Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SLB Recipe #2: Beef or Lentil Stew

(Photo: A yummy salad I made in Spain with spinach, raw cabbage and orange slices)

This is another recipe I prepared (while wearing my polka dotted apron) in Spain for SLB. I thought it would be extra challenging to cook for so many people with various diet restrictions, but recipes like this one made it relatively simple. I also learned that adding 1/2 cup to 1 cup of wine to certain recipes gives it a "fancy" flavor. I'm adding wine to everything now that I know that! White wine is better than red wine in pancakes... Kidding! Don't.

First, for the carnivores:

Hearty Beef and Tomato Stew

2 tsp olive oil
2 pounds sirloin steak, cubed
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1.5 cups broth (beef, chicken or veg)
1.5 pounds red potatoes, cubed
2 pounds carrots, sliced (whole carrots are way better than baby carrots)
3/4 cup red wine (the cheap one)
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 can (28 oz) chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 rosemary sprig ("sprig" is a weird word)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh parsley

1. Heat oil in a large skillet at medium heat. Add beef and cook 5 minutes until browned but still rare.

2. Remove beef from pan, reserving 1 Tbsp drippings. Add onion and garlic and saute 2 minutes.

3. Add tomato paste, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

4. Add broth and bring to a boil. Then return the meat to the pan. Also add the rest of the ingredients (except parsley) and bring to a simmer.

5. Cover and cook 1 hour and 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

6. Discard rosemary and bay leaf. Top with parsley.


Now, for the plant killers:

Hearty Lentil and Tomato Stew

Replace the meat with 1 cup of cooked lentils (yes, cook them first). Start with heating the olive oil in a skillet and sauteing the onions and garlic, then add the pre-cooked lentils when the carnivores would add the meat.

*Tip: You can start cooking the lentils right before you start chopping your veggies.


Lastly, for the fruitatarians:

Not All That Hearty Plum and Tomato Stew

Replace the meat or lentils with plums. Replace the oil with apple juice. Replace the carrots with an orange. Replace the potato with asian pear. Replace the onions and garlic with grapes and raisins. Replace the wine with grape juice and the tomato paste with jam. Rumor has it, you can keep the tomato and even add some avocado to taste.


**And hurry up and sign up for SLB 2012! I'll cook stuff for you and you'll probably PR at your first race when you come back. At least that seems to be the trend from last weekend ;)

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