Tag Archives: beef

Beef & Cheddar on a Whole New Level

We’ve been insane-o busy lately, so speedy food has been a necessity. However, when you are not eating processed foods or stopping at fast food joints, it can seem a bit impossible to have a fulfilling meal in a hurry. If you make the tortillas ahead, my quesadillas (inspired by Taco Bell) are ready in mere moments. One of Kevin’s favorite fast food items was the beef and cheddar sandwich from Arby’s. So, with that fast food in mind, I whipped up a batch of these undeniably tastier (and healthier!) beef and cheddars on a night we were tight on time. You’ll notice that I did use a packaged bread item—Thomas’ English Muffins—as the base for these open faced mounds of yumminess … While I rarely buy grocery store bread items anymore, I passed an endcap of these on my way to the cat litter and could not turn down a buy 1, get 2 free deal! In the future, I would probably pile these toppings on a locally baked or homemade whole wheat or onion roll, but these were really great, too!

Open Faced Beef and Cheddar Sandwiches
Could be made with a top, too, for taking on the road! Just put a bit less filling and pop on a top.

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Dice onion.
  3. Cook onion and chipsteak in large skillet over medium-high heat until meat is browned and onions are translucent.
  4. Split English muffins and arrange, nooks & crannies side up, on baking sheet.
  5. Spread 1 T. creamy garlic dressing on each muffin half.
  6. Distribute spinach evenly muffins.
  7. Divide beef and onion mixture evenly over spinach.
  8. Thinly slice cheddar cheese and distribute evenly over meat.
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  10. Enjoy!
Better than Arby's!

Better than Arby's!

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Beef Patties with Mushroom Gravy—It’s What’s for Dinner!

Last week, I planned on making meatloaf for dinner, but miscalculated my time and had fruit leather occupying the oven when it was time to make dinner. The day had demanded something hearty, and we are on a bit of a mushroom kick right now (it took us so long to find a local source!), so I still wanted to make something using beef and mushrooms that captured that “manly meal” attitude of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. So, out came the cast iron skillet (it just makes things feel heartier), a beer and some other ingredients, and voila! The perfect meal for a cold, bleak night. Plus—A bonus side dish recipe because my husband popped into the kitchen to whip up a batch of potato-cauliflower purée.

Beef Patties with Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:

Beef Patty Ingredients

Beef Patty Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef (Valley View Farms)
  • 1 onion (Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 1/2 c. applesauce (homemade from Strawberry Acres apples)
  • 6-8 white or cremini mushrooms (Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 1 clove garlic (Apple Ridge Farm)
  • 1 beer (I used local Yuengling, but any lager or stout would work)
  • small palmful dried thyme (my garden)
  • small palmful dried rosemary (my garden)
  • 6-8 sage leaves (my garden)

Directions:

  1. Mince onion, garlic and half of each herb.
  2. Mix 3/4 of applesauce, onion, garlic and herbs with ground beef.
  3. Form beef mixture into six patties.
  4. Heat large cast iron skillet and add patties. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes, or to your liking.
  5. Meanwhile, slice mushrooms.
  6. When patties are cooked through, remove from skillet.
  7. Add beer to skillet, scraping up brown bits from bottom.
  8. Add sliced mushrooms, last 1/4 of applesauce and remaining herbs to skillet.

    Mushroom Gravy

    This will make your house smell amazing.

  9. Simmer until reduced by half and thick.
  10. Spoon gravy and mushrooms over beef patties and serve with potato-cauliflower purée.

    Beef Patties & Mushroom Gravy

    Drink a hearty beer with this!

Potato-Cauliflower Purée

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients (Pardon the mess in the background!) (Not pictured: cheese)

  •  2 c. cauliflower florets (this was leftover yellow cauliflower from Bechdolt’s that we had grilled then frozen)
  • 2 c. Yukon Gold potatoes (Strawberry Acres)
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1/4 c. milk, or to taste (Keepsake Farm)
  • 1/4 c. cheese (we used Keepsake Ferale from Keepsake Farm)

Directions:

  1. Dice cauliflower and potatoes and place in large pan.
  2. Cover contents of pan with water and bring to boil. Cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Use an immersion blender or mixer to purée vegetables.
  4. Add butter, milk and cheese. Stir until creamy and well combined.
  5. Serve hot with mushroom gravy.

What’s For Dinner?

Can you figure out what I made for a weekend dinner based on these local ingredients? Check back for the recipe on Friday and see if you were right!

Beef Patty Ingredients

ground beef, applesauce, beer, mushrooms, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage


Slow Cooker Beef Stew—It’s What’s For Dinner!

The slow cooker is a positively amazing creation. I love approaching my front door and smelling a delicious meal before I even unlock it. Sometimes, that is because my husband is lovingly/messily cooking inside, but sometimes, especially in the winter, it’s because the slow cooker has been working away all day so that a hot, rich meal is waiting for me. Sure, I did the prep work for the recipe, but if a day at my job has happened in between the prep work and the devouring, I hardly remember that I put any effort into it. It’s like working from home—Really, it’s the same amount of effort, but it just feels better. And you can wear pajamas.

Despite my affection for the slow cooker, I’ve also always been kind of wary of it. For years, I thought that all you could pull from it was gloppy, grayish brown concoctions of mush with too much salt and little flavor. When I learned you could make things other than pot roast in a slow cooker, I rebelled, cooking up curries and lasagnas. The one thing I missed out on was that the crock pot classics don’t have to be bland and squishy. Stew can be complexly flavored with varying textures and colors! Gravy doesn’t need to be lumpy! I knew all of these things in the realm outside slow cookery, but for some reason, I had created a mental block against those time honored dishes.

So, when I picked up one steak last week and was trying to think of ways to stretch it to feed my husband and I for a few days, I decided to give good ol’ beef stew a try. It was a hectic week, so the slow cooker was a perfect tool, and my husband was working hard on storm cleanup, so I knew he’d want something hearty. After dumping a few ingredients together, what was waiting on the other side of my door, making the porch smell delightful, was sophisticated in its flavors yet comforting in its essence.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Ingredients:

Ingredients

A great way to stretch a steak!

Directions:

  1. Cut onion into thick slices and place on bottom of greased slow cooker.
  2. Cut steak into 1″ cubes.
  3. Slice celery into 1″ lengths.
  4. Cut potatoes and yam into 1.5″ chunks.
  5. Layer steak, celery, potatoes and yam on top of onions.
  6. Pour beer, hot sauce, and tomato purée into large bowl.
  7. Crush garlic cloves and add to liquid.
  8. Add herbs de provence, salt, pepper and brown sugar. Whisk until smooth.
  9. Pour liquid mixture over beef and vegetables in slow cooker. (I go up to this step the night before I plan on eating it, then put the crock in the fridge overnight to just pull out and put on to cook the next morning.)
  10. Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 8 hours.
  11. After you finish marveling at how great your home smells 8 hours later, mix the cornstarch with a few tablespoons of water using a fork until it dissolves.
  12. Add the cornstarch to the slow cooker and turn the temperature to high. Let cook for 15 minutes or until thickened.
  13. Serve with crusty bread and a beer.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew


What’s for Dinner?

Can you figure out what I made for a weekend dinner based on these local ingredients? Check back for the recipe on Friday and see if you were right!

Ingredients

steak, potatoes, sweet potato, onion, celery, garlic, beer, tomato puree, hot sauce, brown sugar, salt, pepper, herbs de provence


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