Category Archives: Beef

The Best Steak You Will Ever Cook

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The best steak I have ever eaten is from Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse here in town.  We go once a year for our anniversary and I splurge and get a delicious filet.  While that is the best steak I have ever eaten, this is *by far* the best I have ever cooked myself.  I know it is kind of bold to say this is the best.  But it is.  I first tried cooking a steak in my cast iron skillet, and it was good.  Bernie found a link to a video of Gordon Ramsay cooking a steak, dubbed the perfect steak.  So, I thought I could give it a try.  It looked pretty easy and I like to treat Bernie to a good steak at home every once in a while.  It looked easy, and it was easy.  The seasoning is spot on and the general tips in the video were interesting (i.e. make sure your steak is at room temperature before you cook it!).  Our place is usually Texas Roadhouse because, surprise, Bernie likes to get steak when we go out.  We haven’t been there recently and while he says it’s because we go all the time and he’s a little tired of it right now, I think secretly I kind of ruined it for him by making steaks that are even better than what he can get there :).  Give this a try, you won’t regret it and will end up with a delicious, restaurant quality steak.  I am listing the ingredients but take a look at the video, it’s only a couple minutes long.

the perfect steak

The Perfect Steak, from Gordon Ramsay

Ingredients:

Your favorite cut of steak
olive oil
black pepper
course salt
garlic cloves
fresh thyme
butter – about one pat per steak

Directions:

the perfect steak

Season your steaks with salt and pepper, push in the seasoning on the steaks.  Heat olive oil in a hot pan.  Put your steaks in.  After a minute or so add garlic (to taste – we don’t really like a lot of garlic).  Turn your steaks every minute to cook evenly.  Add a few sprigs of thyme.  Add your butter to the pan.  Once butter is melted, tilt your pan and baste the steaks with the liquid in the pan.  Brush the garlic over your steaks for more flavor.  Once cooked to your liking, remove steaks and let rest.

the perfect steak

Delicious!

Cast Iron Steak

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Up until the last month we didn’t have an outdoor grill. All of our grilling has been done inside on a George Foreman. That was challenging when it came to steaks. When I saw I could cook a steak in a cast iron skillet, I wanted to try it. And I have to say, it turned out really well. Just make sure you buy a good cut of meat, this is the single most important rule for this recipe. Cheaper cuts haven’t turned out as well for us. Also be sure to have a good sear before putting your steaks in the oven.  Glad to find another way to use my cast iron skillet!

cast iron steak

Cast Iron Steak, from Food.com

Ingredients:

Steaks, room temperature
olive oil
fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Rub steaks on both sides with oil, salt and pepper. Let sit while cast iron skillet is preheating over high heat, about four minutes.

Place steak(s) in pan and don’t move for three minutes. Flip and again don’t move for another three minutes.

Place skillet in preheated oven for five minutes for medium rare steak, cook a little longer if you like your steak more done.

Remove skillet from over and place steak on a patter.  Allow it to rest for several minutes.

Chili Con Carne

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Chili is the perfect winter meal.  I love it and could eat it anytime of the year but Bernie won’t touch it when it is warm outside.  Luckily for me, we are well into chili weather.  I usually do a spicy chili, my mom’s recipe, but I wanted to try something different.  The original recipe calls for cornbread to be cooked on top of the chili in the oven but I was a little worried about it turning out soggy being on top of the chili.  So, I made sweet cornbread separately to be served with the chili.  This is a really yummy sweet chili.

Chili Con Carne, from Nigella Lawson

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried or crushed chili flakes
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 red peppers, seeded and finely diced
3 pounds 92% fat or less ground beef
7 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans

Directions

Heat the oil in a very large pan and add the onion and garlic, cook until softened.  Add the chili, coriander, cumin and stir well.

Add the peppers then break up the ground beef into the pan and, using a fork, keep turning it to separate it as the meat browns. Add the crushed tomatoes, ketchup, tomato puree, and water stirring to make a rich red sauce. When the chili starts to boil sprinkle over the cocoa and stir it in.   Add beans and cook for 1.5 hours. (or you could put it in the crock pot on low for several hours)

Yields about 20 servings

Nutrition per serving: 163.1 calories, 5.8g fat, 1.4g saturated fat, 19.5mg cholesterol, 381 mg sodium, 18.1g carbohydrates, 5.3g fiber, 1.9g sugar, 11.5g protein.

Italian-Style Beef with Polenta

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I have recently found out I love basil.  It all started with my new favorite panini and now whenever I see basil listed in the ingredients I am interested in trying the recipe out.  So now you know, this recipe has fresh basil!  And it does not disappoint.  Have you ever tried polenta before?  This was our first time and it turned out alright – it works well with the beef and marinara sauce, not to mention a nice change from pasta.  Yum!

