Tomato Beef Chunk
with Heaping Parsley
BY JOHN GRAHAM
"Talk of joy: there may be things better
than beef stew and baked potatoes
and home-made breadthere may be.
Popular American Essayist,
on HOW to MAKE A LARGE POT
on A COLD DAY or SUMMER DAY
that SATISFIES the HEART.
GET AS MUCH NON-HORMONE, NON-STEROID Niman-Ranch style stewing beef
chunks as you like. (Note: One should feel free to buy hormone-, steroid-administered
beef from any of the regular grocery chains. One should also feel
free to have small but noticeable breasts grow on their male relatives
and friends, and see their children develop pronounced brows, their
daughters faint but noticeable mustaches).
Cut the beef into dimensions of your choiceone to two inch chunks
Take your unwatered pot, put three to four table spoons of olive oil
in it. Heat it to a sizzle, then throw the beef into the pot with
two or three pieces of crushed garlic, half a cup of chopped or minced
green onions (using the green tails with the white heads), a quarter
cup of oregano (yes, there is an oregano bias in this recipe), an
enormous amount of fresh, chopped parsley (a cup sounds about right),
then salt and pepper.
Sear the beef and accoutrement for a few minutes without
burning it. As the lot heats up, add a full cup of red wine to cool
it off. Let it sit for a minute or so. Is it too hot yet?
Add organic cluster tomatoes that have been quartered (take one of
the quartersthe one you like the bestput salt and pepper
on it and eat it quickly. You are the chef, you can eat what you want.
Then drink some of the wine . . . That tastes good).
Cook the mix at high heat for a few minutes, never letting
it dry out and never letting it get too hot. Then add enough water
to make a big pot of soup that fits the pot without overwhelming it.
Finally, turn down the heat.
Cook the soup for about an hour, simmering it quietly,
continuing to sip the wine while you read the paper or pay bills,
checking the soup for taste. Occasionally whisk or muddle down the
tomatoes. Try not to damage the meat. In lieu of in pot
muddling, crush the tomatoes by hand before dropping them into the
GOALS & CONSIDERATIONS
Notice that the soup has no starch addedno potato, rice or noodle.
That would break down in the broth and you want a broth that is slightly
clear and if not completely clear, only shrouded by the abundance
of parsley, oregano and tomato, the way kelp obscures clean ocean
This dish is a protein hit with the advantage
of the lycopenean anti-oxidantprovided by the tomatoes
(see Lycopene Blurb at the end of this recipe), and the
fiber of the oregano and parsley. The garlic and onion represent proven
advantages as well.
The soup can be eaten over a number of days or frozen
and used again or as a base for another soup or sauce (feel free to
add a starch at this time). The use of free-range meat and organic
tomatoes means that the children wont be harmed by any industry
additives and the lack of starch means that the soup wont muss
up if it is not eaten right awayand you wont get too fat.
If you are all grown up, drink red wine and water at a room temperature
with this meal. If the dish is prepared in the summer, a full-bodied,
strawberry-noted, prosciuto-hinted rosé night be best. Think:
Rioja on the label. If a white wine is desired, stay in
Spain, a viura grape-based wine from Rioja or thereabouts should work
If you want to have a starch, a good bread or corn tortillas
would be good with this. Never, ever use flour tortillas.
If you serve this soup for lunch, make sure to walk in
the afternoon. If you serve it for dinner, make sure to walk the next
day, in the morning.
Talk about the dish while you walk. Did the oregano balance
well with the beef and tomato? The oregano should be forward in this
dishif someone complains that there is too much oregano in the
dish, they should not be invited the next time it is served.
Oreganos earthy piquant green notes should serve as treble to
the substance of the parsley and round bass bottom of the beef. Although
pertinent wines were earlier suggested, depending upon your palate,
a lighter red wineeven Gamay Boujalais in the warm weather or
a Pinot Noircan accompany this soup. In cooler to cold climes,
a nice one-hundred percent Spanish Grenache to California Cabernet
could accompany the soup. In fact, never fear an Italian Brunello
or one of the deeper blackberry red wines that finish with tar and
hints of menthol if that is your palate (here you can lean on the
fresh bread as tonic). This is, after all, the Cluster Tomato
Beef Chunk Oregano Soup with Heaping Parsley. After this only
a fresh mouthful of Earth and herbs could satisfy.
San Francisco, 2006
LYCOPENE IS AN OPEN-CHAIN UNSATURATED carotenoid that imparts red
colour to tomatoes, guava, rose hip, watermelon and pink grapefruit.
Lycopene is a proven antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize
free radicals, which may damage the body's cells.
Research shows that lycopene in tomatoes can be absorbed
more efficiently by the body if processed into juice, sauce, paste
and ketchup. The chemical form of lycopene found in tomatoes is converted
by the temperature changes involved in processing to make it more
easily absorbed by the body.
In the body, lycopene is deposited in the liver, lungs,
prostate gland, colon and skin. Its concentration in body tissues
tends to be higher than all other carotenoids. Regular high consumption
of fruits and vegetables is recommended as part of a healthy diet.