Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TV Dinner

Ok, this is actually nothing like a TV Dinner but it's a one dish meal which makes it perfect for kicking back on the couch with a beer (or two...) after a long day. This is a Cuban Beef Picadillo, from Williams Sonoma's "Food Made Fast: Weeknight." If you haven't already guessed, I'm obsessed with Williams Sonoma. It's adapted because the recipe calls for Beef Stock. As you know, we're trying to only make our own stocks during this challenge, so I decided to simply up the spices and throw in some red wine and some water to compensate. It turned out pretty well this way, maybe a little richer tasting than this dish really should. This is served as a tribute to the famous Cincinnati "Skyline" Chili, over 100% Whole Wheat Pasta and with some shredded Wisconsin Cheddar. Also, I made some garlic bread out of the Honey Oatmeal bread I had made last weekend (bread recipes are coming!). Garlic bread made out of a slightly sweet bread like this is out of this world! Who doesn't love salty/sweet?

1/2 Large Yellow Onion, shopped
1 Lb. Organic Grass Fed Ground Beef*
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Tbs. Chili Powder (+ a touch more)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
I can diced tomatoes
Handful of Raisins (as much or as none as you want)
2 Tbs. Tomato Paste
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup Red Wine
1/2 cup Water (this and the wine are my broth substitutes)
Salt and Pepper to taste

*A note on Beef: I decided to use Organic Grass Fed Beef, which as you can see is not inexpensive. However, I do think as a society we should be more concerned about where our meat comes from. No, I didn't see this cow before it died, and I have no way to prove that this meat is morally superior to other ground meats found in supermarkets, but it has to have at least a slightly better impact on the environment/my health/our collective future as omnivores than meat from a feedlot. If you can afford it (and you probably can, just don't so much meat!), I encourage the search for better meat! Is it really too much to pay for an animal that died just so I can sit on my ass watching people belt out of tune on "American Idol?" I think not.

Soapbox mode: Off.

To make a delicious meal in around 45 minutes:

Get a pot of water boiling, then add in some 100% whole wheat pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and keep aside. (This would also be good over rice).

Saute the onion in a large frying pan. warmed over medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until translucent, then add your beautiful beef. Stir occasionally until the beef is cooked throughout, then spoon out any fat (I didn't really do this because I didn't have a ton of fat... go figure).

Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cinnamon, and allspice. Then add the tomatoes, wine, water, vinegar, water, paste, and raisins. Keep at a simmer, uncovered, and cook until a stew-like consistency is reached (see below), stirring occasionally.

Stew-like consistency!! I know, this doesn't look incredible in the picture... trust me, it's yummy.

Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve in a large, shallow bowl overtop of the pasta with some bright yellow cheddar cheese grated on top (Hey Cincinnati!).

You've all probably noticed by now (like how I'm addressing this blog like we have a viewing audience of millions? Someday!) that I'm not an amazing photographer. You'll have to take my word for it that this meal is delicious, easy, and incredibly satisfying on a midwestern winter's night.


Suzanne said...

Professional photographs or not, this meal made a perfect ending to a hellish day at work! Comfort food with sophisticated flavors (and vino, my favorite thing), some horrific singing on the tv...and I'm a happy camper!

Emily Y. said...

Loves it. I could use some chili up in here right now. I feel you on the stocks - I've had no time to make stock yet (and have no earthly clue how to make beef stock). I have the day off tomorrow so some serious cooking will ensue!