Monday, September 03, 2012

crock pot beef with tau cheo and mushrooms

I felt like beef today. Chunks and chunks of juicy, husky, meaty beef. I don't eat beef often,  but when I do, I don't mess around. And yes, I did say "husky" because this is not a delicate dish.

This is a dish to satiate the kind of deep, visceral, almost primal hunger that sometimes creeps up on you, even if you're the type who usually salivates at the sight of tofu or dainty piles of arugula (rocket) tips, Parmesan shavings and walnut slivers artistically drizzled with berry vinaigrette.

Or maybe, I've just been watching too many episodes of True Blood; season 5 is proving to be particularly bloody, and if you're a fan, you'll know, that's really saying something...

You will not be wondering, "where's the beef", when this is placed before you because it will be right in your face, smothered in the thick, rich, fragrant gravy. I'm a perennial borderline anaemic because I really don't eat much red meat at all, which you'll realise if you go through my recipe index, and because I have an underlying medical condition which predisposes me to anaemia. I could swear though, that just a sniff of the heady steam swirling out of the crock pot when I lift the lid, and I feel my red blood cells engorging with the iron saturated, delicious vapours.

Do not waste your money on pricey prime cuts. The absolute best cut of beef for a dish like this would be the shank, though boneless brisket, shoulder or any part marbled with some fat and lots of ropey sinew or chewy tendon would be excellent. The prolonged and gentle heat of the crock pot or slow cooker tames all that rebellious muscle and gristly sinew into melting, complete submission, and renders the toughest meat incapable of standing up even to the tines of a fork.

All you need is patience and Pinterest to occupy and distract you from the maddening aromas that will engulf your kitchen, and in my case, my entire apartment, while it languidly cooks. Alright, I'll admit it - the other reason I cooked this, apart from my ravenous red blood cells, is so that I could carry on pinning and er, finish other stuff too, while lunch and dinner slowly simmered to perfection.

I really have been terribly busy and apart from the short respite I had when I fell ill, from my usual, slightly crazy routine, I really needed a little time to do something for myself. Pinning, which I hear is now officially a verb, is a whole lot cheaper and definitely loads more fun than therapy. 

And back to the food we come! When I tasted the beef, it had to me, a kind of Korean vibe, so I made the kimchi-esque cucumber side dish pictured below to eat with it and steaming hot white rice. Not a must, as the beef is what I'd consider a complete dish - beef, mushrooms, gravy. Over rice, you really need nothing else, but the chilled, chilli and garlic spiked cucumbers give it a very nice jolt.

I love my crock pot, a farewell gift from my friend Winnie, when I left my first job, for greener pastures. We haven't met since my second son was born, because well, people move, grow apart and move on. I still think of her though, often and fondly, in fact, each time delicious smells waft from my crock pot. Thanks Winnie. Because of you, my family is none the wiser about my nasty pinning habit ;)

Do you have a favourite piece in your kitchen? Does it remind you of anyone? 


  1. Anaemic eh? Sounds like you need to drink your Guinness! ;-) Your beef looks wonderful - I need to get myself a crockpot to test it out. I'm compiling a file of recipes such as this to justify my purchase!

  2. BTW - am loving your new header graphic and also the recipe overlays. Especially the latter is something that I haven't seen anywhere else. Very nice!

  3. I completely agree with you about the beef -- I don't eat a lot of meat, but sometimes I just need that something extra. Back 3 or 4 years ago, when I was slightly anemic, I used to have incredible cravings for beef in the form of hamburgers. It's amazing what our bodies will tell us if we just listen to them.

    Also, I will now be using the word "husky" to describe my particularly rich meats from now on :)

    I hope you're feeling 100%!

  4. My crock pot is tucked deep into the corner of my kitchen cabinets. I need to pull it out soon with the cooling temps. Your stewed beef with tau cheow sounds so flavorful it is making me hungry. I am sure it paired nicely with that cucumber kimchi.

  5. "Will fulfill that deep visceral hunger for red met?" You got me, girl!!!

    I am making this for sure and btw that cucumber side is a perfect cool crunch to go with all these rich meaty flavors. Love it all! Hope you feel better dear :)

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  6. Hey dear, how have u been? I also have one of these pots but only using it for soups. What a waste especially after seeing your beef dish! Looks like I've to work harder. Lol!

  7. What an excellent use of King Oyster Mushrooms! I have been on a King Oyster kick and this recipe hit the spot! Thanks for sharing...



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