Today kicks off a weeks worth of #MexicanRecipes. Below is a handful of recipes to help inspire you for next weekend’s Cinco de Mayo festivities, followed by what’s currently my favorite recipe for Beef Tacos – easy to make, easy to scale for entertaining.
Let’s have a fiesta of Cinco de Mayo inspired recipes all week long!
- Papusas de Queso from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Mexican Restaurant Rice from Palatable Pastime
- Posole de Camarones (Shrimp and Hominy Stew) from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Enchiladas to Feed a Crowd from Tip Garden
- Mexican Street Corn Barley Salad from Cooking With Carlee
- Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread) from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
- Avocado Paletas (Mexican Avocado Ice Pops) from Caroline’s Cooking
- Churro French Toast from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Beef Tacos from Books n’ Cooks
- Easy Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms from Feeding Big
- One Pan Chicken Enchilada Rice Bake from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Mexican Strawberry Cheesecake Chimichangas from All that’s Jas
Check back each and every day for new recipes by following along with the hashtag #MexicanRecipes on social media.
Are you a food blogger interested in posting within our blogging community? Find out more by joining us online: Holiday Fun with Our Blog Friends.
Over the past couple of years, my husband has gotten really into dorky board games. The kind that take a while to set up, a long time to read and learn the rules, and sometimes a long time to play. I enjoy some of the games (I love playing Pandemic Legacy with friends, and am really into the collaborative version of Orleans) but I don’t play often enough to want to learn a lot of new games. My hubby is the opposite and would play a different game every night if he could.
My hubby has been getting his fill of board games with twice monthly board game nights. We host about half of the time, and the group that is coming seems to get larger every time. It’s made entertaining a bit of a challenge – a large group on a work night. I need something that can either be made a day before and reheated or is crazy quick to prepare in large quantities. With the warmer weather, chili no longer seems like the best choice. We’ve been grilling some, but these beef tacos are great for the spring rainy nights. The meat mixture is easy to make, easy to scale, can be made ahead and reheated the day of on the stove or in the slow cooker, and can be frozen or reused in other Mexican recipes (burritos, burrito bowls, and quesadillas) during the week if we have leftovers. We love the flavor (not spicy at all) and I love the hidden bell pepper for a little extra veggie.
Adapted from SkinnyTaste Fast and Slow (p. 139)
Ingredients for the Taco Meat:
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 c. tomato sauce
- Hard or soft taco shells
- Choice of toppings: shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa (we like homemade salsa), sour cream, guacamole
Make the Taco Meat: In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, breaking it up into small pieces. When mostly browned, drain out extra fat at the bottom of the pan. Return to stove and add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cooking until remaining beef is browned and vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients – herbs, spices, and tomato sauce. Stir well. Lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally, on low for 15-20 minutes, until warmed throughout.
Serve hot with desired taco shells and toppings. Or, use in burritos, burrito bowls, or quesadillas.
Recipe Notes: Taco meat may be frozen for use later. It can also cook throughout the day in a slow cooker (6-8 hours on low, or 3 on high) if prepared in the morning, or is being reheated.
We’re having unseasonably warm weather this year, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not craving your typical winter comfort foods, like pastas and stews. A very busy month has had me looking towards recipes that require little extra work from me and meals that make large quantities so that we’re set for leftovers for a couple days (or in this case, almost the entire week). This stew recipe, heavily adapted from my uncle’s recipe, fits that bill. It makes 14 HUGE, filling servings and with the exception of a few minutes chopping of some veggies, the dish can be set and forget to cook all day long.
I know I’ll be making this recipe a couple times over the next two months. Not just because we enjoy it, but because this week, both my hubby and I got hit with some craziness at work. Over the next 6 weeks, we each have a week of training, which tends to equate to long days with the other parent doing the majority of the kid-duties. Add that to a looming deadline for me on a huge project at work… life is going to be busy and a bit rough until mid-March.
I plan to do my best and continue posting as much as possible, but please forgive me if there’s a lack of posts on here or on social media. Please send positive thoughts that everything goes smoothly!
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
By Books n’ Cooks
Makes 14 2-Cup Servings
Add the following to a 7-quart (or larger) slow cooker and whisk to combine.
