Tag Archives: Beef

Beef Wellington

097Beef, vegetables, and spices wrapped in a flaky crust and baked.  Not too hard to make and a good use of a mid-range piece of meat.  I had about a 2 lb piece of London Broil (keeping with the British theme), some various veggies, and admittedly used a canister of store dough. Continue reading

Italian Beef Sandwiches

We got some new toys for Christmas that we did not ask for but were very glad to receive – an electric pressure cooker and a deli slicer!  This is the first of many possibilities that these new pieces will lead to.  They both debuted on this dish which is mostly inspired by Travel channel type shows about Chicago Italian Beef Sandwiches like Al’s.  I have never been to Chicago but would love to visit and seeking out one of these sandwiches would be one of my first stops.  These toys made this a really quick and easy dish because we had the right tools!

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Grandma Janet’s Meatloaf

I love meatloaf. There I said it. My love for it started as a child, where most people’s supposed despise of the stuff also began. I never quite understood why meatloaf got such a bad rap? I grew up eating several varieties, all of which I absolultely loved. I’ve made my classic version here before and recently my dad stumbled upon my Grandma Janet’s recipe, the one that started it all, and scanned it into his computer and emailed it to me.

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Pastitsio

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.

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Zinfandel Pot Roast w/Glazed Carrots & Fresh Sage

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!

He also gave us two cookbooks: All About Braising by Molly Stevens and Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook.  So, needless to say this pot has become quite the superstar in our house lately!

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.

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Braised Bourbon Chuck Roast

I braised a chuck roast with some veggies.  The pot was deglazed with bourbon which added to the sauce.  It was tender and flavorful on a fall day!

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Filet Mignon Party!

 

Filet and some good friends

 

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.

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Spicy Thai Basil Beef

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.

Cut into thin bite sized strips

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.

Once the beef was just about fully cooked, I added it to the vegetables and added the Thai basil also.

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.

It was excellent and I even got a “one of the best things you have made in a while” quote!  I can’t emphasize how easy it was to make what would seem like a more complex dish.

Recipe for Spicy Thai Basil Beef

Greg


Slow Smoked Brisket with Horseradish Sauce and Broccoli Slaw

This is our first Kittened dish in Pittsburgh and we have been discovering that food is very cheap.  This was a 9lb cut of brisket for $30, and that was not a sale.  Plenty more to come on the great deals found.  I smoked this similarly to the pork shoulder a bit back.  Slow cooked over indirect heat, but this time it was cooked as the debut dish on our new charcoal grill that we got for our wedding (thanks Mo and Stosh).

First to prep the rub

Started with a quick made rub.

Yeah, $30!

As similar to the pork, I started the grill with a large pile of charcoal and once it was ashed and ready, it was moved and kept to one side.  I also used a store bought foil baking dish as a drip tray below the meat to limit the mess and possible flare up.

The grill will never look like this again.

Opposite the coals

Now a lot of waiting.  The grill was covered with the below air intake about halfway open and the lid air intake also about halfway open.  The lid intake was placed over the meat, opposite the coals so that the heat and smoke are forced to go around the meat in order to escape.  The brisket cooked for about 5 hours total.  Here is is about halfway through.  I turned it about every hour to alternate the side facing the heat.

About 3 hours in.

And after all five hours.

Allow the meat to sit for 15 minutes or so before slicing and always slice against the grain.  It would be great to have a deli slicer here, but that is a bit excessive!

Patient, patient

Hey guys, Eileen here. I am going to fill you in on the sides, which I was responsible for making.

In addition to the brisket, we served a simple horseradish sauce from all recipes (sorry, no pictures of it) and a broccoli slaw from Smitten Kitchen. I have made this broccoli slaw once before for a cook out and people seemed to like it. I decided to make it again, figuring it would be a nice complement to the meat and tangy horseradish sauce.

First, I made the dressing for the slaw, which is composed of buttermilk, mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar and shallots.

Give it a good whisk and set aside.

Next, it is time for the broccoli. I used the slicing blade on my food processor to cut the broccoli for me. This method is a major time saver and produces pretty uniform slices of broccoli. Here it is pictured with chopped red onion as well.

To this, I added dried cranberries and sliced almonds and eventually the dressing.

Give it all a good stir and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so before serving.

It’s a great slaw and a bit different than your typical cabbage slaw. If you are looking for something new to have or bring to an event this could be it! The crunch of the broccoli with the tartness of the cranberries and the sharpness of the red onion are all tamed by the buttermilk sauce. It was a great compliment to the brisket too!

All in all, this meal was delicious! We were very happy with the final product and our guests seemed to be too.

Brisket Dry Rub Recipe

Thai Peanut Stir Fry with Skirt Steak

When we made the pork and peach spring rolls we also made a delicious peanut sauce to dip the spring rolls in. I intentionally made a lot of the sauce because it is that good and I knew I would want to use it in another dish. Alas, here is what I came up with!  The peanut sauce was made in advance and stored for about 2-3 days before I made this.

I started off with some onion, which I sauteed in some toasted sesame oil. I kept the onion pieces pretty big as you can see- I guess they were technically quarters. Typically I add my aromatics (garlic, ginger, etc) once the onions cook for a few minutes, however, this step was not needed here because the peanut sauce already includes these ingredients.

Next, I added some carrots.

And then some spinach.

Time for the peanut sauce! I thinned it out using some chicken broth.

I blanched some broccoli and then added it to the mix.

For my protein I used skirt steak. I went to Whole Foods for lunch and they were giving out samples of their skirt steaks, which were also on sale. One bite and I was sold. It worked really well in this dish too!

I seasoned it with a little salt and pepper and grilled it. When it was ready I sliced it up and threw it in with the veggies and sauce. This dish really came together nicely- I give a lot of credit to the peanut sauce. As I mentioned it packed a ton of flavor, so for this dish it was really just a matter of putting it all together.

I wanted a more broth like sauce, so I thinned it out to my liking, but you can easily adjust this depending on your taste.  I ate it as is, but I am sure it would be great over rice or some thin rice noodles. It was also great leftover.

And this was going on while I was cooking! So starving!

All in all, I thought this came out great. See our post about the spring rolls for the link to the peanut sauce recipe!

– Eileen