Beef Paprikia with Noodles (Gluten and Dairy Free!)


My friend Stuart has been after me to provide some more blog entries. Although he’s a vegetarian, I hope he doesn’t mind this one on beef. I think it’s worthy, and the recipe I provide later could also be made with a veggie ground round.
I have recently become a “conscientious carnivore” by purchasing locally raised beef from Markegard Family Grass-Fed Cattle. Over the last few years, I have become more and more concerned about where our beef comes from and how it’s treated. When I heard about this program, practically in my own backyard, I jumped at the opportunity. Now that I’ve had a chance to make risotto, pot roast, and grilled London broil, I am extremely pleased with both the flavor and leanness (which normally doesn’t go hand in hand when it comes to beef).
On this particular day, I had defrosted some ground beef with the intention of doing “something” with it. When I was putting the spices away the other day, I realized I had quite a bit of paprika. I had some distant memory of a beef paprika dish so I did my research; I checked my favorite recipe website, read through a few entries, picked out the ingredients and method I liked best, and decided tonight would be Beef Paprika night.
Now, remember, another “method” I use when I cook, is to try to use what’s on hand. Besides the beef, I had red peppers that I had gotten from the farmer’s market but I didn’t have mushrooms (which is sometimes called for in the recipe). I didn’t have sour cream but decided I really should make it dairy-free anyway, so I pulled out a plain soy milk. I happened to have some gluten-free fusilli and the dish sort of came together in my head. And all of this happened at 5:30; we were eating by 6:15.
When you’re cooking, it’s best to think of the whole dish. What will take the longest? What ingredients do I have? Does anything need to defrost? What can I cook at the same time and what do I need to serve right away? Since I wanted to cook pasta, the very first thing I did was boiling the water. I always put a lid on the pot to help bring the water to temperature quickest. Then the sauté pan starts up while I slice the onions. Are you getting the idea here? Working in parallel really saves you time.
So what did the little ones think of this dish? They ate it up (at least half of them). Ok, I admit that I did sort of hide the red peppers from my son; he’s not crazy about them when he sees them but by the fact that he doesn’t gag, he can’t dislike them that much. And the little girl who I made this special gluten-free, dairy-free dish decided she was going to eat carrots, cucumbers and yogurt for dinner. Sigh…But she’s such a good eater, I don’t stress about one meal with her. And I’m fairly sure she’ll eat her special pasta tomorrow when she’s hungrier. Oh, and the beef was delicious! I have been so happy at how lean it is when it cooks (there’s virtually no fat to drain), it browns wonderfully and has such a great flavor.
So, I hope you will try this one when you can’t figure out what to have for dinner. You could use different cuts of beef, ground turkey or even chicken strips. I think your kids will like it because it’s not only tasty but the sauce makes it easy to go down.
Beef Paprika with Noodles
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 Tbl paprika
1 tsp salt
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup beef broth
1 cup plain soy milk
1 Tbl cornstarch
1 Tbl tomato paste
1/2 cup of frozen peas
8 oz gluten-free pasta like Bionaturae Fusilli Pasta which is made with rice, potato, and soy
1. Begin by getting the water boiling. If the water boils before you are ready to cook the pasta, keep the lid on it and lower the temperature.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add onions, peppers, and spices; cook until onion is soft and you can really smell the spices (but the spices should not smell burnt). Add the salt and take off of the heat. Place veggies in a bowl while you cook the meat.
3. Place pan back on stove and heat to medium. Add beef in small pieces. Try not to move the meat very much so that it will brown nicely. Once it’s browned, turn over and cook on the other side. When no more pink remains, add wine and allow to reduce slightly.
4. Add broth and soy milk to beef. In a small bowl or cup, add enough water to cornstarch to make a slurry. Add this to the beef to thicken it. Allow to cook a few minutes then add tomato paste. Once beef is slightly thickened, add peas and turn off heat.
5. While the beef is cooking, boil the pasta, making sure to salt the water right before the pasta goes in. Cook 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Don’t rely on package directions. Always taste pasta to determine doneness and err on the side of caution.
6. Drain pasta and add back to the pot. Add beef mixture to this and stir. Adjust seasoning (may need more salt) and serve. Unfortunately, gluten-free pasta doesn’t hold it’s shape as long as regular pasta does so try to eat this fairly quickly. And of course, if you don’t require gluten-free pasta, use what you have. This would be delicious over some wide egg noodles.

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