Saturday, August 8, 2009
Braised Beef with Smoked Paprika
It is amazing how groceries can change into mystery food an hour after going into the freezer. Always remember to label your Freezer Favorites before they go in! This time, the story was a little different, but it still left my menu plan with a big road block sign. You see, we purchase meat from a local meat packing plant once a month at their dock sale. We missed last month, so my freezer was pretty empty. This morning, John went and purchased ground beef for $1.25 a pound, some fully cooked chicken chunks for $2.50 a pound, and some beef medallions for $1.50 a pound. Great deals, no doubt. I was busy working on a curriculum project when he got home. Stupid me, I didn't oversee what went where in which freezer.
Tonight's menu called for beef fajitas, so I pulled out a package of fajita meat to thaw. Come dinner time, I grabbed that, only to find that I had been thawing beef medallions instead. Not exactly interchangeable. What to do? I placed the beef, still in some larger frozen chunks, into my chicken fryer skillet. I put in a cup of water, turned it on low, put on the lid and went to watch a movie on Netflix with my guys. John did stir the meat a bit when he passed through the kitchen a couple of times. I appreciated being able to stay reclined with my feet up for a while...
After the movie was over, the beef was nice and tender. I drained off most of the broth and sprinkled the beef with garlic powder, onion powder, regular paprika and about half a teaspoon of the pricier smoked paprika. I let that simmer a bit while I stir fried some garlic green beans with onion and red pepper. Yum. Not bad considering my taster was ready for fajitas. The lesson? Don't be a slave to the menu, and learn to think through kitchen disasters creatively. That and don't have a picky family.