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Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category

One of my girlfriend’s came to visit me last weekend.  She lives in Northern BC and we’ve been friends for over 25 years.

I asked her what she wanted for supper on her first night here and to make a long story short we ended up having grilled steak.  No shortage of steak lovers in this family.  I grew up having steak occasionally, although it would always be the same cut of steak with the same BBQ sauce cooked the same way. I swear this is part of the reason I scream for flavour and diversity in my cooking.

Chimichurri sauce originates from Argentina & South America. It is a lovely & tasty accompaniment to any grilled meat. We’ve enjoyed this recipe before and so it was time to enjoy it again.

We grilled some asparagus & mushrooms as a side.

Adapted from ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
2 lbs steak (whatever you enjoy, striploin, sirloin, filet, etc.)
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a plastic ziplock back and squishy to ensure steak is covered. Let marinate on counter for 30 minutes or longer in the fridge.

Remove steak from bag and grill over medium heat to preferred doneness. Serve with Chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh
2 tbsp fresh oregano
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp each salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

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Third times a charm?  Good thing I’ve had 5 workouts in 4 days to make myself feel better about these pizza experiments.  This will be the last pizza submission for this week as I am getting pizza’d out.  However having said that I have at least 4 more ideas spinning through my head for pizzas based on leftovers.

Leftover taco meat can be used many ways.  On a pizza for a quick lunch or supper is a quick meal for a busy family.  I love hot peppers and used pickled jalapeno’s in this recipe.  I also used regular peppers (orange, yellow & green) both sliced and diced. 

Options are endless.  What I enjoy on a taco or taco salad is what I put on this pizza.  I did not use exact quantities below as some people may prefer more of a topping, others less.  You decide.

 

Taco & Pepper Pita Pizza


1/4-1/2 cup taco meat
1/4 cup peppers (cut into rings, or diced)
1-2 tbsp salsa (or taco sauce)
1 tbsp pickled jalapeno peppers (or banana peppers)
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/2-1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese or monterey jack
1/2 cup sliced lettuce (romaine)

Spread salsa on your pita with a spoon, knife or pastry brush.

Next layer on your peppers, tomatoes and taco meat. Finally spread your cheese all over.  I admittedly added a light dusting of shredded parmesan on top.

Broil in oven for about 2-3 minutes or until cheese melted and bubbling. I bake mine on a pizza stone but a cookie sheet or pizza pan works just as well.

Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes before slicing. I sprinkled fresh lettuce on top.  Outstanding.

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Spring has definitely sprung and today would have been a great night to BBQ.  BUT since I had some stew meat to use up, I decide to pull out the good old reliable slow cooker perhaps one last time until the Fall (?) and make a nice hearty beer infused beef carbonnade.  It’s a Belgian dish and I choose this time to use a dark beer or more specifically Rickards Dark (an English style porter) because I had it on hand. 

I initially found the flavour quite strong so I added in some beef broth to help mellow it a bit.  And take the edge off it did….however the flavour of the dark ale was still present (and yummy by all accounts). We served it with a cheesy mashed potato.

Adapted from The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes

Crockpot Beef Carbonnade

2 tbsp oil
1/2 half a package bacon
2 lbs stewing beef
2 medium onions, sliced thin
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp old bay seasoning (or celery seeds if you have on hand)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 cups beer (or beer/beef broth combo)

 

Season your stew meat with salt & pepper.

In a sauce pan over medium-high heat add a glug of oil and then brown your beef stew in batches. Transfer to Slowcooker.

Next add in your bacon and cook until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel. Set aside. Once cool cut into 1 inch pieces and add to the slow cooker.

In pan with remaining bacon fat add in your sliced onions. Cook until soft. Add garlic, thyme, old bay seasoning, bay leaves, another dash of salt & pepper and cook for 1 minute or so. Sprinkle sugar over mixture in pan and stir well. Add flour and cook for another minute (stir as you go). Finally add your beer/broth combo, increase your heat a little and cook until mixture thickens.

Pour saucepan mixture over beef & bacon.  I give it a little stir, cover and cook on low for about 5-6 hours or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaves and serve immediately.

