Melting Beef with Cauliflower Rice
This is a bit of a Mexican-inspired feast, perfect for popping in the oven on a Sunday and letting it do the work for you. Cauliflower rice is a great healthy alternative to plain white rice, and it’s even quicker to prepare, so do give it a go.
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 750g boneless shin of beef, cut into 5cm chunks
- 160ml red wine
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 80ml water
- 160g tinned chopped tomatoes (about 1/2 x 400g tin)
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 level tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 dried chipotle chilli, left whole
- sea salt and black pepper
- For the cauliflower rice:
- 1/2 large head of cauliflower
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. Heat the oil in a flameproof, heavy-based casserole dish (with a tight-fitting lid) and add the finely chopped onion. Fry over a gentle heat for 10 minutes or until soft and transparent. Add the garlic and fry for the last 2 minutes.Tip the beef into the dish and brown lightly all over on a medium-high heat.
Pour in the red wine, bring to a simmer and deglaze the casserole dish, scraping any caramelised bits of meat or onion from the bottom of the dish. In a small bowl, mix the tomato purée with the water and add to the beef, along with the chopped tomatoes, chilli, paprika, chipotle and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Bring all the ingredients to a simmer, cover with the lid and cook for about 5 minutes on the top of the stove. Dampen a piece of greaseproof paper with water and lay over the meat mixture in the casserole dish.
Put the lid back on the dish, place in the oven and cook for 4–4¼ hours (the timing may vary according to your oven.) Check after a couple of hours and make sure that the meat is not drying out.You don’t want too much liquid, but you do need the meat to retain its moist succulence. Add a little more water or wine if it seems to be drying out too much, and continue cooking until the meat is meltingly tender. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste when the meat is fully cooked.
Shortly before the beef is cooked, make the cauliflower rice. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor or grate by hand into pieces roughly resembling the size and shape of grains of rice. Put the water and coconut oil in a large saucepan (with a tight-fitting lid) and bring to the boil. Add the cauliflower, cover with the lid and return the pan to a high heat for about 60 seconds.
Before serving, remove the beef from the casserole dish and shred with two forks, mixing in some or all of juices that remain in the dish. Divide the rice between plates and top with the beef, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.This would be delicious served with red kidney beans (warmed through in a pan before serving, if using tinned), sliced beef tomatoes, avocado wedges and sour cream, if you like.