Some people have their 'signature' dish...something they make that everyone loves. Spanish Steak is my mom's 'signature dish'. I have no idea why it's named that...and she's made it for as long as I can remember. We all love it - except maybe, Josh - so I decided this would be a great recipe to start the Cook's Corner. Saddie made it over Thanksgiving and I grabbed my camera and recorded most of the cooking.
Here's some of the ingredients. Before I thought about documenting this cooking episode, pinto beans were already cooking away. Usually, Saddie uses 1 pound of pinto beans.
and about a pound of ground beef.
She doesn't soak her beans overnight...she just throws them in the pot, adds some water, and boils the heck out of them for ... can't remember... maybe an hour? As you can see, they're cooking away and I also kept fogging up my camera lens.
As the beans were getting close to being ... well, not as hard as a rock, she started browning the meat.
We had a larger crowd, so you can see she was browning more than a pound of meat.
You just keep cooking it until it's browned...
Browning the meat will most likely produce a little liquid - you want to get rid of it. Saddie picked up the pan to pour it out but I yelled, "STOP! I need to take a picture for the blog!" I think she thought this was a bit humorous.
Look at all that! Get rid of it.
Saddie didn't pour it out...she used a spoon.
It took awhile...
I think I'd pour it out and just try to be careful not to pour out any meat with it.
After all that liquid is gone, it's time to spice things up a bit. First comes the chili powder.
Saddie has always used this Mexene. I'm sure any chili powder would work...well, I shouldn't say "I'm sure" because I'm not. Um? I wonder if Mexene is just straight chili powder? I better check that out. Actually, I'll ask Mom to.
"Hey mom, would you go look at the ingredients on that Mexene Chili Powder and see what the ingredients are?"
Regardless, she puts quite a bit in. How much? Oh, probably about 1 1/2 teaspoons. Just so you know, it took quite a few times of Saddie shaking it (the Mexene) to hold it just right so I could get a picture of the label. This blogging is hard work!
Here's a nice blurry photo of the browned meat with the Mexene Chili Powder.
Next up: Garlic powder. Notice it's CALIFORNIA Garlic Powder.
Here she is ... shaking it again! Again, I'd guess about 1 1/2 teaspoons. Use your judgement.
"Alrighty, that's enough garlic powder. Would you hand me that cumin?"
Saddie said she liked "ground comino" better than cumin. I think she just liked speaking a little spanish. Ground comino and cumin are the same thing.
I bet she put at least 2 teaspoons of 'ground comino' into the meat. Cumin could be Saddie's "signature spice."
Here's the meat with the Mexcana, garlic powder AND the ground comino.
Now give it a good stirring...
At this point, you may be thinking this is going to be chili. If you're thinking that, you're mistaken.
Next up: Diced tomatoes with green chiles. In Texas, this is commonly called Rotel Tomatoes. I was actually surprised - very surprised - that Saddie was using anything but Rotel Tomatoes. She told me these from Kroger were 'exactly the same thing, only cheaper.' OK. In goes the diced tomatoes with green chiles.
Dump that can in that meat.
Go ahead, dump another can in there.
There you go...
Now stir it up...
Here's what it'll look like...
Saddie let this cook a little... so I went in and was visiting with John David, Becky, and Sami. Little did I know what was happening in the kitchen. You know how sometimes you make a recipe and it just doesn't turn out like the original? Well, this almost happened. Because while I was in visiting, Saddie dumped the meat mixture into the beans. She also added a couple of teaspoons of sugar! Yes, sugar. When I walked in, she was cutting up cheese. I reminded her I wanted to take pictures of all the steps. She said she forgot. Yeah, right. Well, seeing as she is into her octegenarian years, maybe she really did. But thank goodness I caught her in the act! Now, Lindsey, don't read this next part. She used PROCESSED cheese. Oh my... but she did say she uses whatever cheese she has. Regular ole cheddar cheese works just great. You just need some cheese.
Well, she didn't actually 'cut it', but she tore it into pieces. Now, I wouldn't do that because I wouldn't use processed cheese.
I think I'd use sharp cheddar, or maybe just regular cheddar...but I'd have to cut it with a knife.
I don't have a clue how much cheese is in this pot... use your discretion. As my mom likes to say, "Well, whatever blows your skirt up!"
Here you go...now this is looking like Spanish Steak! The cheese has melted and it's time for a taste test...
John David has the honor...
He blows on it a minute so he doesn't burn his tongue...
He can't wait... he opens his mouth wide... he just wants to make sure he doesn't burn his lips. Saddie is waiting expectantly in the background...
Yeow doggies... that IS tasty! John David goes for bite #2...So there you go... Saddie's Spanish Steak... Saddie's signature DElicious spanish steak...
How do you eat it? Well, we like to have rice with it. Ron and I put the spanish steak ON TOP of rice. Saddie eats them separate. Cornbread is a must. Cabbage is highly recommended. A hunk of onion is good with it too.