Friday, April 8, 2011

some beef 'n stuff

So, I got a little constructive CRITICISM on my last food photo shoot for making food that looked [was] too greasy. You know what guys, oils and fats taste good.
Okay, I promise that I will make up for it really soon with a light, crisp 10-calorie meal of air-puffed celery. But not right now.
I was trying to decide what to do with all those leftover parsnips, so my line of attack was basically to make a new main course that would complement them, something that I would come up with in a rather stream-of-consciousness process of ingredient accumulation.
It went like this:

okay, brown and rich with a warm flavor... give me... mushrooms, cremini, something meaty that will steam and liquify into a yummy brown sauce... ooh! we have cashews! ummm, and i can throw in all those old onions, and i need to add a little something with color. like red. a red bell pepper. Okay, what kind of protien? Tofu? DAMN, this yuppie grocery store does not carry tofu. Chicken? Chicken is not compatible with my VISION. Beef? Beef. Like beef tips with mashed potatoes, only the potatoes are parsnips, remember? Okay. Carbohydrate, protein, vegetable... aw, MAN, i will feel guilty if i make another meal without a green component, how about... kale greens. healthy, vitamin-rich kale greens that i will ruin with bacon fat.

See how it goes?
Here's what I came up with:

...And you don't get a picture of the kale greens because they don't exist anymore, I ate them.

Here's how I did it:

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

1 lb. package beef tips
1 red bell pepper
4 cremini mushrooms
pine nuts
kale greens
cheap booze, like sherry or cooking wine -(I went ahead & used both because I am an uncivilized savage)
1 large white onion
about 6 small white pearl onions
1 red chili pepper, dried

Pan fry 4 slices of bacon, in a big-ass pan
that has a lid, on low. It should take a long time, because the heat is on low. You want most of the fat to render.
n a separate pan on high heat, quickly toast a handful each of of cashews and pine nuts, and also 4 whole cloves of garlic, smashed with a knife and peeled. Remove from heat and save.
Wash all the non-edible organic matter [shit] off the cremini mushrooms and thinly slice. Dice the bell pepper. Peel the pearl onions.
In another pan heat some good-quality olive oil. [Note: sesame oil would have been good too.]
Brown the beef tips for 2 minutes, just until the sides are no longer red. Remove from pan and place in a separate dish so they don't cook to death.
In the same pan, saut
é the mushrooms and red pepper for a minute. Add the cashews, pine nuts, and garlic cloves. Then, pour in mass amounts of the wine. At least half the bottle. Throw in some balsamic vinegar or a touch of brown sugar for a little sweet element.
Flavor madly with dried sage and rosemary, things that don't necessarily belong but are fun to pretend to know what to do with.
Grind the dried red pepper with a mortar and pestle, or just dust it with pepper flakes. Also, 2 tsp. of smoked paprika.
Oh, yeah. Salt and pepper.
Throw in the beautiful baby pearl onions whole, aren't they so cute?!
Stir around, taste, feverishly check the consistency of the sauce for about 15 minutes.
Then throw in the meat (hope you didn't forget about it and let it collect maggots or something).
Continue to simmer down until the rest of dinner is ready.

OKAY, with the bacon, remove it from its pan, pat dry with a paper towel, and save for sandwiches this week.
Dice 1 large white onion and add to the fat.
Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add.
Turn up the heat to medium and stir around for 3 minutes.
Add 4 handfuls of fresh kale leaves (I bought them pre-washed and cut, ha-haaaa, suckas, I don't need no fancy salad spinner! just kidding, I need one.)
Stir around with onions, pour in about 1/2" chicken broth, sprinkle with salt and half-cover with lid.
When most of the chicken broth evaporates, they will be pretty good-tasting.

Done boring you. Goin' to eat leftovers.

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