If Sloppy Joe and Miss Reuben were to meet, fall in love, get married and have children, this vegetarian sandwich would result.
It was actually more of a spin on the snobby joe, as there was a small dish of lentil taco filling left in the fridge to be used. I didn’t have the heart to dump it, so it quickly found its way onto some trader joe’s whole wheat sourdough bread. Then I got carried away and added sauerkraut, a slice of provolone cheese and some lettuce greens before grilling into perfection.
Sometimes, my friends, it’s okay to get carried away.
A while back—as in, a little over 6 months ago—Greensbury Market sent me some of their organic, grass-fed beef to be sampled and reviewed. They also sent me some chicken, which was consumed with gusto and excitement. That’s because I am not afraid of poultry. I am, however, afraid of red meat.
There, I said it. And I’ll say it again: I’m afraid of red meat.
It’s not because I have an aversion to handling raw meat. It’s not the flavor, the texture, the feel. Rather, I have a fear of tough, flavorless meat that has been cooked beyond repair. To the point where no sauce or gravy could ever hope to cover up the obvious. It explains why this block of top sirloin steak (which, by the way, is a lean choice of red meat) has been sitting in my freezer for months, out of sight and mind. Until tonight. Tonight, I took out my sharpest knives, my finest pan, and every bit of my confidence that I could possibly muster up. I was determined to produce a soft and tender peice of beef, and I figured that slow-cooking it might help me out in this department!
Slow Cooker Pepper Steak—taken from MJWAGNER68 on allrecipes.com (with some tweaking to cut down on fat, calories and sodium)
- 2 lb. top sirloin steak, cut into 2-inch strip
- garlic powder to taste
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 tsp refrigerated beef broth substitute (or 1 cube of beef bouillion…just be sure to check the ingredients. if you can’t read it, put it back on the shelf! )
- 1/4 c. hot water
- 1 T. cornstarch
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 large green bell peppers, roughly chopped
- 1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes with liquid
- 3 T. soy sauce
- 1 tsp white sugar
- Sprinkle strips of sirloin with garlic powder to taste.. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and brown the seasoned beef strips. Transfer to a slow cooker.
- Mix beef broth with hot water until dissolved. Mix in cornstarch until dissolved. Pour into slow cooker with meat. Stir in onion, green peppers, stewed tomatoes, soy sauce, and sugar.
- Cover, cook on high for 3-4 hrs or low for 6-8 hrs.
Note: Serve in wrap, over rice, over noodles, etc. I added some broccoli to my bowl of brown rice for a filling and satisfying dinner.
The verdict: There was no 5-minute chewing involved with this meat. It was as tender as meat can get. Soft, flavorful, delicate. It practically melted as soon as it hit my tongue. I won’t jump out on a limb and say that I’m now fearless of red meat. But this was a major confidence booster.
On that note, I am off to relax with an episode of Jillian Michaels, a good book, and some Celtics basketball mingled in.
Question: What is your biggest fear in the kitchen?