Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tomato Beef, Okra, and Apple Ragu- Tender Beef Dressed Up in Tomato Love

It's the end of the week and I'm looking through my almost naked refrigerator and freezer.  I found frozen okra, a lemon, tough cuts of beef, and tomato sauce, added a few spices laying around in the cupboard, let them tango with one another and out came a spiced version of a tradition Chinese dish- Tomato Beef.  It's crazy how even in times when it seems as though you have nothing left in your kitchen, that you can come up with such a delicious dish.  Tangy, sweet, tender, spiced beef with apples and okra, this dish is hard to mess up and easy to eat.  

The beef I had on hand is known to be one tough cookie.  You'd either have to marinate it or cook it over a long period of time to tenderize it.  I didn't have time to marinate nor cook it over a long period of time so I decided to take the fail-proof way out: dredge and pan fry.  To finish, I stewed the beef in a tomato base sauce.  The method of dredging in flour and egg is the trick to keeping moisture in, allowing for the beef to become tender.  You can also apply this method to other tough cuts of meat such as pork chops.   

This dish may not be the most enticing looking dish I've made, but I can assure you that it tastes just great! 

*See the white fibers running down the meat? You can cut them out or leave them as is.  They're on the gummy side.  I left the beef as is. They didn't bother me at all.


Servings 3; 30min
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 lb beef round sirloin tip cubed 1/2''(IGA) brought to room temp.
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup frozen cut okra (or fresh)
  • 2 small apples pitted and diced
  • 1/4 cup lime or lemon juice
  • 2tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp ground bay leaf powder
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 can 15oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp cajun seasoning or paprika
  • 1 egg beaten
1.  In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, cajun seasoning.  
2.  Dredge cubes of beef in flour mixture.  Shake off excess.
3.  Dip floured cubes into egg.
4.  Return to flour mixture. Coat well then shake off excess.
5.  Heat non stick pan medium high heat. Add oil.  Spread oil to coat pan.
6.  Place floured cubes in an even layer leaving gaps in between pieces.
7.  Do no Stir. Cook for ~4 min.  Flip and cook for ~4min.
8.  Push cubes to side on pan.
9.  Add butter on empty side. Add onions and cook until translucent.
10.  Add frozen okra, apples, and sauce mixture (lemon juice, sugar, pepper, salt, bay leaf, ketchup.  Add tomato sauce. Mix well.
11. Cover and simmer on lowest heat ~13min. or until meat is cooked.  
12. Serve with white rice and a side salad.
13. As always, Enjoy!

*Click HERE for a cooking dictionary.
*Okra has a slimy consistency that many do not favor. Make sure you don't mind slimy textured things although you can hardly notice it in this dish as it blends in with the tomato sauce.

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