braised beef taco // tomatillo + olive relish

I know you have one, everyone does. It's that one ingredient at the back of the fridge or pantry that randomly catches your eye every so often. It has probably been there for weeks; months maybe. Who knows. Every time you notice it, you always lament the absurdity that you could have forgotten something like that. But, lets be honest, at least to ourselves. You've been ignoring that poor little.... whatever it is. Usually, it's something small and obscure. One of those things that you can't just go adding into any old dish. Maybe it was a gift. Maybe it's something you have never used, and you don't even know what to do with it. Maybe you really did forget it was in there... Whatever the reason, you need to take charge of these wayward ingredients. Show em who's boss. Either that, or you could just toss them into the next soup you are making and hope for the best (not recommended).

Green peppercorns, that was mine. Not really even a terribly obscure ingredient. Probably purchased eons ago for some forgotten steak dinner. But there they were, right behind that weird jelly the boys had to have. Cold and briny green; taunting me. I let it go for a couple of days. But, I just kept thinking about them. I tried moving them to the depths of the top shelf, no use.  I had to use these moderately tasty, culinary afterthoughts, before it drove me nuts. The dish that came out of this however, was definitely no afterthought.

The nice thing about this dish (as with most of our dishes), it's totally adaptable. In fact when I first put beef into the pot, I had grand ideas of serving it with a heap of roasted veggies. Then it was going to be an accompaniment to yellow rice. For about an hour it seemed that it would be the perfect filling for a sandwich. And then a voice from the ether................Tacoooo. And so it was.

In case you were going to ask. Yes, I am aware green peppercorn is not in the recipe title. They know their place.    

braised beef

  • 2# chuck roast (or whatever you like)
  • 2 leeks, sliced and rinsed well
  • 1 med. onion sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 Tb. green peppercorn
  • 1 Tb. black peppercorn
  • 4 cups stock     

Season beef generously with kosher salt. Add enough oil to barely cover the bottom of large high walled skillet or dutch oven. Over med. high heat brown beef on all sides. Remove beef and set aside. Add all onions and cook until soft. Deglaze pan with wine and scrape up brown bits. Return beef to pan, along with remaining ingredients. Cover and turn heat to low. Braise until beef is tender and falling apart. About 3 1/2 - 4 hrs.                                  

tomatillo & olive relish

  • 3 tomatillos
  • 1/4 cup green onion sliced
  • 1 tsp. green peppercorn
  • 1 Tb. capers
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno
  • 1Tb. white wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Pre-heat oven to 400. Cut tomatillos in half. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle w/ kosher salt. Place in oven and cook until soft, about 10-15 min. When they are cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides. You should end up with about 1/2 cup. Rough chop olives, jalapeno, capers, and peppercorns and place in bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine.

Serve it how you want it.

If you choose tacos (which we highly recommend), you are going to need:
corn tortilla
thinly sliced red radish



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