Looking for a decadent (yet, surprisingly healthy) meal?
Dark chocolate and red wine – what a combination – but did you know the health benefits?
Why dark chocolate is good for you:
Dark chocolate has 70% (or more) cocoa content. Science has proven that dark chocolate, consumed in moderation is extremely good for you, as it is rich in fibre, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese and antioxidants.
There are all sorts of documented health benefits of eating a few squares of dark chocolate regularly including decreased risk of heart disease.
Why red wine may be good for you:
One of the components of wine, resveratrol, may lead to improved cardiovascular function. In experiments on mice, doses of resveratrol led to better cardiovascular health, but also acted as a cancer preventative agent, limited the damage caused by strokes and had anti-inflammatory properties. Think French Paradox – the French suffer a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease, despite having a diet relatively rich in saturated fats.
Another compound called piceatannol – a stilbenoid, type of phenolic compound, found in red wine – is believed to inhibit the development of fat cells.
Moderate wine consumption may even lower the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
Enjoying a small daily glass of wine (up to 5 ounces) has also been linked to lower levels of depression.
Try this recipe:
4-6 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 kilos beef shin or beef chuck, cut into bite sized pieces
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sultanas
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1.5-2 cups beef stock (use 2 cups if you want a runnier consistency to the liquid)
50g/1.7 ozs dark chocolate
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
In a large pot on medium heat, add a tablespoon of the oil and brown the beef in three batches. Set aside. Reduce the heat to low and saute the onions, carrot, celery and garlic until soft but and fragrant, about 5-8 minutes.
Turn the heat up to medium again and add the beef back into the pot. Add the red wine and red wine vinegar and cook it for 5 minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Add the sultanas, bay leaves, cinnamon, nutmeg and beef stock and cook in low to medium heat with the lid on for 1.5 hours.
When 1.5 hours is up, melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Add one tablespoon of the stew liquid to the chocolate and then stir and then add another 3-4 tablespoons until the chocolate has incorporated the liquid well without seizing.
Add the chocolate to the stew liquid and simmer for another 30 minutes and season with the salt and pepper to taste. Scatter pine nuts on top and chopped parsley. Serve with potatoes.
*Recipe provided by Not Quite Nigella food blog.