Coconut Beef

Like most things I cook, I didn’t have a recipe for this per se.  I just threw in flavors that I enjoyed in the estimated quantities below and I have to tell you, my apartment now smells fantastic.  The cinnamon, cumin and coconut are just wafting through the air and even though I was making this for tomorrow’s lunch, I was so tempted to just eat it all right then and there while standing at the stove.  To go with it, I cooked up some couscous (the best 5 minute food there is) with chicken stock and dried rosemary.  Josh is out of town, so I more or less engineered this recipe to feed just myself.  It’d be very easy to increase the recipe by however many people you’d like to feed.

Coconut Beef
Serves 1

1/3 pound beef stew meat, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/5 of a stick of cinnamon
1 tbsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp  dried rosemary
1 tbsp black peppercorn
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp ancho chile powder
1 tbsp unsweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp caraway seed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 hot red chiles, chopped
2 tbsp chicken stock
1 small zucchini, chopped into chunks
1 small yellow squash, chopped into chunks
1 small poblano pepper, chopped into chunks
1/3 cup lite coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.

Put cinnamon, cumin, coriander, rosemary, peppercorns, salt, one red chile, ancho chile powder, coconut and caraway into a coffee grinder and grind until fine.  Add one table spoon of olive oil, mix thoroughly and rub into stew meat.

Drop stew meat into heated pan and brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Transfer beef to a plate.  Add onions and garlic into pan drippings, stirring thoroughly and cook until soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes.  Add in zucchini, squash, poblano pepper and chicken stock, incorporating well and scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan.

Chop the two remaining red chiles and add to pan, along with beef and coconut milk.  Cover and simmer about 8 minutes, until sauce reduces down, vegetables are soft and beef is cooked through.  Fold in cilantro and serve with whole wheat couscous or rice.  Garnish with wedges of lime if you like.

*Note: the red chiles for this came from Josh’s endless pepper plant, that he keeps in the apartment.  He discovered that pepper plants, like tomatoes, will grow and flower continuously so long as kept warm and watered.  This plant has been growing in our living room for about 2-3 years now.  Sadly, we no longer remember the type of pepper it is!

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