Category Archives: Beef

Fragrant Indonesian Beef, Braised in Coconut Milk (Rendang Daging Sapi)

Beef_Rendang1Yesterday (Sunday) was so relaxing and leisurely. I was in the mood to make something a bit more involved and delicious, so I decided to make one of my favorite Indonesian dishes, Beef Rendang, or Rendang Daging Sapi. I know, the ingredients list is a mile long, and the process takes all afternoon (did I mention “leisurely”). But this dish is worth the effort, and your family will be drawn in by the fragrant, intoxicating and spicy Indonesian smells coming from the kitchen! Definitely a Sunday recipe. I hope you’ll try this dish when you have the time!

1 whole nutmeg, cracked into coarse pieces with a meat pounder
5 whole cloves
6 shallots, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
6 large red Thai bird chilies, stemmed and finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp Laos powder
2 inches ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced cross-wise
5 candlenuts
2 1/2 lbs beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 14-oz cans coconut milk (not “lite”)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp salt
3 stalks lemongrass, each with 1/2 inch removed from each end, outer leaves remove, lightly pounded and tied into a knot
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
7 whole kaffir lime leaves
1 Tbsp kecap manis

Make a past be first processing the nutmeg and cloves into a powder in a food processor. Add the shallots, garlic, chilies, turmeric, Laos powder, ginger and candlenuts. process until you have a smooth paste.

In a large bowl, combine the beef and spice paste.

In a large Dutch oven, combine the beef mixture, coconut milk, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, add the lemongrass knots, cinnamon stick and kaffir lime leaves. Stir gently until ingredients are combined. Simmer gently, uncovered, until just about all the liquid is evaporated, the oil from the meat and coconut milk is visible and the meat is very dark and tender. This process can take up to 3 hours, so you’ll need to be sure to stir about every half hour (mine goes the full 3 hours). Remove from heat, stir in the kecap manis and season with additional salt if desired. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and your favorite Indonesian sambals.

Serves 4 — 6.

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Cream Cheese Flan with Blueberries

Cream_Cheese_Flan1-0010I’m not a big dessert cook, but now and again I’ll make something that I really like. This recipe for flan is one of my favorites — it’s unique, simple and heavenly. This recipe was given to me by acclaimed dessert and salad chef, Rachel Bowen — I’m only hoping the way I make it is at least half as good as hers! This flan is decadent and delicious — I hope you’ll try it soon!

1 cup sugar
6 eggs
1 14-oz can sweetened, condensed milk
14 oz whole milk at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Caramelize sugar by placing it in a heavy skillet over high heat. Stir constantly until dissolved and chestnut-brown. Be very careful not to burn — if burnt, start over again! Pour immediately into a 7 inch diameter by 3 inch high ceramic dish. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare custard mixture by first beating eggs lightly in a mixer for about 1 minute. Add condensed milk and blend for another minute. Add cream cheese and beat until well-incorporated. Add milk and vanilla and blend for another minute.

Pour custard mixture over caramelized sugar. Place dish in a pan — add water to pan so that the dish is submerged 1 inch. Place in oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool completely to room temperature. Run a very sharp knife around dish to loosen flan. Invert onto a serving platter and garnish with blueberries. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 8.

German “Hunter’s” Pork Cutlets with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce (Jägerschnitzel)

JagerschnitzelHi, so last night I had a hankerin’ for some good, old-fashioned German comfort food, so I decided to make one of my faves, Jägerschnitzel (right up there with Königsberger Klopse and Falscher Hase!). Jägerschnitzel means “hunter cutlet” in English — don’t ask me why they call it that, because I don’t know. Anyway, I always am sure to feast on this dish at least a couple of times when I’m in Germany, regardless of the season. The dish is so delicious, easy to prepare and worth the calories — hope you’ll try it out sometime this week and let me know what you think!