Italian-Style Beef with Polenta, from October 2011 Cooking Light

Ingredients

1 cup dry coarse-ground polenta
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Dash of kosher salt
2 cups water
1 cup 1% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Cooking spray
1 pound ground sirloin
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
1/2 cup torn fresh basil

Directions

Combine polenta, oregano and salt in large saucepan.  Gradually add water and milk, stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.  Cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in 1/3 cup of cheese.

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.  Add beef and sauté 5 minutes. Stir to crumble. Remove beef and drain.  Wipe pan and coat with cooking spray.  Add onion, pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and garlic; sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beef and sauce; simmer 8 minutes.

Divide polenta evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with 1 cup beef mixture; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cheese and 2 tablespoons basil.

Yields 4 servings

Nutrition per serving:  482 calories, 5g fat, 7g saturated fat, 73mg cholesterol, 695mg sodium, 80.9g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 29.3g protein.

Beef Stew

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So this dish may not look pretty, but the flavor is wonderful.  Feel free to add in your favorite vegetables.  You will be surprised by how filling it is!

Beef Stew, from Allrecipes

Ingredients

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
3 potatoes, diced
4 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 can no salt added corn
10-12 oz bag frozen cut green beans

Directions

Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, and beef broth.  Cook on low setting, covered, for 8-10 hours.  Add vegetables 2 hours prior to serving.

Cipollini Onion and Fennel Pot Roast

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I have a go-to roast recipe from my mom that I usually use, but I saw this recipe on Giada at Home and wanted to try it.  It is delicious, the rosemary and thyme really give the roast a great flavor.  Fennel is something I have never tried before, and I am very proud of myself for having done so since I am a pretty picky eater and not very adventurous when it comes to food.  That being said, I am really not a fan of fennel, so I would make this recipe again and leave it out.  I would describe fennel as having a licorice kind of taste to it, so if you like that (I’m looking at you mom), then you would probably like it.  I did follow the recipe for ingredients, but I used a crock pot to cook the meat after browning, for about 8-10 hours.  Below is the original recipe.  I did not get a good picture this time, but wanted to share this recipe.  I will update with a picture the next time I make this!

Cipollini Onion and Fennel Pot Roast, from Giada at Home

Ingredients

Herb rub:

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (5-pound) boneless beef chuck roast
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound (about 2 cups) cipollini, boiler, or pearl onions, peeled
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 3/4-inch pieces
2 medium fennel bulbs, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup dry sherry
4 cups low-sodium beef broth, plus extra, as needed
2 dried bay leaves

Directions

For the rub: In a small bowl, mix together the rosemary, thyme, oil, salt, and pepper until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and rub on all sides with the herb rub. In a heavy 6-quart pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes. Remove the beef and set aside.

Add the remaining oil, onions, carrots, and fennel to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until aromatic. Add the sherry and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the broth and bay leaves. Return the beef and any juices to the pot and bring the liquids to a boil. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until the beef is fork-tender, about 4 hours, turning the beef over halfway through and adding extra broth, as needed, to keep the beef halfway covered in liquid.

Transfer the beef to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Spoon any excess fat off the top of the pan juices. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Using an immersion blender, blend the vegetables and cooking juices together until smooth. (The vegetables can also be pureed in a blender). Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep warm over low heat.

Cut the beef into 1-inch pieces and place on a platter. Spoon some of the sauce over the meat and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

Szechuan Beef and Broccoli

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This is a really easy dish, and also pretty spicy.  Bernie and I are not huge garlic fans, so I cut it in half, but based on personal taste you may want to use the original amount.

Szechuan Beef and Broccoli, from the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook

Ingredients
1 pound top round steak, sliced against the grain into scant 1/4″ thick strips
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt, to taste <— I just use a dash
ground black pepper, to taste
olive oil spray
1 (14 oz. 24 oz.) bag frozen broccoli
1 tablespoon teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil olive oil
1/4 cup bottled Szechuan stir-fry sauce

In a large bowl combine the steak, garlic powder, salt and pepper and toss until well combined.

Place a large nonstick skillet or nonstick wok over high heat. When hot, mist with the olive oil spray. Add the broccoli and garlic and cook, stirring 4-6 minutes, or until the garlic softens and the broccoli is heated through and crisp-tender, being careful not to burn the garlic, transfer to a large bowl and cover to keep warm.

Return the pan to high heat and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. When hot, add half of the steak in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned on both sides, 1-2 minutes. Transfer the steak to the bowl with vegetables and re-cover. Repeat with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and steak. Return all the steak and vegetables to the pan and remove from heat. Add the sauce and mix well to coat. Divide among 4 bowls and serve over brown rice!

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 263.3 calories, 8.5g fat, 1.9g saturated fat, 64.6mg cholesterol, 636.6mg sodium, 16.8g carbohydrates, 6.9g fiber, 6.4g sugar, 32.9g protein.

Nutrition per serving – if served over 1/3 cup brown rice: 319 calories, 8.8g fat, 1.9g saturated fat, 64.6mg cholesterol, 643.3mg sodium, 28.8g carbohydrates, 7.6g fiber, 6.4g sugar, 34.2g protein.