It seemed a good idea to have something prepared in case we invited people over after church on Sunday night. People stand between the pews and talk for even an hour after the service has ended. Sometimes we get hungry and have to decide whether to abandon the conversation or to invite friends to continue it over something to eat.
For these sort of situations a crockpot meal is a good option. You can prepare it ahead of time, and the dish isn’t likely to be over or under done when you come home.
Also, the heat and humidity have been high these past few weeks, so it was best not to fry, boil, or bake something for guests.
The following recipe explains what I put together on Sunday afternoon. We did stay talking to people after church, but we didn’t end up inviting anyone over. Alas. It might have been too spicy for most folks. We like it a lot, though. It is spicy, but the flavor of the beef and the red wine still come through. Leftovers served well for lunch the next day.
1 large onion, sliced
1 large jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 T garlic, minced
1 lb. Aldi beef for carne picada
2 T flour
1 T chili powder
Valentina’s fruit seasoning (citrusy chile flakes)
1/4 t dried oregano flakes
14.5 oz can Aldi salsa-style fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 c red wine
1 beef boullion cube + 1 c water
2 T tomato paste
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch slices (2 cups)
Place the onion, jalapeno, and garlic in the bottom of the crockpot. In a separate bowl or large plastic bag, mix the beef with the flour, chili powder, Valentina’s seasoning, and oregano. Toss these ingredients until the beef is coated. Put this beef mixture on top of the vegetables in the crockpot.
Pour the tomatoes over the beef.
In a small dish, combine the red wine, beef boullion, and tomato paste. Pour this into the crockpot. Do Not Stir.
Let the stew cook on High for 4 1/2 hrs.
Right before you are ready to serve the stew, fry the zucchini in oil or butter. Add the fried zucchini to the stew and stir it before ladeling it into dishes. If you prefer not to fry the zucchini, the recipe book actually said to just add it to the crockpot during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Serve with sour cream.
First try I served with it arepas. Could be good with mashed potatoes. The book recommended creamy polenta.
Based on a ecipe called Cowboy Stew Over Creamy Polenta from Heartland Cooking Crockery Favorites Traditional American Recipes by Frances Towner Giet