Carne en su Jugo
Carne en su jugo translates to “beef in its own juices,” and it’s the kind of dish you crave when it’s cold out and you need the nourishment that only a steamy, juicy bowl of beef can bring. The filling, comforting dish is the lifeblood of Guadalajara, Mexico’s old capital city in the sunny west-coast state of Jalisco. If you’re ever there, there’s a 99 percent chance you will go to Karne Garibaldi, the restaurant that made this dish, known around the world for breaking the Guinness World Record for serving it in 13.5 seconds after ordering. But that is another story. You’re here to cook!The dish is somewhere between pho and a plate of carne asada tacos. It’s a brothy stew of finely chopped skirt steak and tender beans in an intensely savory beef stock fortified with Worcestershire and soy sauces, onions, garlic, and tomatillos. (And there is true magic in those tomatillos—they add a layer of delicious tartness that’s dangerously good against the richness of the beef.)The interesting thing about carne en su jugo is that a tiny bit of beef gets blended into the broth. You heard me—blended! I’m sure that liquefying beef breaks every rule in the book but the Tapatío (gent from Guadalajara) who came up with it was really onto something because it adds so much body and depth to the stew. Add the beans toward the end of cooking so they don’t fall apart. For the best texture, make a pot of beans from scratch. (A pressure cooker can accomplish this in about 30 minutes.) But if you’re strapped for time, canned pinto beans will do the trick.To serve, pick up some of your favorite bacon, crisp it up real nice, chop it up, and make it rain over the carne. Add a couple of tablespoons of diced onion, cilantro, and lime juice to your liking. On the table, you can also have guacamole, some grilled onions, and tortillas lightly toasted in a bit of oil. And don’t forget a cold beer. You can never go wrong with that.
Instant Pot Viet Beef Stew with Star Anise and Lemongrass
I’m a cook who loves to hover over a pot and observe the transformation of ingredients, but let’s face it, most people just want to get into the eating action. That’s where modern, time-saving appliances like pressure cookers such as the Instant Pot come in. They can’t do everything well, but they’re fabulous for certain things, like dishes that normally require long simmering and slow cooking.This Vietnamese beef stew (bo kho, pronounced “baw caw”) from my book, Vietnamese Food Any Day, is the perfect example. It appeared in the February issue of Food & Wine prepared in a Dutch Oven with a three-hour cook time. This French-inspired stew is a dream simmering on your stovetop with the aromas of lemongrass and star anise wafting through your home. But you can still enjoy the same flavor in about half the time with a little help from your Instant Pot.I quickly discovered that adapting traditional recipes for the pressure cooker isn’t as simple as cutting regular cooking time. Appliances require you to adjust to their functionalities. Here’s a quick rundown of the changes I made to the recipe and why. And don’t worry if you don’t own an Instant Pot; you can get the original Dutch oven version of the recipe here.Pressure cookers extract and meld flavors fast. But there’s a lot of hedging and guessing because once the lid is locked in place, you can’t see what’s going on inside the pot. Cooking happens as pressure builds, during actual pressure cooking, and while the pot depressurizes. From past experiences with pressure cookers, I guesstimated that the beef would require about 40 percent of the normal cook time (1 hour and 15 minutes) for the beef to become tender-chewy. That’s why in the recipe below, the beef is cooked at high pressure for 10 minutes and naturally depressurized for 18 minutes; also factored in is a little cooking time at the front end as the pressure builds.There’s a difference between a regular stovetop pressure cooker that ventilates and whistles while it works and an electric multicooker like the Instant Pot that operates in silence. Whereas some evaporation happens in stovetop models, there’s little to no moisture loss in machines like the Instant Pot. To compensate, I cook with less liquid in a multicooker than in a regular pressure cooker.During the last step, when you’re simmering the beef with the carrots, that’s when things start to slide back into comforting and familiar. The lid is off while things bubble away—you can the verify the meat’s tenderness and witness the cooking first-hand. At the end of the day, the Instant Pot recipe conversion was a success. My home still smelled wonderful—and I had an entire extra hour all to myself. Combining old-school recipe with a modern appliance turned this weekend project into a deliciously doable weeknight ditty.
Caldo Verde with Beef Shank and Sausage
This hearty soup from Chicago chef Abraham Conlon is great for a hungry crowd. It’s a perfect one-pot meal featuring meat, vegetables, potatoes and beans in a richly flavored broth that’s perked up with a hit of tangy sherry vinegar.Slideshow: Best Beef Stew Recipes
Beef Soup Recipes
From a beef-and-farro soup to a quick Vietnamese noodle soup with beef, here are some of our favorite beef-based soup recipes.
Star Anise-Beef Soup
The anise adds a punch to this already-delicious beef soup.Slideshow: