Monday, August 30, 2010

Aji Beef Taco Soup

Waste not, want not - this is one of those "use up the scraps" recipes. Nothing fancy at all, but functional and easy.

I used up
-the lean pieces of beef from the "chain of bull" that is trimmed from a beef tenderloin
-the last of my batch of taco seasoning
-the last of the tomatillos we had
-a bit of the Aji salsa that was too hot to eat by itself

The aji is a fiery mix of jalapenos, habanero, and green onion that were roasted and mixed with cilantro, lime juice, and S & P.

I can't imagine why it was so hot (ha!).

If you want to make this Aji, you can use this Aji recipe and add a habanero pepper. Or if you just want to go milder, skip the Aji altogether and just use a can of mild green chilies.

Aji Beef Taco Soup
Adapted from Crockpot Taco Soup #1

1 lb beef tenderloin, diced
1 medium onion, diced
5 ea tomatillo, husks removed and diced
2 ea green onion, green and white parts all chopped
3 Tbsp taco seasoning
1 cup beef stock
1 can diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can corn, not drained
1 can black beans, not drained
4 oz can sliced black olives
1/4 cup Aji salsa
1/4 cup cilantro

Toppings - more cilantro, green onion, shredded cheese, fried tortilla strips, and/or sour cream

Preheat a cast iron dutch oven on a 325f grill over direct heat. Brown the beef for about 5 minutes. Remove beef from dutch oven.

TIP: When sauteing on a grill, you don't have the precise heat control like a range top so keep a close eye on it and stir frequently to avoid burning.

Add the onion and tomatillo to the dutch oven, cooking for 5-8 minutes until softened.

Return the beef and all remaining ingredients except the cilantro to the dutch oven and mix together. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the dutch oven from the grill, stir in the cilantro, cover and let sit for another 10-15 minutes. Despite being off the grill, the cast iron will continue to cook the soup.

Garnish and serve.

This may have been an easy dish and one that used scraps but this is no slouch. There is an initial taste of sweet (not sure where that came from) with each bite but that quickly turns into a bit of heat on the back side. Since there were so many canned goods used, I honestly didn't expect to like this one as much as I did.

This is one where I don't think cooking this on the grill really ADDED anything to this dish, it would have been just as good done inside. But I still enjoyed cooking it outside.

So tell me, what are some of your favorite recipes for clearing out the fridge and using up scraps?