Archive for the ‘Meat’ Category

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Steak ‘N Cheese

December 13, 2013

Look out Philly! I’ve pumped up your veggies and crocked your beef, switched out your cheese, and come up with a lighter version that would challenge any native’s taste buds. Intense heat searing before crocking, gives your chuck roast that high end steak “feel”. Swaddled in peppers, onions and mushrooms, pepperoncini for a twist and embraced with melted provolone takes this classic to a new level.

2 lb. chuck roast, without an overwhelming amount of  visible fat

2 T. of Worcestershire to marinate

8 large mushrooms, sliced thick

1 large onion, rough dice

2 cloves garlic, smashed

10-15 pepperoncini, stems removed  (optional-but a nice kick)

3 diced tomatoes, seeds  removed

1 bag mini sweet peppers, or 3 peppers  of your color choice if you can’t find minis

1/4 C. red wine ( I used Shiraz)

1 T. Worcestershire

1 generous  tablespoon Italian  seasoning

1 T. black pepper

1 T. McCormick Montreal Steak seasoning

8 slices provolone

Good sub rolls ( I used Cuban bread, so I could portion different  sizes)

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Marinate your roast in the 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire. No more. No other seasonings. You want the beef to drink the flavor not swim in  it. I marinated it for 6 hours, beginning  when I woke  to be able to put it in the crock at noon. Prep your veggies. If you have not discovered Little Sweets I would  suggest  searching them out. Aside from being  adorable,  compact,  sweet siblings of the large pepper, they are  an  endless  source of creative couplings. Raw and stuffed with  a  garlic ricotta they make a snappy appetizer ..but that is   a different   entry for  another  day. If you can’t find them,  long  slices of  larger peppers  are easily  substituted. I like the addition of  the pepperoncini. They add more tang than heat, as cooking neutralized  them. You may leave  them out.

Set your  crock pot to 5 hours on high. Dry your roast off well. Turn the heat on high under your frying pan, and when hot add  a scant few drops of oil. When smoking, add your very dried off chuck roast. You want a very caramelized sear. This  will give your chuck the taste of  filet.. Really.. I mean it! Sear well for 2-3 minutes on each side on high. Don’t turn the heat  down. Remove and put into the  warmed  crock pot.

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Lower heat to medium under the pan and add onions, garlic,mushrooms and peppers to it. Add your dry seasonings. Doing this now blooms  their flavor, and keeps  them from turning your  crock  broth  bitter (the downside to dry seasonings added  directly to your  crock  stocks).  Saute  for 5 minutes, and then add your tomatoes  and pepperoncini.

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Toss for 2 minutes or so and then add wine and Worcestershire to deglaze the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add to the crockpot, blanketing your seared roast. After 4 hours on high, cook another 1 1/2 hours on low. Serve or put on warm, until ready to assemble sandwiches.

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Yes- it  shrinks!

Remove the roast and let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting. While it is resting, line your rolls with the provolone, letting some of the cheese  hang over the side.. Slice the beef in thick strips or chunks. Don’t shred it! Using a slotted spoon, get some of those richly flavored veggies from the liquid and spoon them over the top. Flop that hanging  cheese over your veggies. If you want to add  another slice on top go right ahead! My goal was to have something not quite as caloric, but with that same Philly cheese steak ring to it.

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Serve with a side of krunchy kale chips.

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Balsamic Pork Roast

March 30, 2013

So simple…so delcious.I have made this once before, and  will be having  it  again for Easter dinner. I also used the marinade on boneless  chicken breasts.  The oil I used  was infused with  chili,combined  with a decadent dark chocolate balsamic vinegar. The original recipe is on allrecipes. I added  garlic to the marinade, and also grated  garlic over the top of the  roast before putting it in the oven.

2 lb. pork tenderloin roast

2 T. oil  (Kalamazoo Chili oil for us!)

2 T. balsamic vinegar (Kalamazoo Dark Chocolate)

2 T. McCormick Steak Seasoning

4 cloves garlic (not pictured,optional)

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Combine oil,vinegar,seasoning and 2 cloves of garlic.

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Put roast in non metalic contaner,or a large Ziploc bag. Marinate  a minimum of 2 hours. This was left in the marinade about 6 hours and  was  very  flavorful.

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Because this is  actually 2 small loins ( I didn’t  realize this  when I  bought them. I am not  really  experienced in purchasing this  cut, and other packages were too large for  our  family) I placed one on top of the other in a loaf pan.That way they  cooked  as if  they  were one  larger roast. Grate the other two cloves of garlic over the top of the roast.I  lowered the temp to 325,and roasted  the 45 min time for the 2lb. roast.

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Beyond awesome,melt in your mouth goodenss.Slice approximately 1/4 inch thick, and serve,spooning  the  juices over top.

