Tag Archives: Beef

South African Sosaties

Spending over a week with a handful of South Africans means that you must be ready to eat a lot of meat.  A lot of meat, prepared on the grill.  A lot of grilled meat, accompanied with salads and fruits and grilled corn on the cob.

I am so okay with this.

So here’s an awesome recipe for yet another South African grilled classic, sosaties (in Afrikaans meaning “skewered meat with spicy sauce”, thanks to Wikipedia).

South African Sosaties Printable Recipe Card

for the sauce (sous):

  • 1 large onion, sliced into half-rounds
  • 4 C water
  • 2 T mild curry powder
  • 1/2 T ground turmeric
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 C malt vinegar
  • 2 C apricot jam
  • 1/2 T lemon juice (optional)
  • salt and white pepper to taste

for the skewers

  • 3-4 lbs beef or lamb roast, cubed into 1″ cubes
  • 1 small package dried apricots
  • 1/2 package of bacon (1 strip for each skewer)
  • about a dozen skewers, if wood, soak in water before using

The meat must be prepared ahead of time and marinated for at least 24 hours in the sosatie sauce, so make sure you have time and room in the fridge!

To prepare the sauce, first slice the onion and bring it to a boil in the four cups of water.  Set aside.  Combine the dry ingredients (curry, turmeric, sugar, cornstarch, and some salt and pepper), then add in the wet ingredients (jam, vinegar, and lemon juice).  Pour this mixture into the pan with the onions, and bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes, until it starts to thicken.  Set aside and allow it to cool.

Once the sauce is cooled, you can prepare the meat for the marinade.  Layer apricots, bacon, and the cubed meat in a plastic or glass container.  Cover with the cooled sosatie sauce.  This container was really convenient because it can be flipped to allow for the easiest mixing ever–but otherwise, you may have to get your hands dirty. 

Keep in the fridge for at least 24 hours before grilling.

To make the kabobs, skewer the beef, apricots, and the bacon (we’d suggest not having apricot on the ends, because they’ll tend to fall off during grilling). 

Grill the sosaties over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until they are cooked through.  Baste periodically with leftover sosatie sauce.

Enjoy!  These are tender and juicy, and the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

And if you have never had a grilled apricot, then you haven’t lived.  Trust me when I say you might want to go out and find a South African to marry, if you haven’t already, because they make really great food:

The men are also quite handsome:

The sosaties were even better the second day, warmed up for leftovers with a giant salad–but I can promise you that the leftovers won’t last long.


Filed under Entrees

Beef & Barley (and everything else) Soup

Fritz’s parents arrive today!

His dad has a conference in the city next week, so they both decided to come early for a Father’s Day weekend visit.  Fritz and I are so excited to see them, it’s ridiculous.

I wanted to make a big pot of soup that I could keep in the fridge for those moments when someone is hungry but everyone else isn’t, or for a quick lunch, or those post-plane moments when you need sustenance in five minutes or death by starvation is imminent.

You know those moments.

Since we had a busy day yesterday, I want to reintroduce you to one of my good friends:  the Crock Pot.

Beef and Barley (and everything else) Soup

No ingredient list here, because every time I make this soup, it’s different.  Depends on what I have in the fridge and the cupboards.

Spray the Crock Pot with canola oil to get things going and start off with a meat and those important savory soup ingredients–for this soup, I used an onion and the tops with 1/2 lb of ground beef.  You could use anything–chicken, leftover steak, whatever.

I then added a giant pile of washed and chopped escarole.

Next, toss in the dried ingredients that are so convenient to have in the cupboard for moments like these.  I used 1/2 C barley, 1/2 C black beans, and about 1/4 C of lima beans.  These are very rough estimations.

Top with some salt ‘n’ peppa, a few sprigs of fresh thyme from the herb garden, and of course, a few bay leaves.  I also added two chicken bouillon cubes (that’s equivalent to two cups of broth once I add the water).

Finish off the whole thing with a can of diced tomatoes and several cans of water (I think I used the tomato can five times, which would be 14 ounces x five–a lot.  There’s a lot of dried things in there that will absorb a large quantity of water).

Set the Crock Pot on low for six hours, and go back to your to-do list for the day.  Once everything is accomplished, your soup will be ready to go.

Gorgeous, ain’t it?

I find it quite easy to see the beauty in beef and barley, especially when it involves my mom’s Hadley soup crock.  Love that thing.

The best part about this soup is that it is so versatile.  Last time I made this, I had no escarole, but I used turnips, added lentils, carrots, and garlic, and it came out beautifully.  Use up whatever you have that’s in danger of going to waste, and you are all set.

Have a beautiful day today!


Filed under Soups/Stews

Gingery Beef Stir Fry (with Chinese Forbidden Rice)

Woo!  Yesterday I was “Freshly Pressed” as I sure some of you saw, and I got so many visits and likes and comments–it was so exciting and fun!  Thanks so much for the accolades, friends.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs this week–I started studying for my midterms week, which is both an up (for not procrastinating) and a down (I despise studying).  I also wasn’t eating the best this weekend (mostly due to the stress-snacking that comes along with studying),  but I’ve been reminded by Fritz and my best friend Jen that each day is a new day, and this week I’m managing to turn that around again.  Jen was the absolute best when she told me this incredible pearl of wisdom:

We love food.  And we don’t want to ruin that relationship with guilt.

