Category Archives: Beef

fickle spring

"Dave's" Chili

A few days ago, I was having a difficult time coming up with some way to talk about this chili recipe. Chili doesn’t really seem like an appropriate top to discuss while experiencing the first 80+ degree weekend, when my apartment is stuffy and hot because the heat hasn’t been switched to A/C. But I finally dug out this recipe from my mom and have made it a few times over the winter, and just not talked about it. Still, I was wary to bring it up. Continue reading

casual comfort

Sloppy Joes
Since really falling in love with cooking, I will admit that it is easy to get caught up in the next new and fancy thing.  Homemade pasta!  Layer Cakes! Braising!  Pretty Cupcakes!  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I have expanded my recipe file and become far more comfortable with my skills.  But sometimes you want something easy.  Sometime simple.  Something like a Sloppy Joe. Continue reading

a long braise

Pot Roast and Glazed Carrots

Even though the sun is staying up longer and longer everyday, it is still winter. My one pair of full length running tights get worn just a little too long between washing than is socially acceptable. My days start with a big mug of intelligentsia french press which is followed by many more cups of hot tea. And weekends should be spent braising. Continue reading

Snowy Stew

Sorry for beginning 2009 with 11 days of silence. It was not my intention. I spent 7 of those days in sunny Florida for a Disney filled vacation with Dave’s Family.

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It was just what I needed: sun, warm weather, pool/hot tub, great company and of course all 4 Disney parks that make up DisneyWorld. After having a pretty crappy end to 2008, this was just what I needed to start 2009 on a better note.
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As part of the terms and conditions of me being invited on the trip (not really, but it was a way for me to feel better about the Schmidts oh-so-graciously getting my plane ticket to Orlando), I bought the supplies and cooked breakfast for the 9 of us all week. It was a little hard waking up between 7:30-8:00 on vacation, but I forgot how fun it is to cook for a crowd. I didn’t do anything super fancy, just eggs, lots of bacon, cereal, etc but it was still a whole lot of fun. Rich and I also made our respective Mac and Cheese recipes for dinner the first night. As you can see, he approved.

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Of course when I got back to Chicago, it snowed for 2 1/2 days straight. It is still beautiful and such, but it makes it hard to go for a long run outside. I should have run more than once in FL! It took me 2 days to make it through my backed up and loaded Google Reader and give me a little more perspective of what I want this blog to mean to me in 2009. I have found a few blogs out there that are more of the: this is what I ate and did today rather than, this is a super awesome recipe that I just made. I don’t think I want to take it in the direction of a food diary (maybe in the future, not yet) but I do think I will add more personal stuff here, rather than just a post to try to get onto tastespotting and what not.

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Any how…I was also very fortunate to add a few new tools to my kitchen that I will be using here over the next few posts. Yesterday, while Dave was at his first day of Intensive IP Trial Ad, I watched the snow and read through my reader and the Kitchn and found a recipe for Beef Stew which sounded perfect. Warm, cozy, something I have never made, and a perfect use for my new dutch oven! It was the perfect dish to make on a snowy, lazy Saturday afternoon. And the best part is that I have two full portions frozen for a quick meal during the semester.

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Beef Stew
Adapted from Classic Beef Stew

1.5 Pounds beef (bottom/top round), trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized chunks
4 Cups of low sodium chicken broth (I like TJs Brand)
1 Tablespoon Herbes de Provence
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 Bay leaves
3 Pounds of red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (I left the skin on)
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2-3 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste (Listen to Bitten and buy the tube!)
1 cup of red wine (optional-but it gives you a good excuse to open a bottle)
1 cup frozen corn
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk or cream (I used 1%)
Salt and Pepper (I got to use my new Peugeot pepper mill; Thanks Deb and Rich!)

Set a large dutch oven or pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Toss the beef cubes with salt and pepper. When the pot is hot, add a teaspoon of oil and enough beef cubes to so that it is full, but none are touches. Let them sear without stirring until they “unstick” on their own. Once they are mostly cooked on all sides, take the cubes out and sear the rest of the meat in batches.

Once all the beef cubes are seared, deglaze the pot with one cup of broth. Scape the bottom of the pan to lift up the fond. Once the pot is deglazed, put all the beef back into the pot and add enough broth/water until the liquid is just below the surface of the meat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and cover. Simmer for around an hour, until the meat is easily skewered but not falling apart.

Meanwhile, add one teaspoon of oil to another pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until the onions are turning translucent. Add the potatoes and cook for a few more minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook until the paste evenly coats the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper during the process. Remove from heat and set aside until the beef is done simmering.

Once the beef is done, add the vegetables to the meat and add more broth/water to cover. Simmer uncovered for another 40-60 mins until the meat is very tender. Stir in the wine and corn.

Whisk together the milk and flour. Add a little stew broth to the mixture then slowly add it to the stew. Stir to fully incorporate. Remove the bay leaves and add more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in individual bowls with some warm crusty bread (or with egg noodles if you are Dave)
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Back in Texas

I am home in The Woodlands for a week, hanging out with my parents and stocking up on all the Texas goodies that I can’t easily find in Chicago. Just today, I bought 8 jars of salsa that I am going to attempt to get into my checked bag without hitting the 50 lb limit…should be tricky. Last night my Mom and I made a very typical meal, at least for my steak loving father…T-Bones and Potatoes. My Mom had a couple of leftover yellow potatoes from Thanksgiving so I decided to cook them up in a way that I had read about a few months before. Check out this recipe from Noble Pig…super easy and very tasty. I used some cajun seasoning called “Slap Ya Mama” and some salt and pepper instead of paprika.

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Then I used some great grill rub from the Spice House that I brought home to put in my Dad’s stocking…he got it a little early so that we could use it.

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Then even Ginger got to enjoy a good T-Bone leftover.
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It is nice to be home with my Civic to run errands and to avoid the -30 windchills in Chicago today.