Category Archives: Beef

Grilled Lamb-Beef Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

Lamb-Beef_Burgers1 (1 of 1)Who knew I liked lamb! I sure didn’t growing up. I’ve learned to really like it over the years, however, especially in Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisines. This dish is a perfect example of my style of lamb, which with the herbs, spices, garlic and tzatziki, is delicious. I hope you’ll try it!

1/2 lb ground lamb
1/2 lb ground sirloin
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
4 tsp chopped fresh mint
4 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garamasala
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely grated or minced

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
1/4 tsp salt

1 loaf ciabatta bread
Sliced red onions

For the burgers, add the first 10 ingredients (lamb through garlic) to a large bowl. Combine well.Lamb-Beef_Burgers2 (1 of 1) Remove meat mixture from bowl and divide equally into 4 portions. Shape each into square, 3 to 4-inch patties. Set aside.

For the tzatziki sauce, combine the next 6 ingredients (yogurt through salt) in a medium bowl, mixing well. Cover and place in refrigerator.

Slice ciabatta loaf horizontally down middle, then slice crosswise into 4 pieces, so that you end up with 4 tops and 4 bottoms.

Prepare grill.

Place burgers on hot grill; cover and cook about 4 minutes on each side (flipping only once). Place ciabatta buns face-side down on grill, cooking until browned (about 1 minute).

Assemble burgers on the buns, topping each with a spoonful tzatziki. Serve with lettuce and red onions.

Serves 4.


Japanese Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry (Yakisoba)

Yakisoba2 (1 of 1)Here’s another simple, mid-week stir-fry dish. I find yakisoba to be very versatile — you can use most any kind of vegetable (in other words, clean out your fridge). With its unique and delicious combination of flavors (especially from the Worcestershire ingredient!), the sauce is what makes this dish. I hope you’ll try it!

3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp ketchup
2 tsp oyster sauce
3 tsp sugar

2 Tbsp canola oil
1 8-oz sirloin steak, very thinly sliced, and then cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths (I put the steak in the freezer for about 10 minutes, which firms it up for thin slicing)Yakisoba1 (1 of 1)
1 1/2 cups chopped cabbage
1 large carrot, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 green onions (scallions), sliced on the diagonal into 1-inch segments

1 9-oz package fresh Chinese-style noodles

Prepare the yakisoba sauce by whisking together the first 5 ingredients (Worcestershire sauce through sugar) and set aside,

Combine the vegetables (cabbage through green onions in a medium-size bowl.

Prepare the noodles by dropping them into a pot of boiling water. Bring back to a boil and cook for 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.

Heat the canola oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the meat and stir-fry until no longer pink, about 1 minute.

Add the vegetables to the meat in the wok. Stir-fry just until the vegetables are no longer raw-looking, about 3 minutes.

Add the noodles and the yakisoba sauce to the vegetable-meat mixture. Stir-fry for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, being sure to combine all ingredients well. Serve.

Serves 4.

Picadillo with Parsley-Herbed Rice

Picadillo1 (1 of 1)Picadillo is a flavorful, traditional dish served in Latin America. Its ingredients vary a bit from country to country, but most versions typically feature ground meat, chopped green bell peppers and onions. Mine is more of a Cuban variety, with ground beef, ground pork, peppers, onions, garlic, raisins, olives, capers and other ingredients, which provide for delicious sweet and sour flavors (“picadillo,” by the way, is derived from the Spanish picar, which means “to chop”). I hope you’ll give it a try!

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely grated or minced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb very lean, ground beef
1 lb very lean, ground pork
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 Tbsp drained capers
1/4 cup red wine

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and green bell peppers, and saute for 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, beef and pork. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes (or until meat is no longer pink), stirring constantly to break meat up.

Add the rest of the ingredients (through red wine). Turn heat to high, stir and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour (stirring occasionally). Season to taste with salt and pepper (I added an additional 4 tsp salt, which seemed about right).

