Pueblo beef & cornbread

Pueblo beef 016

We made this on a Sunday afternoon in January. Outside it was grey and drizzly but warm; definitely not weather for eating salad, something warm and comforting was required. Served in bowls with a wedge of cornbread on top, Pueblo beef with corn, tomatoes and beans is a perfectly light, yet hearty supper.

I tweaked Lois’ recipe slightly by adding some fresh red chilli and I opted to use avocado oil to fry the meat and onions in, instead of the suggested lard or dripping. Once the beans and corn were added, I cooked it for a shorter time, as I like my green beans to still have a bit of bite.

Pueblo beef, corn, tomatoes and beans (Good Food, p. 15)

500g braising beef (Lois suggests blade steak)

2 onions

2-3 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons cooking oil

a small red chilli

500g fresh tomatoes or a 420g can of tomatoes in juice

1/2 cup water

couple of large sprigs of oregano or thyme (I used both)

salt & freshly ground pepper

2 cups corn kernels

2 cups green beans, cut into halves or thirds depending on size

2 tablespoons sunflower or pumpkin seeds

Cut the beef into 1cm cubes. Dice the onions and finely chop the garlic. Heat the oil in a heavy pan (for which you have a lid) over a medium-high heat . Add the beef and quickly brown it. Lower the heat and add the onions and garlic and cook gently until softened. Add the finely chopped chilli and cook for a minute longer. Add the tomatoes, water, herbs and grind over some pepper and salt. Cover and simmer very gently for one hour. Stir in the corn, beans and seeds. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. If there is still lots of liquid, remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Cornbread (Good Food, p. 17)

1 cup corn kernels, roughly chopped

1/2 onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 small red chilli, finely chopped

1 free-range egg

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup grated cheese

1/2 cup cornmeal, coarse or fine

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Sauté the onion in a tablespoon of butter until soft and add the chopped chilli and corn kernels. Transfer this mixture into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat the egg and sour cream together and add to the corn mixture with the grated cheese. In another bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. Stir into the corn mixture. Add milk and stir until you’ve got a fairly runny batter.

Lois suggests baking the cornbread in a cast iron pan; I used a large loaf pan but you could also use a cake tin. Put the remaining tablespoon of butter in whatever pan you’ve decided to use and put into the hot oven to melt. Remove the pan, pour in the batter and bake for about 25 minutes until firm and golden-brown. Best served warm, but also excellent the next day, cut into wedges and heated in a griddle pan.

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