Category Archives: Beef

Italian Meatloaf

Italian_Meatloaf2 (1 of 1)Some of my readers may recall that I have a thing for meatloaf. Well, it’s been a while since my last meatloaf post, so here we go (again). This fantastic version comes from central Italy — its ingredients are simple, but make for a delicious meatloaf and sauce! Really easy to prepare — hope you’ll try it out!

 

Two thick slices bread, torn into pieces and soaked in about a cup of milk
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground pork
1/4 lb pancetta, finely chopped
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 chopped parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2  14-oz cans diced tomatoes with juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Drain milk from bread, squeezing out excess liquid. Combine bread and next 8 ingredients (ground beef through black pepper) in a large bowl. Mix well with hands.

Coat lidded casserole with cooking spray. Add meat mixture to casserole and form into a Italian_Meatloaf1 (1 of 1)10-inch x 5-inch loaf. Combine tomatoes and wine, together with a pinch of additional salt in a bowl. Pour tomato mixture around loaf. Cover, place in oven and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 45 minutes. Remove casserole from oven and let stand, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Slice meatloaf in casserole into 1-inch slices. Serve with hot pasta.

Serves 8.

 

Beef Braised in a Tomato and White Wine Sauce with Fennel Seeds and Saffron (Brasato di Manzo allo Zafferano)

Brasato_di_Manzo1 (1 of 1)This braise of beef hails from the Puglia region of Italy, and although hearty, I believe it’s prepared year-round there. Another simple and delicious Mediterranean dish, this recipe’s unique ingredients all come together during very nicely the braising process. Wonderful over freshly made soft polenta (recipe for future post)! I hope you’ll try this tonight (or next weekend)!

1/3 cup olive, plus 1 tsp
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp fennel seeds
2 1/2 lbs trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/4 tsp saffron threads
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 14-oz can whole peeled tomatoes with their juices, hand-squeezed into small bits in bowl
1 tsp sugar
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In small pan, heat 1/3 cup olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and gently cook for 2 minutes (don’t brown!). Add fennel seeds and cook another 1 minute. Combine olive oil mixture well with beef in a large bowl. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, bring wine to a boil in a small bowl. Remove from heat and add saffron. Stir, cover and let steep.

In a large Dutch oven, heat remaining 1 tsp olive oil over high heat. Add marinated beef, salt and pepper, and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add tomatoes and wine/saffron mixture to pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cooked down a bit,  deglazing about 5 minutes.  Add back beef. Increase heat to high and stir until beef mixture begins to boil. Cover and place in oven. Cook until beef is just about falling apart, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in sugar. Serve over polenta and garnish with parmesan and parsley.

Serves 6.

 

Spanish Cannelloni (Canelones Rellenos)

Canalones1 (1 of 1)Although cannelloni are of Italian origin, canelones rellenos is a popular dish in Barcelona, Spain (thought to have been brought there by Italian migrants in the 19th century). With a unique use of herbs and sherry, the fantastic flavors of this dish are distinctly Spanish. These canelones are delicious, so I hope you’ll give them a try tonight!

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 1/2 oz ground beef
4 1/2 oz ground pork
3 oz chicken liver, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 leek (white part), chopped
3 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 Tbsp sherry
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
4 Tbsp chopped parsley
9 oz dried cannelloni tubes
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
4 cups milk
4 oz tomato purée
1 cup grated parmesan or manchego cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add beef, pork, chicken liver, onion, leek, 1 1/2 tsp Canalones2 (1 of 1)salt and 1/4 ground black pepper. Cook 10 minutes, breaking up lumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Add sherry, thyme, diced tomatoes and 2 Tbsp of the parsley. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cook to room temperature.

Using your hands, fill the cannelloni tubes with the meat mixture and place them in a 13×9-inch ovenproof dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil.

Meanwhile, make a white sauce by melting the butter in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in the flour and cook 2 minutes, until you have a nice, pale yellow roux. Add nutmeg and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Gradually whisk in the milk. Return to medium heat and whisk constantly for 15 minutes, until thickened.

Pour white sauce evenly over cannelloni. Scatter dollops of the tomato purée over the top. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Bake for about 45 minutes, until lightly browned. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve.

Serves 6.

Flavorful Indonesian Minced Meat Parcels (Bebotok Sapi)

Bebotok_Daging1 (1 of 1)There are a few varieties of bebotok in Indonesia. They are made with minced fish, lamb or beef, and maybe even chicken, I’m not sure. In this recipe, I use beef (sapi). These yummy meat parcels are typically steamed in pandan or banana leaves — I had neither on hand last night, so I used foil. I’m sure the fresh leaves add to the aroma, but I think mine turned out just fine. These are delicious, and I hope you’ll give them a try tonight!

