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Mango & Ginger Curry Beef Roast

28 Aug

This recipe reminded me that I don’t use my slow cooker nearly enough.  The ginger combined with the curry flavor and the sweet mango are absolute comfort food, but with a twist!

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Mango & Ginger Curry Beef Roast (inspired by Just Making Noise)

  • 2 lb. chuck roast
  • 1 ripe mango, cubed +  1 ripe mango, cubed
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1-1/2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 T. sea salt, 1 t. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 T. grated ginger
  • 2 potatoes, chopped (I used sweet potato, but I would recommend a sturdier potato for this recipe!)
  • 2 T. curry paste of your choice

Combine all of the above ingredients in a Ziplock bag or a container with a lid.  Make sure the beef is completely coated on both sides with the marinade and place somewhere cool for at least 12 hours.  Place the beef in the bottom of your slow cooker.  Place the chopped onions, ginger, and potatoes on top of the beef.  Add the curry paste (I of course used Patak’s curry paste), some salt and some more pepper to the onion mixture, then combine just the vegetables on top.  Cook on low for 6-7 hours, then add in the other cubed mango and place your slow cooker to the warm setting for 1 more hour.

I ate this dish by itself, but it would be FABULOUS with some coconut rice!

Crockpot Shredded Beef Tacos

3 Nov

I will make this short and sweet because I’m just here to share the recipe I used for Crockpot Shredded Beef last week!!  It was so good that I think I will be planning a few more Taco Tuesdays into our future!

Crockpot Shredded Beef Tacos (from Gimme Some Oven)

crockpotbeeftacos2

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 lb. boneless chuck roast
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves pressed garlic

Make a rub from chili powder, cumin, and paprika.  Heat 1 T. olive oil in large skillet over medium heat, brown meat on both sides.   Then, place beef in crockpot or slow-cooker.  Add remaining 1 T. olive oil to skillet and add onions.  Cook until soft, then add garlic and stir until fragrant.  Place onion/garlic mixture over the beef in the slow cooker.  Deglaze the pan with beef broth, then whisk in tomato paste and chipotle peppers.  Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.  Pour over  the beef and onions in crockpot.  Cook on low for 6 hours, then shred.

Tricks & Treats

1 Nov

For the first time in many a year, I had a very sober Halloween!  Oh, growing up is so much fun.  Instead of dressing up like a skank or a meatloaf (yes, I dressed up as a meatloaf one year), I enjoyed some Thursday Night Football at home and watched Christina finish painting my living room.

Disclaimer:  While I was much heavier in 2008, I tied half a dozen sweatshirts/pants around my torso to make myself appear like a lumpy meatloaf for this costume!

meatloaf2008

Halloween 2008

Yes, I am a meatloaf in pan.  And yes, I have a gravy cape made out of hideous thrifted curtains.  Amazeeeeeballs.

Anhoo….

I’ve been doing a really great job staying on track with food as of lately.  I’ve been cooking delicious, healthy things and snacking smart!  I know I talk a lot on this blog about the importance of where food comes from (ethically sourced/grown/local), what it contains (chemicals, GMOs, etc.), but there is another side to it as well.  It makes me absolutely sick to think about how much food I used to throw away, for no other reason than I was too lazy to store it properly.

Here are some of the week’s note-worthy dinners with a few tricks (no, not the Halloween kind) thrown in the mix!

On Tuesday we had Crockpot Beef Tacos (cooked in a yummy adobo-based sauce) and Spanish Rice. We ended up eating this beef for lunches over the next 2 days.  I will share the recipe here in a few days!

crockpotbeeftacos

I only needed 2 peppers out of a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  Buying a whole can, using just 2, and then throwing the rest out is just plain wasteful so here’s my little tip:  Puree the remaining peppers in the food processor. Then, freeze it in a log shape.  That way, I can just cut from the log as needed for future recipes!

ChipotleAdoboPuree

Also, remember when I saved big on tortillas using coupons?   I had used the fajita size wraps long ago, but the taco size tortillas were still lingering in my freezer.  I HATE how defrosted bread products taste.  Something about the composition changes and they just taste old.  Solution:  Wrap the stack of frozen tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave on defrost setting until they are thawed.  By adding the extra moisture back into the product during the thaw, it keeps the fresh gummy-like consistency that it had when I first bought it!  Winning.  I even got Miss Picky Pants’ approval on the taste/quality of the taco shells.  Let me tell you, she would freak out if she knew they were way back from May!

On Wednesday we had this Sweet Potato, Black Bean, & Chicken Chili.