3 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, diced
1 lb sliced white button mushrooms
2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp pepper, divided
1 tsp paprika
4 cups beef stock
4 1/2-inch thick pork loin slices (about 1 1/2 lbs, tot.), pounded to 1/4 inch between 2 pieces of plastic wrap
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp heavy cream
3 Tbsp chopped parsley, divided
Spätzle — home-made, or cooked according to package instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Heat butter in a large sauté over medium heat. Once foam subsides, add onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook until they’ve released their liquid, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and the 1 tsp paprika. Stir constantly for an additional 1 minute. Turn heat to high, and stir in beef stock. Bring to a boil, then cook down until the liquid is reduced by 1 half. Remove from heat and stir in cream and 2 Tbsp parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired (keeping in mind that there’s a bunch of salt and pepper on the cutlets). Set aside.

Sprinkle each cutlet with remaining salt and pepper on each side. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, cook each of the cutlets, one at a time, until they are browned and cooked through (about a minute and a half each) — keep cutlets warm, covered with aluminum foil in oven.

Plate each of the cutlets with a portion of spätzle. Spoon mushroom sauce over each and garnish with remaining chopped parsley and serve.

Serves 4.

 

Slow-Smoked Brisket of Beef, Marinated in a Flavorful Dry Rub

Smoked Brisket of Beef with Flavorful "Dry Rub" (1 of 1)A couple of weeks ago, we received our new Rec Tec wood pellet grill/smoker (rectecgrills.com) . I was thrilled to try it out, and I’ve been using it everyday since we got it.  I’m very pleased. Over the weekend, I smoked a couple of chickens, which were fantastic. On Sunday, I made this southern-style beef brisket, which was absolutely delicious — the dry rub mixture, beer “beer” mop, and of course, the low-slow smoking technique with the new grill were what made it! I hope you’ll try this stuff out this summer!

1/2 cup ground paprika
2 Tbsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 3-lb beef brisket

6 oz beer
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely grated or minced
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp of the dry rub, reserved from above

The night before you want to smoke the brisket, combine the dry rub ingredients (paprika through cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Rub evenly and generously all over brisket (reserving 2 tsp for the “mop,” which is the basting liquid. Cover and refrigerate until next day.

Remove brisket from refrigerator and let stand 45 minutes prior to cooking.

Meanwhile, prepare the mop by combining the mop ingredients (beer through dry rub). Simmer for about 8 minutes, then remove from heat.

Prepare smoker and bring heat to 220 degrees F.

Place brisket on grill, and cook about 5 hours, until brisket is very tender. Baste with beer mop every half hour.  Remove from heat, wrap in foil and let stand 20 minutes prior to serving. Serve with your favorite barbeque sauce, cole slaw and corn bread.

Serves 4 – 6

Braised Meat Rolls with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Meatloaf_with_Mushroom_Sauce (1 of 1)It’s been a while since I made a meatloaf (long overdue in my book). I ended up making a variation that I call “meat rolls,” which are smaller, breaded and braised on top of the stove. The amount of mushrooms the recipe calls for may seem huge, but necessary. Don’t worry, they cook down, and the resulting sauce is fantastic!. Another thing, the nutmeg in the meat mixture adds a ton of “depth of flavor” in European meat dishes, so I’m always trying to figure out how to incorporate into mine. This is a great Sunday afternoon or evening dish — hope you’ll try it!

2 slices of bread (crusts removed), torn into pieces
3/4 cup milk
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
1 lb cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
1 lb white button mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely diced
3 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb lean ground pork
2 Tbsp chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 (rounded) tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup pain, dry bread crumbs
3 Tbsp butter
3/4 cups white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream

Soak bread in milk in a small bowl, then squeeze out all of the milk. Set aside.

Heat 3 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and cook 5 minutes, or until light brown. Add the mushrooms, 2 tsp of the salt, 1/2 tsp of the black pepper. Cook 20 minutes, turning and stirring the mushrooms until they are soft and have released their water. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the soaked bread, meat, parsley, eggs, cheese, nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Use your hands to ensure that the ingredients are mixed well. Add some bread crumbs if mixture seems too loose.

