Middle Eastern Beef with Shitakes
Today is Tuesday, so during the time we would normally be cooking, we’re off to the local Farmer’s Market to pick up this week’s order. We make two stops each week, first to Mooney’s Emporium to pick up from Michael Raines’ Frontier Family Farms, and then to the Sewanee Community Center for the South Cumberland Farmer’s Market (now known as Rooted Here).
Since we will be out this afternoon, I put supper on the stove a bit earlier to simmer. With the exception of some dried spices and the olive oil I purchased from Mooney’s last month, this meal is made entirely of ingredients available either from local farmers or from my own herb garden.
Wherever you live, look for CSAs and for local farmer’s. Buy what you can, and freeze or preserve it so that you can enjoy the fresh tastes and nutrition of local sustainable agriculture year-round.
Good Cooking my Friends!
Middle Eastern Beef with Shitake Mushrooms (serves 4)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef (shaped into 8 lozenge shaped pieces)
1/4 lb. shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
3 large cloves garlic
6 small tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp ground sumac berries
1/2- 1 tsp. baharat spice
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c toasted pine nuts or 1/2 cup walnut pieces
In the olive oil, saute the mushrooms, onions and garlic until just golden. Add the beef and cook at medium heat until lightly browned on both sides. Add the tomatoes, spices and basil. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to a bare simmer, cover and let cook until you are ready to eat. If your stove will do a very low simmer, you can leave this or an hour or two. If not, put the covered pan in your oven and cook it at 200 F.
Serve with a simple chopped salad made of tomatoes, green onion tops, and cucumbers dressed with white balsamic vinegar.
Then get to work sorting and cooking your haul from the Farmer’s Market.