Braised Beef with Gravy & Rice
Braised Beef with Gravy & Rice
From The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook by Shannon Hayes

Here's a homey way to enjoy your stew beef or round steaks. This recipe looks complicated, but it is quite simple. Start by preparing the beef.
Once it is simmering in the broth, make the rice with vegetables, then finish off the beef and gravy and serve. From start to finish,
this recipe should take only about an hour and a half, with ample downtime for sipping cocktails and nibbling. The ingredients are inexpensive,
and the entire meal can be served in one steaming-hot nourishing bowl. Serves 4.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds stew beef or round steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced into thin wedges
2 cups sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups beef broth plus 1 cup, if needed for gravy
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup ice water

Sprinkle the beef cubes with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the meat, and sauté the onions, mushrooms,
and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add 3 cups of the broth, and bring to simmer, stirring the mixture often and scraping up any
browned bits. Return the beef to the skillet, cover tightly, and simmer for 1 hour or more, until the beef is tender. If the liquid starts
to boil over, turn the heat down slightly. Periodically check the stew to make sure there is ample liquid for cooking the meat and for
making the gravy afterward. If too much has boiled off, add the forth cup of broth. If you still need more liquid, add a cup or two of water
(you'll want nearly 2 cups of liquid left in the pan after the meat has cooked). During this time, prepare the rice and vegetables (see below).

Once the rice and vegetables are ready, in a separate glass, whisk the flour into the ice water until smooth. Gradually stir this thickener
into the simmering beef and broth. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and cook for a few seconds, stirring, until the gravy thickens.
Serve over the rice with vegetables.
For the rice and vegetables:
2 cups brown rice
4 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, scraped, shredded
2 sweet bell peppers, green or red, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup blanched almonds, sliced
Bring rice to a boil, skim off any residue that rises to the top, stir in the salt and butter, cover, lower the heat, and simmer until all liquid
is absorbed, about 30 to 45 minutes. Just before all the water is evaporated, sauté the vegetables in the olive oil until crisp-tender.
Stir them into the cooked rice, and add the sliced almonds. Keep warm until you are ready to serve.