Rainy Day Stew

“It’s opener there

In the wide open air…

And then things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew.

Just go right along. You’ll start happening too…

Oh! The places you’ll go.”

– Dr. Seuss

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Let me start by saying that my parents are adorable when riding the Bahn.

I’m not complaining but I think traveling is exhausting especially for my parents. They are here for a 10-day visit from Toronto and I can tell the pace of a big city (sans car) is hard on them. I had given them ample warning and hoped they would start “training” six months before they arrived. I suppose casually strolling in malls while window shopping was their idea of “training”. It certainly caught them by surprise when climbing up and down several flights of stairs, walking lengthy streets, riding the Bahn and visiting sites like the Berlin Wall.

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It has taken plenty of ice cream stops, restroom breaks, a 3-day city tour bus and as my mom likes to put it, “picture-picture” moments to help them catch their breath. This is their first visit to Europe and a dream come true for them so I try my best to slow down and enjoy little moments together. I know my tour guiding skills are often inadequate, actually horrible at times – this means we get lost a lot and once relied on a taxi to get us home. I do my best and hope they have something fun to remember at least…even if it is consistently searching for euros to pay for restroom breaks. Thank goodness they are super patient and have a sense of humor!

On a rainy day in Berlin, they decided to make a simple Filipino dish for us. It’s a Spanish inspired stew I find comforting and familiar. Thanks mom and dad. Salamat po. Filipino food takes me back to my teenage years. Maybe tomorrow they will teach me how to make Torta Talong (eggplant filled omelette). Better yet, we may just take a trip to one of the many Filipino restaurants around the city like Pan, Pinoy or Ayan. Oh the places we go…

Beef SarciadoBeef Sarciado (pronounced Sarshadow)

Serves 4 – 6

1 kilogram/2 lbs thin slices of beef (beef with a little marbling is better but optional)

1 large onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 – 4 large tomatoes, diced

1 red pepper, sliced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional

salt and pepper, to taste

1 large potato or 3 small potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size cubes( place in a bowl of cold water until meat is tender)

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Just in case you’re wondering, this is a picture of the beef slices we used called Minute Steaks bought at the local grocery store. I think my dad prefers to use the part of meat that has more marbling and can handle a long stew like beef shank, cut thinly.

DSC04227Place all the ingredients in a large pot except the potatoes.

DSC04228Cover, bring to a boil then lower to simmer (medium- low) for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally. About 30 minutes into cooking, remove cover to allow sauce to slowly thicken.

DSC04233Around 45 minutes into simmering, drain water from bowl of potatoes. Raise temperature to high, then add potatoes. Bring down to simmer again and cook until potatoes are soft, about 15 – 20 minutes.

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Adjust seasonings and serve with jasmine rice and banana slices or green peas. I know it’s not a great photo, but it sure is delicious. Enjoy!

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