Beer, onions, beef…need we say more? And when you serve them with Caraway Cauliflower Mash and Sautéed Kale with Shallots, you've got a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal that has the succulence of a stew but is not loaded with fat or salt.
"This flavor- and fiber-rich meal has a low glycemic impact," says Registered Dietitian and Associate Professor at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Jennifer Stack. "It is a perfect meal for someone with pre-diabetes or diabetes, or who simply wants to enjoy the energy and weight-loss benefits of low-glycemic foods."
Learn about New York state meat in CIA Chef Bill Briwa's video >
When the autumn chill hits the air, Stack, a 2003 graduate of the CIA, likes to turn on the oven and start braising. This popular moist-heat cooking technique can take a tough cut of meat and make it fork-tender with succulent gravy. For the beef, start with a two-pound boneless beef shoulder or chuck roast that will easily serve eight people or make wonderful leftovers for a second meal. The Beef Braised in Beer and Onions should be made a day or two in advance so the fat solidifies at the top and can be skimmed off before reheating. In addition, braised dishes always taste better a day or two after they are prepared.
Stack's mantra for braising is "season, sear, sweat, and simmer." Season the meat with salt, pepper, and one tablespoon of flour to create a dry surface. This is an essential step for properly searing the meat and developing the maximum amount of flavor. Make sure you are using a heavy pan with a lid, such as an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, and get it very hot. The sound of the sizzle when the meat hits the pan lets you know you got it right. Sear all sides of the meat until it is well-browned.
Remove the meat once it is well-browned, reduce the heat, and add the sliced onions. As they sweat, they will loosen up the browned bits of meat at the bottom of the pan. Take your time and slowly let the onions develop a golden-brown color, as this is a key step to developing flavor in the dish.
When the onions are done, add the meat, broth, tomatoes, and beer to the pan and place, covered, in the oven to slowly simmer until the meat is fork-tender.
The recipe calls for 16 ounces of dark beer, or 1 and 1/3 bottles. Although most of the alcohol will burn off during our extended cooking, you need to determine what to do with the remaining 2/3 bottle of beer.
If you have diabetes, Stack cautions that you need to ask yourself and your diabetes treatment team some questions. One, is it safe for me to consume alcohol with my current diabetes treatment? Two, can I fit the 10 g of carbohydrate from this 2/3 bottle of beer into my carbohydrate budget? Three, what should I eat with this beverage to prevent my blood glucose from dropping too low while my liver breaks down the alcohol? If you don't want the temptation, you can also decide to prepare the dish with only one 12-ounce bottle of beer—but make sure it is a dark beer, as it is an important part of the flavor.
By serving the braised beef with Caraway Cauliflower Mash and Sautéed Kale with Shallots instead of potatoes, we have a meal with 43 grams of carbohydrate, of which 7 grams come from fiber. This means you can enjoy this hearty fall dish with less chance of your blood glucose quickly rising too high.
Caraway Cauliflower Mash
This mash illustrates the principle of working vegetables into foods that you love to make them healthier. Cauliflower takes the place of some of the potato in this side. Caraway adds an intriguing flavor and Greek yogurt replaces the cream to make a healthy version of mashed potatoes. This recipe was created by 2011 CIA graduate Melia Kilbourn.
These recipes are from Jennifer Stack's new book, the CIA's The Diabetes-Friendly Kitchen (Wiley, 2012).
Beef Braised in Beer
and Onions: Nutritional
Information per Serving—Calories: 347, Protein: 25 g, Carbohydrates: 15 g,
Fiber: 2 g, Total Fat: 18.5 g, Saturated Fat: 6 g, Sodium: 201 mg
Mash: Nutrition Information
per Serving—Calories: 117, Protein: 5 g, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Fiber: 3 g,
Total Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Sodium: 148 mg
Sautéed Kale with
Shallots: Nutrition Information
per Serving—Calories: 126, Protein: 4 g, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 2 g,
Total Fat: 6 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Sodium: 184 mg