Dutch oven and sear both sides of the meat. Remove browned meat from oven and set aside.
- Add the onions to the pan and allow to slowly brown. Add in the garlic and continue to cook until garlic is soft. Return the meat to the pan and add the beer, broth, and tomatoes.
- Simmer covered, in a 350° F oven for about an hour and a half. Wrap the chopped onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, and remaining seasonings in cheesecloth and add to the stew.
- Allow the stew to simmer at least another 30 minutes, or until the meat is fork-tender. Cool the stew and refrigerate overnight. Skim the solid fat off the top of the stew before re-warming for service. If desired, you can thicken the stew with a slurry of arrowroot and water.
Nutritional Information per Serving—Calories: 347, Protein: 25 g, Carbohydrates: 15 g, Fiber: 2 g, Total Fat: 18.5 g, Saturated Fat: 6 g, Sodium: 201 mg
Caraway Cauliflower Mash
This mash illustrates the principle of working vegetables into foods that you love to make them healthier. Cauliflower takes the place of some of the potato in this side. Caraway adds an intriguing flavor and Greek yogurt replaces the cream to make a healthy version of mashed potatoes. This recipe was created by 2011 CIA graduate Melia Kilbourn.
Makes 6 servings
- 1 head cauliflower, core removed and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
- 1 white potato, peeled and quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
- 1/4 cup evaporated 2% fat milk
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 1/4 leek, sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, warm
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Coat the cauliflower and potato with olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour until soft and lightly browned.
- Steep the evaporated milk with the caraway seeds then strain out the seeds.
- Sauté the shallots and leeks in the butter. Add the caraway-infused milk.
- When the cauliflower and potato are soft, purée in a food processor with the shallot and leek mixture. Stir in the yogurt and season with the remaining salt.
Nutrition Information per Serving—Calories: 117, Protein: 5 g, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber: 3 g, Total Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Sodium: 148 mg
Sautéed Kale with Shallots
The TuthillHouse at the Mill Restaurant & Tavern inGardiner,NYserves a side dish of kale that even hardcore meat lovers enjoy. They kindly shared the recipe with me and I am so glad to pass it on. With hints of sweetness from the shallots and wine, it is an excellent way to add dark, leafy greens to a meal without any bitterness.
Makes 4 servings
- 1 large bunch of kale, stems removed (makes about 6 cups of leaves once blanched and chopped)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Blanch the kale leaves and then put them in an ice bath to help set the bright green color.
- Roughly chop the kale into large pieces and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and sauté the shallots until soft.
- Add the kale and toss to coat with oil and shallots. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Cook until the volume of the wine is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Nutrition Information per Serving—Calories: 126, Protein: 4 g, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 2 g, Total Fat: 6 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Sodium: 184 mg
Photo Caption: Diabetes-friendly: CIA’s Beef Braised in Beer and Onions with Caraway Cauliflower Mash and Sautéed Kale with Shallots. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)