Rachael Ray Shares Her Favorite Family Recipe

Nothing says holiday like the scent of a home-cooked meal. Even famous cooks long for some of mom's favorites. Rachael Ray shares her mother's recipe for Cider Beef With Cheddar Potatoes. Learn how to make the tempting meal below.

Elsa's Cider Beef With Smashed Cheddar Potatoes

Mama knows best! Here again, my mama, Elsa, proves she's top chef!
2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
3 tablespoons butter
2 pounds top sirloin, trimmed and cut into 11/2-inch cubes
Salt and black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 pound turnips, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups good-quality apple cider—go dark and cloudy
1 (15-ounce) can beef stock
3 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and chopped
½ cup milk
½ cup sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped or snipped chives

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Place a large stew pot or Dutch oven with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO and butter. When the butter melts, season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Brown on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes total. Add the onions, carrots, and turnips, and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the vegetables with the flour and stir to combine and coat, 1 minute. Stir in the apple cider and the beef stock, bring to a boil, cover the pan, and transfer to the oven. Braise the beef for 45 minutes.

Once the beef has been in the oven for about 15 minutes, place the potatoes in a large saucepot with water to cover by at least 1 to 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat a bit, add some salt, and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes.

When the potatoes are tender, drain them and return them to the pot. Add the milk, sour cream, and cheese. Use a potato masher to smash them to your preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper and add the chives. Cover and keep warm until the beef is done.

To serve, ladle the stew into shallow serving bowls. Make a well in the center and fill with the potatoes. (It should be noted, however, that there are members of our family — like my brother — who would fill a bowl with potatoes instead, leaving a small well in the center to hold a few bites of stew.)