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Monday, November 14, 2011

Recipe for Beef Braised in Rooibos Tea with Sweet Potatoes - Daring Cooks

Do you enjoy a good challenge?  Me too, so I joined the Daring Kitchen-a group of hundreds of cooks around the world who come together each month to try something new in the kitchen.

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.

I chose to make the beef stew, made using Rooibos tea.  Now, I'd never tried Rooibos tea and had never cooked using tea so this was truly "something new in the kitchen" for me.

Rooibos tea is also called red tea and it is an herb indigenous to South Africa.  According to the information on the Numi tea box, it is rich in antioxidants and known for its calming effects. (not sponsored)

Here is the recipe which I followed to the letter (which is unusual for me but part of the challenge!)

Time: 2 1/2 hours
Yield: 6 servings


  • 1¼ pounds stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 5 rooibos tea bags
  • 1 quart just-boiled water
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 strips unwaxed orange peel, pith removed (the peel of about half an orange)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup mild honey (optional)
  • cilantro (coriander) leaves, to garnish
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Season the beef and coat in the flour. 
  • Heat the oil in a large stock pot and then brown the beef on all sides.
  • Add the onions and celery. Put on a tight fitting lid and let soften for ten minutes. 
  • Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for one minute. 
  • Meanwhile, place the tea bags in a heatproof pitcher and pour over the water. Allow to steep for four minutes. Then remove the tea bags and pour the tea into the stock pot. Add the red wine vinegar, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and ginger. 
  • Lower the heat and cover. Let the stew simmer for 2 hours, until the beef is tender. 
  • Add the sweet potatoes, honey (if using), and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft. 
  • Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.
The outcome?  REALLY good.  The only changes I would make when doing this again, is to reduce or omit the orange peel-it was slightly overpowering to us-and use chunks of sweet potato instead of slices.  But otherwise, it is a keeper recipe and I'd encourage you to also give this a try!

Share with us in the comment section if you have cooked with tea.