Two things happened this week: the cilantro went into bloom and the carrot tops grew taller than the yardstick.
Keeping that in mind, and not feelin’ like watching yet another Lakers playoff game with Mr. RGBistro, I went to my stack of checked-out library books for some inspiration. About 2 minutes into my search, I found it: page 23 of the Culinary Institute of America’s “One Dish Meals” cookbook.
Caldo de Carne Seca, a hearty Peruvian soup with dried beef, root vegetables (including carrots) and a bunch of cilantro. Score!
Poll: If a recipe calls for 1½ cups thinly sliced onions, would you really use just that, even if that equated ¾ of one onion? Or would you just slice the whole onion?
I would slice the whole onion.
In my opinion, one of the glories of cooking v. baking is that when cooking, an exact science isn’t required; especially when preparing a rustic pot of soup. So – true to RGB-style, I modified the list of ingredients to use “whole” ingredients. I’m not convinced a little more of this, or a little less of that will break this soup. While this goes without saying: use your judgment.
Also, I’m intrigued by the concept of using beef jerky in this soup. If anyone knows the history behind it – I’d love to hear it.
Happy eats! [K]
Caldo de Carne Seca
(Beef Jerky Soup with Roots and Tomatoes)
Note: This recipe will make more carne seca than what is needed for the recipe. The logic: if you’re going to spend 2 hours making some beef jerky, you might as well fill up a couple of sheet pans. Save the leftovers for a high-protein snack! Also, you’ll need to note the additional preparation time and ingredients required (second recipe listed) if you’re not using pre-dried beef jerky. And, I thought the jerky was a tad over-salted, and that made the soup a tad over-salted. While the carne seca recipe is posted as written, you might want to cut the kosher salt completely; there’s already plenty of sodium in the soy sauce.
~ Serves ~
~ Ingredients ~
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 small thinly sliced onions (1½ cups thinly sliced onion)
- 1-2 cloves garlic (yield 1 tsp. minced)
- ¾ lb. carne seca, diced or cut into strips
- 10-12 chopped plum tomatoes, seeded (yield 2 cups)
- Small bunch cilantro leaves (yield ½ cup)
- 8 cups beef broth
- 1 large russet potato, diced (yield 1 cup)
- 2 large carrots, diced (yield 1 cup)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: lime wedges
~ Preparation ~
Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, When the fat is shimmering, add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until it is tender and a deep golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until aromatic, 30 to 40 seconds.
Add the beef, tomatoes, and cilantro, stir well to coat with the oil or lard, and sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Add the broth, potatoes, and carrots and bring the soup to a boil, skimming the surface, as needed. Reduce the heat slightly, and simmer the soup until the carrots are tender, 23 to 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Nutrition content per serving: 231 calories, 12g carbs, 15g protein, 14g fat, 1g fiber
Cost per serving: $1.28 – $1.35
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro*
* Adapted From: The Culinary Institute of America One Dish Meals: Flavorful Single-Dish Meals from the World’s Premier Culinary College. 2006. p.23.
Yields 2 lbs.
- 3 lb. boneless beef round
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
Total Preparation Time: 2½ hours
Trim a 3-lb. piece of boneless beef round to remove all surface fat. Use a slicer to cut the meat into thin slices, about 1/8-inch-thick. If you partially freeze the meat, it is easier to slice thinly.
Blend ¼ cup each of lime juice and soy sauce, and then add 1 tbsp. of kosher salt, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 tsp. of onion powder, and 2 tsp. of garlic powder in a bowl. Add the sliced beef and turn to coat it evenly. Let the meat marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat an oven (use a convection oven if you have one) to 175F. Arrange the meat slices in a single layer on racks set on baking sheets or pans. Dry the meat in the preheated oven until it is thoroughly dried and leathery, 1 to 2 hours (depending upon the thickness of your slices). Refrigerate until needed.
Source: The Culinary Institute of America One Dish Meals: Flavorful Single-Dish Meals from the World’s Premier Culinary College. 2006.