Friday, March 6, 2015

Avocado Dill Mousse & Smoked Salmon Verrine






A popular food trend that originated in France, 'verrines' are intended to be indulgent little surprises that please the eye and offer unexpected textures and flavours. Chic patisseries in Paris, including Pierre Herme, Jean-Paul Hevin and Fauchon, showcase them, and prominent French chefs such as Guy Savoy, Yves Camdeborde and Helene Darroze feature them on their menus. They can be as simple as a soup passed before dinner or a dazzling dessert presented at the end of a meal. The word verrine refers to the vessel itself and literally means 'protective glass.' Intriguingly composed, they're a study in textures, flavours, colours and temperatures. A beautiful glass might be filled with a layer of warm sautéed wild mushrooms topped with a crisp potato and prosciutto galette; another may feature rich lemon custard, fresh blueberries and sweet lavender shortbread. If you subscribe to the idea that starting with an impressive appetizer and ending with a splashy dessert guarantees that dinner will be fabulous, then verrines are perfect for entertaining: They have sparkle, they have flair and can be assembled ahead of time, just like this luscious and creamy Avocado Dill Mousse & Smoked Salmon Verrine, the perfect amuse-bouche to usher in Spring.




Avocado Mousse & Smoked Salmon Verrines
Serves 8

2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
8 oz smoked salmon
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
5 oz garlic and fine herb Boursin
3 oz crème fraîche 
2 tsp chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish


Place the diced avocados in a food processor along with the crème fraîche, Boursin, lemon juice, salt, pepper and fresh dill, and blend well until smooth. Slice the smoked salmon into smaller pieces, and set aside. To serve, fill each glass with a spoonful of avocado mousse and top with salmon pieces and garnish of fresh dill. A small dollop of caviar or slice of lime would also be a nice garnish.








Thursday, March 5, 2015

Oven Roasted Tomato Soup






There's something enormously comforting about a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day. This easy and delicious Oven Roasted Tomato Soup blends the fabulous flavours of fresh basil, garlic, onions and oven roasted tomatoes for a luxuriously smooth soup that's full of rich Italian flavours. Slow roasting caramelizes and intensifies the flavour of the tomatoes, enhances their natural sweetness, and lends extraordinary depth to this hearty and satisfying soup — ideal with a hot grilled cheese sandwich! 




Plum tomatoes are halved and tossed with a mixture of olive oil, salt and pepper 
then placed in one layer on a foil lined baking sheet

Roasted at 400°F for 45 minutes, the tomatoes become soft, lightly caramelized 
with a wonderfully fragrant


Roasted Tomato Soup
Serves 6-8

3 lb ripe plum tomatoes, washed, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-oz can plum tomatoes, with their juice
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
4 cups chicken stock 
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the tomatoes together in a large bowl with 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, in one layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and lightly caramelized. 

In an large stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic with two tablespoons of olive oil, butter and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, thyme and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Using a hand immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth and taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold with a little cream if you would like a richer soup.







Grilled Cheese Sandwich 

Serves 6

12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 oz Swiss, Gruyere or Comte cheese, cut into 6 slices
6 oz extra-sharp aged Cheddar, cut into 6 slices
12 slices rosemary sourdough bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick


Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread, the one that will be on the outside of the sandwich. Lay a slice of each cheese on the unbuttered side of one slice. Top with second slice, so that the buttered side faces out. Heat a large frying pan over medium low, and when the pan is hot, cook the sandwiches in batches until golden underneath and the cheese begins to melt, about 2 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip the sandwiches over and cook until it's crisp and golden, pressing down on it with the spatula to encourage it to all come together. Transfer to a plate, cut in half if desired, and serve with Oven Roasted Tomato Soup.







Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kuku Paka: East African Chicken in Coconut Sauce





Madhur Jaffrey is a huge fan of Bimal Parmar’s East African Kuku Paka, which is chicken marinated in chilli, garlic and ginger and served in a creamy coconut ‘paka’ sauce — a delicious example of how African, Arab and Indian influences come together in this classic Swahili dish from the coastal region of Kenya. Featured in Jaffrey's 'Curry Nation' cookbook, this rich and creamy curry combines the wonderful flavour of coconut milk with the bright fragrance of ground Indian spices. Although the recipe suggests using chicken legs, bone-in chicken breasts or dark meaty thighs would be just as 'pukka'.



