This subcategory includes dishes made with, well beef…at least those where the main protein is beefy.

“It’s Still Winter” Food

LeanneI like February better than I like January, probably because it’s one month closer to spring. There’s no getting around it though – February is still very much winter, and today as I write this, a constant, cold drizzle falls, veiling almost everything with the same dull gray. I do like wintery food, however. It’s usually warm, hearty, comfortable stuff that seems as if it’s calling you home.

When I visited England a couple of years ago, it was in the early spring, with all the daffodils blooming and green everywhere you looked. It was still chilly nonetheless and the little pubs we visited were serving wintery fare. We had a brilliant (how quickly I fall into English descriptives!) steak and stout pie at York’s House of Trembling Madness, a wonderfully eccentric pub with absolutely delicious food. I’ve attempted to recreate it, with pretty good success. What I’ve come up with is fairly close to what we ate on our trip and it certainly fits the bill as winter comfort food. Have yourself a cozy evening by the fire and enjoy a scrumptious steak and stout pie!

Steak & Stout Pie
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small red onions, peeled and finely sliced
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
3 bay leaves
3 heaped tablespoons flour
2 pounds beef skirt steak, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 pound Crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tablespoons tomato purée
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
10 ounces good-quality stout or dark ale
2½ cups hot beef stock
3 ounces Dubliner Stout Cheese or good quality Cheddar, crumbled or sliced
1 large egg, beaten
1 package pie pastry (with lard as an ingredient)

Place a large casserole pan over medium heat, add olive oil and the butter, followed by the onions and fresh herbs. Cook for around 20 minutes, or until soft and turning golden, stirring occasionally.

Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add beef to the pan along with the mushrooms, tomato purée and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the vinegar, beer, and hot stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the meat is tender. At the end, you may need to remove meat, onions and mushrooms with a slotted spoon and boil gravy, stirring often, until thickened. Return meat mixture to gravy.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lay out one round of pastry into a large pie dish, smoothing down, turning in the edges neatly and pricking lightly all over with a fork. Brush with egg white. Bake for 20 minutes or until just starting to color.

Carefully ladle the stew into a pie dish then lay over the slices or crumbles of cheese.
Brush the outside rim with beaten egg and lay out other round of pastry on top, crimping and sealing the edges. Brush the top with a little more egg and place in the hot oven for 40 minutes, or until the pastry is beautifully golden. Serves 6 to 8

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Beef, Entrée | 2 Comments

Finally February

LeanneNow that January is gone, I can safely talk behind its back. I’ll confess that January is my least favorite month. True–any cold, gray, rainy month that followed cozy December would probably be my least favorite, and I will admit that January is a great month to get away on a trip. (I also have to say that this particular January was really rather lovely.) All that being said, I’m glad that February, with all of its red, pink and white ruffles, is here!

When our children starting arriving on the scene, Valentine’s Day stopped being a romantic day for two and started being a festive bright spot in the middle of winter. The kids would receive a card, balloon and goodies when they woke up, then dressed in appropriate red, pink and white clothing (our son Jack didn’t stand for this very long!), the Valentines and cookies would be gathered up for school, and the day would end with a fancy dinner, complete with Frank Sinatra music, bubbly, flowers and candles. The menu would usually involve steak, because steak just seems to go with Valentine’s Day. Here is one of my favorite steak recipes that’s based on a Food and Wine recipe. It’s super simple, so it allows time for all those other goodies you might be preparing.

Coffee-Rubbed Flat-Iron Steak
2 tablespoons finely ground dark-roast coffee beans
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 pounds flat-iron steak

In a small bowl, mix the ground coffee with the chili powder, brown sugar, paprika, cumin and salt. Pat the steaks all over with the coffee-chili rub and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan; oil the grates or pan. Grill the steaks over moderate heat, turning once, until they’re nicely charred outside and medium-rare within, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes.

