Category Archives: Beef

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Guinness Beef Stew

To kick off St. Patrick’s Day meal planning, why not make some Guinness Beef Stew? It’s like regular beef stew, except better. It has everything it needs to be Irish: potatoes, beef, and alcohol! I’m not a big fan of just dying everything green for the day, instead I figured it would be fun to make real recipes based off of other Irish stereotypes. Since I’m a little bit Irish (maybe like 1/8th?  possibly? I have no idea) I can do whatever I want with this holiday!

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Here’s what you gotta do:

flour

Cut about 1lb of beef into cubes. Or buy pre-cut stew beef.

Dredge the beef in seasoned flour.

Put enough oil in a pot to coat the bottom, and heat it on medium-high until the oil is warm. Place the meat in, being careful not to crowd the pieces. Let cook until browned on one side, then stir it to get the other sides browned. Remove from the pot and set aside.

 

veggies

In the same pot add:

1 medium onion, chopped

3 carrots (about 12 baby carrots), chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 oz (1 package) sliced mushrooms

salt and pepper

 

Cook for a couple minutes, until onion are soft. Dust with 4 tbsp flour, and stir to coat the veggies.

Return beef to the pot,  add 1 quart (4 cups) beef broth, 1 can of Guinness, 1 packet of onion soup mix, and  3 chopped medium-size  white potatoes. Simmer until meat and potatoes are tender.

 

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tacos

Shredded Beef Tacos

After I made the Bacon Cheddar Biscuits I had a lot of leftover ingredients, such as the crumbled bacon, chives, and cheese. Luckily, Thursday nights are taco nights, and so I figured I might as well use them up and make fancy tacos. My cousin and I try to make sure our taco nights feature something different each time, so that it doesn’t get dull. We’ve had ground beef, chicken, various toppings, wraps, and now this week I thought it would be fun to try shaved beef. And bacon.

tacos

They did taste as good as they look. Making tacos is really easy, all you need is meat (or lentils), vegetables, taco seasoning, cheese (non-negotiable), sauce, wraps/shells, and toppings. Here’s what I did for mine:

peppers

First I sauteed:

1 shallot

1 bell pepper

minced garlic

And then I removed them from the pan. I cooked the meat next, until it was brown, then added the seasoning and followed the directions on the packet. There is no picture of the meat simmering in taco seasoning because it is not pretty.

 

 

chives

 

While all this was happening, I prepped the toppings. I cut the rest of the chives, and grabbed the bacon, cheese, sour cream, and salsa from the fridge. Because I’m forward thinking like that!

 

 

 

 

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And then, assemble!!! You can see all the layers: meat, peppers, sauce, cheese, sour cream, bacon, chives!! I should have put the cheese down first, but clearly I wasn’t thinking right. I just wanted to eat. I really wish I didn’t eat them all, because now I’m hungry again.

I guess I’ll just have to start on my St. Patrick’s Day recipes…

chili bowl

Chili Experiments

If you read the title, you’ll realize I felt the need to experiment with chili. Chili isn’t hard to make, and I always ignore the beans-vs-beanless chili battles and just make whatever I want. I wanted to make chili to go with the beer bread (see previous post) for my dad because he was visiting this past Wednesday. I didn’t want to make him wait forever for dinner though, so instead of cooking the chili for hours and hours, I simply made it the night before and put it in the fridge over night. When I got home from work on Wednesday I took it out, added a bottle of beer, and cooked it until it was heated through. Easy!

chili bowl

A scoop of sour cream and some cheese is all you need to finish it off.

I didn’t make this into a thought out, thorough recipe, because that’s just not how I cook. Also, I was trying out products I don’t usually use. You’ll figure it out.

Here are some things I tried out:

bacon

I had such a good experience with Trader Joe’s cut pancetta, I figured I might as well try the bacon too. I DID NOT LIKE IT. It was gross. It was all one big lumpy clump of thick hunks of fat. I ended up cooking it for flavor, then removing most of it because it looked awful. I will not be trying this again.

 

 

mirepoix

 

 

I wanted this to be wicked simple and lazy to make. So for the first time ever I bought prepared Mirepoix at the grocery store. It wasn’t anything exciting, but it sure was easy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tomatoes

 

 

If you’re going to add diced tomatoes, why not have them be fire roasted and come with chiles? It made sense to me, and so I tried it, and I liked it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also used ground beef, obviously. And kidney beans too. For flavor I used paprika, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, Worcestershire Sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and a bottle of beer.

chili

Heating it up with beer, right before serving.

 

 

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Pumpkin Stew

October in my house means it’s time for Pumpkin Stew! I don’t remember ever not having this stew, even if I do remember that I hated it when I was little. I think the prunes freaked me out, but I’m over it and now look forward to having this every year. According to my mom this is actually a recipe that my aunt used to make for my grandparents because they spent some time every October visiting them. When my grandparents started spending October in Connecticut, my grandma pined for the stew so much that my mom asked her sister for the recipe and we started a new tradition.

Stew served out of a pumpkin? Incredibly fun.

Every October we would have one day where my grandparents would come over at an ungodly hour so my grandma could help my mom make the stew while my grandpa watched baseball or let me help him with crossword puzzles. After hours of cooking, we would all sit down, I would complain about all of the weird vegetables, my brothers would tell me that the prunes were bugs, and I would only eat buttered bread dipped in the broth. The adults would drink wine and ignore us as they ate. Then my grandparents would leave with their own container of leftovers, and we would freeze the rest and eat it throughout the winter.

It’s a good thing I have gotten over my dislike of stews, especially as I just finished a course at school that was focused on braising and stewing. I was excited to go home and attempt all of the new techniques I learned. And also to annoy my family by telling them to do something and using the French term. What can I say, I’m a little sister, I’m suppose to be annoying to them. This post is kind of pic-heavy (I got excited when I found my tripod so I could take flash-free pictures), and the recipe seems long and involved, which is why we always triple it. This way we only have to put forth the effort once a year, and then have many meals to last the winter. This stew freezes well, so it’s definitely worth it. I’m going to put the original recipe here, so it’s up to you if you want to double or triple it.

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Simple Mozzarella-Steak Pinwheel

Using pizza dough the way it’s used in this recipe is a very simple, yet very impressive, technique. It’s the most basic stuffed bread, but when your guests have a piece they’ll think you spent forever making it because it is just that awesome.

Once again my parents had their friends over and I agreed to make a few snacks for them. These are good opportunities for me to practice cooking since I can pick whatever I want to make and then have them pay for the ingredients! I have made pinwheels before; I used a recipe out of one of Giada’s cookbooks and have since altered it a little. Her recipe had the bread stuffed with mozzarella, spinach, and prosciutto. I made it that way, and it was fantastic. When I made it again this time, I took out the prosciutto since my mom’s friend is a vegetarian. And it was still fantastic.

But then I was thinking, what about everyone else? Surely they would like a stuffed bread with meat in it too (mostly I was thinking of me). So I decided to make an entirely different recipe, using steak. And what goes with steak and bread better than pepper, onions, mushrooms, and cheese? That’s right, nothing. And so this recipe was born. And then devoured.

Seriously, it was delicious. And so easy to make. Especially if you just buy the pizza dough like I do. You can make it from scratch, but the would negate the point of this recipe being quick and easy. It’s also very versatile, so it’s easy to substitute whatever you want. But you’ll want to try this one, trust me.

Remember, the thinner the cut of steak you can buy, the better it will roll in the bread! So try your best, ok?
Also, props to Mark for seasoning the steak and helping me make this.

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