Posts Tagged ‘Beef’

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

Well this week has flown by.  My little boy has been sick for a few days, so my usual routine has been interrupted.  I absolutely don’t mind the interruption, and like having him home with me all day again, but I just hate it when my little ones are sick.  Since he hasn’t been eating a whole lot (sore throat), I’m so thankful to have frozen broth at the ready for both the ease and the nourishment that it can give to him.  I guess this is as good a time as any to post this recipe, then.

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

Making broth isn’t a new concept, but it seems as though the foodie/health world has rediscovered it lately.  There’s a good reason for that.  Making broth is simple and it offers so many healthy benefits that store-bought versions simply do not.  They also taste so much better.  Make a homemade broth and then do a taste-test with a store brand.  I have.  The difference is stunning.

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

For my beef broth, I start with finding some good, properly-raised beef.  You know I’m a grass-fed beef advocate.  So, I suggest you find some grass-fed beef bones (you’ll want a mix of marrow bones and some with a bit of meat on them) to make the healthiest, most nourishing broth possible.  Soup bones can easily be found at a good co-op or grocery store, your local butcher, or from the farmers market. They’re cheap.  Sometimes they’re even labeled “pet bones”– which is kind of odd.  But trust me, they’ll make a rich broth that you’ll love.

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

The other ingredients you likely already have at home– carrots, celery, onion, garlic, cider vinegar, and some dried or fresh herbs.  It’s a simple process that involves roasting the bones and vegetables first– to really amp up their flavors– then simmering on the stove for hours with water, herbs, and vinegar.  The vinegar is added to, supposedly, draw out some of the minerals from the bones.  I’ve read conflicting information on this, but I finally decided that since I love the flavor it imparts, I’m going to go with it.  Simmer this broth as long as you can.  The longer you do, the more nutrients it will draw out of the bones.

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

The flavor will be good after three hours, or so– but shoot for 8 or even 24, if that’s a possibility for you. Also, after simmering for about 2-3 hours, I remove the bone with meat on it, and trim the cooked meat off. I put the bone back into the broth and save the meat to use another time. At this point it hasn’t been overcooked, but it has still added plenty of flavor to the broth already. If you don’t want to bother, just leave it in the broth for the duration of the time. As long as you hit that three-hour mark, the broth will taste amazing! Use it in soups like this Paprikash that is one of our family favorites. Fill your freezer up with both this beef broth and this chicken broth for quick, healthy soups this winter.

Homemade Beef Broth | Relishing It

The Recipe: Homemade Beef Broth

(makes a few quarts)

about 6 pounds of good quality, preferably grass-fed, beef bones (some containing marrow and some containing a bit of meat)

about 3 carrots, halved

2 celery stalks, halved

1 large onion, quartered

1 garlic bulb (that’s the entire thing), halved and not peeled

3 dried bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

handful of fresh parsley, rough chopped

2 tablespoons kosher salt, or more to taste

6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy clean-up). Place the beef bones, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic on the pan with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Roast for about 40-45 minutes, or until the beef and vegetables have a bit of color. Remove from oven.

Add the beef, vegetables, and any juices (leave the grease behind) to a large kettle.  Top it with the bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, fresh parsley, cider vinegar, and enough cold filtered water to cover it all.

Bring everything to a high simmer so that it’s almost boiling, but not quite.  Then reduce the heat with the lid ajar to just a low simmer that is barely bubbling and let it cook away for as many hours as you can.  Three hours for sure, but shoot for more, if you can. If wanting to use the meat from the meaty bone (and you should– it’s great for quick meals and/or snacks), remove from bone after about 2-3 hours, put the bone back in the pot.

After you have finished simmering the broth, remove the large pieces with tongs and strain the liquid through a cheesecloth.  This will give you a nice clear broth. At this point you can put it in jars (or BPA-free plastic quart-sized containers) leaving about an inch of head-space (the liquid will expand as it freezes) or leave it in a large pot and refrigerate until completely cold (this will take hours, so overnight works well) and pour into jars afterwards. This makes removing the top layer of grease a cinch. Once that has been completed, throw a lid on it and freeze.