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Lime in The Coconut Curry Beef

November 2, 2012

Stew of any sort is not in my top ten,mostly because  (on the “rare” occasioin that I eat it)I prefer beef rare. I love coriander but, curry powder often takes a back seat in my spice cabinet. Tired of the same old and wanting something soup or stew like, I started researching curry dishes. I have done the wine addition in so many dishes that I really wanted to hit some different tastebuds. After perusing double the amount of recipes I usually do, I came up with this simple but very flavorful stew.It really is “just right”. Faintly sweet of coconut,slight earthy heat of curry,  tang of a squirt of lime juice and a spoon of gremolata on top…This will ignite every corner of your mouth..If you love curry this is a must…and if you are on the fence as I was,this will put you on the love side.A new keeper..

  • 1 3/4 -2 lbs. beef,I bought a whole chuck tender roast and cubed it myself
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 C broth plus 1/2 C for deglazing pan
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 t. curry powder.plus 1/2 t for meat searing
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 t tumeric
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1 t white pepper
  • 1 T brown sugar (optional for Paleo)

Cut your roast into 2 inch cubes.I do not buy packaged “stew meat” for two reasons: 1) I don’t know what kind of meat is used and 2) the pieces are way too small to allow for shrinkage while cooking.Sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon of curry on the cubes and work it inot the meat.Let it rest while you are prepping the veggies and making the broth.

Cut your sweet potato and onion into large dice as well,comparable to the meat size.Mince the garlic.

Pour one cup coconut milk and one cup broth into crock pot, and turn on high.Add the 2 teaspoons of curry and mix.As the broth heats the curry will dissolve.

Heat a large frying pan to smoking.Add half of the meat to the pan,making sure the pieces are not touching.You want a carmelized sear,not a steam.Remove the meat and repeat with the other half,and put into broth.

Add the onions to the pan, and using the remaining broth deglaze the pan,Scrape every bit off the bottom, as this gives you a nice rich broth (and if you are really good- stir, pour, and take a picture at the same time!)

Add your sweet potato chunks,and coat well with the broth and bits.

Add your veggies to the beef and broth, along with the seasonings and brown sugar. Cook on high for one hour,and then on low, 4 more.When done shut crock off and add remaining coconut milk.

Gremelata Garnish

1/2 c parsley

1-2 cloves garlic

1 t lime zest

1/8 t red pepper flakes (optional)

Finely mince all ingredients.

Let sit until ready to serve.

A note on gremelata…you can enhance any dish with this tart blend.Made with lemon or lime and a bit of freshly grated Parmesean cheese and you have a simple topping for chicken.Skip the cheese and top some tilapia. Sprinkle it over fried eggplant slices..the uses are endless.It gives a nice balance to the sweet heat of this stew,surrounding every corner of your mouth with  flavor.

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Glazed Corned Beef

March 16, 2012

Around mid February I start to crave  corned beef. I don’t make it often,but is one of my favorite meals.I am  a little unconventional,as I am not a fan of it boiled  with the the standard fare. I have taken to baking my corned beefs in recent years..it slices nicely, and much of the salt still cooks out of it. This is one of my best tasting, soaked overnight in Guiness Stout, dried well and then baked in more Guiness. Topped with a light glaze of honey, dijon and yellow mustard, it is a melt in your mouth delight.

  • 1 corned beef
  • 1 bottle Guiness dark stout
  • 2 T. Dijon mustad
  • 1 T. yellow mustard
  • 1 T. honey

 Rinse your corned beef and pat dry. Put it into a snug pan for it’s size. Pour a cup of beer over it.

 Cover very tightly and cook at 350 for one hour. (average for corned beef in the oven is 1 hour /lb. Mine is small..2.5 lbs.)

Remove from oven and flip over (CAREFULLY) so that top and bottom cook in the juices.

 At this point I remove about half of the juice on the bottom.If  you are baking potatoes, cabbage and carrots with your beef, leave the juices in..Put back in the oven for another hour…and then take it out to give it the first glazing.

Return to oven for 15 minutes, remove and  give it a second coat with the remaining  glaze. This is what it looks like after the first glazing. I am ready to eat it now! Resist as the second coat makes it all the better.Bake 15 minutes more.

Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes.

Slice thin and serve.My sides are fried cabbage to which I have added 2T. of the juices from the bottom of the roasting  pan,in place of salt. The carrots are cooked in a fig balsamic vinegar and honey, lightly joining all the flavors together. A bit of the balsamic juices from the carrots gives the finishing touch to the corned beef. Sláinte!!!

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Braided Calzone

February 13, 2012

A picture of this has been floating around pinterest,though I never really found an exact recipe on the pics I clicked. I decided to try it out last night using up some of what I already had in the fridge.The possibilities are of course endless,wrapping your fillings up and braiding the dough like a gift of yummy goodness. Without a doubt, making your own dough would be a plus. Being the cook and not the baker a ball of ready made dough worked just fine and having prepped the fillings early in the day,was a thirty minute quick meal.

