Monday, June 27, 2011

Crockpot Coconut Beef

We don't eat a lot of beef in this house. When we do, 99% of the time it is ground beef. Oh sure, once in a blue moon I will break down and humor Mrblocko and let him have a nice steak. So I'm sure that you can imagine his surprise when I told him I was making A Year of Slow Cooking's coconut beef in the crockpot. I mean it wasn't even his birthday, and we were having beef? Granted it was stew beef, but still...BEEF! This is what the stuff looks like when you first plop all the ingredients into the crock pot. Ew right?

Then, the cumin colors the coconut milk a nice orangy color. OK, it's not so nice looking, but it tastes good and that's the point. I liked mine served over a bed of rice with some sweetened shredded coconut on top. YUM!
This recipe was almost a HUGE disaster though. I misread the recipe and I almost put in 1-2 tsp of red pepper flakes instead of chili powder. Luckily, I caught my mistake right before I put the spices in the crockpot. If I had added the red pepper flakes instead of the chili powder, Blockette and I would have looked Homer Simpson at the chili cook off! Mrblocko would have been fine though. He added loads of red pepper flakes to his portion.
This recipe makes a lot. So much so that we got sick of eating the leftovers. I froze about 4 cups of the meat and sauce. Four cups! Keep in mind, this was after eating it for at least 3 meals! After several months of just pushing it around and not wanting to use up the leftovers I had a rather brilliant idea. Why not make a sort of shepherd's pie out of those leftovers? I added corn, carrots, peas and green beans to the meat mix, topped it with mashed potatoes (which I also had a ton of in the freezer) and a bit of cheddar cheese. This made enough for 2 round casserole dishes. Each dish fed the three of us for 2 meals.
I actually preferred the leftovers in shepherd's pie form to the original main dish. Not only did I like the flavor combinations of the meat, potatoes and veggies, but it was a one dish meal. If I don't have to prepare any side dishes that always makes me a happy camper.

Crockpot coconut Beef from a Year of Slow Cooking
1-2 lbs stew meat
1 yellow onion, cut in chunks
1 can coconut milk
1 juice from one lime
2 T of butter (optional. I used it, but don't think it needs it next time)
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 T chili paste (or 1-2 tsp red chili flakes)
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated

I used a 6qt Smart-Pot for this dish. Anything 4qt and up will work. If using, put butter into crockpot, and turn it on to begin to melt. Add meat, lime juice, and coconut milk. Follow with the onion and garlic. Add the brown sugar and all the spices. Grate the ginger. Toss meat a bit in the liquid and spices to coat. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8. The coconut milk will be yellow from the curry, and will separate a bit. A quick stir will turn it all creamy again. Serve over white or brown rice.

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