Speedy Beef Barbecue USA, or, Steak & Rice with Tomato Sauce

You might, upon reading the title of this recipe, think to yourself, ‘Oh, a patriotic summer recipe that would have been perfect for celebrating American Independence Day yesterday. I wonder why she didn’t post it then?’ but the answer to that question is simple: this is neither barbecue (by any definition I know of), nor is it particularly USA. In fact, if I had to choose a country where this seems like it should have come from, it would be the UK, where meat-in-sauce is inexplicably paired with rice. (See: British chili)

I didn’t read this recipe before I decided to make it and had Judson pick up the ingredients, but I was excited for proper barbecue-type meal since summer in Scotland can otherwise be a bit of a letdown. But then I started making it and quickly realised it’s not barbecue and not ‘American’ by any definition I’ve ever read. So I saved it for the day after 4th of July (the LEAST patriotic day of the year).

Considering the title of this recipe sounds like something two cartoon bears would try to sell you after climbing onto each other’s shoulders and zipping themselves into one long coat to pretend to be a businessman, my hopes weren’t high. And while this is absolutely not American summer food, it was way delicious and a good way to warm up on a day when the hottest recorded temperature in history in my city is only 22 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s not pretty, but it is ‘speedy’ and it was definitely delicious. Might I recommend this next time you find yourself soaked to the bone in a sudden summer rainstorm and in need of a non-salad meal?

The verdict:

4 spoons out of five. Judson and I literally fought over the leftovers, they were so delicious. I’m only knocking off a spoon because the steak was so expensive that, while this was definitely a ‘speedy’ meal, a budget meal it was not.

two years ago: Seven Layer Salad

The recipe:

Speedy Beef Barbecue USA

The directions:

Cut steak against the grain into strips 1 ½ inches thick.
Brown steak in goose fat until just browned on the stovetop in a heavy-bottomed pot.
Blitz tomatoes in a food processor until smooth, then add lime juice, soy sauce, onion, brown sugar and ginger.
Pour sauce over meat.
Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes until thickened and reduced.
Cook rice according to package directions, then add butter, salt and green pepper in last 3 minutes of cook time.
Fluff rice with a fork, then spoon around the edge of your serving platter.
Spoon Speedy Beef Barbecue USA in the centre.

Yields 4-6 servings.

The ingredients:

1 kilo (2 lbs) round steak
2 tbsp goose fat (or drippings)
16 oz canned tomatoes
2 tsp lime juice
¼ c soy sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp ginger
1 tsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 small green pepper, cut into strips
1 c instant rice