Thinly slice the steaks and arrange on the platter. Serves 4-6

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Beef, Entrée | Leave a comment

A Food Revelation

LeanneAs a food person and someone who is in the food business, I get to try a lot of new dishes. Every once in a while I try something that is a thoroughly new idea to me.  It might be a food I’ve never tried before but more likely, it’s a food that’s used in a completely different way. Stuff wrapped in grape leaves (dolma) has always been good but has never really been a favorite of mine.  That’s all changed now. Andrew Zimmerman, host of Bizarre Foods on the Food Network offered this recipe in the June issue of Food and Wine magazine.  You roll a ground beef mixture in grape leaves, then grill, and then dip in Nuoc Cham (the famous Vietnamese dipping sauce).  I promise that you’ll never look at pickled grape leaves the same way again. The recipe may appear long and complicated but it really isn’t, especially if you get someone nice to help you.  Prepare to be amazed! P.S. We halved the recipe with great results.  The full recipe makes approximately 40 rolls. Also, I didn’t refrigerate the beef for very long and it turned out fine.

Grilled Beef Rolls with Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce

Slideshow: Delicious Asian Grilling Recipes

Beef Rolls
2 pounds ground sirloin
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
40 jarred brined grape leaves—drained, rinsed and patted dry
Vegetable or peanut oil, for grilling
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Chopped mint leaves, for serving

Nuoc Cham
¼ cup sugar
⅓ cup hot water
⅓ cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ jalapeño(about 1 tablespoon), seeded and minced
3 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, finely chopped

Make the beef rolls in a large bowl, combine the ground beef with all of the ingredients up to but not including the grape leaves. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Snip off any stems from the grape leaves. Spread 4 leaves on a work surface. Form a 1-tablespoon-size log of the beef filling at the stem end of each leaf. Fold the sides of the leaves over the filling, then tightly roll up the leaves to form cylinders, tucking in the sides as you go. Repeat with the remaining grape leaves and filling.

Make the Nuoc Cham in a medium bowl, whisk the sugar into the hot water until dissolved. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. Transfer the Nuoc Cham to a serving bowl.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Lightly brush the grill and the beef rolls with oil. Arrange the rolls on the grill with at least 1 inch between them and grill over moderate heat, turning often to prevent burning, until firm and just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the rolls with cilantro and mint and serve warm with the Nuoc Cham for dipping. Make ahead: The Nuoc Cham can be refrigerated overnight. 

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Appetizer, Beef, Condiment | Leave a comment

Going Home

There’s a restaurant in Seattle that we used to go to called Buddy’s Homesick Café (in the Greenwood neighborhood). It was when fifties-styled diners were all in vogue and this one had Kathy Casey connected with it. It was a fun place to be—it just felt comfortable. My favorite meal there was a scrumptious pot roast, probably the best I’ve ever had, that made you immediately feel as if you had gone home. It’s Kathy Casey’s recipe and here it is. If you make it, you won’t be sorry—comfort food at its best.

Cranberry Pot Roast
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
3½ pounds boneless chuck roast
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry red wine
3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 unpeeled orange, quartered
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon thyme
2 onions, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

Garlic Whipped Potatoes with Parsnips
2½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
10 garlic cloves
¼ cup butter
¾ cup whole milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parsley, minced, for garnish

¼ cup butter
¼ cup reserved seasoned flour
4 cups reserved pot roast cooking liquid
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine the flour, salt and pepper; rub into the surface of the meat, coating it well. (Reserve leftover flour for the gravy.) Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the roast well on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, for a total cooking time of 6-7 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or so. Pour in the wine and boil it while scraping up the cooked bits on the bottom of the pan. Add next 7 ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 3 hours, or until fork tender. Add onions and carrots and cook for another ½ hour.

To make the potatoes: about 25 minutes before the meat will be done, place the potatoes, parsnips , garlic and salt in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cover the saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes, parsnips and garlic are tender. While the potatoes are cooking, combine in a small pan over medium heat, the milk, pepper and butter. Heat until the butter is melted and the milk is warm. Drain off the water from the potatoes, parsnips and garlic and mash or whip in the pot while adding the hot milk mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the roast to a cutting board and cut it into thick slices, reserving the cooking liquid. Arrange the slices on a serving dish and keep warm.

To make gravy: melt the butter in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the reserved seasoned flour into the butter. Cook for 1 minute, then vigorously whisk in the reserved cooking liquid. Cook, whisking often, until thickened and free of lumps. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Arrange the carrots and onions around the slices of roast (discard the orange pieces.) Pour some of the gravy over the slices and pass the rest in a sauceboat along with the whipped potatoes. Serves 6

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Beef, Condiment, Entrée, Vegetable | Leave a comment

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