As You Like it Beef

Serves 4
The trick to cooking for a family is to add the spice in stages. I reserve some of the meat sautéed with just the onions and tomato paste for my less adventurous older daughter. After adding the cinnamon, coriander and cumin, I save another portion for the baby, before kicking up the heat with some chipotle for the adults.

1 pound sirloin, chuck eye beef, or combination of both
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 to 2 Tablespoons water
Dash of cinnamon
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cumin
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Chipotle or chili powder, to taste

1. Grind the beef using the meat grinding attachment on your Cuisinart Stand Mixer just before ready to cook.

2. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add onions and sauté  until slightly tender, about two minutes. Add beef and sauté , breaking it up into bits with the tip of a fork. Add tomato paste, stirring meat well to mix it throughout. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoon of water. Add spices, stir well and simmer until meat is cooked through. Serve buffet-style with refried beans, salsa, guacamole, shredded cheddar cheese and tortillas so everyone can assemble their own tacos.

Refried Beans

Serves 4
I normally rinse canned beans to reduce the sodium, but the liquid they sit in is key to making them “refried”. The bacon adds a delicious smoky hint but you can leave it out to make a vegetarian version.

1-15 ounce can pinto beans
4 slices thick-cut, good quality bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil, as needed
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Pour the beans with their liquid into the workbowl of the food processor attachment of your Cuisinart Stand Mixer. Process until almost smooth, leaving a few chunky pieces; set aside.

2. Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium flame. Add bacon and sauté  until it starts to brown. Add onion and garlic and sauté  until bacon becomes crisp and onions and garlic turn golden (you can add a little olive oil if there is not enough fat from bacon).

3. Add the chunky pureed beans to the skillet. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cover, or transfer to a covered casserole dish until ready to serve.