20 October 2010

Chocolate: Beef Stew With Chocolate

This Chef David Rocco is on a roll with awesome savory recipes using dark chocolate as a star ingredient.

From Denny: This has shaped up to be Chocolate Week at this blog! :) I've been hunting some great - and easy - savory dishes to make with dark chocolate. This week I stumbled upon Chef Rocco with the same sense of adventure employing chocolate as a spice.

Too often, especially we Americans, think inside the Godiva chocolate box when it comes to using chocolate in our cooking. I've often wondered what we could do with chocolate - minus the usual suspects paired with it: milk, cream and sugar.

Besides, the health community is always telling us to eat more dark chocolate because of the health benefits. But who really wants to be found day after day nibbling on a huge hard bar of messy cooking chocolate? Now, is that terribly original? Savory recipes using chocolate are the best answer to give us variety and explode our imagination!

Spezzatino di Manzo al Cioccolato: Beef Stew with Chocolate

From:  Chef David Rocco

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 1 hr 45 min

Level: Easy

Serves: 4 servings


5 tablespoons/74 ml extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces/114 g smoked pancetta, cubed
Flour, for dredging
2 pounds/900 g stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 fresh sage leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
1 cup/240 ml sherry
4 cups/941 ml vegetable broth
2 cups/457 g chopped finest quality plain dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa)


In a saucepan, heat up the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat has been rendered down.

Place the flour in a shallow bowl or dish. Dredge the beef in the flour, shake off any excess flour, and add the beef to the hot pan. Sear the beef, stirring well so that all sides are browned. Add the sage, thyme (without the stem), and salt, to taste, to the saucepan. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and stir to pick up any brown bits. Once the sherry has reduced, add a couple ladles of vegetable broth and let reduce. Continue stirring and add the chopped chocolate. Once the chocolate has completely melted, add a few more ladles of vegetable broth.

Allow to cook for 1 hour on medium heat, adding more vegetable broth, if necessary.

*** For more savory and sweet recipes from Chef David Rocco:

Chocolate: Chocolate Risotto - Enjoy a rice pudding style dessert made with chocolate.

Chocolate: Penne Pasta with Chocolate and Anchovies - Another creative food thought from Chef David Rocco.

Appetizer with Chocolate: Sauteed Shrimp Drizzled with Chocolate - Check out this unusual dish employing chocolate as a spice.

Candy: Almond Brittle - The best combination ever invented: almonds and chocolate. Enjoy this chef recipe of a few ingredients.

Drink: Chocolate Martini - A chocolate martini, with the glass rim coated with fresh pear and shaved chocolate, for that perfect sip.

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