Has it really been a week since I blogged here? Where does the time go? My sincerest apologies. I shall try my best not to leave you all alone for so long again.
Just when we thought it was getting all summery again, the southerly has come back through, so the fire is going and the wintry food keeps rolling out of our kitchen.
This one comes from the Recipe Book of the Weird and Wonderful - that's not a real recipe book, mind you, but an excuse for me to make up strange combinations and cook them just because I can.
This particular meal came about because we happened to have a whole fresh pineapple in the house. We'd sliced up about half of it and eaten it off a platter during the day, but as anyone who's ever kept pineapple will know, you really should eat it the day you slice it open or it goes bad.
I really don't like it when things go bad.
So, no matter that I had taken stewing steak out of the freezer to cook for dinner that night. The pineapple was going in with it too, somehow.
Thus was born the Tropical Beef Stew. Think of it as a Summer-Winter fusion if you must, as Spring in Wellington so often is.
Tropical Beef Stew
400g Stewing Steak, cubed and seasoned with freshly ground pepper and salt
1 Large Lemon
1/2 Fresh Pineapple, cubed, or 1 200g Can of Pineapple Pieces
Whole Nutmeg for grating
2C Hot Beef Stock
Grate the zest of the lemon and a few gratings of nutmeg over the beef and toss well. Batch fry the meat, draining the cooking liquid into a large pot as you go.
Transfer the cooked meat into this pot. Heat the pan again and add the pineapple, squeezing over the juice of the lemon. Heat briefly, tossing to deglaze the pan, then add to the pot along with the beef stock.
Bring to a rapid boil for 20 minutes, then reduce to a simmer for 1 1/2hrs.
Dish over rice boiled in beef stock, with sour cream and fresh steamed veges.
(The odd shape on the left in this photo is a dumpling. I had some dough that I had frozen, but here's my advice: dumpling dough doesn't unfreeze and cook very well. Don't bother, or, if you know a trick that makes them not come out like shrivelled little piles of rubber, leave me a comment so I know better for next time.)
I'll be honest: This dish got a mixed reception. I liked it, but not everyone at the table thought it was something I should add to our regular menu. But if you like beef and pineapple, it's a pretty good combination.