Carne Guisada is a Tex-Mex dish whose translation is “Stewed Meat”. In Josef Centeno’s new cookbook, Amá; a Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen there is no doubt that this stew shines in its simplicity. It is nothing more than beef chunks cooked with chilis, spices, tomatoes and beef broth. The 3 hours in the oven meld the flavors and soften the meat into succulent pieces.
The chef/ author, grew up having these tacos for breakfast. This makes so much sense. Folding soft meat, flavored with Mexican spices into a sturdy flour tortilla works well as breakfast in the back seat of a car on the way to school.
But we enjoyed the Carne Guisada for dinner. I have to admit that I ended up adding some condiments like cheese, onions, peppers and lettuce. They made enough that we can have then again over rice, in a bowl with tortilla chips or over scrambled eggs. I love that we can make many meals from this recipe. By the way, if you don’t have the right chilis just use what you have. I used jalepeños and 1 serrano.
2 Ancho chilis
4 Tbls oil
2 1/2 to 3 lbs boneless short ribs or chunk roast, cubed in 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
1/2 tsp sea salt
5 garlic cloves
1 Serrano chili, stemmed, seeded and finally chopped
1 Tbls oregano- preferably Mexican oregano
1 1/2 tsp cunim seed
1 tsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 Tbls flour
3 cups beef broth
1 cup crushed tomatoes
If using ancho chiles: using tongs, toast over open flames of a gas burner until slightly softened and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stem and seed the chilis and tear into pieces. If using jalapeños: Stem seed and chop.
Heat 2 Tbls. oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add beef and brown in batches on all sides. Remove to a plate.
Add remaining 2 Tbls. oil to the pot. When oil is hot, add onions, chilis and salt and cook over medium heat, scraping up brown bits of meat until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin seeds, chili powder, bay leaves and pepper and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Add the flour and stir to incorporate. Add the beef cubes and their juices back to the pan. Stir. Add the beef broth and tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil.
Transfer the pot to a preheated 300 degree F. oven and cook for about 3 hours.
Soup is always on my mind when the cold winds blow. We are expecting the first below freezing temperatures tonight. To complicate our lives, our heating system is not working. We are managing to keep warm with our gas fireplace and may even light a wood fire in out kitchen fireplace. David is now down in the furnace room with the new parts. Hopefully we will have heat again soon. But soup restores all discomfort and warms the soul. This goulash soup was adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen. David is still avoiding carbs so this combination of Ground Beef, Cabbage and Roasted Red Peppers fits perfectly into a Keto diet.
The changes I made to the recipe were to increase the ground beef and cabbage. I doubled the cabbage from two cups to four cups. I increased the ground beef from 1 pound to 1 1/2 pounds.
We enjoyed the warming goodness of this soups flavored with paprika, beef stock and tomatoes. The cornbread is a side dish that I enjoyed alone. It is Rosa’s Cornbread which is very rich and indulged in only in small slices.
GOULASH SOUP WITH RED PEPPERS AND CABBAGE (Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef (ground chuck is best)
1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers, diced into 1 inch pieces
Heat large heavy frying pan, add oil, and saute onions about 5 minutes, until barely starting to color. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more, then add paprika (and caraway if using) and saute 1 minute more.
Put onion/spice mixture into large soup pot. Deglaze pan with 1 cup of beef stock, then add that and rest of beef stock to soup pot. Add roasted tomatoes or canned tomatoes, cabbage and 2 cups water to soup pot and start to simmer.
Brown ground beef in frying pan until quite brown, breaking into small pieces as it cooks. When browned add to soup pot. Let simmer on very low heat one hour. (Taste for seasoning and add more paprika if desired.
After one hour, add diced red peppers and simmer about one hour more. Serve hot, garnished with sour cream. This freezes very well.
The genesis of this Bulgogi recipe happened while traveling in the backseat of the car with my Grandson. We were playing a word game with tiles and a hangman. Cameron, at age 8, does very well with spelling words and solving word games. But Mimi (me) is very good too. The challenge was on! After many rounds, Cameron gave me a seven letter word for food. Guessing letter after letter, I never came up with the answer. I had never heard of Bulgogi. Cameron’s Mom, in the driver’s seat, was impressed too. It turns out he knew the word after reading a book about a Korean boy trying to fit in at his new school in America. His Mother had packed his school lunch with this Korean beef dish. But the boy would have preferred the same food his classmates had brought to school. So Cameron remembered this passage, the word, and a desire to try Bulgogi.
Bulgogi is an addictively delicious beef dish. The sauce is a blend of soy sauce, brown sugar, pear, garlic, ginger, crushed pepper flakes and sesame oil. The results are a salty, slightly sweet and nutty dish. Although you could use a tougher cut of beef like, chuck, sirloin or flank steak, the preferred cut is rib eye or strip steak.
