I can honestly say that I know very little about Turkish food. The only thing I do know is that the dishes I've tried so far, I've absolutely loved. It wasn't until I had the chance to visit Germany last year that I realized just how amazing Turkish food is. One of my favorite restaurants (other than doner kebab!) was a small Turkish restaurant serving food cafeteria-style. I wasn't sure what I was ordering but when it appeared on my plate, I was immediately excited. And so here I am back at home, trying to replicate the beef dish I had. Although not exactly the same, my Turkish style braised beef brings me back to that restaurant. It's pure comfort in a bowl!
Turkish Style Braised Beef
- 2 lb chuck roast cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 3 anaheim peppers sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 8 garlic cloves sliced
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place cut beef in bottom of Dutch oven and season with salt and pepper. Spread sliced onion, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and thyme on top.
- Whisk together water with tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, cumin, Aleppo pepper, salt, and pepper until well combined. Pour liquid into Dutch oven. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Transfer to the oven and continue to braise for 2 hours.
- Remove lid and increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Braise for another 30 minutes, reducing the braising liquid. Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper. Serve Turkish style braised beef with rice or crusty bread.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
When I recall the beef dish I had in Germany, I remember that it was tomato-based with onions and peppers. To give my Turkish style braised beef as much flavor as possible, I added a touch of vinegar, Aleppo pepper, cumin, and thyme to the mix.
You can use any type of braising meat for this recipe. I love using chuck roast because the meat always comes out incredibly tender.
Cut the beef into large 2-inch cubes and place them in the bottom of a Dutch oven or braising dish. Remember to season the meat with plenty of salt and pepper. Then, pile on the vegetables including sliced bell pepper, Anaheim peppers, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and thyme.
Whisk together water with tomato paste, red wine vinegar, sugar, cumin, Aleppo pepper, salt, and pepper until well combined. If you can't find Aleppo pepper, use red chili flakes instead.
Pour that delicious braising liquid into the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. I like to use a Dutch oven for this dish because it can easily go from the stove to the oven. If you are using a braising dish, it'll be helpful to use one that can be heated on the stove as well.
Transfer the pot to the oven and continue to braise at a low temperature of 325 degrees F for about 2 hours.
After 2 hours, the beef should be fall-apart tender. But instead of removing it from the oven, we're going to take off the lid, crank up the heat, and reduce the braising liquid. The sauce gives all the flavor so we're going to reduce it a bit and concentrate all of those wonderful deep seasonings.
Remove the Turkish style braised beef from the oven and give it a final seasoning adjustment. I enjoyed my dish with a bowl of rice but you can also enjoy it with crusty bread.
This tender braised beef swimming in rich tomato sauce is what I consider true comfort food. It's almost like a beef stew but with a bit more tang from the tomatoes and vinegar. Now if I miss that Turkish restaurant, I can make this dish at home!
For more braised meat inspiration check out this carne asada short ribs Mexican bowls recipe!