Feb 3, 2010

What's for eats? Free Range Organic Beef

I'm not a fan of red meat but I love to cook and experiment with new flavors, so when a well known cash and carry store was having a sale on  free range organic ground beef, I made sure to stock up for the ice age :-)
Was feeling creative these past few days and came up with a really tasty dish that everyone loved- even the kids!

Here's the recipe if you want to try it at home:

Organic Meat Balls with Vegetables and Peanut Sauce

Note: I'm not the type of cook that measures everything to perfection (like the Barefoot Contessa, I'm more of a Rachel Ray type cook) so bear with me and make this dish according to your own cooking style. I also assume that you know the basics of cooking and what foods need to be washed, peeled, etc before using.

Feeds 4-6 people

For the Meat Balls
-1 lb Organic Ground Beef
-2 eggs
-about half a cup of bread crumbs
-salt & pepper to taste
-2 cloves garlic minced
-about 1 tsp ground cinnamon (secret ingredient)
-about 1 tsp ground clove (top secret ingredient)

Mix everything together and form the meat balls - if you have small children make small little ones for them. Put olive oil in a skillet and preheat at medium temperature. Avoid non-stick cookware please! I use a large AllClad stainless steel french skillet for this type of food preparation. Pricey investment but so worth it. When olive oil is warm, put the meat balls in the skillet and brown on all sides (basically fry them). While the meat balls are cooking at medium temperature, get the veggies ready

For the Vegetables
-1 red bell pepper - julienne cut
-a bunch of broccoli florets (enough for everyone)
-1 white onion - julienne cut
-2 cloves garlic minced
-salt & pepper to taste

While meat balls are browning chop the veggies.

When meat balls are thoroughly browned, make space in the center of the skillet and add the onions. Cook and stir the onions until translucent (by this time your kitchen should have a wonderful aroma), then add the garlic and cook for about another minute. Stir in the center. Then add the peppers and the broccoli. Stirring and cooking in the center of the skillet for about 3 more minutes. Then start incorporating the veggies with the meat balls. Mixing everything together in the skillet and adding salt & pepper to taste. Cover with a lid and lower the temperature a little bit to allow the veggies to sweat and release some water. While this is cooking covered, get the peanut sauce ready

For the Peanut Sauce
- about half a cup of all natural peanut butter (by this I mean that when you read the ingredients on the jar, the only ingredient listed should be: peanuts). I use the Smucker's Creamy version.
- water

In a bowl mix peanut butter and water until a sauce is formed and all lumps are dissolved.
You can make more or less quantity depending on how saucy you want the dish to be. For this you can play with the peanut butter/water quantities

Uncover the skillet and add the peanut sauce to the meat/veggie mixture. If it's not saucy enough for you, then make more sauce and add. Mix everything together and make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to release any meat/veggie particles that stick to it. This will give the sauce a more robust flavor.  Cover again and lower temperature to low. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes and voila!!

Serve over jasmine or basmati rice

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