Tex Mex Beef
Let me tell you about a dessert-related revelation I had some years ago. You take an overflowing handful of fresh strawberries, hull them, halve them, and place them into a bowl. Next, grab your nearby spice grinder, conveniently filled with black peppercorns. Crack the pepper over the strawberries. Then avidly consume these pepper-laden strawberries. Though it sounds strange, it tastes phenomenal, all sweet and hot and tart. Jumping on the idea of unusual pairings, this week’s
recipe plays on the seemingly unusual combination of chocolate and beef. Tender rump steak soaks up the rich, sweet flavours of the mouthwatering cooking liquid, and a small quantity of cocoa powder offers extra warmth, along with the exotic smokiness of chipotle sauce and smoked paprika. With this, Critic wraps up for 2012. So next time you’re considering what to do in the kitchen, play around with your flavourings. Never assume that an ingredient only belongs in a certain category of cooking. Get inventive. Throw your spices around. Trust your instincts. Add a pinch of sugar to tomato-based sauces. Don’t be afraid to pair citrus fruits with otherwise savoury couscous, finely sliced pears with a tangy cheese, or chocolate with red meat. Speaking of chocolate, do try the varieties with chilli, lime, and sea salt. If just one Critic recipe this year has sparked your curiosity, then I consider our job done. A huge thank you goes out to the wonderful Maeve Jones for her steady stream of contributions. Survive the exam season like a champion and enjoy your summer –wherever you may be, and whatever delicacies may be eating.
Ingredients4 tbs canola or rice bran oil
600g rump steak, cut into large chunks
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
3 tsp cocoa powder
4 tbs tomato puree
4 tbs chipotle sauce (find it in the international aisle alongside the taco kits)
300ml liquid chicken stock (made up from powder)
250g sour cream
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Method01 | Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a deep pan over a medium heat. Add the meat and cook for one minute to brown it. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
02 | Add the remaining oil to the pan, then add the onion and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently, until soft.
03 | Add the cumin, smoked paprika and cocoa powder to the pan. Cook for one minute, stirring. Add the tomato puree, chipotle sauce and chicken stock. Stir well to combine. Give it a taste and add more chipotle sauce or spices if you wish.
04 | Return the meat to the pan and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
05 | Serve the Tex Mex as is, on top of steamed rice, or with corn chips. Top with spring onions, coriander and a generous blob of sour cream.