Madhur Jaffreys latest cookbook and recent addition to my ever expanding cooking library




Chicken in Coconut Sauce
Serves 2
Recipe courtesy Madhur Jaffrey

Marinade:
1 tsp finely chopped hot green chili
1 tsp each peeled, finely chopped ginger root and finely grated garlic
1/4 tsp salt

Chicken:
2 whole chicken legs, skinned, slashed 3 or 4 times
3 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
6 tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 tsp each finely grated garlic and ginger 
1 tsp finely chopped hot green chili
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp each chili powder and salt
1 9-ounce can coconut milk, shaken well
1 lime, quartered
Fresh coriander leaves


For the marinade, combine the green chili, ginger root, garlic and salt in a cup and rub well all over the chicken parts, including where it's slashed. Refrigerate, covered, for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush the chicken with oil and place in a baking pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until done. Juices should run clear when chicken is pricked with a fork. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for five minutes.

In a heavy frying pan over medium heat, heat the oil and cook onion for about five minutes or until lightly browned. Add the garlic, ginger and green chili and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add the tomato and cook until soft, about three minutes. Add the ground cumin and coriander, turmeric, chili powder and salt, stirring well. Mix in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook rapidly over medium-high heat, stirring until sauce thickens. Place the chicken in the sauce to heat it through, spooning the sauce over the chicken. Remove from heat, remove chicken from sauce and place on a warmed serving plate. Pour sauce over chicken and serve with lime wedges and fresh coriander.








Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Roast Lamb with Rosemary, Garlic, Lemon & Anchovy





There are few meals as impressive as a roasted bone-in leg of lamb. Studded with garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and anchovies, this simple and delicious roast makes a succulent centrepiece for any social occasion. Puréed into a coarse paste, the marinade is stuffed into small incisions around the boneless leg of lamb, then rubbed with olive oil and generously seasoned with salt and pepper. Roasted on high at 450°F for 15-20 minutes, then slow roasted at 325°F for about an hour, the results are pinky perfection. Lamb, like beef, doesn’t need to be cooked all the way, and is best at a rosy medium-rare — 135°F to 140°F when finished. Whether served as part of a traditional Easter dinner or quiet Sunday lunch with family, this recipe is easy to prepare, absolutely delicious, and goes especially well with my Mother-in-Law's special homemade mint sauce!




Garlic, anchovies, rosemary and lemon zest are whizzed together in a food processor

A little olive oil can be added to loosen the paste slightly

Using a sharp knife to make small incisions in the thickest portions of the lamb and fill the pockets with the garlic-herb paste, pressing the mixture in deep with your fingers

The lamb is roasted at 450°F for 20 minutes then reduced to 325°F for 1 1/2 hours for medium rare, or until a thermometer reads 135°



Roast Lamb with Rosemary, Garlic, Lemon & Anchovy Marinade
Serves 6-8

5 lb leg of lamb, bone-in
4 cloves garlic
6 anchovies
3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves only
1 lemon, zest only
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
salt and pepper, to taste


Using a small food processor, blend together the garlic, anchovies, rosemary leaves, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of olive or anchovy oil until a coarse paste. Then using a sharp knife, make small incisions in the thickest portions of the lamb and fill the pockets with the garlic-herb paste, pressing the mixture in deep with your fingers. Rub any remaining paste over the top of the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Rub 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the whole leg, then arrange on a roasting pan and preheat the oven to 450°F. 

Roast the lamb at 450°F for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F and continue cooking for 90 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the middle of lamb reads 135° for medium rare. Once the lamb is ready, remove from the oven and tent with foil for 15-20 minutes, allowing the juices to retract and make the roast lovely and moist.

To serve, slice the leg of lamb onto a decorative platter and serve with Cannellini Beans with Rosemary and Sautéed Rapini with Garlic, for a truly Tuscan feast.



















