I will be in France this time next week and now that the jittery feeling has subsided, I’m beginning to feel more and more excited about what I will learn and the new people I’m going to meet. When I am anxious and can’t focus, I tend to cook. Cooking seems to have a therapeutic effect on me. My head tends to get clearer and I gain confident.
As I didn’t have anything to cook in the fridge except cheese, I mean a lot of cheese, from Saturday’s wine and cheese night. So I just went out to get some groceries. I usually go shopping without any particular menu in mind and pick veggies and fruit that look good, and then lay them out on the kitchen top and that’s when my brain gets busy thinking up recipes.
The other day I got this beef strips and I just grilled them like I would do with steak. I know these cuts are for stew or stir-fry, but when you don’t feel like a big chunk of steak and all you need is just a little meaty texture and taste, these are quite handy. Being Korean, I am not very big on steak, but when I have a good wine to drink, then YES!, so I miss the thin bulgogi slices of beef, the slices so thin that you just dip in a hot broth, count 3 seconds and eat it like shabu shabu, or marinate the slices in bulgogi sauce, which consists of soy sauce, minced garlic, onion and pear. Then, you keep it in the fridge for a few days and cook a little at a time with mushrooms and some vegetables.
Quick cooking time and tender texture are the biggest appeal to me. Also, the sauce is yummy and addictive. It’s salty and sweet but not as sweet as Japanese teriyaki. So I played with the idea and made my improvisational marinade, which is a mix of two continents; Asia and Europe; ginger, soy sauce and cloves, wine and balsamic.
Sounds strange? The taste is not so, so fear thou not! Even if you don’t like my beef fusion, you will love my celeriac mash for sure. As I’m nutrition conscious, I tend to immediately turn away from potatoes. Yes, of course, I eat them occasionally when I’m obliged to, for example in restaurants, as potatoes are the most popular item on the menu across the globe, however, I rarely cook them myself unless I have to for guests.
By the way, if you want to know about cloves and other spices, there is a blog I love called “Season with Spice”. You will learn a lot about the history of spices there. At the moment, I’m on ginger as my defense for the winter enemy, cold and flu.
So my preferences are other root vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips, swedes and celeriac or pumpkins. Especially, I adore the fragrance of parsnip and celeriac. Especially parsnips…oh I should remind myself to get some. I haven’t had them for a long time.
Well, I usually do 100% celeriac puree but sometimes I mix one potato or carrot to soften the flavour or stretch out the quantity. In my opinion, celeriac mash is much tastier and I’ve already got some Turks hooked on my celeriac mash. My celeriac mash is kind of revolutionary here.
The method of cooking beef is entirely up to you; you can grill or pan-fry. The mushrooms reduced in the meat juice and balsamic will make the sauce to compliment the meat. You could easily just cook them all together, but it’s just my preference to cook and taste them separately.
Also, adding these black-eyed peas was spontaneous, however, it seemed to work well with the recipe. I got these peas from the farm in Milras, which I mentioned earlier so I had three bags of cooked peas in the freezer. So I thought why not? At first, I thought of lentils then I got too lazy to cook them, to be honest.
What I thought of this fusion dish? First, Mr.O said the meat needed more kick or stronger flavour to contrast the sweetness of the mash, but I didn’t mind it. Next time, however, I will try to get other meat cuts and braise for longer time for fuller flavours.
This was meant to be a quick and fuss-free recipe so you can try and let me know how it went or come and let me feed you.
Braised Spiced Beef Red Wine Balsamic
600g beef strips
1 packet of mushrooms
1/2 cup cooked black-eyed peas or green peas*
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup red wine
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves, crushed or 1/4 tsp ground cloves
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 sprig rosemary
1. Cook the marinated beef first in the pan and then set it aside keeping the juice to cook mushrooms with.
2. Throw in the mushrooms and peas if you use, and cook over medium heat until the liquid has been reduced, and then warm the beef slightly before serving.
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp butter
sea salt and cracked black pepper to season
pinch of ground nutmeg
parsley or sage (optional)
1. Put the chopped veggies in a pot with enough water just to submerge the veggies and boil until they are cooked.
2. If there is still water, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid before processing to puree.
3. Add milk while simmering over very low heat and add butter, mustard, nutmeg.
4. Season with salt and pepper and add fresh herbs or skip them.