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It! Have a great weekend.




Read Full Post »

Perfectly Tangy Barbacoa with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa | Relishing It

We eat an obscene amount of tacos in this house– especially in summer.  It’s just such a perfect time for them with all of the fresh ingredients so readily available for toppings.  Plus, they’re super easy, which is wonderful considering there are so many things I usually want to be doing other than standing over my stove or grill.  I’ve been searching for a perfect barbacoa recipe for awhile now.  And by golly, I’ve found it!  I’ve tried several that were fine, but not particularly memorable.  That is, until I stumbled upon this one.

Perfectly Tangy Barbacoa with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa | Relishing It

I wanted something that was somewhat saucy, but more importantly had a nice tang to it.  When I read this recipe, I immediately knew it had great potential– it contained both cider vinegar and lime juice.  Bingo!  It also had the freshness I was looking for with cilantro, garlic, and onions blended in to make a perfect sauce. A little intrigue from the addition of cloves and a bit of heat from the smokey chipotle peppers in adobo sauce confirmed that this was what I had been looking for.

Perfectly Tangy Barbacoa with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa | Relishing It

I knew I didn’t want to fire-up the oven long enough to cook five pounds of beef.  My house would be a sauna at the end of it.  Cooking overnight in the slow cooker was a perfect solution.  It yielded a perfectly tender piece of beef that was perfectly, “tang-ily”, seasoned.  Reducing the cooking liquid at the end really concentrated those flavors, too.  This barbacoa is perfect to feed a crowd of people, like we did, or make a big batch and freeze the leftovers for quick, delicious weeknight meals.  I finally caved-in a bought a tortilla press and have happily been perfecting my corn-tortilla skills– more on that later.  But, for now– feel free to make these tortillas and drink this margarita for your taco party.  Oh, and for variety– here’s a wonderful carnitas recipe! You’ll be inviting me over, right?  Adiós, muchachos!

Perfectly Tangy Barbacoa with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Perfectly Tangy Slow Cooker Barbacoa with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

(serves a large crowd)

For the Avocado Tomatillo Salsa:

Use this recipe and add 1 avocado.  Blend everything together.  Cover and keep in the refrigerator.

For the Barbacoa:

1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped

1 red onion, cut into chunks

1 head of garlic, peeled

4 canned chipotle peppers and the adobo sauce that they sit in (use less if you want less heat)

juice of 4 limes

1/2 cup cider vinegar

2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 tablespoon kosher salt

cracked black pepper, to taste

5 dried bay leaves

4-6 cups chicken or beef stock, preferably homemade

4-7 pounds beef roast (any tough piece of meat will work/brisket, chuck, etc.)

Place the beef in a large slow cooker, my oval one worked perfectly.  You can use 1 piece of meat, or cut what you have into a few pieces so it fits properly and so it cooks uniformly.

To a food processor add the following ingredients (or chop everything very finely using a knife): cilantro, onion, garlic, chipotle peppers and their sauce, lime juice, cider vinegar, ground cloves, salt, and pepper.

Pour the mixture over the beef and add enough broth to cover the meat.  Add the bay leaves.  Stir the sauce and broth together and cover with the lid.  Turn the sow cooker onto the “low” setting and cook for 8-10 hours.  The beef will be completely tender and shred easily with a fork when it’s done.  If your beef doesn’t appear this way when you feel that it’s done–cook it longer.  The collagen will eventually break down and yield a tender piece of meat.  Remember, every slow cooker cooks a bit differently.

When the beef is done, remove it from the liquid and shred it with two forks (removing any fat, too).  Place the liquid into a large sauce pan and heat uncovered until the liquid has reduced by about half or more (feel free to skim any fat off, too).  Use your best judgement, you will be pouring this mixture over the shredded meat, so it depends upon how much liquid you prefer in your barbacoa.