- 32 oz. low-sodium beef broth
- 32 oz. low-sodium vegetable broth
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 6 Tbs. homemade stew seasoning (or 2 packets, if purchasing store-bought)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Then add the meat, potatoes, and vegetables:
- 8 oz. sliced white button mushrooms
- 7-8 oz. frozen peas
- 1/2 an onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 lbs. lean stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces (trimmed of fat, if needed)
- 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours, until potatoes are soft and meat is tender.
A couple tablespoons at a time, whisk in:
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
and allow stew to cook and thicken with the lid cracked another 15-30 minutes.
Serve hot, with a side salad and/or dinner roll.
November was supposed to be a quiet month for me. October was crazy but November was completely open. It was supposed to be a chance for me to relax and recharge before the Christmas holiday season kicked into gear.
As hard as I tried to keep the month open, my plan didn’t really work out. I’m not even completely sure how the month got so busy, or what, exactly, we did. We had a houseguest for a couple days, that we didn’t previously plan, but I think that other than that, it was just very busy with some long days (including weekends) at work, a week of sick kiddos, and struggling to keep up with housework. As the month ended, I ended up feeling more exhausted than refreshed.
The crazy month is why this recipe has taken a bit longer than I wanted to post. This lasagna is a go-to recipe for me, particularly for cooler weather and large-scale entertaining. While it is a good bit of work (it probably takes an hour or so to put together), it has 3 qualities that make it a favorite.
1) It can be made in advance and refrigerated or frozen.
2) It makes a huge dish and can easily serve 8-12 people. Or, it makes a lot of leftovers for weekday lunches or busy weeks when leftovers are all that we have for dinner.
3) Everyone loves it.
Unlike a lot of other lasagnas, it’s light on the cheese and full of meat. Also a little different from other recipes, I added a few extra layers – for a total of 4 layers of noodles – as we like a nice, thick slice.
This recipe has been heavily adapted from my mom’s old Good Housekeeping cookbook, Step by Step.
Make Ahead: This recipe can be made in advance, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and frozen for at least a couple of months. Lasagna should be allowed to defrost completely (about 2 days in the fridge) before baking according the the instructions below. If lasagna isn’t completely thawed, keep covered and bake until lasagna is hot throughout, before removing foil and cooking uncovered for the last 15 minutes.
Beef & Sausage Lasagna
Makes one large (9×13) lasagna
- 1-16 oz. package lasagna noodles
- 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
- 1/2 lb. spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 medium onion, small dice
- 1 Tbs. minced or crushed garlic
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
- 2 Tbs. dried basil
- 1-15 oz. container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 c. fresh Italian parsley
- 2 c. (8 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella
- 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Make the Meat Sauce: In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef and both sausages, using a wooden spoon to break up any large chunks. Add onion and garlic, and continue to cook until translucent. Discard any excess fat, and add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, kosher salt, sugar, Italian seasoning, and basil. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and lower heat, simmering for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package. When done, use tongs to remove noodles from water and lay noodles flat on a clean dishtowel on the counter. Allow to cool until you’re able to handle them with your hands.
Make the Ricotta Layer: In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg and parsley.
Assemble the Lasagna: On a clean countertop, line up meat sauce, lasagna noodles on the towel, ricotta, a small bowl filled with the shredded mozzarella, and a large (9×13 at least) baking dish. It will make assembly easier and cleaner if everything is in one single work area.
First, spread a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce (I like to avoid the meat chunks for the bottom later) across the bottom of the baking dish, so that lasagna noodles don’t stick. Next, add a layer of lasagna noodles, followed by one-third of the ricotta, about 1/2 c. of the mozzarella, and about a quarter of the meat sauce. Do this two more times, so that you have 3 complete layers.
Add the final layer of lasagna noodles. If you have extra ricotta, you can add it here. Otherwise, top with remaining meat sauce, remaining mozzarella, and the grated Parmesan cheese. Feel free to add a little extra of either or both cheeses, if lasagna is not sufficiently covered.
Bake covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted and starting to brown. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Serve hot with a side salad and your favorite fresh bread or garlic bread.