Meanwhile, prepare the rice. For the herbed-rice, follow my recipe for steamed jasmine rice, but add 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley at the beginning.

Serve warm picadillo with the rice.

Serves 8.

Korean-Style Marinated, Grilled Steak

Bulgogi5 (1 of 1)Last evening was another great evening for grilling out here, so out of my stockpile of outdoor recipes I chose to make bulgogi (Korean-style marinated, grilled steak). Easy to prepare, this recipe take a little bit of planning ahead, because the meat marinates (in a wonderful, Korean-style barbecue sauce) for about an hour. I hope you’ll try it!


1 lb beef flank steak, scored very lightly with a sharp knife on both sides, in a crisscross pattern
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 bunch scallions (white and light green parts), minced (reserve dark green parts for garnish)
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp peeled fresh ginger, finely grated
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, scallions, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds.

Combine soy sauce mixture with meat in a plastic bag (such as a freezer bag), seal and move bag around so that the meat is well-coated with the marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator for an hour. Remove from fridge and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes prior to grilling.

Prepare grill.

When grill is very hot, gill steak for 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare.

Transfer steak to a cutting board, cover with foil and let stand for about 5 minutes. Slice beef thinly across the grain (1/8 to 1/4-inch thick). Serve with kimchi, white or brown rice and a green vegetable. Garnish with sliced scallions and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4.

Thai Beef Stir-Fry in an Oyster Sauce

Thai_Beef_Stir-Fry_in_an_Oyster_Sauce3 (1 of 1)I enjoy stir-fry dishes because they call for the freshest of ingredients, and they are generally quick to prepare (and they can be very healthy, as well!). This is a typical Southeast Asian-style stir-fry that combines fresh, spicy, sweet, sour and salty flavors into an harmoniously delicious dish. I hope you’ll try it!


1 lb flank steak, cut against the grain into very thin slices that are 2 inches in length
1 Tbsp dry sherry
1 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

3 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)

2 Tbsp canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
2 tsp finely peeled, grated fresh ginger

4 fresh Thai bird chilies, seeded and cut lengthwise into very fine julienne strips
3 scallions (green onions), cut into 1-inch pieces, then cut lengthwise into very fine julienne strips

8 lettuce leaves

Whisk together sherry, cornstarch and black pepper in medium bowl. Combine well with beef and set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by whisking together oyster sauce, soy sauce, honey and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the beef mixture, sir-frying until the meat is no longer pink (about 3 minutes). Add the sauce and continue to stir-fry for an additional 2 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the chilies and scallions. Serve over individual lettuce leaves, together with steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Josh’s Risoles (Indonesian Croquettes)

Josh's Deep-Fried Creps with a White Grape Filling (1 of 1)The other night, I had some friends over for an Indonesian meal. My friend (and neighbor) Josh brought over an appetizer he made called “risoles,” which are Indonesian croquettes. Risoles are eaten as a snack food in Indonesia, and are prepared with either a sweet or savory filling. Josh’s version is savory, and he served it with a curry ketchup. Delicious! I asked him to pass along the recipe, which is as follows:

Risoles Wrapper

1 cup flour
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
7 oz milk


1/4 lb ground beef or chicken
3 small potatoes, peeled and finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 stalk spring onion, chopped
1 Tbsp flour, mixed with a little water
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup beef broth
1/4 tsp sugar


1 egg, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs

Canola oil for frying

For the wrappers, combine the flour, 1 egg and salt. Gradually add milk, whisking to make a smooth texture. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Pour 2 Tbsp of the mixture into the pan, being sure to move pan until mixture is thin (as you would with crepes). Cook until edges are dry, and wrapper peels off pan easily. Set aside and repeat process for the rest of the wrappers.

For the filling, heat a wok with a bit of canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, and saute until fragrant. Add the meat and saute for a few minutes. Add carrots, pepper, salt, celery, and beef broth. Cover and simmer for a few minutes. When the carrots are half-cooked, add the potatoes and the 1 Tbsp flour/water mixture. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender and the filling has thickened. Add sugar, stir and remove from heat.