Divide meat mixture in half. Roll each half into a cylinder that is about 4 inches in diameter. Place bread crumbs in a shallow pan. Gently coat each meat roll (abundantly) in bread crumbs.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and the 3 Tbsp butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the foam from the butter has subsided, gently add the breaded meat rolls. Brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Add wine to the pan and cook about 2 minutes, until the wine is reduced considerably. Cover pan, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours, turning the rolls from time to time. Add mushroom mixture and cook, covered, another 15 minutes. Uncover, stir in the cream and cook an additional 12 minutes. Remove meat rolls and slice into 1-inch pieces. To serve, place a few slices of meat on each plate, spoon the mushroom sauce over each serving and garnish with parsley. Service with a starch and green vegetable.

Serves 6.

 

 

 

Spicy Indonesian Coconut Beef (Dendeng Santan)

Coconut_Beef (1 of 1)It’s been a while since I’ve posted a nice, Southeast Asian dish — the spring weather we’ve been waiting so long for finally arrived over the weekend, so I was in the mood for something spicy (“hot,” “piquant,” etc.). I ended up making one of my favorite Indonesian beef, Dendeng Santan (which translates roughly to dried beef in coconut juice, I think). Indonesians typically cook with lean (tough) cuts of beef, such as top round — the beef is cooked for a long time to the point that it is extremely tender and delicious. I didn’t have that much time, so I made this dish with a lightly marbled, boneless beef sirloin steak. The end result was a tender, delicious Indonesian beef dish in a fraction of the time. This dish is delightfully spicy and flavorful — I hope you’ll try it tonight!

1 lb boneless sirloin steak, put in the freezer 30 minutes (to aid in thin slicing), then thinly sliced across the grain into 2-inch long pieces.
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and very finely grated or minced
2 candlenuts, grated
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp tamarind water
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground galangal (Laos) powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut milk, divided
1/2 tsp terasi
2 tsp sambal ulek
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 red Thai chilies, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish

In a large bowl, combine beef slices, garlic, candlenuts, coriander, tamarind water, brown sugar, galangal powder and salt. Mix well, set aside and let stand 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine terasi and 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and the sambal olek in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a large wok or Dutch oven over high heat. Add beef mixture and cook 2 minutes. Add coconut mixture and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove lid. Add the remaining 1/4 cup coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat. reduce heat to low, and cook 15 minutes, or until liquid is considerably reduced. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and a spicy Indonesian relish, such as sambal petai. Garnish with Thai chilies.

Serves 4.

American Black Bean Chili with IPA Beer

Black_Bean_Chili (1 of 1)Chili is a popular go-to comfort food in this household, especially when the snow is as deep as f#$^%$! and the temperature is constantly below f*^%k!. I have many recipes for chili, and this is a combination of the things I like the best about each. Additionally, I’ve added IPA (India Pale Ale Beer) and allspice, which I think help to create a fantastic depth of flavor for this version. I hope you’ll try it next time you are wanting comfort food!
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, very finely grated or minced
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 – 5 dried Thai (or similar hot) chilies, cut with scissors into 1/8 pieces, seeds and all
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 28-oz whole peeled tomatoes, squeezed to a pulp in a bowl by hand
3 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 12-oz bottle beer (preferably IPA)
Sour cream for garnish
Grated white cheddar for garnish
Diced fresh tomato for garnish
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Tabasco sauce (optional) for garnish

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, beef and bell pepper. Cook for 8 minutes.

Stir in the next 8 ingredients (chili powder through ground black pepper) and cook 1 minute.

Stir in the beans, squeezed tomatoes and beer. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour. Remove lid and simmer an additional 30 minutes, or until chili has thickened. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning (I added an additional 2 1/2 tsp salt, which seemed good). Ladle into serving bowls, garnishing each with a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese, diced tomato, parsley and a few drops of Tabasco sauce. I like to serve with fresh, crusty bread.

Serves 6.