Beef and cauliflower make for the perfect pair in this chunky beef stew that is brightened with the flavors of white wine.
When it comes to meat, we’re learning. Particularly with red meats.
It wasn’t until this past Christmas that a conversation with my mom enlightened us to the world of different quality grades of beef. And, our minds were blown.
So, when we were contacted with the opportunity to learn more about quality beef and Certified Angus Beef® brand, we were excited to see the difference first hand.
What Do Beef Grades Mean?
Sure, you may see some really good deals on cuts of meat. But, you have to be careful, because all meat isn’t created equal.
Have you seen the USDA Prime, Choice, and Select rating when you’ve been scoping the beef counter?
Prime is the highest quality. Choice is still high quality, and most common (over 50% of the cattle total). Select is the lowest acceptable grade for retail.
There is one main factor in what contributes to ‘quality’ meat: fat.
The better the fat marbling, the higher quality. Select, for example, is typically lean, making it dryer and less flavorful, while prime cuts will have nice marbling, making them juicy and super flavorful.
What is marbling?
Take a look at those little flecks of white in the meat above.
These flecks of fat melt during cooking, basting the beef from the inside out. So, the more even the marbling (like the great marbling in the Certified Angus Beef® above), the more flavorful and juicy the resulting dish will be.
(By the way, if you’re looking for a leaner dish, you don’t need to be scared off by marbling. Unlike a cut of meat that might have a large layer of fat on the outside, known as a “fat cap”, these are flecks of fat within the lean of the meat, and, like we said, they melt during cooking, adding flavor, but not a significant amount of fat to the final dish.)
Certified Angus Beef® Brand’s Quality Beef
When you see the Certified Angus Beef® logo, you can be sure your meat has met 10 standards for marbling, size, and uniformity.
Unfortunately, the term ‘Angus’ has become over-used by the meat industry, since Certified Angus Beef® brand has established quality behind their name. Make sure you see “Certified Angus Beef®” to know you aren’t being tricked by not-so-clever marketing ploys.
In the end, you really can tell a difference by taste.
We found Certified Angus Beef® to be fall-apart tender. The marbling was just enough to flavor the meat and stew, without leaving excess fat that needed to be skimmed from the dish.
Chunky Beef and Cauliflower Stew
This recipe for Beef and Cauliflower Stew isn’t our own. We were sent recipes to try out fromthe award-winning CBS show Recipe Rehab. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it’s a pretty neat concept:
“Families submit their favorite high-calorie, family-style recipes, and two chefs face off in a head-to-head competition to give the recipes a low-calorie twist. After making each rehabbed recipe in their own kitchen, the family chooses their new favorite. This recipe makeover challenge promotes using healthy, wholesome ingredients and demonstrates how a few modern changes can transform a family favorite into an even healthier meal.” (Recipe Rehab Website)
We all have those family favorites that we know aren’t the healthiest, but they are the epitome of comfort food. Tim and I are constantly remaking old, family favorites in our house, and it is amazing how a few simple changes can do wonders for the health of a dish without sacrificing the comforting taste.
This Chunky Beef and Cauliflower Stew is classic beef stew the way we like it, with big chunks of beef and veggies. We loved the unique addition of white wine to the stew as well, adding a bright sweetness to the dish.
We typically serve beef stew over noodles or mashed potatoes, but we loved the way this recipe called to serve the beef stew over steamed cauliflower. The cauliflower added nice flavor and extra, chunky veggies. And, they were delicious coated in the gravy from the stew!
Chunky Beef and Cauliflower Stew
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 ¼ lbs Certified Angus Beef® sirloin tip roast, cut into 3/4” cubes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 carrots, chopped into 1” pieces
- 1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp thyme
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ c semi-dry white wine (cabernet sauvignon or pino grigio)
- 2 ½ c beef stock (we prefer low sodium)
- 3 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 lb cauliflower, cut into bite-size chunks
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven (4-6 qt), over high heat. Add your beef cubes and brown the meat, 3-5 min. Remove meat to a bowl and set aside.
- If needed, add a little more oil. Add the onions and carrot chunks and sauté until golden, 10 min. Add the mushrooms, celery, and garlic, and sauté 2-3 min.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add tomato paste, bay, thyme, and pepper. Mix until evenly distributed.
- Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up any stuck bits of goodness with a flat wooden spoon.
- Return the beef to the pan and simmer, 2-3 minutes to reduce the wine.
- While the wine is simmering, in a small bowl, pour a little beef broth into the flour. Whisk until a smooth paste forms, then add more broth, until it is all combined and smooth. Add the broth mixture to the Dutch oven.
- Bring the pot to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 45 min to 2 hours. (The longer you simmer, the more tender the meat will become.)
- About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve dinner, heat 1 quart of water in a large saucepan to boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer and add cauliflower. Simmer 5 minutes, or until cauliflower is just barely tender.
- Serve stew over a bed of cauliflower.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Mom Central Consulting and the Certified Angus Beef® brand. We received product samples to facilitate our review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating. All opinions are our own.