Chuck is a pleasant cut of beef that never disappoints. It's my mum that introduced me to it because ever since I can remember she has always bought that cut. Its a cheap cut but perfect for braising or slow cooking. Now, for those in Nairobi, I find that the market butchers don't know what chuck is or they call it something else. For ease of purchase, just tell the butcher its the cut between the neck and shoulder. If your butcher still doesn't get it, you're doooooomed! (Lol that's just me exaggerating)
Anyway, we are in the last few weeks of pear season and all month I've been trying to find recipes that use pear. This has been a favourite find. I keep going on about how our local pears lend themselves to so many things. The raw crunch is perfect for salads and I love how the texture still holds when you cook the pears so you can easily poach it or cook with it.
For this meal I simply braised the beef using stock, ginger puree and pears. Its a mildly sweet and spicy stew that goes perfectly with mash taters or rice if you prefer.....
1kg beef chuck, cubed
2 large pears
1 large onion, sliced
3 thumbs of ginger, crushed
1 table spoon tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup corn flour
1 1/2 pints of beef stock
Place your flour into a bowl and then add your chuck and toss in the flour until all the meat is coated.
Take your pot and add some oil to it, preferably enough to lightly cover the base of the pan, and then place of a high heat. When the oil starts to sightly smoke, add your beef pieces one by one. Cook on a high heat for about 5 minutes or until the meat has slightly browned. Take the meat out of the pan and lower the heat. Add a bit of oil and then add your onions, ginger, garlic and tomato paste. If the mix is dry and tacky, add 1/4 cup of water and let cook on a low heat for about 5 to 7 minutes.
After 5 minutes, add your beef to the pan and mix well. Add your pears and stock, salt and pepper to taste and let simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes. You should be left with a thick gravy and tender bits of meat.
I served mine with a creamy potato and butter mash but you can try butternut mash or just plain steamed rice