Beef and Okra Stew Recipe
In Turkey meat and vegetable dishes are usually made with the motivation that the man of the house can't eat dishes without meat (Yes Turkish men are generally meat lovers). You know, a man doesn't normally eat okra, but he eats it for meat's sake. For me, it's the opposite. In dishes meat and vegetables are used together, I eat the meat for the sake of vegetables. That too if the meat is not fatty. There are few things that whet my appetite more than seeing bits of fat in vegetable dishes. I usually do not cook vegetable dishes with meat, but if I do, I use lean meat. In this way, the food will not be too fatty and will not have an unappetizing appearance.
Another thing I pay attention to when cooking meat and vegetables together is to ensure that the meat is at least as soft as the vegetables. This way, while the soft vegetables melt in my mouth, I don't have to chew meat like rubber. I follow a very simple method for this. I chop meat in the size of vegetables or even smaller than vegetables. I do this not only in vegetable dishes such as okra with meat or green beans with meat, but also in legumes such as bean stew with meat.
In some recipes, you can continue cooking even if the vegetables are soft. For example, in pumpkin dessert, even though the pumpkin softens, it is continued to be cooked until the syrup thickens, and eventually the pumpkin solidifies with the help of syrup instead of falling apart. There is no such thing in meat and vegetable dishes. If the vegetable continues to be cooked despite softening, it will fall apart. For this reason, the criterion to understand if the dish is cooked or not cooked in vegetable dishes, even if it contains meat, is vegetables. Meat should also be adjusted according to the cooking time of the vegetable.
Under normal conditions, meat takes longer to cook than vegetables. But it is possible to shorten this period with some interventions. For example, you can pre-cook meat. However, when this method of boiling is used, the flavor of the meat remains in the water and a separate container becomes dirty. That's why I don't use this method unless I have to. As I mentioned above, I chop the meat finely and extend the stir frying time a little. If the meat is not extra hard, it is cooked soft like vegetables.
In juicy dishes cooked using a pressure cooker, you will not find a magnificent consistency when the lid of the pot is opened. The food has an appearance as if the water has not been fully absorbed. After you open the lid, just simmer the dish a few mins more for the perfect consistency.
Enjoy the recipe...
- 400 g small diced beef,
- 1 kg okra,
- 1 onion,
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste,
- 3 cups of boiling water,
- 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil,
- Heat the pressure cooker, add the meat, and cook, stirring frequently, until the water is released and evaporated,
- Add olive oil and stir fry for a few minutes,
- Add the chopped onion and stir fry it until soft,
- Add the tomato paste and stir fry until the smell comes out,
- Add the okra (fresh or frozen) and water, close the lid and cook until the okra softens according to the recommended cooking time of your pot,
- Open the lid, add the salt, bring it to a boil and remove it from the heat.
Enjoy your meal...