Combine the sauce and beef together in the slow cooker.  Use it to make tacos!  Serve it with tortillas, queso fresco or coitja cheese, radishes, cilantro, onions, jalapenos, limes, and the Avocado Tomatillo Salsa.  The barbacoa reheats and freezes very well.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from the Kitchn

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!


Read Full Post »

Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

Autumn.  The best of all the seasons, even if it’s only brief here in Minnesota.  Yes, Spring is a close second, but when Autumn rolls around, I’m really, truly happy.  I love the brilliantly colored, crisp, maple leaves that my daughter brings me as bouquets for our dining room.  We live in an old Victorian with dark wood and decor in our living and dining rooms.  I always think about re-painting to brighten things up, but when Fall rolls around, it feels so comfortably warm and cozy, and I’m thankful I haven’t changed a thing.

Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

On of my favorite Fall (and even winter, for that matter) dishes is this amazing Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette.  The combination of beef and sauerkraut is incredible.  It’s also a bit nostalgic for me.  I grew up with huge pots of meatballs that had been simmering in tangy sauerkraut for hours.  Wonderful stuff.  This galette showcases those flavors.  Just like my other galettes, the crust is crisp and light.  The potatoes add substance, while the fresh mozzarella ensures that the dish is moist enough.  Of course, you can substitute another mild cheese, like grated regular mozzarella, if you like.  I really wanted the tang from the sauerkraut to be showcased here, rather that hidden underneath a more assertive cheese.  I’m planning to share with you all a quick sauerkraut recipe and technique very soon.   I really hope you give this galette a try– I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Rustic Potato, Sauerkraut, and Beef Galette

Use this pie crust recipe  (with 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary and 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme mixed into the dough)

1/2 pound ground beef

1/4 cup chopped white onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

black pepper

3/4 pound small steamed yellow potatoes, sliced

1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained a bit

6 slices of fresh mozzarella  (or a bit more)

1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

olive oil

1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water, for an egg wash

Follow these directions to make the pie dough.  You will only be using one of the dough balls for this recipe.  Freeze the other one for another time.  Add the fresh herbs when you are mixing the dough.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.  Proceed.

Preheat your oven to 375°F.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium/high heat.  Drain and discard the grease.  To the skillet of ground beef add the chopped onions, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a bit of black pepper (you may want to add a glug or two of olive oil, if the pan seems a little dry). Sauté for a couple of minutes until the onions are tender.  Remove from heat and set aside.

On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll the pie dough out to a 12-inch circle using a lightly floured rolling pin.  Place the sliced potatoes on the dough, leaving about 1 1/2-inch space around the edge.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on the potatoes.  Next, put the sauerkraut on top, followed by the chopped parsley.  Then add the ground beef mixture, and finally place the fresh mozzarella on the very top.  Fold the edges of the dough up and pinch together to seal the seams as much as possible.  Use a pastry brush to apply the egg wash to the edge of the dough.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on the egg wash.

Slide the parchment paper with the galette onto a baking sheet and bake for 43-45 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown.  (Keep in mind that every oven is a bit different.  If you don’t already have an oven thermometer, I highly recommend you get one.  Cheap ones are about $7 and work great.  My oven runs 15 degrees hot.)  Top the galette with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil before serving.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!



Read Full Post »

My family loves Italian food, though neither my husband or I are Italian.  If we’re celebrating a special occasion, there’s a good chance we’ll be making pasta.  For years we relied on dry, packaged pasta for spaghetti, lasagna, and seafood dishes.  My husband bought a pasta maker some time ago, and while we were first a bit indimidated by the work involved in making fresh pasta, now we’re hooked.  Rather than look at it as extra time and effort, we separate out the tasks and make it a family affair:  I prepare the dough and the sauce, while my husband and four-and-a-half year old son crank out the noodles.  My two-year-old daughter provides moral support– or more accurately does her best to disrupt the process.  My hope is that the group effort makes nice “food” memories for my family and that they’ll always remember our time in the kitchen.

