This dish has a nice sweet-and-sour taste. Braising ground beef results in a ton of flavor and the meat stays moist and juicy in the sauce. It is the perfect ‘make ahead’ meal. Serve this with an earthy grain, like quinoa or wild rice and top with fresh mint.
Compiling together my Dutch oven recipes is one of the top priorities of this blog, up there with making and photographing irresistible pies. I want a lifetime list of AMAZING, healthy one pot meals to compliment the best pot in the kitchen, my cherry red 15 1/2 qt Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I use it for dinner for two, ten, or when I cater for 15. I prepare meals in advance, allow the liquid to braise for hours and intensify all the flavors. OH! And have I mentioned you can make amazing bread in it? YEAH! – But I’ll save that for another post. Today I am just going to focus on how easy and versatile the recipes can be.
“Braising is as close to alchemy as it is to cooking. It transforms in-expensive, tough cuts of meat, if not into gold, into succulent soft morsels.” –Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine.
The braising method of cooking is economical and convenient. The cheap big cuts of tough meat turns into melting spoonfuls covered in rich sauce. This is great for a crowd. The best part is that you can make this ahead of time and then go do whatever you want while its in the oven!
Note: To make Four-Spice powder combine together in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder.
- 2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 1 heaping teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg (freshly ground if possible)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
Daniel Boulud & Melissa Clark
Braised ground beef with apricots, apples, and split peas. Perfect for feeding a crowd. One pot, Dutch oven recipe.
20 minPrep Time
2 hrCook Time
2 hr, 20 Total Time
- 1 cup yellow split peas
- 2 pounds ground beef
- Coarse sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon Four-Spice Powder (see note)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
- 1 1/2 cups apple juice
- Chopped fresh mint leaves, for serving
- The day before you want to serve the dish, put the split peas in a bowl, cover with water by at least 2 inches, and refrigerate. The next day, drain before using.
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300F.
- Season the ground beef with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small cost-iron pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook until it loses its pink color, about 5 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot. Add the onion, Four Spice Powder, and red pepper flakes and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add the apples, apricots, split peas, rosemary, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Return the meat to the pan and add the apple juice and 1 cup water.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Cover the pot, transfer it to the oven, and braise for 2 hours.
- Serve sprinkled with mint.