Beef Shin with beans and lentils
The night before I rinsed 1/2 cup lentils until the water ran clear and then I placed them in a container with enough water to cover. Then placed 1/2 cup of haricot beans in a pot on the stove with 1 cup of water and boiled them for 5 minutes. I then added the lentils to the par boiled beans, covered the pot and set it aside to soak overnight.
I placed the beans and lentils in a black pot and added 1 X 115gm tin of tomato paste, adding 2 extra tins of plain water. 1 tbsp mixed herbs, 1 tsp garlic flakes and 1 crumbled beef stock cube was added and mixed together. (For a hotter, spicy dish the optional extra spices to add are: 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds and 1 tsp chilli powder)
I removed the bones from 680 gms of beef shin and added the bones to the pot – the marrow in the bones will assist in providing a tasty gravy. I then cut the meat into 2cm cubes and added that to the pot.
3 X carrots were peeled and sliced and I roughly chopped 3 X large tomatoes. (If using potatoes, just wash and cut them to the required size – there is no need to peel.) On top of the beans / lentils I added the meat, then placing the vegetables on top of the meat - to cover it.
The pot was covered and placed in the solar oven which had been pre-heated to 130 – 140oC.
(If you find the gravy is a little thin, blend 1 – 2 tsp of maizena / cornflour with water and add to the stew 2 hours after placing the pot in the oven. Allow to continue cooking for another 1 - 2 hours.)
Ensure that your pot faces the sun for at least 3 - 4 hours, and that the temperature inside the oven is above 120oC. This dish should cook for 3 hours – but all day will also do – it will not burn – the meat will just get more tender the longer it cooks. Sprinkle with chopped parsley prior to serving.
I added a pot of rice (in boiling water) to the solar oven and let that cook for an hour - it was perfect rice with no starchy stickiness clumping the lot together - that is because the rice doesn't boil and release it's starch - it just simmers away.
The verdict from the menfolk - very tasty, delicious, tender and all gone...
And, today I have cooked Greek Chicken which I will serve with one of John's solar baked loaves of bread - that'll be perfect for mopping up the gravy.
|Am I starving the men in my life? RMan has attacked the hot freshly baked loaf - and the chicken has only been in the oven for an hour - with we still 5 hours still to go until dinner time...|
Add 100mls of white wine, cover and place in a solar oven pre-heated to a minimum of 130oC for 2 1/2 - 3 hours - any longer will only ensure that your chicken is fall off the bone tender.
Chicken cooked in the solar oven is an absolute treat - tender, tasty and moist - it will brown, but won't go crisp. And the gravy that it produces - delicious.
|It's 4.15pm and the chicken is cooked - it's now in the hotbox until dinnertime. Note the gravy which has been produced. What a clever little oven... :-) And my dinner preparation is over for the day - what more could a woman ask for?|
The total amount of electricity I consumed in cooking both meals was that which was used to boil two cups of water for the rice. Otherwise - the sun did it all for me :-) And the herbs, carrots and tomatoes came from my garden - as well as the lemon.