Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fall-Apart Beef Cubes with Spinach and Coconut

I'm not entirely sure where this month has gone. Between travel and wedding planning, the days seem to just disappear. So it should come as no surprise that two things are happening. First, I'm getting a bit lazy about posting recipes (of course that means this recipe represents the best of the week!). Second, I had a mild panic attack this week when I realized that a new meat CSA box would be coming soon and I hadn't made too much progress on the contents of our freezer. The only problem with our meat CSA box is they love to give us beef stew meat. While this may seem like an ideal thing to have in the winter (not that it's really winter here. Hello, sunny 17 degree winter!), I'm not really a bit fan of many stews. Luckily for me, this recipe popped up on my search. It requires a bit of planning ahead with the marinade, but the dish itself cooks in just over an hour with very little effort, so it's great to toss on while you're trying to do other things (such as ridiculous wedding arts and craft projects). The beef gets a nice bit of kick from the cayenne and turns a lovely shade from the turmeric. The tamarind gives it a nice tang and the greens and coconut combine to make it feel lighter and fresh. For those of you who don't like the texture of coconut, I honestly didn't notice it at all with everything else going on (I used finely shredded and once it had been soaked, it loses the tough texture and just gives the coconut flavour). I used arugula instead of spinach because that's what I had on hand. It gave it a nice extra kick. I also used less than a half pound of baby arugula which doesn't seem to disintegrate as much as spinach so it was still quite a bit of greens in there.

One year ago: Brie with Ligurian Olive Paste
Two years ago: Whole Wheat Jam Muffins
Three years ago: Cauliflower and Camembert Soup

Fall-Apart Beef Cubes with Spinach and Coconut (from 660 Curries)
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 lb boneless beef cut into 1" cubes
2 tbsp canola oil
1 lb fresh spinach leaves
1 cup shredded fresh coconut or 1/2 cup shredded dried unsweetened coconut, reconstituted
1 tsp tamarind paste

1. Whisk the yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, salt, turmeric, and cayenne together in a medium bowl. Add beef and toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered for at least an hour or up to overnight.
2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beef and marinade. Cook, uncovered, stirring until liquid is absorbed and oil starts to separate, 10 - 15 minutes.
3. Pour 1 cup water into pan and scrap to deglaze. Simmer uncovered until water is absorbed and oil separates, 10 - 15 minutes.
4. Pour 2 cups water into pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium, cover, and simmer stirring occasionally until beef absorbs liquid and is tender, 30 - 40 minutes.
5. Add a handful of spinach to pan, cover, and wilt. Mix and repeat until all the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes.
6. Stir in coconut and tamarind paste. Simmer, uncovered, stirring to warm coconut, about 5 minutes. Serve.

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