Monday, March 2, 2015

Pasta alla Puttanesca: A Neapolitan Classic





Food can be an extraordinarily evocative sense, bringing back memories of enjoying a particular food but also of people, places and settings. Years ago, I would get together every other weekend with my friend Deborah and make Pasta Puttanesca, then we'd watch Masterpiece Theatre. To this day, whenever I make this recipe I think back to those evenings and smile. I don't recall why I kept making the same dish each time, perhaps it was the comfort of a welcome routine, but neither of us complained because it was so delicious! It's still one of my favourite pastas. An italian dish originating in Naples, the name puttanesca came from the Italian word puttana, which means prostitute, so it became known as "whore's pasta," because it's hot, spicy, robust and easy to make!


"Whore’s pasta. Was ever a name so perfectly suited to a dish? 
It's edgy, spicy, and just the right side of wrong, conjuring up visions of Neapolitan streets and dangerous women in tight dresses".   
- Sophie Dahl -



Puttanesca sauce with tomatoes, garlic, capers, anchovies, oregano, olives and Sriracha

Enticed by the packaging of Lidia's new line of pasta, I purchased the fusilli and surprisingly was very impressed with the quality of the pasta




Pasta Puttanesca
Serves 4

1 lb fusilli or other dried pasta
2 28 oz cans of San Marzano Italian peeled plum tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
1/2 cup canned sliced black olives or pitted Nicoise
1/4 cup drained capers
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
8 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley, plus additional for garnish
2 tsp salt
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish


Combine the tomatoes and a little olive oil in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Keep the sauce at a full boil and add the remaining ingredients except pasta, one at a time, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your liking. The sauce can be covered and kept warm over low heat until required.

Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add some salt and stir in the dried pasta. Cook until tender but still firm. Drain immediately and add to the puttanesca sauce, stirring well to combine. Serve immediately with a garnish of chopped parsley and grated Parmigiano on the side for sprinkling over the pasta.





















Friday, February 27, 2015

A Culinary Evening with Chef Susur Lee






Internationally acclaimed chef and restauranteur Susur Lee has built a reputation as a culinary genius with his innovative and inspiring cuisine that combines the complex food traditions of China with the classical techniques of refined French cuisine. Named one of the top 10 chefs of the millennium by Food & Wine magazine and hailed by Zagat as a culinary genius, we were fortunate to get into a special dinner with chef Lee through Toronto's 2015 Visa Infinite Dining Series event at his flagship restaurant Lee Lounge. A culinary chameleon and master of global cuisines and plating panache, Lee was to create 13 small dishes served with a series of wine, beer and sake pairings, for an exceptional evening of sensory and savoury pleasures.





Internationally acclaimed chef and restauranteur Susur Lee was in the kitchen and spoke about each dish as it was served during the evening



Born in Hong Kong and the youngest of four children, Lee knew he wanted to cook from a young age, serving his culinary apprenticeship at Hong Kong’s renowned Peninsula Hotel before emigrating to Canada in 1978, where he worked his way up the ranks to executive chef status at a number of restaurants in Toronto, opening his first restaurant Lotus, to great success. Hard work, perseverance and endless quest for the most elusive flavours have brought him where he is today, with restaurants in Toronto — Luckee, Lee and Bent — and Tunglok Heen in Singapore. "I was educated in food at a young age. My father would take me to dim sum — he would open up the newspaper and say, ‘Son, you order whatever you want,’ and by the time he closed the paper, ‘Oh my god, son, you ordered so much!’ I loved food as a little kid. Through eating, I could experience food culture; I could feel and imagine things and it satisfied me. It's like taking music apart, I can sense the flavour and I have a great memory of taste". As we did too, enjoying every one of the decadent appetizers and sensational dishes served over the course of the evening, with both chef Lee and master sommelier John Szabo charming guests with personal anecdotes on the culinary inspiration and oenological insights of this special menu, taking guests on a flavour-filled journey across the cuisines of the world.




