- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds (1 kilogram) stewing beef cut in 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 4 cups chicken or beef broth
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup coarsely chopped parsley, packed
- 1 cup coarsely chopped mint, packed
- 1 pound (500 grams) rhubarb cut in 1-inch lengths
- 1 tablespoon sugar or more to taste
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Heat oil in small Dutch oven or oven-proof pot. Season meat with salt and pepper. Working in batches, sear meat on each side until browned, about 4 minutes altogether for each batch.
Remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium and add onions. Sauté until softened about 2 minutes.
Combine cinnamon and turmeric and sprinkle in. Stir together and add chicken stock. Bring to boil, scraping any bits on the base and return meat to pot. Cover and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté parsley and mint for 1 minute, or until wilted and fragrant. Add into stew after one hour. Cook 30 minutes longer, then add rhubarb. Bake another 15 minutes or until meat is tender. (About 2½ hours in total.) Stir in sugar and adjust seasoning to taste.
This savoury dish is earthy, fragrant, bitter-sour and gently sweet. That throws down the gauntlet for a wine match. But the mighty grape is up to the challenge, I think, as long as you steer clear of wines with loads of oak, especially New World cabernet and chardonnay. My suggestion would be to joust with a full-bodied red from Portugal, Spain or, perhaps best of all, the Rhône Valley or Languedoc-Roussillon regions of France. They tend to be armed with solid acidity and herbal notes that should match hand-in-glove (or gauntlet) with the ingredients. Beppi Crosariol