After three weeks of rain and abnormally chilly weather, it looks like some semblance of spring or early summer is finally here, and I’m thrilled. I’m done with heavy meals, the stove and oven heating up the kitchen. I’ve been longing for lighter fare – grilled meats and veggies, lots of fresh fruit and herbs… everything cooked outside with the windows and doors open. And FINALLY! That time is here. And what perfect timing, because this week, the #SundaySupper tastemakers are heating up the grill and showing off some great recipes that will keep you grilling all summer long.
Due to our busy schedules, we’re frequently grilling with premade marinades or a quick rub of spices or even just kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. But on the weekends, I have a little extra time for those few extra steps that turn a simple grilled steak into something a little extra special. This recipe is one I’ve made several times. The marinade loans a great flavor to the meat, and later gets heated to a boiling point to create a sweet syrup to drizzle on the grilled steak.
Bourbon & Brown Sugar Marinated Grilled Steak
Adapted from Fine Cooking Grilling, 2008 (p. 33)
- 1/2 c. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 c. bourbon
- 1/2 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. hot sauce
- 2 lbs. steak (I used flank steak)
Marinade: Combine soy sauce, bourbon, brown sugar, mustard and hot sauce in a large ziplock bag. Add steak and marinate at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
Cook: Meanwhile, preheat grill, with settings on medium.
Remove steak from marinade (save marinade) and grill to desired doneness – about 5-6 minutes per side for medium-rare.While steaks cook, place leftover marinade in a small pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes until thick and syrupy.
Allow steaks to rest for 5 minutes before slicing thinly, across the grain.
Serve with a drizzle of sauce and your favorite summer sides.
Looking to change up your summer grilling routine? The #SundaySupper tastemakers have everything from drinks to entrees, sides, and desserts. Check ’em out!
- Grilled Peach and Pineapple Sangria by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Let’s Get This BBQ Started!
- Bruschetta with Grilled Bread by Wholistic Woman
- Cilantro Lime Grilled Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa by Taste And See
- Grilled Avocado with Cilantro-Lime Cream by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
The Main Event
- Bison Sliders with Special Sauce by Un Assaggio of Food, Wine & Marriage
- Bourbon & Brown Sugar Marinated Grilled Steak by Books n’ Cooks
- Buffalo Wing Burger by Red Cottage Chronicles
- Chicken Mazatlan by Palatable Pastime
- Greek Lamb Burgers by Positively Stacey
- Grilled Avocado with Confetti Shrimp Salad by The Weekend Gourmet
- Grilled Shrimp Corn Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette by Food Lust People Love
- Grilled Duck with a Red Wine Reduction by Monica’s Table
- Grilled London Broil Steak Tacos by The Freshman Cook
- Grilled Pork and Pineapple Salad by Caroline’s Cooking
- Grilled Ribeye with Simple Spice Rub by Cooking Chat
- Grilled Salami Sandwich by Magnolia Days
- Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce by Angels Home Sweet Homestead
- Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs by Moore or Less Cooking
- Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken by Alida’s Kitchen
- Grilled Tuna Steaks with Orange Tomato Sauce by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Grilled Tuna Steaks with Strawberry Mango Salsa by simple and savory
- Honey Mustard Grilled Pork Chops by My World Simplified
- How to Grill Salmon and Shrimps in Banana Leaves by Asian In America
- Lemon Herbed Yogurt Chicken Kabobs by Momma’s Meals
- The Best Baby Back Ribs Ever!! by A Day in the Life on the Farm
On a Side Note
- Easy Garlicky Grilled Polenta by She Loves Biscotti
- Easy Grilled Artichokes by April Golightly
- Grilled Asparagus with Lemon and Manchego Cheese by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Grilled Cantaloupe Salad with Queso Fresco and Herbs by Cooking With Carlee
- Grilled Corn with Herb Butter by My Imperfect Kitchen
- Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad by Cookin’ Mimi
Saucy Sentiments and Rebellious Rubs
- Homemade Burger Sauce by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Homemade Coffee Steak Rub by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Grilled Banana Boats by Our Good Life
- Grilled Blueberry Cobbler by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Grilled Dessert Pizza by Baking Sense
- Grilled Pineapple with Vanilla Sorbet by The Chef Next Door
- Grilled Strawberry & Blue Basil Granita by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Super Simple Grilled Peaches by And She Cooks
Plus Piri Piri Sauce and Recipes for Summer Grilling from Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement
I feel like Beef Wellington is one of those dishes you indulge in. It’s expensive and while not difficult to make, it does take a little bit of time. However, this recipe has become of of my favorite beef recipes and my go-to entree for special occasions, particularly for Easter. The beef is incredibly tender and the stuffing is full of flavor. I usually pair it with a simple potato dish, a roasted vegetable, and a salad – the beef is the star of the show and there’s no need to detract from it with fancy sides.