The large central bar island at Lee, with staff pouring a battalion of glasses for arriving guests

Awash in a sea of red, the interior of Lee is elegant, refined and bustling with guests arriving for Susur Lee's special Visa Infinite dining event

A Jansz Premium Sparking Cuvée from Tasmania was served to guests as they arrived, to be enjoyed with chef Lee's delicious appetizers

Tempura Crab Cake Roll with nori, rice, wasabi & yuzu ponzu, miso mayo topped with spicy chorizo

Mini Cheeseburger Springroll Lettuce Wrap made with braised organic Angus sirloin, aged cheddar and pickled​ vegetables, rolled into white spring roll wrappers and fried in canola oil and served with baby cilantro leaves and smoky chipotle mayo

Mini Cheese Tart with handmade puff pastry, black olives, tomato, red pepper, eggplant, zucchini, jalapeño and tomatillo

Assam Shrimp and Pineapple on Skewer

The first wine pairing of the evening was a 2012 Weingut Sybille Kuntz Riesling from Mosel, Germany, designed to go with the Singapore-style Slaw and Tartare dishes

Susur’s Signature 19-ingredient stunning tower of Singapore-style Slaw with tuna sashimi and salted apricot dressing

Spicy Japanese Salmon Tartare with black sesame paste 'swoosh' and crispy taro chip

Black Pepper Charred White BC Tuna Sashimi with grapefruit ceviche

A Tengumai Dance of the Raven Gods Umajun Sake from Ishikawa Japan is served to accompany the next 3 courses

The Steamed Shrimp Siu Mai with Hong Kong XO sauce and sweet and sour glaze arrived layered in 2 cups: the sauce on top with the siu mai kept warm in a cup below

Steamed Shrimp Siu Mai 

The XO sauce with sweet and sour glaze which the Siu Mai is dipped into

Cold Pressed Vietnamese-style Octopus with calamansi citrus vinaigrette

Susur Lee's Bocuse-inspired Szechuan Hot and Soup Soup en croûte with superbly balanced broth, perfectly cooked chicken, vegetables and and thick cloud ear mushrooms

The next wine, a 2011 Californian Carmel Road Pinot Noir from Panorama Vineyards in Monterey

Szechuan-style Fried Chicken with Golden Sand and Choron Sauce — a hollandaise-style sauce with tomato purée — and satay of boneless quail with spiced tamarind glaze and oven dried pineapple

The Szechuan-style Fried Chicken with Golden Sand — Hong Kong-style spiced cracker crumbs — was inspired by a recipe of his Mom's

Lee's Choron Sauce — a pink tinted hollandaise with pureed fresh tomato

Satay of Boneless Quail with spiced tamarind glaze and oven dried pink peppercorn pineapple

Beet and Persimmon 'Salad' with Basil Seed Pods and Lemongrass Jelée

The 4th wine served, a 2011 Two Hands Lily's Garden Shiraz from the Barossa Valley in Australia

Plus, a Forked River Brewing "Catharsis" Big Red Barrel-Aged Belgian Beer from London was served at the same time!

My favourite dish of the night, Susur Lee's Fresh Ground Red Curry Braised Beef with Coconut Sweet Rice Biryani served in a martini glass — outstanding! It was so tender it was eaten with a spoon

Caribbean Jerk Spiced Lamb Loin with mango purée and habanero sauce served with a banana fritter

Banana Fritter

A 2005 Vinsanto Santorini from Greece was served with the cheese and dessert courses

The Cheese Course: A Blue d'Elizabeth semi-soft blue cheese from Quebec; An Avaonlea Clothbound Cheddar from PEI; and a 14 Arpents square-shaped soft cheese from Quebec

Tong Yuen, a sweet rice dumpling stuffed with bittersweet chocolate ganache in crème anglais

Mango & Passionfruit Panna Cotta with passionfruit & pineapple granitée, coconut tapioca, palm syrup with sweet rice tuile













Watermelon Salad Appetizer
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy chef Susur Lee

6 1-inch cubes of watermelon
1/2 cup feta, in chunks
1 bunch fresh mint
Celery leaves
Anaheim chili, chopped
2 black olives, chopped
Olive oil

Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup brunoise shallots
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 tbsp crushed black peppercorns
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Chinese aged black vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar


Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate overnight. To serve, arrange the the watermelon in a bowl, sprinkle with feta, pour 1/2 cup of vinaigrette over top and garnish with fresh mint, celery leaves, chopped chili and chopped olives to taste. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and serve.




Winter Squash Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Serves 10-12
Recipe courtesy chef Susur Lee

4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 quart water
4 lb kabocha or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salted roasted pumpkin seeds, honey and diced cucumber, for garnish


In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Add the squash, cover partially and simmer over moderately low heat until tender, about 30 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot, bring to a simmer and season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Garnish with the pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of honey and the cucumber. Note: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat before serving.