The pasta recipe here comes from one of the queens of Italian cuisine, Lidia Bastianich.  The pasta is silky, beautifully firm, and has that genuine “toothiness” when you bite into it.  If you’ve never had fresh pasta, you’re missing out as the texture is so different from boxed dry noodles.  This particular pasta pairs well with slow-cooked meat sauces.  They cling to it beautifully.  One of my favorites is a bolognese-style sauce.  I’ve made several from cook books, but they’ve never been exactly what I was looking for, so I took my own route for this recipe.  I’ve discovered that ‘bolognese’ sauces can be quite varied.  Some recipes and restaurants use lots of tomatoes, while others rely on them sparingly.  Some call for simmering in milk for long periods of time, while others add cream at the end of the cooking process.  I created this sauce to fit my own tastes– some tomatoes, yet different from a traditional tomato-based sauce.  I slowly simmer it in milk for a few hours to allow the flavors to fully incorporate.  Note that there are no herbs in the sauce, so the meat (especially the pancetta) and vegetables are the stars.

Homemade Tagliatelle: 

(Makes one pound of pasta)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg yolk (from a large egg)

3 large whole eggs

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Making the dough in a food processor:

Fit the regular cutting blade in the bowl of a processor  (these batches are too small for the dough blades of most machines).  Measure the flour into the bowl; process for a few seconds to blend and aerate.  Drop the eggs and egg yolk into a spouted measuring cup , or a bowl; beat briefly with a fork to break them up.  Mix in the oil  (you should have 7 fluid ounces).   To minimize the chance of overheating the dough, use eggs right from the refrigerator.

Start the machine running with the feed tube open.  Pour the wet mixture into the bowl quickly; scrape all the egg drippings out of the cup into the processor too.

Let the machine run for about a half minute.  The dough should form quickly; most of it should clump or ball up on the blade – some may spread on the sides of the bowl –  where it will twist and knead.  Let the machine knead the dough for about 10 seconds (no more than 40 seconds total processing).  Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface, and knead by hand for another half minute or so, until it’s smooth, soft and stretchy.  Wrap and rest the dough at room temperature for at least a half hour.  Store, very well wrapped, in the refrigerator for a day; or a month or more in the freezer.  Defrost frozen dough slowly in the refrigerator, and let it return to room temperature before rolling.  Defrosted dough will need a bit more flour.

If you have problems in the food processor – if there’s no apparent clumping after 30 seconds, or the dough stiffens up very quickly – stop the machine and feel the dough.  Adjust for stickiness or dryness by working in either flour or water in small amounts.  You can continue to work the dough in the machine, but don’t process for more than a total of 40 seconds – or turn the dough out to correct the consistency and finish kneading by hand.

Rolling the dough by machine:

I used a manual pasta machine for this.  Have your dough at room temperature for rolling.  Cut 1 pound of dough into four pieces.  Work with one piece and keep the others covered to prevent drying.  Have a large tray or baking sheet nearby (or two if you have them) lightly sprinkled with flour, on which to lay thin dough strips.  Smooth kitchen towels are also useful as resting surfaces and to seperate layers of strips.  Have flour for sprinkling and a knife handy, too.

Turn the knob to the widest setting– you’ll work at this setting for awhile.  Roll the first dough piece out with a rolling pin into an rectangle so that it’s thin enough for the machine to grab on the widest setting.  Roll it through the machine two times.  Fold the now elongated rectangle in thirds, and turn the dough 90 degrees  (so the fold is on the side, verticle), and roll it through.

Catch the dough; fold it and roll it through again with the fold on the side.  Repeat the folding and rolling six more times to strengthen and smooth the dough.  Like kneading, this will make it more resilient and workable.  Lay the first piece down, sprinkle it with a tiny bit of flour on both sides, and cover it (with plastic wrap or a towel).  Put the remaining pieces of dough through the same steps of rolling and folding.

Reset the rollers to the third setting (I roll pasta at every other setting from wide to narrow).  Roll your first strip through, but don’t fold in thirds again.  Let the rollers grab and move the dough– don’t push it or pull it through– and catch it with your hand as it comes out.  Roll the strip again to stretch and widen it; lay the strip down (on the lightly floured tray) and stretch the others in the same way.

