Monday, September 25, 2006

cooking light's beef carnitas

wow. i rarely cook red meat. usually we eat one poultry meal a week, one fish, and the rest vegetarian (eggs, cheese, beans, etc.). maybe it's the shift in the weather or my healing muscle tissue (i've been suffering from a running injury for the past several months, have finally found a doctor that is diagnosing and treating it correctly, and am on the mend!), but i've been eating lots of meat-based protein in the past few days!

in addition, the lovely t has a big day on tuesday, defending his topical (pre-dissertation), so i wanted to make it a good week for him. meat seems to do the trick. i made the carnitas on sunday night, and threw it into tortillas for tacos tonight. i would have loved to serve them with a salad, but i'm still freaked out by greens. instead, i served them with fruit.

Cooking Light's Beef Carnitas
Cooking oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces (i used extra-lean)
1 cup less-sodium beef broth
1 t. sugar
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. crushed red pepper (i used much more)
1 large unpeeled orange wedge

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; saute 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Add beef (a bit at a time, so as not to crowd the pan); saute 5 minutes or until browned on all sides. Stir in broth, sugar, salt, and pepper. Nestle orange section into beef mixture. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Remove and discard orange. Continue simmering, uncovered, 8 minutes, or until liquid almost evaporates (much longer than 8 minutes for me), stirring frequently.

Cooking Light's Beef Carnitas Tacos
2 cups chopped plum tomato
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup diced peeled avocado
2 T. minced fresh cilantro
1 T. fresh lime juice
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper
8 6-inch corn tortillas
2 cups Beef Carnitas
1 lime, cut into wedges

Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl; toss well. Warm tortillas. Spoon 1/4 cup beef onto each tortilla; top with 3 T. avocado mixture. Fold in half; serve with lime wedges.

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