Recipe: Sweet & Sour Braised Beef


Sweet and Sour Braised Beef, yield: 4 servings


2.5lbs beef chuck

1 red onion, large dice

2 cloves garlic, minced

3ea ginger, fresh slices about ¼in thick

5ea scallions

7ea fresh thyme sprigs

1/2c black tea

1c beef stock

2T soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

2T rice vinegar

1/4c fig jam

3T “The BEST seasoning” (recipe below)

Grapeseed oil


Preheat oven to 300F, or 250F with convection.

Season beef chuck liberally with “The BEST seasoning” and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

Heat a large pot on the stove with 1T grapeseed oil until the oil starts to smoke, on med-high heat. Gently place beef chuck into oil with largest side down, and let it sear for 5 minutes or so, then flip and repeat until ALL sides are nicely caramelized.

Turn heat down to medium flame and add stock, onion, scallions, ginger, garlic, tea, fig jam, rice vinegar, soy, thyme, and whisk together until fully incorporated. Bring it to a simmer and taste it.

Does it need salt? The Braising liquid should taste as salty as you want the beef to be.

Place a tight fitting lid on the pot and put it in the oven. Cooking time should be about 2.5-3 hours. Check after 2 hours to see if it is tender, or if the pot is dry – If the pot is dry, add more stock.

Roast is done when it is fork tender. If you let it go too long it will dry out.

When done, pull out thyme stalks and shred the meat with two forks. Mix with the braising liquid and taste for seasoning, and add stock if you need more sauce.

Serve over wild rice with cherries and kale and top with some braising jus. Then top with bleu cheese butter for a little extra decadence.


The BEST seasoning

2T Dried mushroom powder, porcini or morel are best

1T Granulated garlic

1T Granulated onion

1T Black pepper

2T Salt

Combine in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Seasoning can be stored in an air tight container until you use it all.

Bleu Cheese Butter

1/2c High fat, unsalted butter, room temp

1/2c funky bleu cheese, room temp

Combine in a mixing bowl and mix together until fully married and emulsified.

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Born and raised in the suburbs of Saint Paul, MN, Brandon has immersed himself into being a local and sustainable advocate for delicious living. Working for the best Chef’s in the Twin Cities before becoming the Residence Chef at the Minnesota Governor’s Residence and personal Chef for the Zimmern family. Foraging, eating, parenting, writing, cycling, consulting, catering and hosting pop up dinners are what his free time entails.