Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Beef Balsamico

I always get a chuckle out of reading restaurant's menu cards. The fancier the better, because I've noticed a tendency in this country that all that is foreign is good, even if we don't know what it means. Well, for Pete's sake, if you are going to put a dish on the menu, at least check how to spell it properly! If you're up for a chuckle, check out the http://www.engrish.com website for some hilarious menu cards, translation mistakes and the likes.

And while I giggle about the PocariSweat soft drink, and wish I could have some 'cozy chocolates for heroines" (I am not joking! Talk about defined target audience!), I pull a piece of beef out of the freezer. Ah ! I guess we'll be eating "meat for the heroe of this house" today :-)

I was raised in a Dutch-Indonesian household, and while some of my traits are definitely more netherlandish, such as being thrifty and (sometimes very annoying) outspoken, my cooking habits are definitely more asian. This translates to cooking for ten when there are only two people in the household, which leads to food for eight frozen in the freezer, which leads to eh...well this blog for one! Slowly but surely I am learning to cut down on my portions.

The beef roast I have pulled out of the freezer is little over 3 pounds, so I cut it in half and put the other part in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator: we'll look at that in the next couple of days. Today we are making Beef Balsamico, a nice beef stew with vegetables, and a hint of summer.

Beef Balsamico

1 1/2 pound beef, cubed
1 1/2 cup beef bouillon (1 1/2 cup hot water and one beef bouillon cube)
2 tbsp balsamico vinegar
2 cups of pepper stir fry, or other vegetables (broccoli, corn, carrots, green beans, whatever you have in the freezer or pantry that needs to go)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp olive oil
sour cream (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and brown. Add onion, garlic and potatoes and stir occasionally until onions are transparent, be careful not to burn the garlic! In the meantime, set your crockpot to high. Add the bouillon to the skillet, add the vegetables and the thyme, stir in the balsamico and bring to a boil. Pour the contents of the skillet into the crockpot and cook on high for approximately 2 hours, or until beef is tender. The length of time depends on the beef and on your crockpot, so keep an eye on it. If you prefer your veggies crunchy, do not add them in until the last thirty minutes of cooking.

Serve in a bowl, hot, with a good piece of bread and a dollop of sour cream. This is good, whether you're a heroine or not!

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