Beef Spinach in Peanut Sauce

The price of beef has always been quite prohibitive in the Philippines.  It probably still is.  In contrast, a Philippine variety of spinach, known as kangkong, is often referred to as a staple of the masses because of its abundance and affordability.  It is, in fact, grown in many backyards especially in homes close to the river.  I therefore find delight in this recipe — combining the lowly spinach and the swanky beef — while enhancing this appetizing fare with my favorite sauce.

Kankong, as with most vegetables in the Philippines, is never eaten raw.  They’re always boiled, blanched or stir-fried along with the choice of meat –usually pork, chicken or fish.  And if,  for whatever reason, meat is not an option in a particular meal, kankong mixed with fresh tomato slices and bagoong or alamang (fish or shrimp paste) along with hot steamed rice will never fail to satisfy the palate and the gut!

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 lb lean beef, cut into medium-size cubes

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup water

4 cups fresh  baby spinach

For the sauce:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, ground

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp brown sugar

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 cup water

DIRECTIONS

In crockpot, combine the beef, green onions, soy sauce, sugar, wine vinegar and 1/2 cup water

Cook in low heat for about 4 hours or until the beef is tender

Preparing the sauce:

In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, ground peanuts, sugar and garlic and mix well

Gradually pour the water until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy

When ready to serve, spread the spinach on a plate and top with the beef pieces.  Pour the peanut sauce over the beef and spinach. Alternatively, you can use the peanut sauce to dip the beef pieces.

Serve with steamed rice or whole wheat bread

(Makes 6-8 servings)

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