Braised Beef w/ Spinach and Brown Rice

by zesty on February 9, 2011 · 13 comments

Every now and again I feel I come up with a dinner that is really really good!  Last night may have been one of those nights.  I started with a big piece of beef, almost like a blade roast (just a little thinner) and I had some homemade marinara sauce that I wanted to use.  I also had a pile of grape tomatoes that have seen better days in addition to brown rice and spinach that I was thinking about all day.

I was home in the afternoon awaiting zesty junior off the bus so I put these in the oven for 3 hours with the sauce, tomatoes and some seasoning and all I can say about the beef – ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.  Tender, succulent, could not pick it up without it falling apart.

The joy of braising beef, you are pretty much always impressed with the results.


  • Boneless Beef ( 1-2 lbs)
  • 1 Cup Marinara sauce
  • 2 Handful or grape tomatoes
  • 1 Tsp. Dry mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic ( crushed )
  • 1/2 Tsp. Red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. Water


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Preheat an oven safe pan on top of the stove and add the olive oil.  Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the pan to sear both sides.  About 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove from heat.
  2. In a bowl, combine the marinara sauce, red pepper flakes, dry mustard, garlic and grape tomatoes and pour over the beef.
  3. Cover and place in the oven for 3 hours.
  4. Remove from the oven and set the meat aside ( covering with tin foil )
  5. Place the pan back on the stove top and bring to a boil.  We will create a slurry with the cornstarch and water to help thicken the sauce to finish the sauce.  Once the sauce is boiling, add the slurry and let it thicken for about 5-6 minutes.
  6. Let’s assemble the dish.  I like to put the raw spinach on the bottom of the bowl and top with a little sauce to begin the wilting process, then I serve a little bit of rice, and top with the beef.  Then ladle a little more of thickened sauce on top.
  7. ENJOY!

Zesty Tip: The key to the sauce it make sure it has the right consistency.  Because the Marinara had oil in it – it will break apart once cooked for so long.  The combination of cornstarch and water helps thicken and bring it back together.  The sauce is the star of the dish in my opinion.

Zesty’s Spontaneous News

Well Well Well Have I got news for you!  Yesterday on a total whim I went ahead and booked a family vacation for Disney World!  I know, kind of crazy and kind of fun.  I could not pass up the price and we knew the kids wanted to go on a plane.

Now you ask yourself, why is he telling me this?  Well I kind of need your help.  I do not have a hotel booked yet and we have not decided to stay in the Disney resort or just outside.  I feel we will be doing other things in Orlando other than Disney so we will rent a car for ease of getting around but I am still pondering the hotel situation.

If you have any suggestions by all means email me or leave them in the comments – they would be greatly appreciated.

I hope you have a great Wednesday, as I sit here and look out the dining room window – we are buried in snow.  The driveway is completely full and we are just waiting to get cleaned out.  The sun is shining, the snow is blowing and it is freezing out.  I cannot wait for Florida!

Take care


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