I’ve used this recipe (scaled accordingly) to make both individual Beef Wellingtons as well as one large Beef Wellington, which we then sliced. While I like the idea of everyone having their own individual serving, the larger one was easier to put together and honestly easier to accommodate appetites of varying sizes.
Heavily adapted (simplified) from Tyler Florence
Ingredients for the Mushroom Duxelles:
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pints (1 1/2 lbs.) white button mushrooms
- 2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Ingredients for the Beef:
- 3 lbs. center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed
- extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- all-purpose flour
- 1 lb. puff pastry, thawed
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- cooking spray
- coarse sea salt
Make the Duxelles: On the stove, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. When hot, add butter and olive oil.
Meanwhile, in a large food processor, pulse the mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and thyme until finely chopped. Add to skillet with melted butter and olive oil. Sautee for about 10 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
I’ve made this step several hours ahead of time, and simply refrigerated it until ready to prepare the beef.
Prep the Beef: In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil.
While the oil is heating, season all sides of the beef tenderloin with salt and pepper. Sear meat on all sides for only a few minutes, to seal in juices.
Assemble the Beef Wellington: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F and lightly flour the counter. Roll out puff pastry to 1/4-inch thickness, overlapping the two sheets of puff pastry as necessary. Spread duxelles in the center, to the approximate length and width of the puff pastry. Set seared beef tenderloin on top.
Combine beaten egg with a little bit of water to create an egg wash. Brush long sides of puff pastry with egg wash and then fold over, sealing in meat. Trim ends, if necessary. Brush with egg wash and fold over.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Gently place beef on prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Brush top with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Cut slits into top to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the beef comes out at 125F. Allow to rest for 15 minutes, which will allow the meat to continue to cool until it reaches medium, about 140 degrees.
Several years ago, some friends of ours entered the chili cook off contest at Pumpkin Chunkin. We never got to go, but we did get to test their award-winning (2nd place!) chili. This recipe is mine and my husband’s version of that recipe. Over the years, we’ve changed the prep and cooking methods slightly. We’ve also amended the ingredient list to better align with our kitchen staples and to omit some of the ingredients that are harder to find.
This chili is thick and meaty. It makes a huge batch. It’s a weekend recipe, because it takes a good 1-2 hours of prep and cook time followed by another couple of hours of simmering. We like to make it and have a bunch of friends over to help us eat it. When there’s leftovers, my husband will eat it for lunch every day until it’s gone.
Manly Meaty Chili
By Books n’ Cooks
Makes a ton
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the following meats. As each browns, move to a plate or bowl until ready to add to the stockpot:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. bacon or turkey bacon (optional)
Meanwhile, set a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add
a little vegetable oil
When hot, add the following veggies, sauteing until soft:
2 bell peppers, small dice
2 large vidalia onions, small dice
10 cloves garlic, minced
When the veggies have softened, deglaze pan with
1 c. bourbon
Stir in the following ingredients and bring to a boil:
2 Tbs. taco seasoning
2 Tbs. chili powder
1 cap full of Hot Mrs. Dash or McCormick’s Perfect Pinch Southwest Blend
1/4 c. dried oregano
1/4 c. dried basil
24 oz. lager
2-8 oz. cans Rotelle
12 oz. tomato paste
28 oz. tomato sauce
8 oz. semi-sweet baker’s chocolate
When boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and add cooked meats as well as
1-15 oz. can kidney beans
1-15 oz. can black beans
1-15 oz. can Great Northern beans
1-15 oz. can pinto beans
Stir to combine. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and allow to cook for 2-3 hours.