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
2 medium onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, very finely grated or minced
1 1/2  tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tsp)
3 Thai bird chilies, minced
4 candlenuts, grated
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed, lower white portion very finely minced (or 1/2 tsp lemongrass powder)
1 14-oz can coconut milk
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 Tbsp tamarind water
3 eggs, 2 of them hard-boiled, the 3rd beaten in a small bowl)

In a medium bowl, mix together beef, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat wok over high heat. Add coriander, cumin, ginger, chilies, candlenuts and lemongrass; Bebotok_Daging3 (1 of 1)stir-fry for 1 minute. Add beef mixture, and brown for 5 minutes — stir constantly to break meat up. Add the coconut milk, lime leaves and tamarind water, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until mixture is just about dry, about 20 minutes. Remove meat mixture from heat. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the hard-boiled eggs.

Cut sheet of aluminum foil into 14 7″X7″ squares. Place 1 egg slice in the middle of each square. Stir beaten egg into meat mixture. Spoon 2 heaping Tbsp of the meat over each egg slice. Fold opposite sides of the foil in over the meat and egg, sealing the parcels into squares.

Prepare a steamer — I used a large, shallow sauce pan, placed a cooling rack in it and filled the bottom with water, just below the rack.

Place the meat parcels evenly into the steamer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove meat parcels from steamer. Serve with steamed rice, sliced cucumber and an assortment of your favorite Indonesian sambals.

Serves 6.

Indian Beef Stew (Rogan Josh)

Rogan_Josh2 (1 of 1) Last night was snowy and cold once again here in New England — a perfect evening for Rogan Josh! This Indian stew is commonly made with lamb, but I decided to make it with beef, since the roads were bad and this is what I had on-hand in the freezer. Beef works well. The aroma from the wonderful spices in this dish made the whole house smell great as it was braising in the oven. Whether it’s cold or not where you are, I think you’ll like this dish, so please try it tonight!

2 inches ginger, peeled and finely grated
8 cloves garlic, peeled
4 Tbsp plus 15 oz water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 lbs beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
10 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
6 cloves
10 black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp plain yogurt
1/4 tsp garam masala
Ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add ginger, garlic and 4 Tbsp water to a blender. Blend into a paste.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add meat and stir until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add another Tbsp oil to the same pan. Add the cardamom pods, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon. Stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the onions and cook until they start to turn brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger paste and stir 30 seconds. Add the coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne and salt and stir another 30 seconds. Add back the meat with its juices. Add the yogurt 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring well after each. Cook mixture about 3 minutes.

Add 15 oz water to the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring to deglaze. Cover, place in oven and cook for 2 hours. Remove from oven and stir in garam masala. Season with additional salt and ground black pepper, if desired. Serve with steamed long-grain or basmati rice, as well as an assortment of relishes, chutneys and naan.

Serves 4.

German Meatloaf with Roasted Tomato and Onion Gravy (Falscher Hase)

German_Meatloaf1 (1 of 1)I think I may have mentioned this in previous posts, but I love a good meatloaf, especially on a snowy, cold night like tonight. This wonderful dish, called falscher Hase (fake rabbit), originates in Germany’s eastern regions that were formerly part of the DDR (East Germany). Adopted from my favorite German cookbook, Nadia Hassani’s Spoonfuls of Germany, this meatloaf is homey, but deliciously elegant with the roasted tomato and onion gravy. I like to serve this with steamed new red potatoes tossed in some butter, salt, ground black pepper and chopped parsley. Give this dish a try — I think you’ll like it!

1 slice bread, soaked in 1/4 cup milk for 5 minutes, then excess milk squeezed out
1 slice good quality smoked bacon
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 medium onions, peeled and and quartered
10 oz lean ground beef
10 oz lean ground pork
2 eggs
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground caraway seeds
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ground marjoram
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
14 1/2 oz beef stock
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp flour
Additional chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Dice bacon and saute over medium heat until crisp. Add the diced onion and saute for about 4 or 5 minutes. Remove from heat and spread mixture on paper towels and let cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, combine bread that you soaked in milk, bacon and onion mixture, meat, eggs, German_Meatloaf2 (1 of 1)parsley, mustard, paprika, caraway, oregano, nutmeg, cayenne, marjoram, thyme, coriander, salt and black pepper. Mix very well with your hands (add some breadcrumbs if  it seems too moist). Shape into a loaf and place in an ovenproof, lidded casserole. Pour tomato around loaf. Break up the onion quarters and sprinkle around loaf. Pour 1/4 cup stock over it.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Bake until meatloaf is brown, and the vegetables are nicely roasted, gradually adding another 1/2 cup stock.

Remove loaf from casserole and deglaze with the remaining stock. Pour mixture into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and strain well, discarding solids. Add gravy back to sauce pan.

Whisk together the sour cream and flour, then whisk this into the gravy. Simmer for a few minutes until gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice meatloaf into 1/2-inch slices. Pour some gravy over each serving and garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 6.

Pan-Fried Pepper Steak with Red Wine-Mushroom Sauce

Pepper_Steak1 (1 of 1)In case readers haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of meat — I’m about as far from vegetarian as a carnivore can be, although I do enjoy vegetarian dishes (especially spicy ones!). I try to limit my intake of red meat for health reasons, but I occasionally love to prepare steak dishes, such as this one. These steaks are delicious, especially with the wine-mushroom sauce! Oh, and one last thing, butter and steak were meant for each other. Give it a try tonight!

