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O’ for Pete’s sake, Robbie, let’s eat!

Did the haggis grow cold while Robbie Burns went on and on about his groaning trenchers and gushing entrails and jaups in luggies?


The Scottish poet devoted 48 lines of poetry to his beloved haggis. Over 250 years later the famous bard’s birthday is still celebrated January 25, even if the humble subject of his Address to A. Haggis remains one of the more reviled dishes on the planet. That’s the genius of the man; he found all that to say about what is basically a sausage stuffed with organ meat.

Can someone write us a poem for a good beef stew? Please do. But make it haiku. I’m hungry.

If a cold January night inspires you to cook rather than write poetry, here are three recipes sourced from the www.beefinfo.org website of Canada Beef Inc.

Hearty Beef And Maple Stew

With a hint of maple this delicious heartwarming beef stew recipe is sure to become a family favourite. Served with crusty bread, it’s a complete meal in a bowl.

  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour1 tsp. salt1/2 tsp. ground ginger1/4 tsp. EACH garlic powder and pepper2 lbs. stewing beef cubes3 tbsp. vegetable oil1 can (19 oz./540 ml) stewed tomatoes2 medium onions, sliced1 c. water1/2 c. dry red wine or cooking wine1/4 c. maple syrup3 c. potato chunks2 c. carrot chunks1 c. celery slices

Combine flour and seasonings in plastic bag. Add beef and shake to coat. Heat oil in Dutch oven; brown meat. Add tomatoes, onions, water, wine and maple syrup. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover stew and simmer over low heat or bake in 325 F oven for 1-1/2 to two hours or until meat is tender. Add potatoes, carrots and celery; continue cooking 45 to 60 minutes until vegetables are tender. If desired, thicken stew with two tbsp. flour blended into 1/4 cup cold water.

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 3 hours. Makes: 6 servings.

Corn And Black Bean Chili

Every night’s a chili night in January. This will also fill tortillas baked as a casserole. If you like it spicy, add a teaspoon or so chopped canned chipotle peppers.

  • 1 lb. extra lean/lean ground beef sirloin orextra lean/lean ground beef1 large onion, diced1 large sweet pepper, diced2 tbsp. chili powder1 tsp. ground cumin1 can (28 oz./796 ml) diced tomatoes1 can (14 oz./398 ml) tomato sauce1 can (19 oz./540 ml) black beans, drained and rinsed1-1/2 c. (375 ml) frozen corn kernels

Cook beef, onion, sweet pepper, chili powder and cumin in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until meat is thoroughly cooked and any liquid has evaporated. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans and corn. Cook over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chili Enchiladas: Spread two cups chili in a 13×9-inch baking dish; set aside. Spoon 1/2 cup (125 ml) chili onto centre of each of eight small flour tortillas. Roll up; place seam side down in baking dish. Spoon remaining chili over enchiladas. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese. Bake in 350 F oven for 30 minutes. Makes eight enchiladas.

Nutrition Matters: Chili recipes are basically lean if they start with lean ground beef. For heart-healthy improvements, use lean beef, no-oil frying when cooking the meat and vegetables and increase the veggie content.

Bright Idea: If you add some chopped fresh dill near the end of cooking, it plays up the fresh vegetable flavours.

Preparation time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes. Makes: 9 servings.

Best suited for: Potluck, buffet, dinner party.

Southwestern Beef Steak And Kidney Beans

For dinner in 20 minutes, start by making rice. As it cooks, you can get everything else made and ready to serve.

  • 1 tsp. EACH Cajun spice and ground cumin1/4 tsp. EACH salt and hot pepper flakes1 lb. beef grilling steak, 3/4-inch thick2 tbsp. olive oil1/2 c. chopped red onion1 sweet red pepper, diced1/2 c. EACH salsa and frozen corn1/3 c. tomato ketchup1 19-oz. (540-ml) can kidney beans, drained and rinsedLime wedges

Combine Cajun spice, cumin, salt and pepper flakes in small bowl. Set aside half of mixture. Sprinkle both sides of steak with remaining mixture. Heat half of the oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; cook steak until medium, about five minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Remove to plate; cover loosely with foil. Let stand for five minutes before slicing thinly across the grain. Meanwhile, reduce heat to medium; add remaining oil. Cook onion, red pepper and reserved spice mixture, cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about four minutes. Add salsa, corn, ketchup and beans; heat through, about four minutes. Toss with steak slices; serve with squeeze of lime.

Cook’s Notes: If you don’t have Cajun spice, use 1/4 tsp. paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder and thyme.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes. Makes: 4 servings.

Source: Canada Beef Inc.

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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