Serve hot with your choice of toppings (i.e shredded cheddar cheese, minced onions, etc.) and side (i.e. tortilla chips, traditional corn bread, bacon corn bread (pictured above), etc)
I’m not feeling very inspired to write today. Maybe it’s because me and sloppy joes don’t really have a history. I had them at my in-law house one of the first times I went home with my hubby. Something about this recipe struck me and I ended up loving it. I think it’s the slight tang of the sauce. Sloppy joes quickly became a regular in our weeknight menu – it’s healthy & filling; it comes together pretty quickly; and it’s one of my favorite leftovers to take to work. Enjoy!
Above, served with mixed berry salad with vanilla syrup.
Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave p. 91
Makes 6-8 sandwiches
- 1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 tsp. minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded & small diced
- 1-15.5 oz. can low-sodium red beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 1/2 c. no salt added tomato sauce
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs. unsulfured molasses
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 8 burger buns or sandwich thins for serving
- In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, brown meat and onions until meat is mostly browned.
- Remove drippings from pan – pour or use a turkey baster to remove them – and add bell pepper and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients, minus the burger buns. Cook for another 5 minutes until flavors meld together.
Serve on burger buns or sandwich this.
Make ahead and reheat in a crock-pot on low for 2-4 hours.
Nutrition: 1/2 c. of the sloppy joe mixture is 220 calories and will yield a full 8 servings.
When Borders was closing, I stalked the cookbook section, hoping that the cookbooks for my favorite chefs would end up dirt cheap. No such luck – they sold out long before that point, but I did score one major find. Borders had William Sonoma Cooking at Home marked for to $7, and then an extra 30% on top of that. The book didn’t have any photos, which I normally want in a cookbook, but I had heard such great things about WS recipes that I knew this was a good investment. No, a fabulous investment.
So far, I’ve only made a couple recipes from it – country fried chicken, buttermilk dinner rolls (recipe coming up) and this beef bourguignon recipe. I think I have a new favorite cookbook. This beef bourguignon blew me away. I’ve made it twice over the past month, a pretty big statement when it takes a good 4 hours from start to finish. The flavors were outstanding. I felt so warm and cozy while eating it, I kept expecting to see snow on the ground!
Recipe Notes: I skipped the salt pork called for in the recipe. I used it the first time, because everything was supposed to be fried in the fat rendered from it. However, the brand I got (Hornell) yielded no fat. In the below, I replaced the pork fat with Crisco and liberally salted the dish with kosher salt before baking it. (If you want to use it, fry pork fat until fat is rendered. Remove fat from pan and set aside. Fry veggies and beef in fat. Sprinkle fried salt pork on top of dish upon completion.) I also skipped the 1/4 cognac (to deglaze pan) and simply used some of the red wine, as we don’t usually keep cognac in the house. Finally, I skipped out on the pearl onions (saute 18-24 peeled pearl onions in an extra 2 Tbs. of butter, and add to dish at the same time as the mushrooms if you’d like to include them).
Adapted from Williams Sonoma Cooking at Home p. 274
Yields 6 servings
- 8 shallots, minced
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled & diced
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 3 lb. beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 2 c. beef broth
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
- 3 c. dry red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1 lb. white or cremini mushrooms
- chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Heat 2-3 Tbs. Crisco in a large cast iron sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, onions, carrots, and garlic. Sprinkle with a generous teaspoon of kosher salt and saute until soft.
- While veggies are cooking, combine flour, nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a bowl. Coat beef with flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
- When veggies are soft, move to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the grease as possible. In batches as not to overcrowd meat, brown the beef on all sides. Add more Crisco if needed. When browned, use a slotted spoon to transfer to a waiting Dutch oven.
- Add 1/2 c. of the wine to the pan and deglaze, stirring with a wooden spoon to get up the bits at the bottom of the pan. Add deglazing liquid, the remaining 2 1/2 c. wine, the beef broth, and thyme/rosemary to the Dutch oven with beef.
