Monday, November 14, 2011

Cooking with Tea!

Ok, we do have some tea in the pantry. Not much, and it only comes out on those runny nose days, and only for one of us... So, seeing the title of this month's challenge didn't get us bouncing around the house, but as promised, we're giving everything a try.

We'll eat tofu if it's part of the makeup of a dish, but not if it's the feature - it's not the worst thing ever invented, but there's something about the texture that doesn't work for us.  And the eggs looked fun in an Easter sort of way, but doesn't really translate into a dinner that we can open up a bottle of wine with.  We were therefore sort of pushed into the Beef option, which is totally fine - we do eat beef... 

Beef Braised in Rooibos Tea with Sweet Potatoes

Our confidence in locating the correctly named tea was low, having never heard of this variety before.  We were half prepared to hunt for it, and half prepared to do some research to figure out what we could find easily and would also be an acceptable trade off.  Phew, didn't need either of our half preparations...  As it turned out, it was easy to find in our normal everyday boring store - and all wrapped up in handy dandy bags.

Everything else was easy enough to round up as part of our normally scheduled grocery collection trip.

Nothing complicated here... 

  • A little bit of chopping to get everything started. 
  • A little bit of searing to get things started. 
  • A little bit of stirring to keep things going. 
  • A little bit of brewing to keep things going. 
  • A little bit of improvisation because knowing we have something in the pantry is not the same as knowing we have enough of that something in the pantry (we had to go half red wine vinegar and half white wine vinegar). 
  • A good bit of sitting around (with a glass of wine) letting a gentle fire do it's work. 
  • A little bit of late additions to make things better. 
  • A little bit more sitting around (with a glass of wine).

All the while, we got to enjoy our wine, the smells and watching the Chicago Chefs rock on Top Chef!


It worked - we don't think our vinegar tribulations had any overly adverse effects.  It looked good.  It tasted nice. The kitchen and living room smelled like we'd been cooking something yummy.

The sauce didn't really thicken up and there was a lot of it left over once we'd enjoyed our meal (and the left overs the next day). 

Recipes & Destructions Instructions



We opened up our bottle of Terredora Di Paolo Aglianico which wasn't a bad pairing, but with the heavy tannins perhaps would be better in a couple of years.

It was a tasty dinner that was not hard to prepare (actually mostly takes care of itself), but we're not really sure what the tea brought to the party as we couldn't find the flavors that we found when drinking it for breakfast (and in our opinion didn't taste anything different to any other sort of tea we might have for breakfast). We did get the honey and cinnamon and ginger and orange (kind of surprised us considering how little we put in) and enjoyed the combination.

We'd cook it up for friends and not be embarrassed, that's for sure, but we wouldn't be making a big deal about how we used tea to make it.


Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

Comments pre Blog Platform Change

Lyuba responded:
Great job! Glad you enjoyed this new experience. My kitchen smelled great, but my hubby liked the stew a little more the I did. I thought its was great, but did wish that I would have cut down on ginger!

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