August 17, 2011

Fragrant Beef Salad

It's been awhile since I've put forth an entry for the Mother's Kitchen Spice Rack Challenge, but her entertaining post and my love for cumin were inspiration to get me moving.  This past winter I was trying to think up new ideas to use the ground beef from the steer share we purchased.  I remembered the spiced beef from a Middle Eastern bakery near one of our previous homes in Sterling Heights, MI.  This bakery served spicy beef on top of brick-oven fired pizza dough with slices of fresh tomato.  (They have to-die-for cheese breads as well but those are now merely daydreams from my previous life as a dairy eater.)  I used my memory to try and recreate the flavor of the meat and it became a favorite dish this past winter.   The main spice is cumin so this is a perfect dish for this month's challenge.

Fragrant Beef Salad
Inspired by the meat flat breads from Maatouk Bakery.  This is my taco salad use for the spiced meat, of course you could use the beef on top of pizza dough like they do or like taco meat in tortillas.
Makes 2-4 servings depending on your hunger

1 pound ground beef, ground lamb is also wonderful
1 large onion, chopped
~6 cups greens (spinach, arugula and kale all work well)
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
good extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper (or a pinch of cayenne)

-Brown the meat, preferably in a cast iron skillet.
-When browned and mostly cooked add the onion, spices, salt and pepper.  Add a little olive oil if needed to lubricate the onions so they will cook well.   Stir and cook over medium high heat until the onion is soft and browned a little.  Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper and spice as desired.
-Wash, chop and dry your greens.  Top the greens with the beef mixture and then top with the tomatoes.
-Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle over olive oil to dress the greens.  Enjoy!

Even though I miss the ocean there are some pretty great consolation prizes here at home- the tomatoes, kale and onions in this salad are all fresh from my garden.