Sunday, January 20, 2013
I made the following recipe Friday night for me and my husband and we enjoyed the leftovers for lunch yesterday:
I made it with rice and stewed black beans as well as the Aji Picante sauce suggested in the recipe.
So, here's my review for the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team's "What's Cookin', Good Lookin'?" recipe challenge:
I followed the recipe pretty closely, but since I don't have access to adobo, achiote or sazon here in Italy, I used my go-to Latin/Cajun spice mix instead, which is three parts hot paprika, three parts cumin, two parts oregano and one part each of garlic salt and fresh-ground black pepper. I also threw in a few spoonfuls of the Aji Picante sauce near the end of the simmering process.
The flavor of this recipe was amazing and very much reminded me of one of my all-time favorite, but not-so-healthy, recipes: Georgian (the country, not the state!) Pork Stew. It was great to find a healthier alternative that I can enjoy any day of the week instead of saving it for my weekly treat meal. The only negative was that my beef didn't soften up as much as I would have liked even though I cooked it for about two and a half hours and got good stewing meat from my butcher. I think this could be solved by slow cooking either with low heat for a longer time in the oven or by using a crock pot or pressure cooker as the recipe suggests. I'll definitely continue to experiment with this in the future because the flavor is just too good and my husband really enjoyed it as well. Definitely don't leave out the Aji Picante because it really adds something (much like the very similar Ajika sauce does for the Georgian Pork Stew). You can use the leftover sauce as a condiment for grilled meats, omelets or beans. I just used some in a fridge-cleaning omelet I made for breakfast this morning with egg whites, spinach, black beans, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese and it was the perfect complement.
I'd definitely recommend this and would give it four out of five stars only because the meat was a bit tough. I might ammend this to a five out of five if I can figure out how to get the beef to be more tender. Enjoy!