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Making lasagna is easier than you think…do not be intimidated.  Get your ingredients ready and put aside a little time (love) to make the lasagna and you will be so happy you did….there’s nothing like a home made lasagna.  Right now H does not like lasagna but that is ok. I still make it a couple times a year because the rest of us love it. 

I’ve been making this lasagna for so long without a recipe I had to measure out the ingredients so I could blog about it.  And here we go….

Simple Lasagna

1.5lbs ground beef
2 jars of your favourite pasta sauce OR 4 cups of homemade tomato sauce
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced (or more if you love mushrooms)
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
1 container ricotta cheese (500gr)
2 cups or more mozzarella, shredded
1 cup provolone, shredded or slices
1/2 cup parmesan, shredded
1 package oven ready lasagna noodles
salt & pepper
1 head garlic
1-2 cups fresh spinach, washed & chiffanade (chopped)
Hot pepper flakes
Olive Oil
Pam

Use either a 9×11 baking dish or 9×13. Spray with pam.

Preheat your oven to 350F. Slice the top off your garlic and place in either a garlic baker or on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt. Wrap foil around garlic to seal or place lid on garlic baker and put in oven for approximately 45-50 minutes or until garlic soft.

In a sauce pan over medium high heat add your oil. Drop in your mushrooms and saute until nicely browned.

In a heavy pot add another glug of oil (1 tbsp) and add your diced onions. Once the onions have cooked for a couple minutes add your burger. Cook until burger is browned (fat released from burger will also cook away). Always cook your burger until browned as the browning adds incredible flavour to the meat. Add your sauce, oregano, basil, roasted garlic and season with salt & pepper. Mix well. If your mushrooms are ready toss them in too. If you like hot pepper flakes now is the time to add them (1/2 tsp to start). Let the sauce simmer at least 30 minutes to combine flavours. 

Here is my mini chef H adding the sauce on the noodles.

In a bowl add all of your ricotta cheese. Mix in your fresh spinach, 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella and a dash of salt & pepper. If you do not like spinach substitute parsley.

You are now ready to assemble the lasagna. I start with a ladle of meat sauce on the bottom of your baking dish. Spread it around. Then add a layer of your ready to bake lasagna noodles. Another layer of meat sauce on top of the noodles…you want them to be covered so don’t be stingy here. Then noodles. At this point (I call it mid point) you are ready for your ricotta mixture. Spread it all over the noodles evenly so you have a nice layer of ricotta cheese. And then another layer of noodles. Spread more meat sauce on the noodles. More noodles go down and finally your last layer of meat sauce. If you have leftover meat sauce don’t worry as it can be frozen and used in a pasta dish layer. On top of the last layer of meat sauce spread out your mozzarella. We tend to use alot…even cheddar at this point. Add your provolone and parmesan.

Photo: Lasagna all assembled with slices of provolone on top.

Tent with aluminum foil (allowing air for lasagna to breathe) and bake about 45 minutes. Then take the foil off and continue to bake until cheese is brown and bubbling. Remove from oven and let sit on counter 15-20 minutes to settle. Serve and enjoy.

Photo: Lasagna resting and ready for eating.

Photo: Lasagna plated.

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We love burgers. Having smaller hands I like to be able to hold onto my burger, easily, and it not be so big that it’s all meat.  It’s all about the fixin’s for me.  A couple years back (wow 5 already!) we started a quest to try & test as many different burger recipes as we could in one summer which came to be known as our Bakers Burger Blast. It became so successful it continues on to this day.

On the menu this time is a chipotle infused burger with a Tex Mex flair. Liking all things spicy (even though I pay for it later) I saw the recipe and immediately added it to last weeks weekly meal plan.

If you do not have a BBQ or do not like to BBQ don’t be intimidated.  Remember burgers can be cooked in a grill/fry pan on your stove.  Before we get started I have a quick tip for you.

Tip: 2 tbsp of chipotle makes the burger a wee bit spicy – the kids noticed. But they still ate them. If you prefer less spicy use only 1 tbsp chipotle/adobe sauce instead. Take leftover pureed chipotle in adobe sauce and freeze in 1 tbsp portions. Ice cube trays work great for this. Once frozen place in ziplocks and it’s ready to go the next time you want to use it.

