I've blogged about cheating at dinner before. But what happens when your husband calls while you're half-dressed, wrangling the kids over a mass toy explosion, to tell you his parents are coming over for dinner in half an hour?
Dinner?? Did he just say dinner? Like how in the hell did it even get to dinner time? The fridge is bare, and the only clean part of the house is the kitchen—but not for long. Because even if you could possibly scrape together a meal that you'd be prepared to set before them in half an hour, you know—just know, that by the time they arrive the kitchen will have succumbed to a massacre of grime of such proportions that horror music will eerily begin to play the moment the door opens—
YES HORROR MUSIC WILL PLAY!
Well perhaps not for everyone, but for me it's the outcome of cooking. No simple cheat will do. It has to be quick, it has to contain its mess, and above all it must be absolutely delicious!
Don't worry, I have your back peeps. A dinner that requires NO CHOPPING, has virtually no prep time, is contained neatly in one pot, does not mess your kitchen, and is tastes-like-its-been-cooked-for-hours scrumptious!
FAST Slow-Cooked Beef in Red Wine
500g Diced Beef (Butcher marinated in garlic and red wine for best flavour)
1 jar good quality pasta sauce like Barilla
1 cup of baby peas
1 cup frozen veg mix (carrot caulli, & broc)
*I know you want to doubt me on the frozen veg mix and the whole deliciousness thing right? Trust, these veg (except for peas) totally break down and disappear into this dish. It's sneaky veg. They actually help make the sauce thicker and more flavoursome.
Now you can cheat at this cheat. You can use any meat you have. I always keep diced meat in the freezer for precisely these occasions. In this case I used butcher Red-Wine marinated beef. It's the best thing to keep in the freezer because it has an intensity of flavour that only comes from proper marinating. But if you don't have marinated beef, just add quarter cup of red wine and a teaspoon of garlic paste.
This is cooked in the pressure cooker. Seriously if you don't have one go-get-one-now. Mine was thirty dollars from the supermarket. It's just like a normal pot but with a special lid and fits in the cupboard no problem. Unlike a slow-cooker it doesn't take up my entire bottom shelf, weigh more than my car, and it actually fits in my sink for easy washing up. It also doesn't require me to be organised yesterday to use it. It's the ultimate cheat's kitchen accessory.
There's no chopping, and you don't have to dirty dishes. I've only measured out the ingredients for the purposes of the photograph. Just brown the meat in the bottom of the pan with oil, pour everything in (I just measure veg by eye), and wack on the lid. Once it has reached pressure, set kitchen timer for 20 minutes and there is NO MORE TO DO!
It cooks itself and no mess, no dirtied anything.
See the veggies are gone!
I just had to prove this meat falls apart likes it's been cooking all day!
But really, the photo's don't show you how good this dish smells. The red wine, and garlic, so rich and decadent....nom nom nom....
Good enough to feed to the in-laws!
Tip: I buy tube minced garlic for no chopping
Tip: Keep jars of really good quality pasta sauce for these kind of recipes. They make the perfect base with little to no effort.
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