- Move Dutch oven to stove burner still set to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Simmer on the stove or in an oven preheated to 324F for 2 1/2 hours.
- At the 2 hour mark, start preparing the mushrooms. Clean and trim stems, if you haven’t done so already. Melt 3 Tbs. butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
- At the 2 1/2 hour mark, add mushrooms to beef. Cook for another 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Discard thyme/rosemary springs and bay leaf. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot with crusty bread.
Preparation time: 4 hours
Cooking time: 3 hours
Lately, my work schedule has been crazy and it has been hard to fit chores, working out, and friends into my after work hours. And when I can fit it in, I just don’t want to. I usually want to veg out on the couch with some mindless tv or a quick mystery novel. Since I’m pretty much useless after work these days, I’ve gotten into the habit of making a nice big meal on Sundays, so that the hubby and I have leftovers for lunch or even dinner during the week. In summer months, we usually grill, but it’s harder during the winter. We end up with a lot of pasta, meatloaf, and other warm cozy meals. Shepherd’s pie recently earned itself a spot in our winter dinner rotation.
I came up with this recipe after some trial and error. I’ve never found a recipe out there that I loved completely. Some recipes called for ingredients that I didn’t normally have on hand. Others just didn’t appeal to me for one reason or another. The one I came up with uses ingredients I almost always have on hand. The filling is just a little bit thick, with most of the flavor coming from the Worcestershire sauce.
I like this recipe because it’s pretty forgiving. I use ground beef or turkey, depending on what I have on hand or what’s on sale. I might use more veggies to bulk up the mixture or simply change up the veggies I include (such as the extra carrots and no peas pictured above) depending on what’s in the fridge or in season. Even the mashed potatoes – sometimes I use leftovers, sometimes I make them from scratch with a little cheddar cheese thrown in for some extra flavor. Have fun with it – it’s hard to mess up!
By Books n’ Cooks
Yields 8 servings
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef or turkey
- 2-3 carrots, peeled & diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 Tbs. minced garlic
- 3/4 c. water or beef broth (1 c. for a slightly more liquidy consistency)
- 3 Tbs. flour
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 4 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- Black pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1 c. frozen peas
- 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 c. sour cream
- 1/3 c. milk
- 1/2 c. cheddar (optional, for cheddar mashed potatoes)
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a large skillet or oven-proof skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add ground beef/turkey, carrots, onion, and garlic. Cook, breaking up chunks of ground beef with a wooden spoon, until meat is browned and vegetables are softened.
- Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until soft. Drain and put back into pot with sour cream and milk. Mash to desired consistency, adding more sour cream/milk if desired. Season with salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese. Set aside.
- When the beef is browned and the veggies are soft, add water, flour, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with a little salt and pepper. Stir in peas. Allow to simmer another 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Pour into a 9×13 oven-safe dish and top with mashed potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes until heated throughout.
Earlier this year, a friend and her husband hosted our regular book club meeting. They grilled a fabulous skirt steak with a Brazilian “vinaigrette,” what I would consider to be a chimichurri. After jokes about our “hunk of Brazilian meat” (referring both to our dinner as well as our chef) we dove in, leaving little leftover.
While I’ve yet to acquire the recipe for the Brazilian vinaigrette, this chimichurri will suffice for a substitute. The hubby and I loved the flavor it added to the grilled steak and enjoyed the leftovers with our beer bread. The best part? It took only a few minutes to throw together, making this a wonderful quick and easy weeknight meal.
By Books n’ Cooks
- 1-1 1/2 lb. flank steak or skirt steak
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
Generously sprinkle both sides of steak with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before grilling.
Preheat gas or charcoal grill.
Place steak on hot grill. Cook for about 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 3-5 minutes, until steak reaches 135°F for medium-rare, or 140-145°F for medium.
Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving with below chimichurri.
Adapted from Foodandwine.com
Makes 1/2 cup
Pulse the below ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
- 3/4 c. finely chopped cilantro
- 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
May also add 1 jalapeño, with or without seeds, minced if you’d like a little spice.
Serve at room temperature.
According to Food and Wine, chimichurri may be made up to 4 hours ahead of time and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.