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Category Archives: Beef

Foodie Friday: Bolognese

One of the things I love most about weekends (besides, oh, everything) is that I have time. Time to read, time to be a bum, and time to cook something and let its deliciousness develop while I’m reading and being a bum.

When I saw this recipe last week, I knew I had my perfect Sunday afternoon project, and I’m so glad I did. this turned out to be, with a few tweaks to suit our tastes, one of the best sauces I’ve had. There’s something so cozy about spaghetti with meat sauce, and it’s even cozier when it has been simmering for about 4 hours, filling the house with it’s wonderful smell.

Make it this weekend, if you have the time.

Bolognese Sauce

from Merry Gourmet

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cans (26- to 28-ounces each) tomato puree
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • A few dashes of worcestershire sauce (optional)

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot, and cook vegetables until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more, or until garlic is fragrant. Add beef, pork, and a big pinch of salt; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and breaking up any clumps, until meat is browned and none of it is pink. Add milk and Italian seasoning, and cook, stirring often until the milk has evaporated almost completely, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add white wine; cook, stirring often, until the wine has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree; when the mixture begins to bubble, turn the heat down to low. Simmer for at least 2 hours. At the two hour mark, I felt mine still needed a little somethin somethin and added the optional additions above. Do what you like. Cook for another two hours if you have the time. Please make the time. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over your favorite pasta, and pretend you’re in an Italian grandmother’s kitchen.


Foodie Friday: Chinese Braised Oxtail

So one of my life goals on the list I’ve recently assembled is to eat more weird food that I’ve never had before, and that most people would say OH HELL NO to trying. Yes, it might seem strange to some (most) people that food would feature heavily on a life list, but it does on mine.

I went to the store the other day and was wandering through the meat section, looking for inspiration, when there, right before my eyes, were packages of oxtail. I swear I could hear the angelic choir burst into song. I grabbed two packages and went happily home, knowing that I could have a lot of fun with them.

Most oxtail you see today is actually cow tail. What this translates to is a round piece of bone encircled in heavily muscled and marbled meat. Think of it as a round version of a short rib. Because of all of the muscle, oxtail benefits from low and slow cooking, at which point it becomes the most tender and succulent thing imaginable. Swoon.

As I looked up recipes, most of them were very Italian inspired (tomatoes, white whine, herbs), and that just not what I was wanting. I wanted the oxtail to be THE thing that the dish was about. When I saw this recipe, I knew that I had struck gold. Not only was it Asian inspired, which we love, but we also happened to have just about everything on the ingredient list on hand.

This seriously is probably one of the best thing I’ve ever made. No joke.

Please make it. Broaden your horizons. Freak people out with it.

Pretty please?

Copied and modified from this recipe

Asian Braised Oxtail

  • 2 to 3 pounds oxtails, fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry (I used sherry)
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef or chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup dark or regular soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 star anise, broken into pieces
  • 2 whole cloves (I only had ground, so I threw in a pinch of that)
  • 4 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and bruised (all I had was the tubed kind. Worked just fine)
  • 6 slices fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3-4 Thai chili peppers, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1 lime, zested and cut into small wedges
    Cooked jasmine rice, for serving.

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Season oxtails with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, brown oxtail all over, removing each piece when done. Add oil as needed.

When done browning, pour off extra fat from bottom of empty pot and set pot over high heat. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. In a bowl, mix soy sauce and sugar with 2 cups stock and pour into pot. Add lemongrass, chili peppers, star anise, cloves, ginger and garlic and bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Return oxtails to pot and add lime zest. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook 1½ hours.

Turn over pieces of oxtail, cover again and cook 1½ hours more, or until oxtail is very tender. Remove oxtails from pot and strain sauce into a separate saucepan; discard contents of strainer. Transfer oxtail pieces back to ovenproof pot. Either let the sauce sit long enough to seperate the fat, or cover oxtails and sauce and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, heat oven to 300 degrees; remove oxtails and sauce from refrigerator. Lift off any fat on surface of sauce and discard. Gently warm sauce until liquid, then pour over oxtails. Cover with foil or a lid and bake 30 minutes.

Uncover, stir and raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes. Stir again and cook another 15 minutes, until hot and glazed thickly with sauce. Remove oxtails from oven and serve over rice. Squeeze lime juice over oxtails.

Now I want to go make them again.

