Black Beef Stew

19420710_805242979643869_2606971843983373751_nI accidentally added more oregano than the law should allow into the Chimichurri sauce I was trying to make (pity too because it was optional to begin with.)  After this blunder, there was no splashy oily sauce (how I like it) as it was on the dry side now.  Turns out, it was either 1/4 cup of fresh oregano or 1 teeny-tiny teaspoon of dried.  Big difference.  Big mistake.

Then I remembered I had a package of beef stew in the fridge.  Inspired by the bamboo skewers I found in our pantry recently, Kebabs were on my mental menu.  However, this meat takes forever to melt in your mouth and I wasn’t sure this was the best way to go.  Confused, I nixed that idea and thought that stew-style was the safest bet.  I’d also be able to salvage the green sauce if I use it as the marinade for this, which I did, overnight.

19225642_805243169643850_3529023098650673278_n

When it was time for the stove, I placed the meat in my large dutch oven pot set on low with enough water to cover.  (I fill the same mixing bowl with the water I’m going to add into the pot.)  After two hours or so, I increase the heat to medium and include the onion, optional Sazon and cube (list of ingredients to follow.)

I enjoy using cast iron dutch ovens like this one for slow cooking meals.

19275194_805243142977186_7885718524295582448_nBy the way, here’s how it looked in the initial stage, hence the name I dubbed the dish.

I began my process around Noon, so after 3 hours or so I put in the potatoes and carrots, checking occasionally to stir.  I like to add the tomato paste towards the end (after the potatoes to see how it has thickened by then and just add more if needed.)  I also do this when I make a big pot of beans.  Perhaps the order doesn’t matter, but it’s a habit that works for me.  Some other things that don’t (as a personal preference) have been flour, beef broth and searing the meat first.

Ingredients used:

  • 1lb of beef stew meat
  • Chimichurri sauce (recipe I use for this here)
  • 1 T. Tomato Paste to start
  • 10-12 Baby Carrots
  • 4 Medium Potatoes (cut in cubes or chunks)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 Chicken Boullion cube
  • Optional: Packet of Sazon
  • Salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • Corn cobs would have been great if handy!

Lessons for next time:

Chimichurri sauce on the side is different from using it as marinade and this was my first time doing so.  It was too potent (at least for the 1 pound of meat) so in the future I’ll reserve 1/2 of a cup for use as a marinade and freeze the rest of the batch (but in all cases I’ll never forget to use the correct amount of fresh and/or dried oregano!)  The lime flavor was strong so I turned to How to Counteract the Bitter Taste of Lime Juice and incorporated sugar to adjust.

Need I say that this is not a quick meal nor one you can think to prepare on a whim.  As stated above, the meat was left to marinate and the slow cooking process began early.  What was most important to me was the fact that the meat was perfectly tender, finally:

 

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