Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Black Pepper Beef Pot Roast

I had a nice piece of beef top round and was trying to figure out what to cook with it. Finally I remembered a very popular dish in Malaysia: beef - or actually any kind of meat with black pepper sauce. There are small stalls and big restaurants that serve beef, lamb or chicken with a black pepper sauce. In fact black pepper sauce is also featured in noodle dishes such as Japanese udon noodles with bell peppers and seafood.

I decided to make it easy on myself by just cooking the whole piece of beef as a pot roast in the oven rather than making the sauce separately and pouring it on steaks. It turned out beautifully tender and very flavorful. For just the black pepper sauce recipe, leave out the beef, carrots and mushrooms and you will be able to get about 2 cups of sauce.

Grilled New York strip steak with the black pepper sauce

Serves 4

2 pounds beef top round
2 tbsp olive oil
1 big onion, finely chopped
6 pips garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 cups water
1 beef stock cube
4 – 5 dashes of worcestershire sauce
½ tbsp sugar
3/4 tbsp black pepper, ground
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp plain flour mixed with 2 tbsp water (optional)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in 1 tbsp butter

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Season the piece of beef with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a heavy based pot on a medium heat, add meat and brown all over. Set aside.
  • To the pot, add chopped onion and cook until caramelized. This will take about 15 - 20 minutes and will make a big difference to the taste of the dish. Add in chopped garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add in water, stock cube and tomato puree, bring to a boil, lower heat and cook until onions and garlic are soft (about 45 minutes).
  • Add in Worcestershire sauce, sugar, white and black pepper then the beef. Cover and place in the middle of the oven. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours until tender.
  • Carefully remove, set aside to cool 10 minutes then use a very sharp knife to slice into 1/4" - 1/2" slices, place in the sauce, scatter carrots and mushrooms around the meat, cover and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes more until carrots are tender.
  • Make a flour slurry with 1 tsp flour mixed with 2 tbsp water and mix into the sauce to thicken it if desired.

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