A foodservice colleague of mine frequently says, “Sauce is boss”, which refers to the power of a great sauce to make us fall in love with food.  In Spain the boss sauce is Romesco, which is sometimes referred to as Spanish ketchup. Romesco gets its alluring smoky flavor from roasted tomatoes and red bell peppers as well as smoked paprika. It’s so delicious with the beef!

For the beef

1 lb. Flank Steak, trimmed of all visible fat and sliced into 1/4-inch x 3-inch strips
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a gallon size plastic zip lock bag. Seal tightly, shake to fully coat meat with marinade, and place in refrigerator to marinate for 4 to 24 hours.

For the Brown Rice (Makes 4 cups)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup diced yellow onion
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 cup brown rice
1 ½ cups water

  1. In a stainless-steel pot with a lid, heat the olive oil, onions, and salt over medium heat. Sweat the onions until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add in the chopped garlic, stir, and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in the brown rice and stir to combine with the onion and garlic mixture.
  4. Pour in the water, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the brown rice has softened, and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Set aside until ready to prepare the bowls. If preparing the rice in advance, store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to make the bowls.

For the Romesco sauce (Makes 2 cups)

2 Roma tomatoes, cut in half
1 small red bell pepper, cut in half, cored and seeded
1/4 cup dry roasted unsalted whole almonds
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place tomatoes cut side up, and red bell pepper cut side down, on baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the skin on the red bell peppers starts to turn brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  3. Use a paper towel to remove as much skin from the roasted red bell pepper as possible.
  4. Combine roasted tomatoes, bell peppers, almonds, and garlic in a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth.
  5. While running the food processor add the olive oil and vinegar. Turn off the processor, scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, add the red pepper flakes, paprika, and salt. Process for a few more seconds.
  6. If preparing the Romesco sauce in advance, store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For the Finished Bowls (Makes 4 bowls)

1 recipe cooked brown rice
1-15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1-15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 cups baby spinach
2 cups Romesco sauce
1 recipe marinated lean beef, ready to cook
4 ounces Manchego cheese, grated

  1. Set out four shallow bowls and add 1 cup cooked brown rice to each bowl.
  2. Evenly divide the kidney beans, chickpeas, grape tomatoes, and baby spinach among the four bowls.
  3. Place a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat and sear the marinated beef for about 2 minutes per side. Stir minimally during cooking to get a good sear on the beef.
  4. Divide the beef among the four bowls and top beef with ½ cup Romesco sauce per bowl.
  5. Garnish each bowl with a few tablespoons of grated Manchego cheese.
Number of Servings 4
Serving Size 1 bowl
Calories Per Serving 685
Total Fat (g) 28
Saturated Fat (g) 9
Trans Fat (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 30
Sodium (mg) 755
Total Carbohydrate (g) 83
Dietary Fiber (g) 17
Sugars (g) 6
Added Sugars (g) 0
Protein (g) 26
Vitamin D (mcg) 0
Calcium (mg) 480
Iron (mg) 5.1
Potassium (mg) 1185