For the risoles, place some of the filling on each wrapper at the bottom, leaving a small edge at the bottom. Lift the wrapper over the top and tuck it in under the filling. Fold over the left side, and then the right side and roll up to form a tube.

For dredging, dip each risole in the beaten egg, then dip in the breadcrumbs to coat.

Deep fry the risoles in the oil until crisp and golden brown. Remove and place on paper towels. Serve with chili sauce.

Serves 4 – 6.

New Mexico Chili Mac

Chili_Mac3 (1 of 1)While searching on-line a while back for an “American Chop Suey” recipe (a classic New England comfort dish), I stumbled upon this recipe for “Chili Mac.” I didn’t search any further, and ended up trying this — it is delicious! I highly recommend using New Mexico chili powder, as it has much more flavor than grocery store chili powder (thus, “New Mexico Chili Mac” — I believe Texas is the true origin of this dish!).

2 tsp olive oil
2 medium onions, finely diced
2 jalapenos, minced
1 Tbsp salt
2 lbs lean ground beef
5 Tbsp New Mexico chili powder
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 28-oz can whole plum tomatoes, well-squeezed with your hands (don’t strain out juices)
2 15.5-oz cans kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup water
1 lb dried macaroni
1 lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
Sour cream for garnish

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add onions and jalapenos, salt, and saute  until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add ground beef, chili powder, oregano and garlic, and stir, breaking up beef with the back of a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, and 1/2 cup water. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until chili is thick, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook macaroni according to package instructions.

Combine 1/3 of the shredded cheese with the chili and cooked macaroni in a bowl, then pour chili mixture into a 9 x 13.5-inch casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese, and place casserole in oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Garnish plated servings with a dollop of sour cream each.

Serves 6.

Gule Sapi (Spicy Indonesian Beef Stew)

Gule_Sapi_2013_04_14Gule Sapi is a spicy beef stew, simmered slowly in an aromatic coconut sauce. It’s called a “stew,” but it’s more like a curry, and I like to make it at any time of the year. It’s plenty spicy as is, but you can ratchet up the heat by leaving the seeds in the chilies (which is the way I like it), or you can tone down the heat by using less of the chilies and sambal ulek. This dish is delicious, so I hope you’ll try it!

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
5 candlenuts
5 red Thai chilies (aka bird chilies), seeded and minced
3 tsp sambal ulek
1/2 tsp white ground pepper
1/2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
2 tsp (about 2 inches) fresh peeled, finely grated ginger
1/2 tsp Laos powder (or 1 tsp finely grated fresh galangal)
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 whole cloves
2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp tamarind water
2 tsp peanut or canola oil

2 lbs beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 additional tsp peanut or canola oil
1 additional tsp salt
1 1/4 cup water
1 cinnamon stick (about 2 inches)
3 salam leaves
1 stem lemongrass — use bottom 6 inches; remove outer leaves, and pound the bottom end with the side of a knife
1 14-oz can lite coconut milk

Add first 15 ingredients (through peanut/canola oil) to a food processor. Process to a fine paste and set aside.

Heat 2 tsp peanut/canola in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and 1 tsp salt, and brown for 5 minutes. Leaving the juices in the pan, remove the meat and set aside.

Reduce heat slightly. Add the paste mixture to the pan and gently saute for 5 minutes. Add the meat back to the pan. Add the water, cinnamon stick, salam leaves and lemongrass. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, and simmer on low heat for 40 minutes.

Remove the lid, and add the coconut milk. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat for about an hour, until the beef is tender, and the sauce is very thick. Remove the salam leaves, lemongrass and cinnamon stick. Serve with white coconut rice, or Indonesian yellow rice (nasi kuning), and any Indonesian relishes or pickled vegetables you have on hand.

Serves 4 to 6