A simple recipe that’s BIG on flavour!
Dominique Rizzo’s love affair with this little number derives from her nonna, who regularly whipped up this “poor man’s soup, using only three ingredients”. But don’t let the simplicity of this cheap and cheerful dish make you think it’s light on nutrients or flavour.
“The small amount of olive oil and the use of no stock but water means it’s low in sodium,” explains Rizzo. And, of course, the braised beef ticks the box for protein intake. “Protein is really important for building muscle, feeding the body and giving you energy,” says Rizzo.
The slow-cooked beef makes a change from regular dinner time protein sources, Rizzo says. “Any meat that is slow-cooked or cooked until tender is better and easier for us to digest, making it beneficial for our digestion and easier to process.”
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 300 g potatoes, peeled and cut into 11⁄2 cm cubes
- 400 g stewing beef or chuck steak, cut into 11⁄2 cm cubes
- 1.5 L water
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup green peas, lightly smashed with a fork
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or heavy-based flameproof casserole dish over medium heat and fry the onion for three to four minutes or until translucent. Transfer the onion to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In the same pot, fry the potatoes in batches until golden and crispy; try not to overcrowd the pan as the potatoes will stew, not brown. Remove the potatoes from the pot and set aside with the onions. Add the beef to the pan and fry over high heat for seven minutes until browned and the base of the pot has started to caramelise. Add the water, then season with salt and lots of pepper. Bring the water to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.
Return the onion and potato to the pan and simmer for a further three to four minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add in the smashed peas and simmer for two to three minutes. Serve garnished with the chopped parsley.
Recipe from My Taste of Sicily by Dominique, $39.95, Penguin.
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