Two dinners!

Today I am posting two recent dinners we enjoyed!

One is stuffed bell peppers, made from the Hungary round bells that I got in my CSA. The other is slow simmered beef eye of round steak with an IPA sauce.

I kept the bell peppers pretty classic, and based them on America's Test Kitchen Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers. This is my absolute favorite cooking show on PBS, and for my birthday last year James got me "The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook". It's amazing. It's huge, and includes every recipe ever (through 2016!) AND every appliance/gadget rating! It's so fabulous.

I'm not going to share the exact recipe because that wouldn't be fair to Cook's Country, but you can use any basic stuffed pepper recipe. A few things I did that were unique: I used homemade marinara instead of plain tomato sauce, chorizo instead of beef, and I mixed hemp hearts (incredibly nutritious and I highly recommend adding them to your diet) in with the rice mixture. My cheese was a mix of mozzarella and cheddar. These changes were all made based purely on what I had on hand.

I also broiled it for a few minutes at the end to brown the cheese a bit more. The recipe didn't call for this, but truly - cheese should always be nice and browned.

There was a ton of leftover filling, and it made excellent enchilada filling the next day!

Ok, so the beef eye of round - this is a meat that needs slow cooking to be tender. I admit to you, my devoted fans, that I did not cook it long enough this time around. I decided too late in the day that it was what I wanted to make and decided to do it anyway, so it wasn't as tender as it could have been. But still delicious, much of which is due to the sauce.

My sauce this time consisted of: 1 cup IPA, 1 cup beef broth, 1 Tbs soy sauce, and 2 Tbs worcestershire sauce.

Traditionally I use a red wine instead of a beer, but I had no red wine. Funny story: for the longest time all we had was red wine and no white, so when I was at the store the other day I grabbed a white wine even though it wasn't on the list. Turns out, however, that I had already done that on a previous trip and forgot, and by now we had used up our red wine. So now I had two bottles of white and no red.

But it's ok, because I had beers in the fridge :) I'm nothing if not a flexible cook. Back to the recipe:

Slice a red onion into thin strips and dice up some garlic. Heat up a little EVOO and cook the onion about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and saute briefly (until fragrant). Remove the onions and garlic and set aside. In a different bowl, stir black pepper with some flour. Rub the steaks with thyme and seasoned salt - I used maybe 1/4 tsp thyme for 4 steaks, and just sprinkled with the salt - then dust with the prepared flour. Fry in a hot cast iron about 5 minutes per side, or until browned.

Flip Flip Flippety Flip

Add the onion and garlic back to the pan - I put some around the steaks and some on top. Mix all your sauce stuff together and pour into the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover, and stick in a 300 degree oven for at least 2 hours. I did only two hours and as I said, they were still a teensy bit tough. 4-5 hours would have been ideal. If you only do two hours the liqiud should be fine; longer than that and you may want to check it on occasion. It will (and should) reduce by at least half, but if it's starting to look too dry just add some more. 

Once tender, put the steaks aside and cover to keep warm. I also removed most of the onions and piled on top of the steaks, leaving only some for the gravy. Return the skillet to medium heat on the stove range and simmer the sauce. Slowly stir in some flour, 1/2 Tbs at a time, stirring constantly. You don't want it to be too floury, and it depends on how much liquid you have. If you're unsure, reference a basic gravy recipe for the flour to liquid ratio. Pile that gravy on top of the steak.

The steak makes great leftovers shredded on top of egg noodles and topped with gravy <3


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