When I entertain, I always look for dishes that can be made a day ahead. Braised meat is great because it actually tastes better the next day. Beer-braised beef is the ultimate Super Bowl party fare. You can put it on top of arepas, like I did, over nachos, or even serve it buffet-style with warm tortillas and other accompaniments.
Have you ever had shishito peppers before? They are really fun to order at restaurants because it’s a little like playing Russian roulette. There’s always at least one hot one in the bunch. I found these at Whole Foods. You can sub serranos, jalapeños, or really any other pepper you like. I can’t stand when a recipe calls for a ingredient that is difficult to find.
I recently decided to try to cook off of recipes more often as a way to plan meals better at home. That went out the window as soon as I got to the store and couldn’t find one or two key ingredients in each recipe. I was so annoyed. Please do not hesitate to let me know if that happens to you with any of my recipes so I can suggest alternatives for you.
On another note, I’d like to share a post with you written by one of my friends, Gluten Dude. It’s a very eloquent call to NBC to remove their NASCAR Super Bowl ad which basically describes those who can’t eat gluten as “soft”. Unfortunately, we are in time where it seems that those with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance are the butt of so many jokes. “Gluten-free” or “gluten” become the go-to tag words for anyone looking for a quick laugh or to incite some sort of nonsensical controversy. It’s bizarre, actually, because it is about a disease which should technically be protected, more importantly, respected in the same way we would treat any other serious illness.
It’s not like me to rant about these issues but I think we really need to send a message and put a stop to this widespread commercial practice and acceptance of treating those with a medical condition as though they are making an unpopular choice with the intention of inconveniencing others. I have a pretty thick skin but I have to say, it is hurtful, when I am just casually listening to the radio and all of the sudden hear a Geico commercial make fun of “the gluten-free” people or am watching a morning show and out of the blue hear some contemptuous remark about “those gluten people”. It’s bizarre and confusing.
Trust me, I would love to be able to eat ALL THE GLUTEN. But I can’t. More importantly, neither can my 8 year old son because we have celiac DISEASE. Not because we are on some fancy diet. Please respect that and think about young kids watching the game who have a medical reason for avoiding gluten yet are being told they are weak Americans because of it. Click here to read the post, see the commercial and get some facts about celiac disease. If you feel the same, please sign the petition here.
Now back to our regular recipe programming. Here is what the beef should look like before it goes in the oven. It’s a ridiculously easy braise since there is no browning step. BTW, NASCAR, I think our founding fathers would devour this dish, gluten-free and all!
- 2.5 lbs Beef sirloin tips, cut into 2" pieces
- 1 12oz bottle of beer (I used New Planet gluten-free pale ale)
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed with your hands
- 3-4 medium onions cut into 1" thick rounds
- 1 large poblano or dried ancho pepper, stem and seeds removed and chopped into large pieces
- 5 garlic cloves, smashed
- salt and pepper to taste (be very generous!)
- 15-20 shishito peppers (optional)
- Cotija cheese (optional)
- Sliced scallions, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and let beef sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes. Pour beer and vinegar into a 5 qt dutch oven (or medium, heavy bottomed, oven-safe pot with a lid) and add crushed tomatoes.Nestle onion rounds in one layer around the bottom of the pot. There should be enough to cover most of the surface and they should just peak out at the top of the liquid.
- Add pepper and garlic cloves and lay meat on top of onions so they are mostly above the liquid.Cover the pot and put in the oven for about 3 hours, until meat is browned on top and can be easily shred with 2 forks.Remove meat from braising liquid and toss out large pieces of onion. Add remaining ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and pour over shredded meat.
- Heat a dry, large cast iron skilled over medium-high heat and cook shishitos, turning occasionally, until blistered on all sides.
- Serve shredded beef over arepas, with corn tortillas or layered on your favorite nachos with peppers, cotija cheese and scallions.