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Yikes – only a few more sleeps until the big hike!  But let’s worry about that later, tomorrow is Canada Day!  I took advantage of tomorrow’s store closures and bought meat at 40% off.  Yes, it is crazy.  And yes, it makes sense if you want to save $ on your grocery bill.  But no, it is not gross.  The meat is perfectly fine but the store knows that everyone today is buying stuff for burgers, sausages and steaks on the barbie.  If they don’t shift the beef soup bones and the pork tenderloins, they will go to waste because tomorrow the stores are shut and nobody is going to be shopping the day after a big holiday.

What people do on Canada Day.   But this is actually Ribfest, Ottawa, a couple of weeks ago...

What people do on Canada Day. But this is actually Ribfest, Ottawa, a couple of weeks ago…

So I bought the things I don’t normally buy:  osso bucco; veal stew meat; beef stew meat; chicken stir fry strips; marinated boneless, skinless chicken breast.  We had the chicken for supper; I threw the veal and osso bucco in the freezer.

The beef stewing meat married with the contents of this week’s CSA to become a gorgeous tagine that I plan to freeze and serve to the Israeli couchsurfers we are hosting in two weeks.

In our CSA this week: cauliflower, green onion, broccoli, kohlrabi, cilantro, garlic scapes, dinosaur kales, Swiss chard, parsley, lettuce

In our CSA this week: cauliflower, green onion, broccoli, kohlrabi, cilantro, garlic scapes, dinosaur kales, Swiss chard, parsley, lettuce

Looks a bit sloppy but the taste...  Having just binged on Season 3 of Orange is the New Black, I think I can say that Red would be proud.

Looks a bit sloppy but the taste!  Having just binged on Season 3 of Orange is the New Black, I think I can say that Red would be proud.

BEEF TAGINE WITH SWISS CHARD AND GARLIC SCAPES

  • 1 kg/2 lbs beef stewing meat
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp each of: cumin, paprika, ginger, turmeric
  • 1 tsp each of: coriander seed, ground cardamom, fennel seed, caraway seed, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns
  • 2” piece cinnamon stick
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 big curly garlic scape or 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 very, very, very large bunch Swiss chard, finely sliced
  • Can chick peas
  • Can tomatoes or bottle tomatoes passata
  • 1-2 cups broth (or water but your dish won’t have as much umami)
  • 8 dried apricots or prunes, slivered
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Olive oil

In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat a good glug of olive oil until shimmering.  Season beef (if using salted broth, you might want to skip this step).  Add the beef, in 3 batches, browning on all sides.  Don’t crowd the pan or the beef won’t brown.  After each batch, remove the browned beef to a bowl.

Sauté onions in same pot.  Return beef to pot.  Add spices and lemon zest.  Stir.  Add Swiss chard and garlic scapes and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add chickpeas, tomatoes, broth.

Cover (lid ajar) and cook for 1 hour.  Add apricots/prunes.  Cook another 1/2 hour, until beef is so tender it falls apart.  Stir in cilantro.  Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Serve immediately OR this dish is better the next day OR freeze and have a beautiful dinner ready when you get home from 5 days of pack-in hiking OR enjoy with Israeli couchsurfers.

We’ll have to make room for two more pairs of shoes when we welcome our couchsurfers

We’ll have to make room for two more pairs of shoes when we welcome our couchsurfers.  It’s payback time.  And I mean that in the nicest possible way!