  • 1 ball of pizza dough,enough for 12″ pizza
  • 1/2 – 3/4  tomato sauce,depending on how “saucey” you like yours
  • 1/3 lb. hamburger,browned,seasoned,and drained well
  • 2-3 medium/large mushrooms,medium dice,sauteed
  • 1 large sweet onion,sliced and carmelized
  • 3 oz.fresh  (if available) mozarella
  • 2-3 T. cornmeal

Dust your rolling surface with some cornmeal.Roll out your dough into as even a rectangle as possible,approximately 11″ x 14″.

Transfer your dough to your baking stone or sheet,which has been sprinkled with additional corn meal. My stone was a little short,so I ended up snipping some of the dough off the ends. Next time, I will use a rectangular baking sheet.Spoon your sauce down the middle,making a little street for the next layers to travel on.

On your sauce layer: ground meat,mushrooms,onions and cheese.

Using sharp kitchen shears, cut into your dough from the sides,but not going in as far as your filling. Fold up the bottom over filling.Cross each cut over your filling,alternating sides. (I apologize my picture of this did not come out-but when it is in front of you it is easy to figure out the pattern) I also tucked the end of each piece inside, next to the filling, so no little nubs were sticking out of the braid.Continue to the opposite side,fold the other end in over your last braiding.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack so bottom does not get soggy.

Slice with a sharp serrated edge knife and…enjoy. Whatever combiation filling you use,steak and cheese,Italian coldcuts,roasted veggies and cheese for  a vegetarian version, all the better wrapped in this blanket of  dough.

Now how cute is this? Jess and her family made this – stuffed with sauce, salami, pepperoni, ground beef, black and green olives,  onions, green peppers, provolone and mozzarella cheese.  Olive eyes and a green pepper mouth adds his personality!

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Savory Cornbread Casserole

January 16, 2012

This recipe as a “meal”, came from a recipe shared by a friend for cornbread stuffing. I switched it up and the result was a deliciously satisfying casserole, perfect for the chilly winter months. Tired of the same old comfort foods? This is the answer…

  • 1 package Jimmy Dean sausage ( I used the sage flavor)
  • half of a 8 oz.container of baby Portabella mushrooms
  • 1  large boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
  • a few tablespoons  finely minced jalapeno
  • 1/2 C or so of shredded Monteray Jack / Cheddar
  • 1 box corn bread mix (or if you make your own -enough for a 9×9 pan)
  • paprika

Brown sausage and drain well. Remove from pan.Add raw diced chicken and brown (I left it a little underdone since the casserole is baked.Saute mushrooms in same pan for about 3-4 minutes.

Combine: Sausage,chicken,mushrooms,jalapenos,soup and cheese.Put in a 9×9 pan.

Prepare cornbread according to package directions.Add a tablespoon or more of the jalapenos to it, depending on your love of heat.I added a tablespoon of  jarred minced jalapenos to both the sausage mix and the cornbread and it was spicey. Cover the sausage blend with the cornbread, taking it all the way to the sides and spreading evenly.Sprinkle with some smokey paprika.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until the cornbread is baked through and the mixture is bubbling up underneath it.

Cut in squares and serve with a chilled green salad.

Classic comfort food kicked up a notch. Enjoy and stay warm!

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Sassy Sausage and Cabbage

December 21, 2011

This recipe is loosely based on one that is on many recipe sites, called Fiesta Cabbage.This is my kicked up version. Quick and easy – no doubt you have most of the ingredients on hand.If you don’t,add what you have! Whether  green,yellow or red peppers,snow peas, even green beans,almost any veggie works! Just make sure to add the longer cooking ones first.  Try it,you’ll like it.I promise!

  • 1 lb. sausage,whatever kind you like,whatever is on sale, (I’ve used everything from hot and spicey,to apple)
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 16 oz. can pineapple,half drained 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes,half drained
  • 2 lbs. cabbage (1 medium head),chopped
  • 1 medium or half of a large purple onion
  • 2T. brown sugar
  • 1 T. black pepper

Cut the sausage into 1/4 inch slices.Brown well in a large saute pan. Set the browned sausage aside. Melt the butter in the pan, scraping up the sausage bits. Add the chopped cabbage and toss well to coat. Saute for  5 minutes on medium heat.

Add the purple onion to the pan, toss well and cook another 5 minutes.

Dissolved the brown sugar in the tomatoes and pineapple. Add the pepper and stir together. Pour over the cabbage. Put the browned sausage in next. Stir well to coat cabbage and sausage with sassy sauce.

 Continue cooking on medium heat,until cabbage is softened but not mush (yuk!) and juices reduce and thicken a bit,about 15 minutes.Pour into serving dish,family style.

Our favorite way to eat it is served over rice. It seems to soak up the flavors better than noodles.I make a ring of rice on the plates and serve the sassy sausage and cabbage in the middle.