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Another no picture post…I totally forgot about the camera when I was making this.  Oops. 😦

Today’s recipe is as the title suggests: Beef with Tomatoes and Wine from Ruth’s Real Food blog.  What caught my eye about this recipe was the color of the finished dish – a nice dark red sauce.  I have a thing for deep colored sauces, so I decided I had to try it!

I really love how short the list of ingredients is, and that nothing came from a can.  I like canned tomatoes for their convenience, but nothing beats fresh ingredients if you can get them.  The measurements are a little subjective, but I did the best I could.  The tomatoes I bought were of average size, and when I put them all in the pot I was afraid I had bought the wrong ones since it seemed like a lot more than the picture!  It all turned out just fine though.  Do not use plum tomatoes or huge honking beefsteak ones, just regular tomatoes (Roma?) on the vine if you can get them.  For the wine, I guessed she meant a normal glass of wine rather than a large one, which is 125ml.  Two glasses = 250ml = exactly one third of a normal bottle of wine (750ml). I didn’t measure the tomato paste.  I like a lot, generally, so I used what I had left in the baggie in the freezer, which was probably more than 3tbsp.  I LOVE a strong tomato flavor.

Pro tip: When recipes call for a few tablespoons of tomato paste, you usually have a lot left over in the can, which doesn’t keep for very long in the fridge.  Scrape what’s left into a ziploc baggie, smoosh the paste around the bag until it’s flat and even, and then seal it.  Pop this in the freezer, and break off however much you like to use in cooking at a later date.

I followed the rest of the recipe to the letter – I had a lot of liquid in mine, so after letting it cook for about 2 hours with the lid on, I let it cook the rest of the time with the lid off so it could reduce. I stirred it a lot to really break down the tomatoes and onions. The sauce does not come out smooth, which isn’t a problem for me, but if you would prefer a smooth sauce, you could easily just take the meat out and blitz what’s left with the immersion blender. Additionally, if you like chunks but are opposed to tomato skins, you could remove the skins by dropping the tomatoes in very hot water till the skins split, dunk them in cold water, peel skins, and THEN slice them up. This recipe could probably convert easily to a slow cooker meal, as long as you take the time to leave the lid off to reduce the liquid before serving.

This recipe is a keeper. The flavor is amazing, the wine flavor is not too overpowering, and it’s simple to make. I love a hearty beef dish when the weather gets cooler, and this fit the bill perfectly! I will be revisiting Ruth for more recipe ideas in the future!

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