Reset the machine even narrower; you should be on the fifth setting by now.  If the rollers fail to grab the dough, apply just a dab of water to the tip of the pasta dough.  Pass the first strip through once; it will lengthen rapidly, and you will need to catch and support it as it comes through the rollers.  Flour the strip lightly if it is sticking to the rollers.  After the second pass, if the strip is 20 inches or longer (and it really should be so), cut it crosswise in half, to get two shorter strips of about 10 to 15 inches.  Lay these down (not overlapping) and dust with flour; roll and cut the other strips in the same way.

You should have eight long strips at this point, each 5 -inches wide (nearly the width of the rollers).  I’ve found that this is generally the thickness that I want.  If you have a different pasta maker, and the noodles are 1/8 – inch thick (and the strips are shorter then 12- inches), you should pass them through the next narrow setting.  Roll the dough as thin as you like, as long as it doesn’t tear or fall apart.  If it does tear, fold the strip in half or thirds (making it shorter and enclosing the tear) and reroll at wider setting.

Set the finished strips down, lightly floured and not overlapping, in the big trays.  If necessary, cover a layer of strips with a floured kitchen towel, and rest more strips on top.

Keeping cut pasta:

You can cook the pasta as soon as it is cut, or let it sit and dry at room temperature until you are ready, but use them within a day.  Lay them out on trays, lightly floured and separated so they don’t stick together.  Arrange the pasta into “nests”.  Pasta that has been air-dried will take a bit longer to cook.

To freeze cut pasta for storage, set the nests  on trays that fit into your freezer.  After they’re solidly frozen, pack them in small airtight plastic bags or containers.  Don’t defrost before cooking; simply drop the pasta into the boiling water.

Cooking the pasta:

For 1 pound of pasta, bring 6  quarts of water to a full boil and stir in 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt.  The dough has no salt, so it is particularly important that the cooking water be well salted.

Before adding pasta to the water, shake off any excess flour.  Drop the pasta into the boiling water in several batches, stirring with each addition to separate the pieces.

Keep the high heat, but don’t cover the pot.  Cook at a boil at least until the pasta rises to the top.  It should take 2-3 minutes.  Remember, fresh pasta is not cooked until  al dente like dried pastas.  Cook them until they are tender and cooked all the way through.

Source: Homemade Tagliatelle adapted from Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s Lidia’s Family Table.  Bolognese recipe is my own.

Ragu alla Bolognese

(Simmer time: the longer the better.  At least 2-3 hours for optimum flavor)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 dry bay leaf

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup onions, finely chopped

1 cup carrots, peeled and finely chopped

1 cup celery, finely chopped

1/4 pound pancetta or bacon, diced

1 pound  free-range ground pork

1 pound grass-fed ground beef

6 tablespoons double-concentrate tomato paste

2 cups puréed canned tomatoes ( I can my own, I would suggest buying something low in sodium)

2 cups whole milk

3/4 – 1 cup white wine, such as Soave or Pinot Bianco (both Italian whites)

In a large Dutch oven, brown the beef and pork over medium-high heat.  Drain and discard the grease and remove the browned meat from the pan.  In the same pan, cook the pancetta or bacon until crisp.  Remove pancetta from the pan leaving the drippings behind.  Sauté the vegetables in the bacon drippings until tender, about 6-7 minutes.   Season with salt and cracked pepper.  Add the ground beef, pork, and pancetta to the pan.  Mix in the vegetables and the tomatoes, tomato paste, milk, bay leaf, and wine.  Bring to a boil, then cover and immediately turn down to low for a long, slow simmer for at least 2 hours, but hopefully a bit more.  The longer you can simmer this sauce, the better it will taste.  3 hours makes it delicious.  Remove cover near the end, if it needs to reduce/thicken  a bit more.  Adjust salt and pepper if necessary.  Combine the bolognese and tagliatelle and top with freshly grated parmesan.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Have a fabulous day, everyone!  Thanks for stopping by, and as always, I appreciate any feedback.


Follow me on Twitter!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: