Beef, Orange and Olive Stew recipe and cookbook review: Milk Street: The New Rules

#MilkStreet @Milk Street #ChristopherKimball @ChristopherKimball #LittleBrown @LittleBrown

Do you watch Milk Street? Their book, Milk Street: Tuesday Nights, was in my top three cookbooks released last year, and now I see that it got a James Beard Award. Great pick! I try very hard not to say things like best, because my best may very well not be your best. So I will tell you why I love them, and you’ll get a better idea if it sounds like a fit for you. Flavor. They are really strong flavorists. There’s never an apologetic bite to be had. Minimalists. They really do a great job of getting where they’re going on the easiest road available. The recipes are global. For me, that’s great but also the only disappointment I have. As we travel the globe in their books, I’d like to see a little American food represented, too. We’ve got some great stuff!

They have a new book out, Milk Street: The New Rules, and it’s fantastic! Four days and 11 recipes in, and I think 3 of them are the best I’ve ever had. The lentils (I know! Lentils! Promise they’re an addictive bite!), the beef, orange, and olive stew, and the Turkish poached eggs with garlicky yogurt are the best. I said it again and although I think it sounds obnoxious, it’s sincere, and I’m leaving it there.

The chapters are pretty normal: Vegetables, Beans & Grains, Noodles & Breads, Eggs, Seafood, Chicken, Pork, and Beef, so you’ll navigate it in a way that’s familiar. The book breaks out 75 rules to make great food, and gives a few recipes that illustrate each lesson. While any experienced cook would love it, it would be an empowering one to give people as they venture off into their first apartment or house. The recipes are global and flavor-focused, just like the other Milk Street books. The recipes aren’t terribly complicated, and the instructions are clear, so the cook is guaranteed a win. Most of the dishes are quick, but there are a few dishes that take all day, with the cook participating with the dish on and off.

A huge thanks to Milk Street for letting me share the recipe for Beef, Orange and Olive Stew with you! I hope you love it, too!

Amazon affiliate link #CommissionEarned (I get a tiny percentage if you use my link to purchase.)


Beef, Orange and Olive Stew

Our version of this hearty stew from Camargue, in the south of France, uses chuck roast, a well-marbled cut. It gets robust flavor from Provençal ingredients – red wine, olives, anchovies, and garlic. Orange is traditional, too; it lends the braise a balancing touch of brightness. Wine is key to this dish, and we wait until the beef is cooked before we add it, retaining more of the flavors. A bold, full-bodied dry red wine such as Côtes du Rhône or syrah is ideal, as it holds its own among the other big flavors. Serve with rice, egg noodles or potatoes.

Don’ t forget to zest the orange before juicing it – it’s much easier to grate the zest from a whole orange than from one that’s been halved and squeezed. Don’t add all the carrots at once to the pot with the beef. Adding some at the beginning adds a subtle sweetness, but after hours of braising, these carrots are spent. We add more carrots near the end of cooking so that they are tender but still flavorful.

6 to 7 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 medium carrots
, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds, divided
3 anchovy fillets, patted dry
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves
, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cup pilled Kalamata olives, rinsed, patted dry and chopped, divided
2 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 medium red bell pepper
, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tablespoon grated orange zest, plus 1/3 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
, roughly chopped

No pre-browning! 😀

Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. In a large Dutch oven, toss the beef with 2 tablespoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper. Add 1/2 the carrots, the anchovies, oil, garlic and onion, then toss. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 2 hours.

Remove the pot from the oven and stir in 1/2 cup of the olives. Return to the oven uncovered and cook til a knife inserted into a piece of beef meets no resistance, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a large bowl, leaving the vegetables in the pot. Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Pour the meat juices into the strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the solids. You should have about 2 1/2 cups liquid; if needed, add water.

Pour the wine into the now-empty pot and bring to a boil over medium high, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the wine is reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, use a spoon to skim off and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid.

Pour the defatted cooking liquid into the pot and add the remaining carrots and the bell pepper. Return to a simmer and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the orange juice and beef. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to cling to the meat, 3 to 6 minutes.

Off heat, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup olives, the orange zest, vinegar and half of the parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.


My thoughts and pics of the dishes we tried:

1) Lentils with Swiss Chard and Pomegranate Molasses – p 67. (Rule #18: Don’t let neutral ingredients stand alone.) Okay, I tend to find lentils a little bland, so I was excited to try this one because it promised to be flavorful, and it is absolutely brilliant, because these lentils are delicious. The bowl quickly disappeared. Best lentils we’ve ever had.

2) Beef, Orange and Olive Stew – p 265. (Rule #67: Use less liquid for more flavor.) This is just the best stew. There’s no pre-browning the meat. Just seasoned and tossed in some vegetables and into the oven it goes. It’s super tender and juicy and it’s so flavorful! Anchovies for a salty umami punch, garlic, onion, carrots, olives, red wine, sweet bell pepper, orange juice and zest, vinegar for a little more acidity, and parsley for a fresh pop. This one took 6 hours overall, but only about an hour of my time. Total keeper.

3) Spaghetti with Anchovies, Pine Nuts, and Raisins – p 102. (Rule #26: Parcook Pasta for Better Flavor.) I made this for lunch while the stew cooked away since I already had the tin of anchovies open for that. Great pasta, and there’s no trace of cheese anywhere. The toasted crunch of panko on top is a really nice touch.