You know the truth when you hear it.

However, one definite up was a stir fry that I made.  A beefy, gingery, delectable stir fry. 

Remember this?

Well, this slow roasted beef (recipe here) was reincarnated as this stir fry.  As I said before, we don’t eat beef that often (that’s mostly due to budget issues, plus I tend to like white meats better) but when we do, it tastes so good (and Fritz is so happy).

Not to mention I could use a serious iron boost every once in a while.

Gingery Beef Stir Fry

  • 1/2 lb beef (steak, roast, etc) cut into thin strips
  • 1 t canola or olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 C carrots, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 C broccoli
  • 1/2 C frozen edamame
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 1 t honey
  • 2 T soy sauce (I prefer to used reduced-sodium)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 C uncooked rice (I used Chinese forbidden (or black) rice)

This is a fairly simple recipe, but a great way to use up all the odds and ends you have sitting around in your fridge.  Before you get going on the stir fry, start the rice.  My mom is known for sending me amazing new things to try that she stumbles upon while out and about, and this Chinese black rice was the latest care package surprise (thanks, Mom!).

I googled it, of course.  It’s also called forbidden rice (so much sexier, right?), and can be used in lieu of white or brown rice in savory dishes, and is often used in sweet puddings and such because of its beautiful indigo color when cooked. 

Bring 3 C water to boil, and add the rice.  Reduce to low, cover, and let simmer until all the water is absorbed.  That should be around the same time that your stir fry is all set to go.

Heat the oil in a large wok or pan over medium heat and toss in the onions, and after a few minutes, the bell pepper.  Once they are softened and browning (five more minutes), add the minced ginger and stir.

How can one live without the smell of ginger?  (And for those of you who would prefer to live without ginger, add a little less if you like, but I promise the gingery taste is not overwhelming).

After two minutes, add the beef strips and vegetables.  Pour the honey and soy sauce over the top and cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables (mainly the carrots) are softened.

Serve immediately over the rice–this makes 4-6 servings, depending on how ravenous you are.  It rewarmed perfectly the next day for a hot lunch in class (and I meant to top it with toasted sesame seeds, but I totally forgot until…just now).

It’s ideal if you eat this with a pair of goofy chopsticks, preferably if they’ve been given to you by a close family member (Thanks Eber!).


We found Henry totally conked out on my gym/errands bag yesterday–he’s been playing so much more lately since it’s been lighter out longer.  He’s like a more energetic version of his kitten-self (and he sleeps like a kitten again too–right where he stopped playing):


Anyway, what do you make when you have to use up a lot of leftovers?  I always need new ideas!


Filed under Entrees

Slow Roasted Beef

Two very exciting things are happening in my blog today:

  1. It is my 100th post!
  2. I finally added a “Recipes” and a “Blog Roll” page.

Pretty freakin’ exciting, huh?

I just want to say thanks to everyone who has read my blog from the beginning (that’d be mostly my devoted family members!).  Finally getting up the courage to start blogging took me months, but I am so happy that I did.  It is a great stress-reliever, and I love having someplace to share ideas and encourage that tiny little piece of me that is creative.  I finally understand those people who write in diaries and journals.

So without any further ado, let’s celebrate my 100th post.  Here’s a giant slab of roasted beef–somewhat atypical of this blog but not at all against my eating and cooking rules.  Luckily.  Because that could be a big strain on my marriage.

Slow Roasted Beef (from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

  • bottom round roast (also called a rump roast)
  • 1/2-1 T canola oil
  • salt and pepper

Not a lot of ingredients, because when you cook meat properly, it can speak for itself.  Now, I’m not against seasonings by any means (or sauces), but sometimes simple is best.

Dry the roast with paper towels and heat the canola oil in a large pan.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250 degrees (I said slow roasted, didn’t I?).  Season on all sides with salt and pepper, and when the oil is shimmering, brown the roast on all sides to get that beautiful dark sear (this should take about ten minutes).

Place into the oven on the lower medium racks and leave it alone for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  So easy!  When it’s finished, the internal temperature should be 115 degrees for medium-rare, or 125 for medium.  We went with medium rare–my dad loves his red meat still mooing, and I may have picked up more than a few of his habits.  If you are like us, and your meat thermometer recently broke, then the inside should be red, the outer edge pink, and the outside brown; pressing down on the meat shouldn’t be too firm or too spongy.

 It’s not often that I find beauty in a big, bloody beef roast, but it was pretty easy to see it here:

 Admit it.  That’s just downright pretty.

Tasty, too.  I served this with broccoli and bulgur wheat.

After the gym today, round 1 of leftovers was reincarnated as another Dad favorite: steak sandwiches.  Though he usually makes these with cubed steak and fluffy white rolls, we had to make do with what we had.  And it was still delicious.

open-faced steak sandwiches, inspired by my dad

So thanks for reading my 100th post, and please check out my new “recipes” page and let me know what you think.  I discovered while I was inputting all the links what types of food I’ve been lacking in posting (grains? eggs? cake? where are you?), so you should be seeing some new recipes soon!


Filed under Entrees