Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Papaya beef - papaya working double duty

I'm posting a number of recipes lately. It's not my intention to become a recipe blog, but I do like to show out-of-the-ordinary ways our produce is being prepared.

I've always known that papayas can be used to tenderize tough cuts of meat. But I always wondered what you did with the papaya after pairing it up with a pot roast. Although there's no reason not to, I'm a little reluctant to then chop the same papaya up into a salad.

That's why I like this recipe, the papaya serves two functions.

  1. Tenderizes tough cuts of meat.
  2. Provides a delicious ingredient in the main entree starring the now tenderized meat.

One fruit, doing the work of two ingredients. Not many items in the produce aisle has this distinction. Talk about a budget saver!

Excerpt from an article written by the Associated Press posted 1/5/09

Start to finish: 4 hours (15 minutes active)
Servings: 6

  • 1 large ripe papaya, peeled, sliced and seeds discarded
  • 3 pounds round steak, cut into 6 steaks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • sliced 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
  • 16-ounce can lentils

step 1 - tenderize
Arrange half of the papaya slices over the bottom of a large glass or ceramic baking dish (metal pans can react with the enzymes of the papaya).

Lay the steaks over the papaya, then top the meat with the remaining papaya slices. Cover the baking dish, then refrigerate for 3 hours.

step 2 - prepare the entree
Heat the oven to 325 F.

Coat a second glass baking dish with the olive oil, then arrange the onion slices over the bottom. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator, season them with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Lay the steaks over the onion slices, then top with the papaya slices and chopped tomato.

Tightly cover the baking dish with foil, then bake until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven and top with the lentils.

Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.