I am using the last of my freezer gems for tonight's dinner. Whew! I am officially caught up to July on my stored food supply. There have been several times in the past where I thought that I had found all the old items, only to have another one mysteriously appear at the bottom of the freezer. For a while, I thought someone was trying to "gaslight" me, until I realized that it is easy for items to slip undetected into the trenches of the huge bin. Ugh. I did a thorough inventory and organization project, so there should be no more freezer mishaps. Well, that is to say, until it gets messy again.
I have never worked with round steak, so this should be an interesting experiment. I did a search on the Food Network website, and this recipe jumped out at me. I usually have good luck with Emeril's recipes, since they are typically not that difficult to prepare and big on flavor. It sounds more Italian, than Portuguese-style....but what do I know???? I have had a string of bad luck in the kitchen these past couple days, so I am hoping that nonsense is over. I am planning to redeem myself tonight, with Emeril by my side. Also, I liked the title....Mood Beef. It seems to imply a good mood, and I hope that is true.
One last note, Ditalini is a small pasta (use link to see specific shape), that you can actually find at the regular grocery store. I found mine at Fry's, in the pasta aisle. If you cannot find Ditalini, the reviews indicate that any small pasta will work (such as orzo).
Mood Beef (Portuguese Style Beef with Peppers and Ditalini)
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 pounds beef round steak, cut into thin strips
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 green peppers, cut into thin strips
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (35-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes, crushed with your hands, with their juice
1 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup ditalini pasta OR OTHER SMALL PASTA (orzo, etc.)
2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves
In a Dutch oven or heavy skillet heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the beef with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Saute the beef, in batches if necessary so that the pan is not crowded, until well-browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion and green peppers to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and caramelized around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes, water, bay leaf, crushed red pepper and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Return the beef to the pan and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
Add the ditalini to the gravy and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
Add the parsley. Serve immediately.
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