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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Carne Picada with brown and wild rice

Carne Picada
Carne Picada with sauteed vegetables and brown rice

What is Carne Picada? Well simply put it is shredded beef.  What makes it easy to cook with is it is relatively low in fat, thinly sliced and can be used in a wide variety of different recipes. You will see Carne Picada in sandwiches, tacos, burritos, soups, and in this case, stir fry.

Onions,Bell peppers, Mushrooms
Onions,Bell peppers, Mushrooms
Step One
To begin this simple recipe, I always chop up my onions,mushrooms and bell pepper. This is 1 bell pepper, 1 onion, and about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of mushrooms. Keep the sizes even so they cook at the same rate.
Sauteed Onions,Bell peppers, Mushrooms
Sauteed in Olive oil

Step Two:
Note: Select a large fry pan. The pan used in this recipe was 12 inches.
Saute the vegetables seperately from the shredded beef. When sauteeing them together, the meat doesn't seem to get any of that carmelization that you are looking for, and the liquids from the veggies seem to "boil" or "steam" the meat. Once these are softened and there is a little color to the onions, remove from pan. No seasonings were added as salt tends to make the veggies produce liquid that the mushrooms absorb. Seasoning will take place in when the meat gets browned.

Brown rice in frying pan
 Step Three:
Simmering in this pan is equal parts of wild rice and brown rice. Because wild rice is costly, mixing it in with brown rice in equal parts is a great way to make it go further especially when feeding a family. This is a much healthier alternative than using white par boiled rice and even though it takes a little longer, the health benefits are worth it. Simply get out a large pan and heat up a few tablespoons of Olive oil. Add in your wild/brown rice and toast a few minutes. Add in water, remember one cup of rice to 2 1/2 cups of water. Because brown rice takes a little longer, add in about 1/4 more water than what is traditionally used with white rice. Bring to a boil. turn to low, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Check on it at 30 minutes and give it a taste. Brown rice will have more texture than white rice so it will be a little firmer. Once rice is cooked take off the heat and add a few tablespoons of butter, stir and cover. Add any desired seasonings at this time like soy sauce, pepper etc.

Carne Picada with sauteed vegetables
Step Four:
Once the Carne Picada has browned, we add back into the pan the sauteed vegetables. Now we heat through and add our seasonings. Depending on what flavor you are after, seasonings like Soy Sauce, hot sauce, Worchestshire sauce, pepper, red chili flakes, Paprika, can all be incorporated into the dish at this time.

Carne Picada with sauteed vegetables and brown rice
Carne Picada with wild brown rice and sauteed vegetables.
Step Five:
Once the rice, meat and veggies are all prepared simply add them together and serve. Yummy!

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