Adapted from Rachael Ray

Tex Mex Style Burgers

1 lb lean ground beef
2 tbsp grated onion or 1 tbsp dried onion flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp pureed chipotle/adobe sauce
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp each salt & pepper

Fixin’s (all optional)
bacon strips (your favourite brand cooked)
monterey jack cheese with spicy peppers
diced tomatoes
pickled jalapeno peppers
banana peppers
diced spanish onion
cilantro, chopped
tortilla chips (any variety)
tex mex style cheese sauce (make your own or by one in a jar)

Your favourite buns (mine are ciabatta)

In a bowl mix together your ground beef, onion, garlic, pureed chipotle in adobe sauce, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Form into patties and set aside. We usually end up getting 5 sometimes 6 patties from 1lb ground beef.

Cook approximately 5 minutes per side on medium high heat (both on stove and/or BBQ).

Put your grilled burgers on a bun and add your favourite fixin’s. My son and I added the tortilla chips right on the burger…added a nice crunch.

Wouldn’t you know it we got so busy eating the burgers, we forgot to capture a photo! These were so yummy they will be made again soon, so photos next time!

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I admittedly have never made a Bolognese Sauce.  How crazy is that?!   The family loves my basic beef spaghetti sauce and as so if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!

As I was preparing my menu for the week I found Jamie Oliver’s recipe for an easy Bolognese Sauce and decided it was time to try a new sauce.  This is an Italian Classic sauce made in different ways, using wines and herbs.  Jamie’s version is simple (no wine) and very tasty.   I made it.  The family loved it.  It’s a keeper.

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

Bolognese Sauce

3 slices bacon, sliced thin
1 medium onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped small
2 celery stalks, chopped small
2 tsp oregano, dried
1 tsp basil, dried
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 x 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

Add your bacon to a pan and cook over medium heat. After bacon has been cooking a few minutes add your oregano. Cook bacon until lightly browned. Add your onions, carrots, celery, garlic and stir to combine. Cook until vegetables have softened. Add your ground beef & pork, the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Fill half the empty tomato can with water and add to the pan. Stir in a good pinch of salt & pepper.

Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover and simmer for approximately 1 hour stirring occasionally. Remove lid and simmer an additional 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the sauce so it does not dry out (add water if you need to). Remove from heat and add your parmesan, stirring to combine. Tear and stir in your basil.

Serve with your favourite kind of pasta, extra parmesan cheese on top, additional fresh basil on top, a drizzle of olive oil and more salt & pepper as needed.  A glass of vino and/or a green salad goes nicely with this meal.  Enjoy.

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Good soup on a cold, fall/winter day. Many variations of Minestrone soup available, this is one version we enjoy. We prefer to cook our pasta and add it separately so as it sits and/or overnight it does not soak up all the soup broth.

Adapted from Mable Hoffman’s Crockery Cookery

Beef Minestrone Soup, Crockpot

1 lb beef stew meat
6 cups beef broth
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced (dried works too if you do not have fresh)
Splash (tbsp) worcestershire sauce
Splash hot sauce
1 (16oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups napa cabbage, chopped
1 (15oz) can cannellini or white navy beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup zucchini, grated
1 1/2 cup cooked macaroni
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Let’s begin…
In a skillet over medium high heat, add a little oil and quickly sear your stew beef in small batches. Transfer to crock pot.

Next add in your broth, onions, thyme, parsley, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, tomatoes, cabbage and salt/pepper to taste.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. At about 8 hours add in your beans, zucchini and cook another 30 minutes or so.

Meanwhile cook your pasta, drain, mix in some butter and set aside.

When serving ladle some soup into a bowl, add some macaroni and top with a good heaping of parmesan. Yum.

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I come from a good mix of Ukranian, German and Romanian decent. As such I grew up eating Holubtsi (cabbage rolls), Borscht, Sauer Kraut (fermenting somewhere in the house) and Pierogi. There were all kinds of German baking and pasteries that came our way regularly as well. And so yum.

While I prefer to buy my Sauer Kraut because I only have time to make wine, (not sauer kraut!) I do make certain items from scratch. Cabbage rolls are one of them. Easy to prepare and delicious to eat. Even easier is when they are done in your crockpot. My mother would make them with tomato juice, nothing else and bake them in an oven. I prefer tomato sauce and I love my crockpot! If you’ve never rolled a cabbage roll before – give it a try! You will find it easier than you think.

