There isn’t any kind of special story about this recipe…I kinda just felt like cooking something weird yesterday. I was raiding the fridge and saw bag of cranberries tucked away in one of the drawers. Even though we don’t usually associate January with cranberries, I thought it would still be fun make for dinner. For some reason I decided to pair those berries with beef (the combo has actually been stuck in my head for a while, so I might have overheard it somewhere…I honestly don’t remember). Well, it worked awesomely. The tart berries compliment the tender meat very nicely and my folks loved it.
This recipe is kind of like beef stew kicked up a notch. It’s hearty, comforting, and crave-able, but it also has a slight sweetness that makes it taste upscale. The bright red cranberries burst in your mouth while also looking fantastic on the plate. If it was still the holiday season, I’d make this for a family dinner party. For sure.
So, since there’s no fancy story that caused me to make this recipe, I have a random question for everyone – what’s your favorite part of a stew? Is it the sauce? Meat? Veggies? Something else entirely? Anyway, let me know what y’all think in the comments below. Thanks!
2 lb beef top round (cut into cubes)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves (minced)
1 large potato (cubed)
1 onion (thinly sliced)
1 cup beef broth
1 cup cranberry grape juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 sprigs of thyme
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon butter
Salt/pepper, to taste
Sprinkle the cubed beef with salt and pepper.
In a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and beef. Sear meat and remove from pan. Turn off heat, drain excess oil. Return meat to pan.
Stir in garlic, potato, onion, broth, juice, tomato paste, vinegar, and thyme. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover, turn heat to lowest setting, and cook for 75 minutes.
In a small bowl, toss together the cranberries, sugar, and flour. Add these ingredients to the beef mixture with a tablespoon of butter. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until cranberries have softened and sauce is thickened.
Pour over potatoes, rice, or bread. Enjoy!