A Tasty Surprise

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January 30, 2014 by caitlinvaclark

I made a discovery last week. The Taste is actually entirely different here in the UK. I assumed they were just airing the US version but in fact they have their own contestants and format. The concept is the same, the judges are the same (minus Marcus Sameulsson), and it is still all about the blind tasting. But the challenges are different, Ludo has strangely become more French, and the f-bombs flow freely. My favorite quote so far is from Ludo: Just make sure it fuckin’ tastes good. Excuse my English.

The editing seems to make it a bit less dramatic, including the reveal of a bottom three rather than the judges individually choosing their least favorite bite. But I’m still enjoying how British the challenges are, from the highlighted ingredients to the guest judges. It has also been fun to see what British chefs cook up for challenges like “cook the classics.” There was a lot of fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding. And for those who don’t know, American shrimp cocktail and British prawn cocktail are like night and day if one was mayo and the other a horseradish-y ketchup.

The extra TV to watch has fed perfectly into my couch potato desires this week. And last week’s US episode challenge, Street Food, is exactly what I want to eat when being a homebody. Of course the only issue is that I don’t want to leave the house and out to the food trucks or street markets to acquire said food. So instead of waiting for cabin fever to kick in along with my motivation to forage for snacks, I’ll just make them here.

One of the ultimate street foods is pizza. Sure now there are all kinds of food trucks and festivals. But in college, my introduction to street food was grabbing a slice of pizza and stumbling home after the bars closed. For this challenge, I went with a unique take on pizza – Braised Beef Calzones. I decided to fold my pizza in half so I could pack more messy flavor into a portable bite. The calzone is the perfect way to serve up some rich braised beef and it’s so much heartier than your standard spinach or pepperoni.

Braised Beef Calzones - a rich and unique filling: A Broad Cooking

Brown a two pound beef roast on all sides then braise slowly over a low heat in a combination of tomatoes and beef broth. Depending on the heat and size of your beef, this could take about three hours. Be sure to turn the meat over after 90 minutes.


Once the beef is fork tender, remove it. If you have a leftover parmesan rind, add it now. Then simmer the sauce, uncovered, until it is reduced by half. Shred the beef and add it back to the pot. This can be made a few days in advance.

Braised beef - a rich unique filling for calzones: A Broad Cooking

When you assemble the calzones, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the beef so that you don’t have too much sauce inside the calzone. You can always serve more on the side.

Braised Beef Calzones: A Broad Cooking

If you have leftover beef, which you likely will, it makes a great dinner served over parmesan polenta.

Braised Beef over Parmesan Polenta: A Broad Cooking

Or you can just pour whatever is left over the calzones with some extra melted cheese like I did for lunch today.

Braised Beef Calzones Smothered with Extra Sauce: A Broad Cooking

But make these smaller sized calzones for a great hand held snack that would be perfect for the Superbowl this weekend!

Braised Beef Calzones - a rich and unique filling: A Broad Cooking

Everyone will be so happy when they bite in to find delicious braised beef rather than their usual pizza toppings.

Braised Beef Calzones - a rich and unique filling: A Broad Cooking

Individual Braised Beef Calzones

Makes 6

2 lbs top side beef roast

2 Tbs olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (14.5 oz chopped tomatoes)

3 cups beef broth

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

Parmesan rind (optional)

2 basic pizza doughs

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Pizza sauce for serving

Season beef roast with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown roast on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Once you are browning the last side, add onions and garlic.

Add tomatoes, beef broth, basil, and oregano. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 90 minutes. Turn over and continue to cook for about 60 minutes, until the meat is fork tender.

Remove beef from the pot. Add parmesan rind if you have one. Continue to simmer the sauce until reduced by half, about 30-40 minutes. Shred the meat and add back to the sauce.

To make the calzones, heat oven to 425˚F.

Divide dough into 6 equal balls and roll out to about 6” rounds. Place ½ cup of cheese onto half of the dough round, leaving a ½” rim. Using a slotted spoon, top cheese with a scoop of beef. Fold dough over to form a pocket. Pinch the edges, folding upward to seal.

Bake on baking sheets or pizza stone for 12 minutes. Serve with additional sauce.


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