Adapted from Mable Hoffman’s Crockery Cookery

Cabbage Rolls

Small head cabbage
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 – 1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 lb ground beef (lean works)
1/3 cup uncooked basmati rice
23oz (680ml) tomato sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste (1 tsp each)

Here we go…
Immerse cabbage leaves in a large pot of boiling water and cook about 3 minutes or until limp. Drain leaves and set aside.

In bowl combine egg, milk, onion, beef, rice, salt and pepper.

Depending on the size of your cabbage leaf, place 2-3 tbsp meat filling in middle of leaf. You do not want to much that it over flows or too less that it is not enough to fill the cabbage leaf. Tuck in sides and roll ends over meat mixture. Set aside. Continue on until you have used all your meat filling. You may have leftover cabbage leaves.

In bowl mix together tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and worcestershire sauce. Spoon a little on the bottom of your slow cooker. Place your cabbage rolls into the crockpot covering the bottom first and then layering as necessary. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls, cover and cook on low 6-7 hours.

Sometimes I add in even more tomato sauce since we enjoy alot of sauce with our cabbage rolls. These freeze well and make approx. 12 cabbage rolls.

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Beef Paprika

My mom used to make this when I was growing up (30+ yrs ago). Oddly enough I am not a huge beef eater. But husband is and so we do eat our share of beef! Being a flavour hound I have tweaked this recipe a little bit and it is delicious!

Beef Paprika

2lbs beef stew
2-3 tbsp oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp flour
2 cups beef stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
Pinch of brown sugar & pinch of pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp paprika (regular or smoked)

In a large pan or dutch oven heat 1 tbsp of your oil over med-high heat. Add your beef in two batches ensuring each batch of beef is nicely seared. Remove from pan and set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan if needed and add onions & garlic cooking until soft. Return the beef and juices to the pan. Sprinkle in flour and cook for 1 minute. Add stock, tomato paste, marjoram, caraway seeds, sugar, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low for approximately 2 hours or until meat is tender. Add more stock if you need it.

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with your favourite starch (egg noodles, mashed potatoes, rice or even spaetzle).

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I’m not sure why I haven’t posted this one before.  Made it for dinner guests in the past..making it for dinner guests this weekend.  It’s so simple and rustic.  Finishing this dish with a Balsamic Drizzle gives it an elegant appearance when you bring it to the table.

Balsamic Drizzle is not something many have heard of. I first heard about it from a cookbook by Robert Rainford (2006).  Rachael Ray uses it in this dish and it is fabulous and easy to make!

Adapted from Rachael Ray

Roasted Chicken & Sausages

4 pieces bone-in chicken thighs/legs attached
1 lb sausages (I love spolumbos with this dish)
3 tbsp oil
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, 2 of them finely chopped
8 sprigs fresh thyme, 4 of them finely chopped
12 baby potatoes
6-8 shallots, halfed and peeled (spanish onions would work as well)
1 lb bunch black seedless grapes snipped into small clusters (do not take them off stems)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Balsamic Drizzle

First Step make your Drizzle
2 cups of Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Brown Sugar

You can make this without the brown sugar…it’s your choice. Put the balsamic vinegar into a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce to low and let simmer 20-30 minutes. It should become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. At this point you should have approx. 1/2 cup. Let cool. Pour into storage container and keep in fridge if not using right away. Otherwise set aside until ready to use.

Main Dish
Preheat oven to 425F. In a large roasting pan add your chicken, sausages and 1-2 tbsp of your oil. Toss to combine. Season with chopped rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.

In a bowl toss the shallots, potatoes, black grapes and remaining oil. Add another pinch of Salt & Pepper and place in roasting pan with the meat. You can either bundle your rosemary/thyme sprigs or just toss them into the pan.

Roast 45-60 minutes until meat juices run clear and meat is crispy on the outside.

To serve arrange everything nicely on a clean platter adding pan juices. Lightly pour on your balsamic drizzle and bring to the table. With this dish you could serve some steamed broccoli, asparagus or a green salad of sorts! Enjoy!

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