This time of year is my favorite for casseroles. Dishes that can be made ahead are just what I need when I’m driving kids around, Christmas shopping, wrapping and sending and just generally moving at fast clip. Read more…
Archive for the ‘Beef’ CategoryPrint This Post
Years ago, I found the inspiration for this recipe in The New Basics Cookbook. I have adapted it for the slow cooker and it works perfectly every time. Read more…
Greek meatballs aren’t so different from other meatballs, but they are enhanced by classic flavors found in Greek cuisine—mint, oregano, and a hint of allspice. These are light in texture and nicely flavored, and go really well with the classic Greek yogurt salad called tzatziki. Read more…
As a child visiting the family in Texas, I remember my Uncle used to always make his fajitas using skirt steak. It is a long, flat, usually thin piece of meat, that he said, “needed attention” before cooking so it wouldn’t be tough. I now take the phrase “needing attention” to mean that a marinade will do the trick, and here is one that I like a lot for this flavorful cut.
If you don’t want to use the grill you can pan fry this steak instead, but the grill does make it especially good. While similar in ways, skirt steak is not the same cut as a flank steak, so if you use flank steak, I recommend marinating longer because it is a tougher cut of meat and I wouldn’t pan fry it—broil instead if you’re not going to grill. When slicing a flank steak, also remember to slice it thinly on a diagonal across the grain.
If you’re looking for something nice for Father’s Day, try this Skirt Steak with the Red Potatoes with Sour Cream Sauce posted last and the Southwestern Chopped Salad that follows.
Grilled Skirt Steak
Ingredients for Steak:
2 pounds skirt steak
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1 small lime
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Whisk together the oil, cumin, cilantro, shallot, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place the skirt steak in a glass dish and pour the marinade over. Refrigerate for at least two hours and up to six.
Bring the steak to room temperature before grilling. Grill the steak for 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Shepherd’s pie is a dish I associate with the English or Irish countryside, although lots of countries seem to have a version of this home cooking staple. It is a comforting preparation of beef or lamb, covered and baked with a mashed potato topping. I have seen it referred to also as Cottage pie (maybe referring to the humble dwellings of its earliest cooks), Potato Top Pie (in New Zealand), Cowboy pie (in Texas—here in the U.S.) and by other names I can’t spell in France, and Canada and in Russia.
It is perfect for a family dinner, dinner for two when you want to have leftovers, as a potluck contribution, or even for entertaining on a cold winter’s night. It is easy to make and fun to experiment with. The meat can be beef or lamb, the vegetables can vary based on what you have in the refrigerator, the topping can be enhanced by adding a handful of cheddar cheese or a sprinkling of your favorite herb. It’s a meal in one, needing only a simple green salad on the side.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Ingredients for the filling:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation of the filling:
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking it up while it browns. Add the carrots and onion and continue to cook until the onion is translucent and the carrots have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and continue to cook for 1 minute.
Sprinkle the flour over the meat mixture and cook, stirring, until the flour is fully incorporated. Add the beef stock, the Worcestershire sauce and the thyme and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened to a gravy consistency. Taste and salt and pepper to your liking.
6 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation of the potato topping:
Place the diced potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and cook until the potatoes are very tender. Remove from the heat and drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the hot pan. Add the sour cream, the cream cheese and the butter and whip the potatoes until they are smooth—using a hand mixer. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble the dish:
Place the meat filling in a buttered, 9” x 13” rectangular or oval baking dish. Top the meat filling with the potato topping, covering the meat completely to the edges of the dish. Sprinkle paprika over the top and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until hot and lightly browned on the top.
This dish is usually referred to as New England Boiled Dinner, and for years I made it the traditional way—in one pot—beginning with the beef and onions, cooking that for 2 to 3 hours and adding cabbage, carrots and potatoes to the pot for the last hour. Voila! Dinner.
I now make the dish this way—heightening the taste a bit by slow-cooking the beef and then roasting the carrots and potatoes separately so that they are brown and caramelized and a great complement to the mild, smooth cabbage. Served with a good mustard or horseradish cream sauce, this is equally perfect as a Sunday night supper or something you come home to after a long day out. And the leftovers make terrific sandwiches or a heartwarming soup. I also like to make this in a slow cooker—put it on in the morning and forget about it until it’s time to roast the vegetables, but it tastes just as nice made in a Dutch oven—and I’ve included the times for both.
New England Corned Beef Dinner
1 3 to 4 pound corned beef (seasoning packet discarded)
2 large yellow onions cut into quarters
1 ½ cups of water
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 small head cabbage, cut into wedges
5 to 6 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
8 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a slow cooker (or a Dutch oven if you don’t want to use the slow cooker) place the onions in the bottom to cover. Lay the beef on top of the onions. Pour the water over. Sprinkle the top of the beef with the pepper and the garlic powder. Cook on high heat for 8 hours (or on top of the stove in the Dutch oven for 2-3 hours) until the beef is very tender. Add the cabbage—just arrange the wedges right on top of the beef– for the last 2 hours (if using the slow cooker) or the last hour (if using the Dutch oven) and continue to cook until the cabbage is tender.
An hour before you plan to eat, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place an oven rack in the lower third of your oven. Toss the potatoes and carrots with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables in a roasting pan and roast on the bottom rack of the oven for one hour, stirring after 30 minutes.
When the meat is done, remove it from the pot to a cutting board and let rest while you plate the vegetables. Slice the beef on the diagonal and serve it all with mustard and/or horseradish cream sauce.
Horseradish Cream Sauce
½ cup sour cream
2 heaping tablespoon fresh grated horseradish
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
Combine the sour cream, horseradish and heavy cream and let chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two before serving.