Foodie Friday: Ale Braised Corned Beef with Carrots and Brussel Sprouts

Today’s recipe is a whole meal that cooks in the crock pot. Recipes I love include a few qualities: 1) one or very few pots, 2) require little work, 3) a whole meal in-and-of themselves. This is all three.

I first tried this recipe a few months ago and have been meaning to make it again. This morning before work I spent 10 minutes making dinner. Isn’t it the best feeling knowing that dinner is totally taken care of? I love it. It makes the rest of the day just a little bit more stress-free.

Ale-Braised Corned Beef with Carrots and Brussel Sprouts

  • 1 3 lb corned beef brisket (with spice packet, if included)
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1-3″ lengths
  • 1 12oz bottle amber ale (Today I’m trying Abita Christmas Ale and cannot wait to taste it!)
  • 3/4 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon (the original recipe calls for fresh, but I use dried)

In your slow cooker put the corned beef, spice packet (if included), ale, and carrots. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Ten minutes before serving thinly slice your Brussels sprouts… or put them in the food processor with the slicer attachment.

Remove the corned beef from the crock pot and put in your brussel sprouts. You want to cook them for about 10 minutes until they are tender. While that’s happening slice your beef. The original recipe shows the beef sliced pretty thin, but we like ours cut into chunks like stew meat. It naturally falls apart this way anyways.

In a small bowl mix your sour cream, mustard and tarragon.

Serve in a bowl your meat, brussel sprouts and carrots with a nice dollop of the sour cream/mustard mix on top. Enjoy with a nice ale curled up on the couch with your honey.

Original recipe.


Foodie Friday: Korean Beef Tacos

I made these last weekend when I had a bunch of family over (guinea pigs! yay!), and they all wanted the recipe afterwords. Always a good sign.
This is seriously one of the easiest meals over, considering you pretty much dump a ton of stuff in the crock pot and leave it alone all day. Perfect for feeding large groups, since you can easily increase the amounts of everything to provide for more people.
I served this with corn tortillas, cilantro, asian slaw (a bag of broccoli slaw mix with some rice vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste) and sweet chili sauce, with a big bowl of cilantro rice beside it, and let everybody go to town.
So, so good.

Original recipe here

Korean Beef Tacos

  • 3-4 pounds beef roast
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 10 or so peeled cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 inch fresh grated ginger (I always grate without peeling. I’m a rebel)
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (I seeded mine as well, since my niece and nephew were eating with us. Feel free to leave the seeds in for some heat)

Then, and this is the tricky part, put the beef in a crockpot, mix together all of the other ingredients, pour on top of the beef, put the lid on, turn the crock pot to low, and walk away for 8 to 10 hours. I actually turned the beef over a few times throughout the cooking time, to ensure that it all got to soak in the amazing sauce. I then took out the huge chunks of meat (I increased the recipe by a good bit when I cooked it), shredded it with two forks, and then put it back in the juice.

Everyone served themselves from the crockpot and assembled their own tacos. We wound up just eating the yummy rice on the side. If I had any advice, it’d be to double up on the corn tortillas, since ours kept breaking and making a delicious mess.

Foodie Friday: Chili

Fall is coming, even if the temperatures have yet to reflect it. I made my first fall baked good the other day (pumpkin muffins…mmm…), and have started craving some of my hearty comfort food dishes.

We all have those dishes that evoke childhood memories and make us feel content.

We also have our favorite chili recipe that we’ll defend to the death.

This is my family’s chili, one of my all time top comfort foods. I only recently got the recipe, and will admit that there’s some tweaking that will occur in the future, but for now, it’s perfect just the way it is. Like Bridget Jones.

Even better?

You throw it in the crockpot for hours. Genius.

Bridget could cook this. Hopefully it wouldn’t be another blue soup incident for her.

Crockpot Chili

  • 3 cans hot chili beans (undrained)
  • 3 cans various beans (I used black, kidney, and red, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can Rotel (undrained)
  • 1 package chili seasoning mix
  • 1 lb ground beef/turkey/whatever meat you choose

Brown meat. Put in crockpot with everything else. Mix it up.
Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4.

Possible toppings include diced onions, cheese, crumbled Fritos, and copious amounts of sour cream (dairy free be damned).

I’ll curl up with a bowl and pretend it’s cold enough for skinny jeans and a pair of Frye boots. Swoon.