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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quick Sweet and Sour Beef

Well, I hesitated to post this, not least because this is one of the least photogenic things I've ever cooked.  Meals that look like stew are, at the very best, only a passable photo subject, and this one cooks up looking downright nasty.  Somewhere, there is a photographer that knows how to take a beauty shot of beef stew, but I am not that person.

But this is a truthful kind of blog, and I did want to share this idea because I have now made it, at Mr. FC&G's insistence, twice in two weeks.  This, friends, is Quick Sweet and Sour Beef.

It is very simple.  Take a package of stew meat or another cheap cut, put it in the Crock Pot, cover with a jar of peach salsa, and cook.  I cook mine on high for four hours, but you will have to adjust for your own slow cooker; if you are leaving this while you go to work, 8-10 hours on low is probably perfect.

The slow cooking plus the acids in the salsa soften the texture of the meat, so you can get away with using cheaper cuts.  I like this, because I'd much rather buy a cheap cut of grass-fed, hormone-free beef than a better cut of CAFO-raised for the same price.

The peach salsa gives it a nice sweet and spicy flavor.  Mr. FC&G has been devouring this over spaghetti, but I think it would go very nicely over brown rice too.

The Analysis

Fast:  I think this takes less than 60 seconds of hands-on prep time, plus your cooking.

Cheap:  The whole point is to use a cheaper cut of meat and then cook it "low and slow," as they say on the cooking shows.  This will get less expensive next canning season, because it looks like I'm buying a peck of peaches and laying in some homemade salsa; right now, we are buying jarred salsa.

Good:  It has the endorsement from Mr. FC&G, and it is saving me from meal prep during a week when I am very busy with work.
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