4 5-oz top sirloin steaks, each about 1 inch thick
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter
2 large shallots, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 lbs button mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup ruby Port
1/2 chicken stock
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Place each steak between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Sprinkle both sides of the steaks evenly with the black pepper and salt. Cover and set aside.

Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots andPepper_Steak2 (1 of 1) saute 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and saute mixture until mushrooms are browned (about 10 minutes). Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Add the wine, port and stock. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes). Season to taste with additional salt and ground black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt remaining 1 Tbsp butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks and cook until done (about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare). Transfer steaks to a cutting board. I like to thinly slice the steaks prior to plating, but they can also be left whole. To serve, spoon sauce over each steak; garnish with parsley.

Serves 4.

Sweet Indonesian Beef in a Flavorful “Dry” Sauce (Dendeng Sapi Manis)

Dendeng_Sapi_Manis1 (1 of 1)Like many Indonesian beef dishes, this calls for a lean, relatively less tender cut of meat. It is braised for quite a while until tender, and the cooking liquid has just about evaporated. In fact, the name of this recipe, Dendeng Sapi Manis translates into English as “Sweet Beef Jerky.” However, this dish is nothing like dried-out American beef jerky;  on the contrary, it’s tender and delicious. I hope you’ll try this dish!

1 lb top round beef, thinly sliced into 2-inch pieces
1 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Laos powder
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
1/2 tsp terasi
1 tsp tamarind water
1 1/2 cups water
2 red Thai chilies, sliced on the diagonal

Combine meat with coriander, cumin, Laos powder, nutmeg, brown sugar and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add meat mixture and brown on all sides for 4 minutes.

Add onion and garlic, and cook for another 1 minute. Add the terasi, tamarind water and water. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil.  Cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours. Remove lid and increase heat to high. Cook until most of the sauce has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Garnish with the red Thai chilies, and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Naples-Style Braise of Beef

Naples_Braised_Beef1 (1 of 1)This dish seems like your typical pot roast, but it isn’t. It’s a delicious Southern Italian braise of beef, probably prepared as a Sunday afternoon dinner in Naples. The recipe called for bottom round, but I used top round instead, because I think it’s a bit more tender. Braising, the “low and slow” method of cooking, turns this relatively tough (but tasty!) cut of beef into a fork-tender, delicious roast. Although not very Italian, I like to serve it with home-made basel-herbed spaetzle.I hope you’ll try this dish!

2 oz salt pork
1 oz salame
1 oz prosciutto
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs top round beef, tied with butcher’s twine 2-inch intervals
5 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup tomato puree
2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups dry white wine

Finely chop together the salt pork, salame and prosciutto to a paste.

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat (the Dutch oven should be just large enough to accommodate the beef and rest of ingredients). Add the salt pork mixture and saute until fat is rendered (about 3 – 4 minutes).

Add the beef to the Dutch oven and brown on all sides. Remove beef and set aside on a plate. Naples_Braised_Beef2 (1 of 1)Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan. Soften the vegetables, but don’t brown (about 5 minutes). The Dutch oven will be full at first, but the vegetables will cook down considerably.

Add the tomato puree, salt and wine. Deglaze pan while bringing to a boil for about 1 minute. Return beef to pan. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently for 2 1/2 – 3 hours (I let go for 3), or until beef is tender.

Remove beef and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Increase heat to medium high. Cook liquid until reduced by at least half (about 20 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and ground black pepper. Slice beef, place on a serving platter and pour sauce over top. Serve.

Serves 6.

Malaysian Braised Beef Sirloin (Semur)

Semur1 (1 of 1)This dish is a Malaysian spin on an Indonesian recipe from Dutch colonial times. The cooking technique is a different style of braising, where you cook a relatively tender cut of beef (such as sirloin) for not a very long period of time — the beef turns out wonderfully, and to me, the cloves, lime juice and fennel seeds are what make the delicious sauce! I hope you’ll give this dish a try!

2 beef sirloin steaks (about 1 1/4 lbs total), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 Tbsp kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground fennel
3 candlenuts (or macademia nuts)
2 tsp black pepper corns
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
2 1/2 cups water
5 whole cloves
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 green onion, finely sliced

In a medium glass bowl, whisk together the kecap manis and lime juice. Add the sliced beef and mix well. Set aside and let stand for half an hour.

Combine the ground coriander, cumin, fennel, candlenuts and black peppercorns. Grind to a Semur2 (1 of 1)paste with a mortar and pestle or small food processor, adding a couple teaspoons of water.

Heat oil in a wok or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add the spice paste to the pan and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the beef with its marinade, the tamarind, water, cloves, salt and sugar. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 40 minutes. Remove lid and continue to simmer for a few more minutes, reducing the sauce until thick. Garnish with the green onion and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.