Baking & cooking with an enthusiastic amateur

Beef with Black Beans & Creamy Corn

Creamy corn, black beans, and thin-sliced steak over peppers and onions.

It’s been months since I’ve bought a piece of beef in the grocery store. Since I moved to Boston, actually, I’ve only been able to justify buying stew meat on sale; steaks and such are just too expensive, especially when I can get chicken, or occasionally pork chops, for around $3/pound. However, I recently found top round steak on sale for $3.99/lb. According to the Mayo Clinic, top round steak is considered extra lean. The ratio of protein to fat is great; a 3 oz serving has only 4.5 grams of fat but contains 30 grams of protein!

Since we have red meat so rarely, and the smallest piece of meat I could find on sale was 20 oz, I opted for generous serving sizes of 5 oz per person. You can make servings that are as small as 3 oz per person that are still satisfying!

I sliced the meat thinly against the grain before cooking it to speed up the cooking time and increase the tenderness.

I opted for beans & corn as inexpensive sides that provide extra nutritional value, more so than the empty carbs of ever-tempting white bread or flour tortillas. As someone with a limited budget and a sweet tooth, I find I am never lacking in carbs, but meeting my daily protein requirement can be tricky, so a dinner with a high ratio of protein to carbohydrates like this one is welcome!

While this is higher in calories than a lot of my meals, it’s a good source of protein. This is not a low fat dinner, but more than two-thirds of the fat is unsaturated.

Mmmm, meat!

Beef with Black Beans & Creamy Corn
Beef, Peppers, & Onions
Juice of 2 limes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tsp oregano (Mexican oregano if you have it)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/4 lbs top round steak
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 medium or small onion, sliced into thin strips
Black Beans
1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt & pepper to taste
Creamy Corn
1 bag (16 oz) frozen sweet corn
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp salt

Trim any excess fat from the steak and discard. Slice it into thin strips, going against the grain. The pieces may not be pretty, and look like they’ll start to fall apart, but that’s good: It’s more tender and easy to chew when sliced this way! Put it in a large, sealable plastic bag (such as a Ziplock). Add the lime juice, garlic, 1 tablespoon canola oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Seal and marinate in the fridge for about 24 hours.

Heat the 1/2 tablespoon canola oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and red pepper for 6-7 minutes. Remove the onion and pepper from the pan, and add the steak and marinade. Cook just until the meat is no longer pink. Serve warm over peppers and onions, with creamy corn and black beans on the side.

Black Beans
In 1/2 tablespoon canola oil, saute the garlic over medium heat for 30-60 seconds, until it’s aromatic and just starting to brown. Add the black beans, 1/2 cup chicken broth, and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain before serving.

Creamy Corn
In a high-sided bowl, pour one-third of the frozen corn. Thaw it in the microwave until soft. Add the chicken broth and puree together with an immersion blender; alternatively, pour the thawed corn and chicken broth into a regular blender.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the pureed corn and the remaining corn from the bag. Cook, stirring occasionally, at medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

Makes four servings.
Cost per serving: $2.83
Nutrition per serving: 577 calories, 23g fat, 7g saturated fat, 54g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 43g protein.

The pureed corn gives this side a creamy texture without the addition of cream or milk, and just a little butter.

Black beans just need a bit of garlic and oil to be transformed into a delicious accompaniment!

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This entry was posted on June 26, 2012 by in Dinners, Meat and tagged , .
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