Singapore Slaw
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy chef Susur Lee

2 green onions, both white and green parts, julienned
2 oz rice vermicelli, broken into 3 pieces
3 oz taro root, julienned
1 large English cucumber, julienned
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1 small jicama, peeled and julienned
1 cup daikon, peeled and julienned
2 large Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
4 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp pickled ginger
6 tsp crushed roasted peanuts
4 tsp edible flower petals
4 tsp fennel seedlings
4 tsp purple basil seedlings
4 tsp coriander seedlings
4 tsp daikon sprouts
4 tsp fried shallots

Pickled Red Onion:
1 red onion
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme

Salted Plum Dressing:
1 cup salted preserved plums, pitted
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp Dashi Japanese cooking stock
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt



For the pickled red onion, peel and julienne the red onion and set aside in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar and water to a boil. Season with salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, bay leaf and thyme; continue boiling for another 5 minutes. Pour mixture over onion while hot and let sit for 1 hour.

For the plum dressing, combine the plum paste, vinegar, mirin, Dashi, onion oil, sugar, ginger and salt in a blender and purée until smooth, then set aside.

Soak the green onion in very cold water to keep crisp. Meanwhile, heat a large pot of oil. When temperature reaches 400°F, deep fry the julienned taro root, half the amount at a time, for 2 minutes until crisp and light gold in colour.
Remove the slices from the oil, place on paper towel and lightly salt.

At the same temperature, quickly deep fry the vermicelli, half at a time, for 2 seconds, or until they curl. Remove the vermicelli from the oil, place on paper towel and lightly salt.

Remove the julienned green onion from bowl and drain. Divide the vermicelli equally between 4 plates and arrange the green onion, cucumber, carrot, jicama, daikon, tomatoes and pickled red onion around the noodles and top with a tall mound of fried taro root.

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and crushed peanuts over each salad. In a small bowl, combine the edible flower petals, seedlings, sprouts and fried shallots. Sprinkle the flower-sprout-shallot mixture on each salad and serve with salted plum dressing alongside.



Susur Lee's Chinese Barbecued Pork
Serves 4-6
Recipe courtesy chef Susur Lee

1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin, about 2 to 3 tenderloins
1 rib celery, medium sized, finely chopped
1 carrot, medium sized, finely chopped
1 onion medium sized, finely chopped 
1 tbsp ginger, minced fresh
5 strips orange or tangerine zest, fresh, or tangerine zest (each 2 x 1/2 inches removed with a vegetable peeler)
2/3 cup rice cooking wine 
1/3 cup soy sauce 
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil


Trim the tenderloins of any excess fat or sinew. Combine the celery, carrot, onion, ginger, tangerine zest, sherry, soy sauce, maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a nonreactive baking dish and stir to mix. Add the tenderloins, turning to coat. Cover and let marinate, in the refrigerator, for 24 to 48 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and blot dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade into a small nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil the marinade until thick and syrupy, 5 to 8 minutes.

When ready to cook, brush the tenderloins with the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Arrange the tenderloins on the hot grate and grill, turning with tongs, until the pork is browned on all sides and cooked through, 16 to 20 minutes in all. Start brushing the tenderloins with the reduced marinade after 10 minutes. When tested with an instant-read meat thermometer, the temperature should register at least 160°F when the pork is done.

Transfer the tenderloins to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut each tenderloin on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices. Fan the slices out on plates or a platter and serve with any remaining marinade.



Susur Lee Braised Beef
Recipe courtesy chef Susur Lee

1 lb beef cheeks
Flour for dredging
Cooking oil
1 1/2 litres dark beef stock
1/2 litre canned tomato purée
200 g chili bean paste
1/2 cup oyster sauce
2 bunches fresh cilantro, with roots attached
300 ml Chinese cooking wine
2 pieces dried licorice
3 pieces star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup Chinese cilantro


Preheat oven to 250°F. Trim the excess fat from the beef cheeks, but don't remove the membrane (silver skin). Dredge in flour and pat to remove any excess, then brown on all sides in 1/4-inch of oil. Combine all the remaining ingredients and braise the beef for 6 hours until fork tender. Remove the beef and strain the braising liquid.