Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day Two

Day two, and I think I met my goal for a good, healthy, inexpensive dinner for this extra large family: Pepper steak over rice.

At the Food Lion the other day I ran into a package of six small center-cut round steaks marked down from $7.50 to $2.25, add to that a bag of Bird's Eye pepper stir fry, an extra onion, and a simple brown sauce and: Ta-Da.

Total cost: $8 -- or about 90 cents per serving (see Note below).

Six small center cut round steaks
1 package Bird's Eye pepper and onion stir fry
1 sweet onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
1 T olive oil
1-2 t crushed garlic
2 T flour
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 t beef base (See Note below)
1/2 cup red wine
1-2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups white rice, prepared according to package directions

Par freeze steaks. Once semi-solid, slice thinly against the grain.

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium, add garlic and saute until golden. Add onion and cook until begins to soften, about five minutes. Add frozen peppers and onion and continue to saute until softened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove vegetables with tongs and pour off any excess liquid into a measuring cup and reserve.

Turn heat under pan up to high and add beef. Saute until cooked through. Remove from pan, add to vegetables and toss to combine.

Meanwhile, whisk flour into liquid in saute pan and cook briefly. Continuing to whisk, add wine and scrape the sides of the pan to remove any bits. Add reserved vegetable liquid, water, beef base and Worcestershire sauce, stirring constantly until sauce thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes. Pour sauce over meat/vegetables and stir.

Serve meat mixture over prepared rice.

NOTE: When I figure the costs, I do not include basic every day seasonings (garlic, herbs, spices) or fats (butt
er, olive oil), since these are things I always have on hand and in the small amounts I use don't add dramatically to the cost.

Other NOTE: You can find beef base in the soup aisle, usually near the bullion. One $6 jar makes 36 cups of beef stock, making it very economical. And, it's far less salty than bullion.

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