Monday, April 6, 2009

Recession: Party of One - Roast Beef with Carrots & Ras el Hanout

Sometimes you just crave plain old red meat. And while this dish was far from plain, it was indeed a hunk of red meat...mmmm. (I'm using the unending April snow as justification for such a hearty dinner.)


I'll just jump right in, since there's not much to say about today that can't be summed up by my irrepressible urge to stop into my local convenience store en route to my apartment and grab a bottle of red (and they happened to have my very favorite kind - fate?).

SLOW-ROASTED BEEF WITH RAS EL HANOUT, CARROTS, & RED LENTILS

BEEF

One smallish chunk (two serving sizes, about 8 oz.) lean red roasting beef
1/4 white onion, chunked
1 very large carrot, cut into large chunks
1/3 c. water
1/3 c. chicken broth
glug of olive oil
1 T. ras el hanout (Mediterranean spice blend)
1 T. freshly gratd ginger
a couple splashes white wine vinegar
pepper
(the salt comes later)

LENTILS

1/2 c. dry red lentils
1 c. chicken broth
salt and pepper
drizzle olive oil
freshly chopped parsley



STEP ONE:

In the morning before work, combine all ingredients under "BEEF" in a Crockpot. Set to low and cook, covered of course, until you get home, about 8 hours.

STEP TWO:

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth. Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the parsley. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender but not mushy, and most of the broth has been absorbed (it's OK if they're a little liquidy).

STEP THREE:

Add a little salt to taste to the cooked beef and carrots. Serve a chunk of the beef with some carrots, onions, and cooking broth, over the lentils, and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

I simply cannot describe how delicious my whole apartment smelled when I came home. The ras el hanout has a smoky sweetness that's reminiscent of cumin (it may in fact contain cumin, but I'm not sure), but the taste is more peppery and earthy. The carrots got perfectly tender without overcooking, the broth was...brothy...and the lentils were the perfect sidekick. It was hearty without being overly heavy, and with a glass of Beaujolais, it was divine (you know, for a Monday).



And let's see how I did on the PARTY OF ONE PRICE INDEX:

BEEF: 74 cents
CARROT: 50 cents
ONION: 25 cents
CHICKEN BROTH: 20 cents
LENTILS: 50 cents
RAS EL HANOUT: 50 cents

This made two perfectly sized servings, which makes the GRAND TOTAL...

$1.35

Nice! Fearless and frugal.

Thanks for reading! More soon...

2 comments:

Dragon said...

I wish I could jump right into this dinner! Good job. :)

Kara Kuresman said...

super natural cooking...i love 101cookbooks.com! please make me something using that cookbook!

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