Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spicy Braised Beef with Sweet Potatoes

I found this recipe in Real Simple this month and gave it a shot - we loved it! Is is a surprisingly great combination of flavors, and super easy. I like easy. It is 500 calories a serving, but it's uber-filling, so I figure that is probably in line with the real calories of other lower cal recipes, once I eat enough of them to be this full.

(Real Simple's photo - because mine wasn't this pretty)

Spiced Braised Beef with Sweet Potatoes

Makes 6 servings
Hands-on Time: 0hr 15m
Total Time: 4hr 30m

1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
1/2 cup dried apricots
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
kosher salt
1 10-ounce box couscous (1 1/2 cups)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
2 cups baby spinach (1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped

1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the beef, potatoes, tomatoes (and their juices), onion, apricots, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water.
2. Cook, covered, until the meat is tender, on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
3. Ten minutes before serving, prepare the couscous according to the package directions.
4. Add the chickpeas to the slow cooker and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach. Serve with the couscous and sprinkle with the almonds.
5. To freeze: Omit the couscous and spinach. Cool the beef to room temperature and divide among freezer containers or bags. Freeze for up to 3 months.