Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Recipe Tuesday - Beef Marinade

Do you know what the hardest thing to get my children to eat enough of?  If you guessed vegetables I wouldn't be surprised but you'd be wrong.  It's meat.  My kids love their veggies and generally love their carbs or starchy foods: rice, potatoes, and pasta.  But when it comes to meat, it's difficult to get more than a bite in. Sure they love my meatloaf and they like sausages but I can't serve that every day or even every week.  The more often they have something the quicker they get bored of it and refuse to eat it.

So it was with some surprise that they liked my Beef Stir Fry. Turns out the solution was in the marinade. I took a cheap package of pre-cut stir fry beef strips and marinaded it in a zip lock bag with... you guessed it Italian Salad Dressing.  I let it set for about two hours in the fridge, turning it over every so often and when it was cooked up, it was tender and tasty.  The kids loved it so much they asked for seconds... of meat!?!?   Even my husband kept saying how tasty the meat was. 

Best of all, it was a cheap meal.  The salad dressing is cheaper than those bottled marinades and unlike most instructions on the label, you don't need to add the whole bottle.  I only add enough to cover the meat and have even added so little that I had to repeatedly turn the bag just so both sides would get covered and it turned out great.  Obviously this is catching on because now Kraft is even advertising on their bottles that it's a dressing and a marinade.  Still, name doesn't matter.  I've used the name brand and the no named brand with the same success.  It is, after all, just a marinade so go for the cost savings by all means.

This is a pretty typical recipe.  I am sure all of you have made a beef stir fry in the past. Still I'll break it down for you so you can see the modifications I made to keep my children happy.

Ingredients:

1 package of stir fry beef (fed a family of 5, you judge what will feed your family and adjust accordingly)
1/4 cup of Italian Salad Dressing
2 TBS of Olive Oil

2 - 3 Cups of Cooked Vegetables of your choice:  Broccoli, Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms etc.

1 Pot of Cooked Rice

Directions:

Take beef and place in zip lock bag.  Add enough salad dressing to cover meat.  Marinade for at least two hours, turning over bag periodically. 

Cut and prepare vegetables of choice.  If your children are like mine they don't like their veggies with anything on it but butter and definitely not mixed in with something like meat or rice.  So I steam vegetables separately for the kids and set them aside.  I take our vegetable portion and set it aside to add to stir fry.

Place Olive Oil in large frying pan over medium heat.  Once oil is heated, add meat only, not the marinade, reserve marinade.  Brown meat.  Once meat is browned, add the marinade back to the pan if you'd like a sauce and heat through.  At this point I generally add a sprinkle of cornstarch to thicken up the sauce.  I also would add the vegetables I wish to be cooked with the stir fry. 

Continue cooking until meat appears to be cooked through as well as the vegetables to your taste.  Remove from pan to plate, serving over rice with sauce if desired.

For the children, I portion out their rice and vegetables separately and add just the meat from the stir fry cut up.

There you go.  I get a delicious stir fry with vegetables all bathed in flavours that I like and yet I have still kept the children happy with their preference of not having their food mixed together without any real extra work. 
Hope you like it and if you do try it, let me know how it turned out!

*Please note:  This is not a sponsored post in any way  I am not endorsing Kraft or any one product.  I am simply sharing with you the results of my own experiences cooking for my family.

1 comment:

  1. I use Italian salad dressing all the time for marinade - it's wonderful! Great to mix with BBQ sauce too I think.

    ReplyDelete

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