Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Bistec Encebollado – Steak & Onions

This is a spectacularly easy to prepare and nourishing one pot recipe. Perfect for the autumn nights ahead of us. A beef and onion casserole is easily transformed into something far more exciting with a quick- Puerto Rican inspired - sprinkling of spices.
The main reason this is a 'keeper' though is the convenience factor. Combine the meat and marinade ingredients the night before cooking or in the morning before work and leave in the fridge. On returning home pour contents into a large heavy based pan, add the stock and cook. Simple.
The cut of steak used is entirely your choice. Though I prefer to use a cheaper cut for this dish such as a shoulder steak.
This recipe calls for 'Sazon' seasoning which is a Hispanic seasoned salt, not readily available in the UK, so I make up my own batch. It's good flavoursome stuff and I'm keeping the remainder for future use. The recipe for the seasoning comes first.

Sazon seasoning (alternative)
1 tbs salt
1 tbs ground black pepper
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs oregano 
2/3 tbs bright red paprika
Combine all the ingredients and store in an air tight container.

 Bistec Encebollado
900g (2lbs) beef steak, sliced thinly across the grain
60ml olive oil
60ml distilled white vinegar
pinch of oregano 
1 1/2 tsp of home made Sazon seasoning 
5 cloves of garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
2 large onions, sliced into rings 
400ml beef (chicken or vegetable will do too) stock
1 bay leaf
1. Place the beef in a Tupperware box and drizzle over it the oil and vinegar. Next sprinkle in the oregano, Sazon seasoning, garlic and the onion rings. Cover and refrigerate over night or for at least 4 hours.
2. Heat a large casserole dish or heavy bottomed pan on a high flame. Add the beef and marinade to the pan, stir and cook for 4 minutes whilst making up the stock. Pour in the stock and add a bay leaf to the pan. Bring the stock to a boil then turn the heat right down and cover the pan. Cook for 50 minutes. Season to taste.
Serve with rice, lime wedges and a scattering of coriander leaves. Provide some 'hot sauce'.
So good- I started eating before I took the picture! 

Monday, 15 August 2011

Kadhai Murgh

This is 'Kadhai' (Kar-a-he) Chicken, which means its a curry made in a big cast-iron pan called a 'Kadhai', but you can use a well seasoned wok, or a large non-stick lidded pan. 
Serves 4 
Main ingredients
-1kg chicken breast or boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I prefer it with thigh meat)- cut into 1 inch pieces
-3 tablespoons oil
-1 medium onion - very finely chopped
-5 cloves of garlic - peeled and very finely chopped 
- 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger - peeled and very finely chopped 
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
-3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 6 tablespoons natural yoghurt
- 8 tablespoons tomatoes- chopped finely
for the final flavouring:
-big hand full of fresh corriander leaves - chopped 
-2-3 hot green chillies - either chopped if you like it hot, or just peirced a few times and left whole
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 7 table spoons fresh tomatoes chopped finely

Heat oil in your pan over a medium-high flame. When oil is hot put in onion, Garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. 
Add the salt, Cayenne pepper and turmeric. Stir once or twice, then put in the chicken. Stir and fry until the chicken pieces turn opaque on the outside. 
Add the Yoghurt and tomato. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the yoghurt mostly disappears. 
Cover and cook on a medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stir now and then to avoid sticking. 
Stir in the final flavouring ingredients, cover again and reduce the heat right down low and cook for a further 3 minutes.  
Serve with boiled rice, chappaties or some nan. 
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