Tantalizing Tuesday – Honey Steak – Don’t Complicate It!

Honey steak

Who says the cheaper meat cuts aren’t tasty?

Not me, I can assure you!

Whilst they have the sad reputation as being off-cuts, or ‘depression cuisine’, I agree there is a bit of an art to cooking cheaper cuts of meat, such as blade and chuck steak. And that art is, to “do” them slowly, preferably in a ‘crock-pot’ or slow cooker. “Sure, they are affordable, but who could be bothered with all that cooking,” many of us ask? “Most of us are out of the house, until late in the evening, or busy throughout the day, so who feels up to producing a gourmet meal, when we’d rather just wind down and relax?”

tired

There is a growing trend away from a weekly grocery ‘shop’ and planned meals, and towards ‘picking up’ processed, packaged or ready – made meals on the way home from work, as time-poor adults create demands for items like this:

We can't even shred our own lettuce anymore!

We can’t even shred our own lettuce anymore!

The solution, I’d like to suggest, is easy. Spend 5 -10  minutes preparing the ingredients, (and this recipe has very few of those), the night before the meal, place in a zip-lock bag in the fridge, or prepare them first thing in the morning. Then, before you leave the house, bung it all in the slow cooker, and when you return  home in the evening – hey, ‘Presto!’- Your meal is ready to serve.

An added bonus to this cooking method is coming home to a tantalizing aroma as you enter the kitchen! [This aids digestion by stimulating the flow of digestive juices!!! – Believe me, all good stuff as we get older!]

Using the slow cooker also means there is only one bowl to wash up afterwards!   After a busy day, what could be better than a nutritious, delicious meal that required less than 10 minutes preparation and clean up?

You might also prepare some vegetables, such as chopped carrots and sliced onions in a separate zip-lock bag, then add them in the slow cooker, as well; just be sure to place them in the cooker FIRST, and the meat on top! Wanna try it?  Here is the recipe:

Honey Steak

Please note that this is not a stew*- it is steak, cooked slowly, in a rich marinade. The vinegar content in this recipe aids the break down of the blade steak’s fibrous texture and results in a “melt the mouth’ quality.

*[Scroll down for an alternate, slightly more complicated stew recipe, also in the slow cooker ]

Ingredients                      

Blade steak, sliced thin and cut into serving pieces – I used 1 and 1/2 steaks and this was enough for 3 adults
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, (or ordinary white vinegar will do)
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup water (Add more if you would like lots of sauce)

Method

Throw it all in the slow cooker !!

Cook on low setting for a minimum of 4 hours.

[My slow cooker does cook a little hotter than most, on the low setting……so you may want to rack it up a notch, if yours is an older model]

Add seasoning to taste and serve!

* That is it! What could be simpler?

I served this with potatoes, steamed carrots and spinach and feta – Delicious!

Final Thoughts:

Every day, I see more and more processed, packaged or ready – made meals, slowly infiltrating the consumer psyche, as acceptable items on the supermarket shelf. I lament that all too soon the simple act of grating a carrot ,or shredding our own lettuce, will be relegated to an activity seen only at historic reenactment group ‘open’ days, as we as a population, (generally speaking), forget the simple tasks involved in creating a balanced meal, for ourselves, from uncomplicated  ingredients.  We must buck the contemporary trend to complicate food and hang on to the practice of preparing and cooking not only  nutritious meals, but also ones that are freshly made with a variety of ingredients, even the less popular ones.

If you are someone who prefers a more stew like consistency to your meal, and you want to use blade steak, here is another Slow Cooker recipe:

BEEF and CARROT STEW

1.25 kg diced beef (I used blade steak)
1 large onion diced
3 large carrots cut into large cubes
1 capsicum chopped
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1/2 small jar whole grain mustard (I used a supermarket brand)
1 small tin tomato paste
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in the pan with a small amount of oil, until soft.

Add beef and cook until browned.

Transfer beef, onions and garlic to the Slow cooker.

Add all other ingredients except sour cream, and mix well.

Cook in Slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

Mix sour cream in before serving.

(If you like a thicker sauce add in a teaspoon cornflour that has been mixed in 1 tablespoon water  and add to the stew 5 minutes before serving).

Serve with mashed potato and vegetables/salad!

Tantalizing Tuesdays

Something to ponder about

 

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About Forestwoodfolk

Scandinavian culture, literature and traditions are close to my heart, even though I am Australian. I have Scandinavian, Frisian and Prussian/Silesian ancestry and for that reason, I feel a connection with that part of the world. I am an avid Nordic Crime fiction reader, and enjoy photography, writing and a variety of cooking and crafts, and traditional decorative art forms. Politically aware and egalitarian by nature, I have a strong environmental bent.
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14 Responses to Tantalizing Tuesday – Honey Steak – Don’t Complicate It!

  1. I admit there are times when I am in a rush and have been out working all day and can’t be assed to cook from scratch. But take out is so expensive. The salad bags win me over….-is so ashamed-

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    • Thanks so much for your comment, Razor back! Well, salad bags are much preferable to takeaways, I think, at least from a health perspective. I too know what it is like to be tired after work, or in a rush, and there is no shame in indulging shortcuts here and there, but I would not feel right if I did this all the time. And I do think it is important that we maintain choice in what we buy, in our consumer goods, don’t you?

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  2. Nice recipes. Just think of all the additives in the processed food – lots of salt and sugar for taste. The food is processed so much that the vitamins etc are lost, so that they then have to be added again – just the thought of that makes the stomach turn

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    • Chemicals are so much a part of modern world and can help us but certainly can also hinder us. They are unavoidable in the total abstinence sense (being in the soil and water supply etc), so I think it makes perfect logic to reduce our exposure as much ad possible. But some folks don’t really care, because the effect of them is not immediately obvious. Do you modify your diet, Raewyn?

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  3. My mouth is now really watering Amanda!!! Slow cooked meals are wonderful, and your recipes look delicious! I would have to cut down on the quantities of the ingredients, as my wife and the kids won’t eat anything they class as ‘different’, but personally speaking, I think these recipes look really good! 🙂

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  4. milliethom says:

    Great recipes – and I totally agree with you about today’s trend for convenience, processed foods. I’m in the position to have time to cook nourishing meals nowadays, but even in earlier years, when our children were at home and I was out at work, I still cooked a good meal most nights. Fridays often tended to be ‘treat’ night – fish and chips or suchlike! A slow cooker is definitely a blessing.

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    • I look forward to a night off cooking where we have a meal out or a semi nutritious takeaway, Millie but I could not eat that sort of food everyday. After three days I am hungering for a solid home cooked meal.

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    • milliethom says:

      I agree, there’s nothing like a good, home-made meal. Fish and chips and other take aways are OK occasionally. We used to live in Newark, about ten miles from where we are now, and there was a fish and chip shop at the end of our road, which had beautiful cod. Unfortunately, all the batter on the fish, and the mountain of chips, tend to make the overall meal a much less healthy – and a very fattening – option!

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    • That is right Millie. The fish on its own is not so bad (albeit with some fats in the batter component!

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