“Since hunger is the most primitive and permanent of human wants, men always want to eat, but since their wish not to be a mere animal is also profound, they have always attended with special care to the manners which conceal the fact that at the table we are animals feeding.” - John Erskine

08 March 2012

skillet beef, veggies and brown rice

Steak!  I need steak!

From time to time my husband drags himself around the house like a man in the desert begging for water.  Only he’s not begging for water, he’s begging for steak.  I hold with the theory that most men are carnivores and chicken, or even ground beef, just doesn’t cut it after a while.  But my poor carnivore very rarely gets steak.  I almost never cook it.  Ok, ok, I never cook steak.  In my opinion, steak is something you eat at Sizzler.  It’s cheaper there than in the grocery store, and they do a much better job at cooking it than I do.  On the rare occasion that I find a good buy on steak, it must be cooked outside on the grill.  By someone other than myself.

That being the case, when my husband started begging for steak I had no idea how I was going to appease him.  We already spent our monthly eating out budget (and then some) so a trip to Sizzler was out of the question.  Then I happened on this lovely recipe.  I was saved, the steak monster was appeased (for the time being) and the little animals were satisfied.  This is definitely going into our family favorites recipe file.

Skillet Beef, Veggies and Brown Rice
serves 4
2 cups beef broth
1½ cups uncooked instant brown rice
2 medium carrots, sliced (1 cup)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ pound beef top round steak, trimmed of fat and cut into thin strips
¼ cup chopped onion
1 cup fresh snap pea pods, strings removed
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Heat broth to boiling in 2-quart saucepan.  Stir in rice and carrots.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 6 to 8 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender; remove from heat.  Let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook beef and onion in oil about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is brown and onion is tender.  Stir in cooked rice mixture, pea pods, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

Cover and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until pea pods are tender.  (Add a small amount of water to mixture if it becomes dry before pea pods are tender.)
Of course I doubled the recipe.  Should have tripled it ~ there was not a nibble left on plate or pan.  I also used white rice (jasmine to be specific).  I would have happily used brown rice only a) I was in a hurry (brown rice takes longer to cook), and b) I used up almost all of my Texmati and am reluctant to try “ordinary” brown rice.  Didn’t have anything to do with the fact that I love jasmine rice.  Really.  Nothing at all.

So, jasmine rice cooked in the beef broth with the chopped up carrots.  Seemed a little weird to cook the carrots with the rice, but they came out quite nicely.  And you know I didn’t use the onions.  Didn’t even use onion powder for this one.  Since I knew I wasn’t going to want to slice up steak I cheated and used some beef fajita meat.  Saved a lot of time.  And they come seasoned, so I didn’t want to overwhelm my family with flavor (hehe) so I didn’t add any of the seasonings either.  Just stirred the meat around in my pan until it was warm, threw in some frozen (yep, frozen) sugar snaps with the hot rice, warmed it all up again and we were good to go.  Gotta love convenience home cooking!  It tasted so good, and I didn’t have to worry about side vegetables ~ everything’s in there.

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