This is the second installment of the Greek inspired recent dishes, which has always been my favorite Greek dish. Pastitsio is often described as a Greek lasagna which is fairly accurate. This was a combination of a few recipes as they all differed quite a bit. Either way, it is not a beginner recipe but it seriously may have been the best thing we have ever made! I even met a new cheese in the process.
Category Archives: Beef
A good thing about St. Patty’s Day, and especially March 18th and on is the surplus of corned beef and the reduced prices after the 17th. I always get one each year and this was no different. In recent years I have been rotissering (and making up words) the corned beef which turns out more like a lunch meat texture than a pot roast if boiled. Served with some roasted cabbage and made a few lunches also.
OK I know what you’re thinking… another chili recipe?!@? Yeah, but this one is really really good. I’m a big chili fan and always keep my eye out for variations. This one has cinnamon and cloves in it along with more traditional chili seasonings and almost has an Indian-esque flavor to it. It also has beer in it 🙂 We both really loved this one. Really.
For the holidays and our first anniversary present my dad gave us a Staub cocotte. My dad is an avid at home chef as well and he did the research for himself and went with a Staub over Le Creuset and thus gifted us with one as well.
It’s a nice big one too!
The first recipe I made was courtesy of the Molly Steven’s book: Zinfandel Pot Roast with Glazed Carrots & Fresh Sage. Not only was the recipe easy to follow but she also gives good advice on selecting the right cuts of meat, step by step instructions on how to tie it correctly, and even how to select good parsnips. I found the tips on meat selection to be especially helpful as I was sifting through the meat choices at the supermarket. She suggested some cuts and stressed the importance of not selecting others. It gets really confusing to me so that was really nice.
As she suggested, I went with boneless beef chuck. The cuts at the store were on the smaller side so I bought two of them.
We had an absolute feast with some friends featuring grilled filet mignon with sauteed mushrooms and onions, spicy red pepper mac n cheese, rosemary and garlic mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach. The Strip District struck again! I had wanted to get a log of filet for quite some time because the price goes down as you buy a bigger cut, so we called on some friends to help us out.
Spicy Thai basil beef is always one of our favorite dishes to get when we go out for Thai food and this was the first time that I have tried to make it. It turned out to be pretty easy and was really good, and since it was made at home, the portion was much bigger and cheaper than you would ever get out at a restaurant.
These are the veggies that were used and that is Thai basil. I sauteed them in their own pan to begin with in sesame oil. I started these up, minus the basil and had them going while I got started on the beef.
For the beef, I used flank steak which is not the usual type of cut that you would use for a dish like this. Usually, a cheaper cut like top round would be used, but the flank was amazing! We were so glad that I used flank because it was so much more flavorful and more importantly, it was so much more tender. Sometimes the beef can be the weak spot in this dish, but with the flank it was the highlight.
I got another pan with sesame oil heated up and lightly coated the beef in cornstarch and pan fried it for a few minutes. This was the first time that I had ever used cornstarch and the consistency of the cornstarch itself freaked me out a little bit! It was like finely powdered styrofoam the way it would grind against whatever it touched.
It was close to done at this point. Fish sauce and beef broth were added and allowed to simmer and thicken for a few minutes. It was served over brown rice that was cooked in a half and half mixture of water and beef broth.