Traditionally Bulgogi would be served over rice, but we served it in lettuce cups. Thank you Cameron for the inspiration. I love that my Grandchildren are interested in trying foods from all over the world. As soon as you return from your European trip with your parents, I will make this for you Cameron and your sister Rachel.
BULGOGI ( Adapted from Bon Appétit)
¼ pear, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon gochugaru (coarse Korean hot pepper flakes), or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound boneless rib-eye or strip steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Sliced scallions (for serving)
Combine pear, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru (I used 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes), ginger, sugar, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag or medium bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice meat into very thin strips. Add to marinade, seal bag, and squish everything around until the meat is coated. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, or chill up to 8 hours.
Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high until oil is shimmering. Remove half of meat from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag; season lightly with salt and cook in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Toss meat and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, remaining meat, and more salt.
Summer calls out for sunny colorful food. Red, orange, and green sweet peppers, plus plentiful zucchini are all wonderful stuffed with a meat mixture. Topped with a marinara sauce and baked, this makes a satisfying meal with a crispy cool salad. It is easy and would be so inviting doubled and served to guests on a huge platter. There is something special about Provençal recipes.
I know I have posted this picture before, but it reminds me of our friends in France and the wonderful meal that Carole (second from left) served us in her Loire Valley home. Stuffed vegetables were the main course after our Prosciutto wrapped melon.
Carole stuffed peppers and tomatoes with a flavorful meat mixture.
This is Lulu Peyraud’s kitchen at the Domaine Tempier winery in the Mediterranean coastal village of Bandol, France. While in France on that same trip, we stopped at the winery and learned more about Mrs. Peyraud. She is a great friend of Alice Waters and the late Richard Olney. Alice Waters serves the winery’s Bandol Rosé in her Chez Panisse Restaurant. Lulu has a cookbook of her recipes written by Richard Olney. You can find it here. Lulu’s kitchen is dominated by a huge fireplace, where most of her cooking is done. She has a small gas stove in her pantry. It is obvious where her priorities lay. I can just imagine how well stuffed peppers would taste coming out of that fireplace oven. We encountered both stuffed pepper dishes and versions of ratatouille all over Provence.
This dish is obviously summer and Provence on a plate.
STUFFED VEGETABLES PROVENÇAL
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 large egg
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup dried plain bread crumbs
1 pound ground beef, preferably lean
2 zucchini, ends removed, halved lengthwise and crosswise
1 orange bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly drizzle the olive oil into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.Whisk the onion, parsley, egg, ketchup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese and bread crumbs. Mix in the ground beef. Cover and refrigerate the beef mixture.
Using a melon baller or spoon, carefully scrape out the seeds and inner flesh from the zucchini, leaving 1/8-inch-thick shells. Be careful not to pierce through the skin. Fill the zucchini and pepper halves with the turkey mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange the stuffed vegetables in the baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce over the stuffed vegetables.
Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown and a thermometer inserted into the filling registers 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Transfer the stuffed vegetables to a platter and serve.
With the holidays fast approaching, thoughts turn to warming comfort food. I would even consider this Beef and Bacon Stew a worthy meal for Christmas Eve or Day. It has been a challenging week. We were hit by a freak snowstorm that normally would not occur in North Carolina. Five days without power tested our coping capacity.
It was a test of our capacity to get along without things we all take for granted. We stayed warm because our home is well insulated and we have a gas fireplace and a wood burning fireplace. We stayed well fed because we have a gas stove and oven, plus the grill grate in the fireplace. We stayed hydrated with jugs of water and other drinks. The only thing missing was a shower. That’s why we have friends. Thank you to Ron and Jackie for a much needed clean up and a delicious dinner. But next year we are getting a whole house generator. Weather in our area seems to have taken a more violent and unpredictable bent.
David is actually responsible for this delicious stew. Over the years he has been cooking more of our meals with creativity and elan. While I was finishing my wonderful new book in the series from Louis Penny, Kingdom of the Blind, he was chopping and assembling this flavorful dish. It did require a new ingredient. Miso Paste. I found it at Whole Foods in the refrigerator section near the cellophane boxed lettuces. Do not leave it out as it adds a great depth of flavor to the sauce.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I couldn’t resist including this outtake of our Christmas card photo shoot.
BEEF AND BACON STEW (BON APPETIT)
1 Bottle of dry red wine
1 2 1/2 boneless beef chuck roast
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more
8 oz. bacon
3 medium red onions
3 medium carrots
8 coves garlic
4 large sprigs thyme
2 Tbsp. white miso paste
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup parsley leaves and tender stems
Crusty bread (for serving)