Saturday, February 04, 2006

Beds and Beef

Two of my friends are planning to move out of the family home. And as I plan to move in two or more months' time, we joined forces today. We went around the suburb they want to live in and looked at houses and units. We also looked at mattresses. It was great lying down on loads of mattresses and really finding out what sort of thing we wanted. There is a big range of beds and all that but we were able to settle on a mattress that was on sale and which was comfortable, had a bit of give and good quality wise. Have around three payments that I can make on it and it can be delivered later on. But I feel so joyful that one important part of my preparation for Gryphon's arrival is out of the way.

One of these two friends also dropped by for dinner last night and I made her my dad's favorite beef stew. She loved it and was asking for the recipe. It is a sentimental dish for my family as we have it nearly every Sunday and Gryphon always looked forward to having it. I thought it would be good for me to remember what's in it and how it was prepared it so I'm sharing it with all of you. The photo shows a previous attempt when I used bok choy instead of cabbage and did not put in sweet potatoes. The sweet potato helps make the soup thicker.


Approximately for three people
3 or 4 pieces of osso bucco (cut of beef that has some bone and marrow)
2 420ml cans of red kidney beans
ginger (peeled, cut into three sections)
onion (roughly chopped)
2 carrots (roughly chopped)
4 potatoes (quartered)
1-2 sweet potatoes (quartered)
cabbage (loose leaves)
black pepper
fish sauce

Put in your osso bucco and red kidney beans in a large pot. Then put in enough water to submerge the beef. Bring everything to a boil. Then lower the heat until it the whole thing is at a simmer. Skim off the scum that comes on top. Let it continue to simmer for an hour or so and in the meantime prepare all the other ingredients. When the meat is a bit soft, put in your ginger, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

When the carrots are a bit soft, put in your onions. Stir in your fish sauce and black pepper to taste. When the beef is soft, put in your cabbage and wait for the leaves to soften a bit. Then serve while still hot.

Sauce option: My dad often makes a sauce that can be drizzled on the meat when it's already on your plate. Mix a bit of fish sauce, lemon or calamansi and some Tabasco or chili. It brings a whole other level of taste to the dish.

Note: If you are using kidney beans that are not from a can, soak the beans in water overnight.