After the holidays the leftovers are abundant, even this year after I scaled down my meal to just a handful of us. I usually cook beef on Christmas day, not a rib roast, but a tenderloin. Beef Tenderloin is buttery and it melts in your mouth, and I know it’s on the expensive side, but good cuts of meat are never cheap. I prepare my tenderloin in a basic sort of way. First, I remove it from packaging and let it air dry in my refrigerator for two days prior to cooking. I notice those fancy steakhouses bragging about air drying their meat for several days, so I figure, why not give it a shot at home? I also do my Thanksgiving turkey the same way, and the skin turns out crispier in my opinion. After a few days, I remove the beef from my refrigerator, at least an hour prior to cooking, so it comes up to room temperature, and then I douse it in salt and pepper before it hits the oven. It’s a pretty simple way to prepare beef tenderloin.
Then, a few days later after the eggnog has left my body, I’m ready to transform the remaining meat into something delicious. This year with the whether getting much cooler, and finally a rainstorm under our belt, I decided to make a hardy pot of soup with the remaining beef. Soup is always a favorite and anything that you can add to a pot of broth, completes the mood of the season. Preparing a beef soup in a tomato base with greens is as easy as I can get when making dinner from scratch, and what makes it fun is that you can add all sorts of ingredients to the broth, and make it a kaleidoscope of flavors. Mustard greens are a structurally sound food, but after being simmered slowly, they turn into a wilted velvety vegetable that can be slurped down like an ice cream cone on a hot summer day.
After a half hour or so, you have one delicious pot of soup. I just love the warm tomatoey mix of flavors because they remind me of a comforting lightened-up Italian meal. Maybe it’s the aromatics of the oregano, or the small bits of pasta floating about, or the chunks of tender beef in this soup, but what I do know is that it just hits the spot after a couple of days of Christmas cheer.
1/2 pound of cooked beef, any cut
1 onion sliced thickly
1 clove of garlic
2 cups crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 bunch mustard greens, or swiss chard – removed from stem and roughly chopped
2/3 cup mini pasta or macaroni
salt & pepper
olive oil for cooking
- Cut beef into large cubes, set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, stir. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, broth, and oregano stir. When boiling, add mustard greens and stir. Turn heat to simmer and cover pot with lid. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Add beef, 1 /2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, stir. Cover with lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add pasta and 1/2 cup hot water and stir. Cook for 6-10 minutes, depending upon size of pasta. Ladle into bowls and serve with a slice of rustic bread. Enjoy!