Thursday, February 16, 2012

Beef Stew with Salad

What to cook?

I try to alternate the ingredients. Maybe chicken one night and then chicken leftovers the next. I prefer to have bread for lunch. I take the opportunity to eat out if I'm doing errands around lunch time.

Then perhaps some beef or just go vegetarian for 2 days. I also freeze part of my meals so that I can just get something out of the freezer and thaw it for the evening.

If we feel like having something special we eat out. But it is more relaxing to eat at home and we save a lot of time and money. No need to change, to drive , find parking, walk to the shops and be caught in the traffic jam. And we can have better quality of food if we cook our own meals.
No recycled oil, for one thing. Who knows where the oil came from. Do they separate between halal and non halal recycled oil? How do we control this trend?

I bought some lean chuck beef from the supermarket. It looked fairly lean with a little marbling. Costed only RM9.00, more than enough for 2 persons as part of a meal.

Fillet may be alright but it is costly and not necessary unless its for stir fries, like black pepper steak or beef friend with ginger and spring onions.

I do not like solid tough beef which is hard to chew unless its been boiled for a long time. And I do not like to boil meat for over an hour, wasting gas and electricity unnecessarily. I like to save on fuel. It is also toxic to use gas for hours, the air is actually permeated with gas though you would think its being consumed by the fire. Anyway, this is what I did :

Quick and Tasty Beef Stew

Chuck Beef, cut into small cubes

2 medium onions - sliced thickly
1 medium carrot - sliced
2 medium potatoes
1 can of sliced mushrooms(optional)
1 - 2 tsp of tomato paste (or 1 ripe tomato)
1 tsp of L & P Worcesterchire sauce (optional)
enough water to cover the meat and potatoes and onions

Do not add any salt until meat is already tender.

Just bring the water to boil and then lower the heat. Cover the pot and cook
at medium low heat for at least half a hour.

Add in the rest of the carrots and a small celery stalk, sliced (opt)

Do not add the mushrooms until later.

When meat is soft it is ready and thicken gravy with
1 tablespoon of flour, mixed in a little water.
Add 1/2 tsp of rock salt, some pepper and some paprika if desired.
Did not even add any spices or herbs. Maybe a bay leaf is good.

Turn up the heat to cook the flour solution. Once its thickened, turn off fire
and its ready!

Serve with salad, soup and bread.
Good with crusty bread or French garlic bread.

Fresh mushrooms can be used instead
This is once dish where you do not have to do any frying. Just put everything
into the cooking pot and cover it. Check on it after half and hour to see
if you need to add any extra water.

Canned Mixed bean salad

For variety and speed, just open a can of kidney beans, a can of garbanzo beans and a can of navy beans. Any mixture is fine. Rinse the beans well and drain.

Place mixed beans in a large bowl. Add some chopped onions, a bit of garlic, chopped chillies and some coriander leaves. Any combination is fine. Squeeze fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Good to serve with some steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets. Make a lemon butter sauce by heating some butter and squeezing some lemon juice over butter, season. Add some cheese to make it a buttery cheezy sauce. Anything goes.

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