Aside from making cranberry sauce and a Christmas tree adornment, I haven’t done much with cranberries. However, for the next month or so, fresh cranberries will be readily available in the grocery store, and I say they’re not just for holiday eating and decorating.
In the past, I’ve made recipes which incorporate fruit jams, preserves, and jellies with various meats. I love the dimension of flavor fruit gives to the meat, and as our winter nights get colder, the bright flavors of fruit provide a break from typical soups and stews. Hanger steaks were on sale in the grocery store, I had a bag of cranberries and a large piece of ginger in my fridge. The combination of flavors seemed as though it would work, so my experimenting began. Although this meal is different from a typical beef stew in our home, the mild flavors appealed to all of my testers, kids included, and provided a bit of change for our palates. For the best burst of flavor, combine a cranberry and a piece of ginger with the beef in one bite.
Beef with Cranberries and Ginger
1 8oz. package of baby bella mushrooms, rinsed, stems removed
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
2 cups of fresh cranberries
2 pounds hanger steak
1 14-oz. can of beef broth
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.
- Cut mushrooms into halves or quarters based on their size
- Cut ginger into round slices and then into thin strips
- Heat a small amount of olive oil in a dutch oven or large pan, and brown meat on both sides. About 5-7 minutes per side.
- Place browned meat in slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
Notes from my experience:
I like the way the hanger steak worked in this recipe. Keeping the pieces large, and not cutting them into chunks, helped keep the meat moist and not dried out.
Once the meat is browned, the rest of the cooking is so easy that this takes no more than 15 minutes to prepare.
I served the meal over quinoa–my new favorite food–which added just enough of a texture difference to make the meal seem just a little more special for a weeknight.
This was really tasty. I wanted to use up leftover cranberries I had from Thanksgiving that were lurking in my refrigerator, and this recipe did the trick. My local grocery store was short on baby bellas, so I used reconstituted shiitakes instead. I was just so surprised how flavorful and well balanced a dish with just 6 ingredients was. Serving it over quinoa did give it a better textural balance, and the nuttiness of the grain complemented the earthy, sweet and slight bite the dish had. This was easy and I will definitely make it again.
I’m so happy to hear you liked the recipe! The best flavor definitely comes from combining the meat, cranberries and ginger in one bite.