Lent beef is an odd thing, doubly odd since during Lent as a Byzantine Catholic, we fast from meat for all of Lent.  But twas not always so.  Back in what must have been the Lent of ought 1, correct me if I’m wrong, Josh Gibbs and I decided to start observing Lent.  We were protestant, but it seemed like a good idea.  All we knew of Lenten observance was that one gave up something important to oneself that catered to the passions of the flesh.

So we decided to give up fast food.  Neither of us were svelte by any stretch, and one of the main things that drained our pocket books, fed our growing physiques, and indulged our fleshly passions was that drive-thru goodness.  So out it went.

One of our first resolutions was to start cooking for ourselves at home.  So off to the store we went, and Lent Beef was created.  And it was Good.

To make Lent Beef you need the following:

*Roughly 1 lb. per person of medium grade beef.  Sirloin is excellent, but London Broil, Top Round, or any other cheap cut will do.   Don’t break your budget, that’s part of the point.

*1-3 bottles of big bodied red wine.  I believe the original Lent beef was made with Merlot, but I’ve moved on to using Cabernet or Shiraz, or the always delicious Australian Cab/Shiraz blend.

*A box or two of Spanish Rice mix.  Zataran’s is quite good, but any old spanish rice will do.

*A couple few onions.

*Garlic bread, pre-made or the makings thereof.

Here’s how you do it.

Take your beef and poke a bunch of holes in it with a fork.  This is so that the marinade will soak in.  Don’t worry, you’ll be pan-frying it, so the juices will stay in.

Rub into your beef a generous portion of spices.  The original recipe used salt, pepper, and oregano.  Feel free to improvise, but I feel like the oregano really adds something unique.   Also, take some fresh garlic and really press it into the meat.

Put beef in a pan and pour a generous portion of red wine over it, enough to cover half the thickness of the beef at least.  Make sure to pour some of the wine in a glass to drink while preparing the food.

Let the beef marinade as long as you can.  One hour minimum.

Now you’re ready to cook.  Cook the onions in butter and red wine.  Add some salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar if you’ve got it lying around.  Remember to continue drinking as you cook.

Cook the spanish rice mix per box directions.

In a large frying pan, heat some butter and some of the red wine.  Wait till it gets good and hot, you want a good sear.  Put the steaks in the pan and cook them to your desired level of doneness.  Add more wine if the liquid runs low.

Serve the steak with onions on top, a side of rice and a piece of garlic bread.  And a large glass of the aforementioned wine.  Rejoice that the Lord made beef and wine and spanish rice and onions for you.  Thank Him for that.

Oh, and don’t get uppity and tell me that you don’t like spanish rice or you don’t think garlic bread will go good with this meal.  Ask Josh Gibbs, he’ll tell you.  This combination of flavors is magically delicious.  Give it a shot.

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