This insanely delicious one-pot meal infuses beef with layers of exciting flavors: salty fish sauce, tart vinegar, and sweet fruits (including pineapple, which also helps tenderize the meat). The cozy recipe comes from Top Chef winner Chef Stephanie Izard's must-have book Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats and Drinks ($22, amazon.com). Chicago based Izard considers this delicious masterpiece a new version of the classic comfort food staple Shepard's Pie.
Total Time: 4 and a half hours (30 minutes hands on time)
3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
3 lb. beef, cubed (chuck or short rib)
2 medium onions, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and finely diced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 pear, peeled, cored, and diced
½ cup red wine
1 quart chicken broth
2 cups apple cider
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes (Izard favors San Marzano)
¾ cup fish sauce
¾ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sambal paste (Huy Fong sambal oelek chili paste; $5/8 oz., amazon.com or local Asian markets)
Freshly ground black pepper and salt
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil over high heat in a large soup pot. Add half of beef to pot and season with ¼ tsp pepper. Brown meat (5–7 minutes) and remove. Repeat with remaining beef. Remove from pot and set aside.
2. Add another tbsp vegetable oil to pot and lower heat to medium. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent (about 3 minutes).
3. Add pineapple, apple, pear, and wine. Simmer to reduce the liquid by half (about 5–7 minutes).
4. Add cooked beef along with chicken broth, cider, tomatoes, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, mustard, and sambal. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
5. Cover and simmer until beef cubes fall apart easily when poked with a fork (a little more than 4 hours).
6. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200°F oven for up to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.