We didn't grow up the richest of people. We never talked about money and we lived on a ranch in the boondocks (that means country, far away from all civilization). You know how your childhood was cute and filled with kids from down the street that played cute little kid street games? No. My closest neighbor was an old man who smoked so much that his once-white wallpaper was yellow. With nicotine. CUTE. Anyways, we ate lots of vegetables and beef that we raised ourselves. Buying meat at a store was a foreign concept that made me feel really uncomfortable for a really long time. And by uncomfortable, I felt like a peasant because I was spending all my money on one part of the meal I wanted to cook.
That’s why I’m thankful for resourceful meals that leave more money to spend on booze. I mean, charity. That’s what I meant.
This was one of my favorite meals growing up. It combines everything yummy, especially when I make it. #nobig
Red meat…wine…tomato sauce. Yummerz. And honestly, it’s not too shabby in the health department. Let’s be serious, it’s not paleo. So, you’re welcome for that. But, it’s also not deep fried and smothered in gravy. So, sorry about that.
1 Package of Swiss Steak style beef
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 Onion, halved and sliced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Cans Marzano Style Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 Cup Dry Red Wine
½ Tablespoon Each Dried Thyme & Oregano
Handful of Fresh Long-Leaf Parsley, chopped
Cracked Red Pepper, to taste
Seriously, gang. Get on this good-good.
Start by tenderizing your meat. I use the spiked end of a tenderizing hammer but, go about it however you like. Afterwards, cut your steak into large pieces. I like to make them about as big as my palm. If you prefer, you can go smaller and make it like stew meat. Mix together your flour, cocoa and salt & pepper.
**Don’t be afraid of the cocoa. Seriously, it’s a secret trick that tenderizes and brings out the natural flavor of the meat. You learned it here, folks. Feel free to call me Prettier Julia Child.**
Warm a little olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sear all your meat just to get a good brown color on both sides. Transfer them to a plate covered with paper towels to drain any grease or fat. Don’t cry about this like I did. If we want to be skinny, this is just what we have to do. Ugh. **epic eye roll**
While you’re doing that, add a little olive oil into a stew pot and stir in your dry seasonings and red pepper with the onion and garlic and let them cook over medium until tender. I always add my dry seasonings at this point because the heat activates them and so they're able to put on their party pants.
Pour in the wine, tomatoes (with all their juice) and tomato paste and give it a good stir. Add your steak. Stir it real good-like and cover to let it come to a good strong simmer. If it seems a little thick, add some water. With this recipe, the longer it cooks, the better it will be. So, sit back. Relax. Go bond with Olivia Pope over a glass of red. Or Piper Chapman with maybe a vodka soda. I feel like that's what she would drink. Actually, remember that bottle we opened earlier? Let's just go back to that. Finish it. You deserve it, you strong female/male inhabitant of the world and all things culinary, you. (imaginary shoulder bump and wink)
Once it has simmered for about 45 minutes, give it a taste test and add any salt or pepper if it is needed. I usually add a little bit extra of both. Because, I apparently never salt my food enough. I feel like that’s probably a healthy problem to have, but whatever. This is also when I stir in the fresh parsley and let it cook for about another 10-15 minutes. I don’t know why, but I feel this is right, too.
This picture is served with egg noodles. I cook them like it says on the package and toss them with garlic powder, parsley and a little oil or butter after they are cooked. It makes them so much more flavorful and not stick together and get all dry. Try it and give me credit. You can also serve it over white or brown rice. Tickle your own fancy.