Carne picada sounds pretty exotic, at least if you are here on the Gulf Coast. It’s a relative newcomer in the grocery stores. But what is it really?
Essentially, it’s meat that has been cut into matchstick-like slivers. It’s not quite fine enough to be “coarsely ground” but it’s certainly much finer than what we usually see at the meat counter. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a place in our kitchen, however, as it can go a long ways towards creating a very fast meal with all of the flavor we hope to deliver every time.
It’s eliminated the need for standing at the cutting board and slowly and laboriously cutting meat into fine strips for various dishes. But what can it make?
Almost anything calling for meat to be cut into strips, from stir fries to stews. Many recipes can be adapted to use this convenient already-cut version of beef.
One dish is Beef Stroganoff. The typical package of carne picada can make 2 average meals for a family of four, and can be stretched even further, if desired. Simply repackage the unused portion(s) in a freezer bag and freeze for use in the next month. By prepackaging it into portions for your recipes, it saves time in defrosting and repackaging too.
- 2 c. carne picada beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1-2 c. sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 c. sour cream, room temperature
- 1/4 c. worcestershire sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/8 c. vegetable oil
- 16 oz. egg noodles, prepared according to package directions and drained
Heat vegetable oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat. While oil is heating, combine onion, beef, mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce in bowl, stirring to combine well. Add to skillet and stir occasionally to cook evenly until onions are translucent and tender. Remove from heat. Remove several tablespoons of liquid from meat mixture and stir into room temperature sour cream, then stir sour cream into meat mixture. Combine meat mixture with cooked & drained noodles.
Serve hot with buttered toast, fresh rolls, or garlic bread.
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