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Posts Tagged ‘Beef’

On the Docket– Week of December 3rd

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

We’re still working through Thanksgiving leftovers.  That’s what I get for making a 19 pound turkey for four people.  I’m really glad I turned the leftovers into some casseroles, but boy will I be happy when we’re finished with these leftovers!

While I probably won’t be cooking too much this week, I’ve been clipping all sorts of recipes in anticipation of finishing these casseroles.  Here are a few of the recipes I’m looking forward to making soon!

Beef Stew:  I made black bean and chicken soup a few weeks ago.  It was such a satisfying lunch that now I’m on a soup kick.  Though it hasn’t been too cold yet, I’m hoping that if I continue cooking as if it’s cold, the weather will eventually catch up.

White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Blondies:  Ok, I’m cheating a little bit here.  My boss was looking for some cookie recipes to bring to a friend, and I passed this one on to her.  She made the blondies this week, using peppermint kisses rather than the peppermint bark.  She brought me one as a sample on Friday.  They were delicious- buttery, pepperminty, and Christmasy.

Roast Shrimp with Carrot Couscous:  Though I’m really happy with how I dealt with the leftover turkey, having three casseroles at the same time is a little heavy.  The thought of a lighter meal like this is simply irresistible right now.

So many recipes to try!


Steak au Poivre

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

My parents called while I was making dinner a few days ago.  When I told my dad what I was making, he told me to hold dinner; he could be here in about 3 hours if he left for the airport right away.

I don’t make steak very often, so the following recipe was a real treat.

Steak Au Poivre (adapted from the Way the Cookie Crumbles)

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1 medium shallot, minced

1 cup beef broth

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup brandy + 1 tablespoon

1 teaspoon lemno juice

4 strip steaks, 10 oz each


1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed

Heat 1 tablespoon of utter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook until the shallot is softened.  This should take about two minutes.  Add the broths and increase the heat to high.  Reduce the mixture to about 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes.  Set the reduced mixture aside.

Sprinkle both sides of each steak with salt.  Rub one side of each steak with the peppercorns.  Press the peppercorns into the steaks.

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Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot, about 5 minutes.  Lay the steak, un-peppered side down, in the skillet.  Increase the heat to medium-high and press down on the steaks with the bottom of a cake pan.  Cook the steaks without moving until browned, about 6 minutes.  Flip the steaks and cook the peppered side, about 4 minutes longer for medium-rate.  Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and tent with foil to warm.

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In the pan used to cook the steaks, add the reduced broth, cream, 1/4 cup of brandy and cream.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon to loosen the browned bits.  Simmer until deep brown and thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter, brandy, lemon juice, and any meat juices.

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Set a steak on each plate and spoon a portion of the sauce over each steak.  I served this with brussels sprouts and twice baked potatoes.

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Cincinnati Chili

Friday, January 8th, 2010

I once watched two of my co-workers nearly come to blows during a debate over what makes “Cincinnati Chili” Cincinnati Chili.  One- originally from Ohio- contended it’s the pasta.  The other- from Chicago and no stranger to Chili Mac- contended it’s the chocolate.

While I tend to agree with the Chicagoan on this one, it doesn’t really matter who is right.  Cincinnati Chili is delicious and has a very unique flavor.  The following recipe is delicious and pretty easy to make.

Cincinnati Chili Mac (adapted from The Best Cover and Bake Recipes from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated)

2 lbs. ground beef (I used 85 percent lean)

1 TBSP vegetable oil

3 medium onions, minced

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 TBSP chili powder

1 TBSP cocoa powder (I happened to have Xocolatl powder, which is a mixture of cocoa, chilies and cinnamon)

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

4 c. chicken broth

2 TBSP cider vinegar

1 1/2 TBSP brown sugar

28 oz. tomato sauce (I used chunky tomato sauce)

2 c. water

1 lb. elbow macaroni

Heat a Dutch oven over medium low heat.  Add the ground beef.  Breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, cook the beef until it is no longer pink.

Food Blog 001Food Blog 003Remove the beef with a slotted spoon, and drain the beef in a colander.

Once the beef is removed from the Dutch oven, add the oil.  Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently until the onions soften and start to brown.  Add the garlic, chili powder, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, and allspice.

Food Blog 004Cook the onion and spice mixture over medium heat for about a minute.  Add the broth, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato sauce, water, and beef.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook covered for an hour.

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After an hour, add the macaroni.  Mix the macaroni in thoroughly, and cook uncovered for another 20 minutes.  Make sure to stir the chili occasionally to cook the pasta evenly.  The pasta should be tender after 20 minutes.

