Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Adventures in Ground Beef

I don't like to use ground beef, other than in hamburgers. Why you ask? My Mom used used to make a macaroni dish with ground beef that never did appeal to me and really turned me off to ground beef. Also it tends to be costly here in St. Louis, so I don't purchase it often. I had a pound and some Yukon Gold potatoes and stuck those two terms into Google and this is what came up. Peruvian Beef and Potato Soup. Seems kind of odd and deceptively easy, so I had to make it. I used onion powder instead of onion because I do not allow onions in my house,(I DON'T LIKE ONIONS!), I added three cut up carrots, and a handful of spinach. Can I say this is one of the best soups I have ever had. It really is quick and easy. With prep time, I think I spent 45 minutes total on this dish. It says it serves, but I think it ended up making 5 or 6 servings. The recipe is as follows.

Peruvian Beef and Potato Soup-click on the link for a beautiful picture of the dish

Courtesy of Whole Foods

1 pound ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped -I used frozen "stoplight" peppers(mixture of green, red, and yellow)
2-4 Chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups beef broth, preferably low-sodium*
1 cup water
2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin*
1 bay leaf
1/4 pound dried capellini pasta*-I used regular Whole Wheat spaghetti
2 Handfuls of fresh spinich, roughly a cup
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook beef in a large pot over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Remove from pot, set it aside and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add onion, bell pepper,carrots and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add broth, water, potatoes, cumin and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add pasta and spinach and simmer until al dente, about 5 minutes. Return browned meat and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Discard bay leaf, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and serve.

I recommend serving this with a nice crusty bread, such as French.

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