New Year’s Dinner (warm peppery salad with beef and lentils)

Warm peppery salad with beef and lentils

Warm peppery salad with beef and lentils

A friend of mine recently assured me of an old wives’ tale for New Year’s Day. You shouldn’t eat anything that flies, and you should eat lentils. This will bring you health and wealth in the New Year. You see, if you eat something that flies (or used to) on New Year’s Day, your wealth for the year will fly away with it. Lentils are balancing and will bring you good health.

We are very good at using the cheaper cuts of meat in the winter when slow cooked meats are very attractive. But I want to come up with good ways to use these cuts in summer cooking. So I used this opportunity to come up with a good New Year’s recipe with some beautiful beef cheeks I had in the freezer. So, my meal for New Year’s Day became a warm peppery salad with beef and lentils. It’s a great way to start the New Year; fresh, healthy and very very tasty. I would recommend it to you for New Year’s Day, or any other day.

Serves 3

1 teaspoon olive oil
500 grams beef cheeks (or chuck steak)
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, drained
1 teaspoon green peppercorns, drained
1 litre water
1/2 cup red Persian lentils
2 cups rocket
2 cups baby spinach
2 cups baby kale
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. When it’s hot, brown the beef cheeks thoroughly, all over. Discard any excess fat and add the water to the pan to completely cover the beef. Grind the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle, to a rough paste and add to the frying pan. Cover with a lid or tin foil and simmer gently for 2-3 hours. Add the lentils to the pan and cover again, cooking for an addition 1-2 hours. Be sure the pan doesn’t dry out.

Remove the beef cheeks from the pan and pull the flesh apart with two forks. Scoop out the lentils and mix with the pulled beef. Allow to cool.

Combine the salad leaves with the beef and lentil mixture and divide between 3 plates. Dress the salads with the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Serve immediately.

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