4) Coquito – p 291. At the end, there’s a seasonal cocktail section. This is listed as “Warming Cocktails for Cool Evenings”. It’s cold and rainy right now, so a cozy drink sounded perfect. Coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, and milk with rum and spices. This is a right decadent treat!

5) Turkish Poached Eggs with Garlicky Yogurt (Cilbir) – p 144. (Rule #37: Go low for the perfect poached egg.) This is the dish on the cover. This is getting a little ridiculous. I’ve made 5 dishes in the book now, and yeah, I’m proclaiming a third to be the best ever, and not lightly. The garlicky yogurt, Aleppo pepper butter, and herbs make these eggs phenomenal.

6) Pan-Seared Halibut with Spicy Mint-Lemon Sauce – p 181. (Rule #44: Stick with single-sided searing.) This is nice and spicy, but the halibut, mint, and lemon are not overshadowed.

7) Spiced Stir-Fried Asparagus with Coconut – p 45. (Rule #12: For bolder sauces, lose the liquid.) This is one for the spicy food lovers. Asparagus with coconut, jalapeno, shallot, mustard and cumin seeds, and turmeric.

8) The last two dishes pair perfectly together.

9) Dukkah-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Carrot-Cashew Salad – p 219. (Rule #55: Season crumbs for better crust.) Really yummy and a quick and easy one for a busy weeknight.

10-11) Flatbread (Pizza) Dough – p 127 for Pepperoncini and Cheese Pizzas with Garlic-Herb Oil – p 129. The dough only rises for an hour and a half, so it’s a pretty quick one for a pizza. The rich fontina was fabulous against the spicy pepperoncini. Great pizza.

I trust Milk Street, but can’t help question everything. I’m a curious sort. I usually preheat my oven with the baking steel in it til it’s screaming hot, slide the pizza in, then switch to broil to fire it up quickly. Flipping fantastic with traditional overnight pizza dough. So I made this pizza crust a second night, using my usual method. The quick, Greek yogurt crust is too tender for this method. It’s a total looker, but stayed too soft with the hotter, shorter trip in the oven. So, stick with their method for their crust recipe. You’re welcome – lol!

12) Summer Squash and Herb Salad – p 15. Summer squash with a lemony vinaigrette, herbs, almonds, and parmesan. Neat, fresh salad. It’s a great one for when you don’t want to have to cook anything. Even the zucchini and yellow squash are raw.

I’ve only had this for four days. I’ll update this as I play in the book more!

Some other dishes I have flagged to try: Avocado and Arugula Salad with Smoked Almonds – p 7 * South Indian Sauteed Spinach – p 25 * Spicy Potatoes with Peanuts and Scallions – p 31 * Indian-Spiced Potatoes and Peas with Chilies and Ginger – p 32 * Stir-Fried Green Beans with Pork and Oyster Sauce – p 41 * Creamy Polenta – p 51 with Butter, Garlic, and Anchovy Sauce – p 52 * Black-Eyed Pea Fritters – p 57 * Spanish Chorizo, Ham, and White Bean Stew – p 69 * Oaxacan Refried Black Beans – p 73 * Campanelle Pasta with Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, and Basil – p 83 * Spaghetti with Cilantro Yogurt – p 85 * Thai Stir-Fried Glass Noodles with Carrots and Roasted Peanuts (Pad Woon Sen) – p 91 * Butternut Squash and Feta with Toasted Pearl Couscous – p 101 * Pasta with Pesto alla Genovese – p 105 * Fettucini with Olives and Arugula – p 108 * Gemelli with Tomato-Almond Pesto – p 122 * Smashed Potatoes with Soft-Cooked Eggs and Mint (Yeralma Yumurta) – p 153 * Omelet with Mushrooms, Mustard, and Gruyere – p 158 * Southeast Asian-Style Mushroom Omelet – p 161 * Spanish Tortilla with Roasted Red Peppers – p 163 * Shrimp with Kerkennaise Sauce – p 175 * Mexican Shrimp in Garlic Sauce – p 183 * Crispy Chicken Under a Brick – p 197 * Chili-Red Pepper Chicken Kebabs – p 205 * Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Sweet Lime-Garlic Dressing – p 210 * Lemon-Lime Lacquered Grilled Chicken – p 215 * Apricot, Saffron, and Tarragon Chicken en Cocotte – p 235 * Thai Grilled Pork Skewers – p 241 * Japanese Ginger Pork – p 245 * Suya-Spiced Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloins – p 249 * Mexican Wedding Stew with Pork – p 254 * Thai Stir-Fried Beef with Basil – p 267 * Pan-Seared Steaks with Sherry and Caper Vinaigrette – p 273 * Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce – p 287 * Paprika-Garlic Beef and Pork Patties – p 289

*I received a copy to explore and share my thoughts.


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Milk Street: The New Rules

Milk Street: Tuesday Nights

(My review of that one (with Maple-Whiskey Pudding Cakes recipe!) here)

Milk Street

This link is for the revised edition – all three years! I want it. I have the original that’s just the first year. I make notes all over my books, so it’s hard to give those up for a shiny, updated copy. But you can have the full new one! Lucky you!

(My review of that one (with recipes for Israeli Hummus with Spiced Beef Topping and Lebanese-Style Tabbouleh!) here.