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I served this with some grated cheddar cheese and some chopped green onions.


Beef Barley Soup

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

I would say that I only make soup during the winter months, but that would be a boldfaced lie.  I love soup and will find any excuse to make it.  The following recipe is one of my favorites (and is very satisfying on a cold winter day!)

This recipe is pretty easy:  just saute some onions and carrots, and then put everything in a slow cooker.

Adapted from The Best Slow and Easy Recipes from the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated

28 oz. can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted diced tomatoes)

2 TBSP vegetable oil

3 small onions, diced

6 oz. can tomato paste

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 c. red wine

4 c. beef broth

4 carrots, cut into 1/2 in. pieces

1/3 c. soy sauce

3/4 c. pearl barley

3 lbs. beef stew meat

10 oz. package frozen peas

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and carrots.

Food blog 067 Add thyme and tomato paste.  Continue to cook for another 10 minutes.

Food blog 068Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits.

Transfer mixture to a slow cooker insert.  Add the diced tomatoes, the broth, soy sauce, and barley.  Add the beef, season with salt and pepper, and stir until well combined.

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Cover the crockpot and cook on low heat for 9 hours.  After 9 hours, add the peas, and cook for another 10 minutes.

Food blog 093 I like extra vegetables in my soup, so I added the peas to this recipe.  I’ve also added potatoes (1 lb. red potatoes, cut in 1/6ths or 1/8ths) and mushrooms (8 oz. sliced mushooms).  This recipe makes it easy to add veggies to your liking.


Beef Burgundy (Boeuf Bourguignon)

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

As soon as it gets cold, the first dish I want to make is Beef Burgundy.  I first made this dish for New Year’s Eve and have even enjoyed “the real thing” while visiting Burgundy with my dad in the middle of summer.  To me, though, this dish is supremely satisfying as the weather gets colder.

This recipe is a little time-consuming, especially for the first half hour or so, but I tried to simplify it by using the same Dutch oven to brown the bacon, brown the beef, cook the vegetables, and to start braising the beef.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup and Stew

6 strips bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

3 1/2 lbs beef stew meat, seasoned with salt and pepper

1 TBSP Olive Oil

2 yellow onions, diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

3 TBSP all-purpose flour

1/4 c. brandy

1 bottle red wine (I used Bordeaux)

1 1/2 c. beef stock

1 TBSP tomato paste

6 cloves garlic

1 bay leaf

3 TBSP butter

1 lb. white button mushrooms, quartered

1 package pearl onions (I use fresh, but you could also use frozen.  If you use frozen, skip the blanching step)

1 TBSP cornstarch, mixed with 2 TBSP water

Parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, brown the bacon.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to  paper towels.

Brown about 1/2 of the beef in the bacon grease.    Brown the meat on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the beef to a bowl, and brown the rest of the meat.

Once you’ve browned the beef, add the olive oil to the Dutch oven.  Saute the onions and carrots until lightly browned.  Reduce the heat to low.  Add the flour and stir until the flour is thoroughly incorporated.  Return the bacon and the beef to the pot.

Remove from the heat, add the cognac, return to the heat for about 20 seconds, and using a long kitchen match, flambe.  Hold the lit match just above the contents of the pot until it ignites.  The flame should burn for about 30 seconds, but keep the lid of the Dutch oven close by, in case the flame does not go out after a minute.

Once the flame is out, return the pot to medium heat and add the wine, stock, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf.  Bring to a simmer.  Once simmering, transfer the pot to the oven, and braise for about 2 hours.  Cook until the meat is tender and the stew thickens.  I usually check the beef every 30 minutes to see how tender it is and to stir the stew.

During the last 45 minutes while the stew is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add the pearl onions and cook for 5 minutes.  Drain the onions and rinse in cold water.  Remove the skins.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in medium frying pan.  Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 to 7 minutes until browned.  Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.  Melt the remaining butter and add the pearl onions.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 7 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of water, cover the onions, and cook for 5 more minutes.

Once the stew meat is tender, remove from the oven, and stir in the mushrooms and pearl onions.  At this point, I return the stew to the stove and thicken, if the meat becomes tender before the stew thickens to my liking.  There are two ways to do this:  I usually just use a mixture of cornstarch and water.  If, however, you’re looking for decadence, mix 1 TBSP of butter with 1 TBSP of flour.  Divide the mixture into small pieces and add slowly to the stew.  Garnish with parsley and you’re ready to go!

I usually serve this with mashed potatoes or au gratin potatoes.