BB.SPChili

This recipe called for just 1 T. tomato paste, so I of course wanted to save the leftover tomato paste.  At one point in my life, I was buying a can of tomato paste every week, because I would toss it after using a tablespoon! I cringe even thinking about that now.  Instead of freezing it in a log, I scooped out tablespoon size dallops, froze them on a cookie sheet, and then transferred them to storage bag. (Sorry for the poor quality, I only thought to take a pic after they were frozen, so the moisture is all condensed on the bag.)

tomatopaste

So those are my tips on freezing and storing commonly used items!  It’s just as important to make sure that you make the most out of the things you buy as it is to make sure that you buy local, organic, and ethically made products.

Oh The Yum.

29 Oct

I’m trying as hard as I can to keep the momentum going, despite my monthly friend stopping by for a visit (i.e. I want to sleep for 12 hours a day and eat everything in sight).  I’m actually so tired that I just spelled sugar as “suger.”  On purpose.

Last night, I decided to give another one of Iowa Girl Eats’ recipes a whirl.  I happened upon her blog a few months ago when I realized I was loving her stuff on Pinterest.  Since then, I’ve been hooked!

Thai Steak Lettuce Wraps (from Iowa Girl Eats)

  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 3 T. lime juice
  • 3 T. EVOO
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 T. + 1 t. sesame oil
  • 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2″ knob ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-1/2 T. creamy almond butter
  • 1 lb. thin cut sirloin steak
  • lettuce cups

Quick-Pickled Cucumbers and Onions:

  • 1 small seedless cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  • 2 t. sugar

This recipe was kind of perfect for us yesterday because I had basically everything in my fridge/pantry.  I just had to run out and grab the fresh stuff – steak, lettuce, and cucumber.

First, I made the pickled garnish by mixing everything together in a bowl and stirring it up.  I continued to stir it about every 15 minutes until it was time to serve.

TSLW.1

Then, I made the marinade by combining the soy sauce, lime juice, EVOO, sesame oil, honey, red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic in my food processor.  Once everything was smooth, I took out 1/4 c. of the mixture and poured it over my steak as a marinade.  The rest of the sauce stayed in the food processor and I added the almond butter to it, mixing it again until smooth.  That mixture became the sauce for the wraps.  The steak marinated for about 20 minutes while I pre-heated my broiled, then I cooked it to medium, sliced it up and voila!

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Sorry about the poor quality of these pictures, it was hard to even snap a few before we devoured them!  So yummy and ridiculously easy to make.  I should also mention that we have leftovers a plenty for today as well.

 

Franktuary, finally.

20 Jan

Yes, I am a foodie.  Yes, I strive to be a locavore.  Yes, I want food produced as sustainably as possible.  Yes, I want hotdogs.

You heard me – hot dogs.

My favorite food in the world.

I can’t get enough.

And now that I’ve had Franktuary, my life may be complete.

If you’re involved in the Pittsburgh food scene, you are probably reading this post and wondering what took me so long to get over to Franktuary.  To be honest, we’ve been trying to consciously eat out less and when we do, we don’t travel far from the Waterfront.  But when she♥ and I decided to have an impromptu afternoon date, I jumped at the chance to try the place out.

We opted for the Lawrenceville location (there is a Franktuary downtown, and – how cool is this – they have a food truck).  It was hipster heaven, and I initially felt out of place in my paint-tattered yoga pants and naked face.  But, the menu was so much fun, the bartender was nice and snarky, and I mean, its Lawrenceville (home of hobo-chic).

Anyway, back to the dogs.  Franktuary’s mission is basically a farm-to-table wiener with foodie appeal.  You can see a copy of their menu here.  I was dying to try some of the awesome styles, especially the “Bangkok” which included Thai peanut sauce, carrot, and cilantro.  I have never seen hot dogs treated this way!

Despite the temptation, I’m ultimately a hot dog minimalist.

Here’s what we ended up with:

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From left: a standard with beer-cheese topping, a standard with sauerkraut, a locavore with Miller’s mustard, and in the middle – Pittsburgh-style pierogies.

She♥ loved her 2 standard dogs, which were all-beef.  The cheese sauce was tasty and the kraut was good.

I, however, had mixed feelings about my locavore.

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Something was off.  The locavore is made from local grass-fed beef, but as you can see is a strange color.  The texture was a little bit off, too.  Perhaps that’s why they added the excessive amount of the tangy Miller’s mustard?  I wouldn’t say I was disappointed, but next time I might opt for the “Underdog,” which is made from New Zealand grass-fed beef.

I will sacrifice local for sustainable & tasty if I have to.

Moving on, I believe Franktuary has the best pierogies I have ever eaten.

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Seriously, so good.  They had potato and farmer’s cheese in them.  (Farmer’s cheese seemed to imply some kind of local farm, but you can never really be sure.)

I will 100% go back to Franktuary and I will 100% order the garbanzo fries.  I didn’t even notice them on the menu until I was looking at it online to write this post!  Also,  I will be sure to go back once the weather gets nice, as the Lawrenceville location has garage door-style facade.  I’m sure those have a name, but I can’t think of it right now.

Image borrowed from Yelp

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