Sunday Dinner: Braised Moroccan Beef

20160215_172850 (1)My culinary education was far from optimal. I was taught to cook with whatever I could find in the pantry and refrigerator. During college and my twenties, I cooked dinner with whatever I could find in my apartment. Through that disorganization and lack of planning, I learned to be flexible. I learned to improvise. I learned to be creative.

As I’ve gotten older and more obsessed with organization, I create weekly menus before my Sunday grocery shopping trips. However, every once in a while, the weekly menu is planned around what is already in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Yes, I still buy the necessities–coffee, milk, fresh fruit, staples.

This week is one of these weeks.  Every dinner on our weekly menu will be based on what is in the house.  Last night-pulled pork sandwiches using the pork loin I found in the freezer; tomorrow night-country sausage gravy poutine from the sausage we didn’t use last week; the next night-date night turkey burgers with a fried egg using the last two turkey burgers from a couple of weeks ago and our over abundance of eggs.  Tonight, it was Braised Moroccan Beef over Egg Noodles using rib eye steaks that I found in the freezer. Granted, chuck would be more affordable and practical.  However, the ribeyes needed to be used before they ruin with freezer burn.

2 lbs. chunked beef

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 TBSP oil

1 large onion-chopped

1 large bell pepper-chopped

2 carrots-cubed

2 celery stalks-chopped

6 cloves garlic-minced

2 c. water

28 oz crushed tomatoes

6 oz. tomato sauce

Juice of 2 lemons

½ c. raisins

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground coriander

2 bay leaves

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 bag egg noodles-cooked according to package directions

In a large skillet or soup pot, heat oil and brown meat.  Remove browned beef.  In remaining oil, saute onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery, and garlic for 2-3 minutes or until softening.  Add 1 c. water to deglaze pan.  Bring liquid to a boil.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and juice of one lemon.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium.  Add raisins, cinnamon, coriander, bay leaves, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Reduce heat medium low, cover, and continue simmering for 1 hour.  Add water as needed to keep from burning or sticking, and stir every 15 minutes. After an hour, add remaining water and lemon juice.  Continue simmering another 45 minutes, stirring frequently.  Meat should break down and sauce will thicken.

Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Serve braised beef over noodles.

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