Category Archives: Beef

Marinated Buffalo Strip Steaks with Wild Mushroom Ragout and Polenta

Did I ever tell you about the time I accidentally bought cookbooks from a cookbook club? This was back in the days when you had to mail a little postcard back every month so that the publishers *wouldn’t* send the book. And I forgot to send it back, of course. So this cookbook (the Omaha Steaks Meat cookbook) and another one arrived. I almost sent them back, but then I started looking at the recipes. And they sounded great! I thought – it wouldn’t *hurt* to try a few before sending it back… But by then, I was hooked – this is one of the best accidental purchases I’ve ever made! And this recipe is one of our absolute favorites from the book. Enjoy!

Marinated Buffalo Strip Steaks with Wild Mushroom Ragout and Polenta

Adapted from “Omaha Steaks Meat” cookbook
Serves 4

1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes
4 buffalo strip steaks, or 4 beef NY strip steaks

Wild Mushroom Ragout:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 oz chanterelle, cremini, or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup low sodium beef stock
½ cup dry red wine*
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sundried tomatoes, minced
½ cup tomato puree
½ tsp adobo sauce (from canned chipotle chiles)
salt & pepper, to taste

2/3 cup instant polenta
2 2/3 cup water
1 tsp salt

Mix marinade ingredients, add steaks. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

To prepare ragout:
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan, and sauté onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add the stock, wine, thyme, and sundried tomatoes, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the tomato puree and adobo sauce, return to a simmer, and cook until thickened to a sauce-like consistency. Remove the thyme sprigs, and season with salt & pepper.

Prepare polenta. Bring water and salt to a simmer, lower heat, and slowly whisk in polenta. Whisk until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Divide onto 4 plates.

Grill steaks for 4-5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Spoon ragout over steaks and serve with polenta.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 539.6
Total Fat: 18.7 g
Saturated Fat: 5.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 5.1 g
Cholesterol: 110.2 mg
Sodium: 910.3 mg
Potassium: 293.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 27.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Sugars: 4.0 g
Protein: 54.4 g


Sirloin Steaks with Mushroom Sauce

We don’t eat a lot of red meat these days, but when we do, we like to purchase the meat from one of the local farms in our area.  The other day, we visited one of the local farmer’s markets and found a farm selling various beef cuts.  We asked and found out that they had a few sirloin steaks available, and we immediately purchased them.  Since we didn’t know what recipe to make with the steaks, we wandered around a bit more and found another farm selling mushrooms…  So  – after buying some great-looking mushrooms, we decided to go with this recipe.  It is really simple, but tastes great!  Enjoy!

Sirloin Steaks with Mushroom Sauce

Adapted from Cooking Light, Sept 2008
Serves 4

4 (4-ounce) boneless sirloin steaks, trimmed (about 1 inch thick)
3/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (8-ounce) package sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup dry red wine*
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour*

1. Sprinkle steaks evenly with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add steaks to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan; keep warm.

2. Add mushrooms to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown, stirring frequently. Combine wine, 1/2 cup water, flour, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; stir well with a whisk. Add wine mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until thick; stir constantly. Remove from heat.

3. Serve each steak with about 1/4 cup mushroom sauce.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 224.5
Total Fat: 8.8 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 149.7 mg
Potassium: 215.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 3.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
Sugars: 1.1 g
Protein: 29.2 g

Nutritional info (sauce alone):
Calories 42.7
Total Fat 0.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 149.3 mg
Potassium 219.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 3.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Sugars 1.2 g
Protein 1.9 g

Chile-espresso rubbed steak with warm tomato sauce

Although we don’t have it often, we love steak at our house. And I’m always trying to find new and different ways to make it, just so it doesn’t get boring! This is definitely NOT a boring way to make steak, for sure! We typically serve it with bulgur, quinoa, or couscous, which works out great. Enjoy!

Chile-espresso rubbed steak with warm tomato sauce

Slightly adapted from Cooking Light, Aug 2010
Serves 4

1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb sirloin steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
1 cup grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (or can sub red wine vinegar)

1. Combine first 7 ingredients; stir well. Rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of steak; cover and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (or preheat broiler, if cooking inside).

3. Place steak on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from grill; let stand 10 minutes.

4. Place tomatoes and remaining ingredients in a mini chopper or blender; process until coarsely chopped. Spoon tomato mixture into a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on HIGH 1 minute. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Place steak on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons sauce.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 226.2
Total Fat: 7.8 g
Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.7 g
Cholesterol: 52.2 mg
Sodium: 154.0 mg
Potassium: 110.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 2.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Sugars: 0.1 g
Protein: 34.0 g

Beef Stew

This is my favorite beef stew recipe – the one my mom has been making forever!  I have no idea where she got the original recipe, but she passed it on to me, and I’ve made my own slight changes to the recipe over the years, but it’s still fantastic.  Enjoy!

Beef Stew

Adapted from Mom’s recipe
Serves 6

1 1/2 lbs lean sirloin beef, cubed
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
3 carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
3 medium potatoes, cubed small
1 can 14.5 oz green beans – do not drain
1 can 14.5 oz whole tomatoes, chopped, or 1 can diced tomatoes – do not drain
1 1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
2 1/2 Tbsp tapioca
1/2 cup dry red wine

Preheat oven to 250

In a large skillet, brown beef in oil. When browned, take meat and place in large casserole/roaster. Add and mix all other ingredients. Cover and put in oven for 5 hours.

**Note** For slightly faster cooking, cook at 350 for 3 hours.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 348.3
Total Fat: 7.2 g
Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.4 g
Cholesterol: 47.6 mg
Sodium: 1,305.1 mg
Potassium: 881.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 37.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.2 g
Sugars: 8.1 g
Protein: 29.9 g

Classic Beef Shish Kebabs

Grilling. Since it’s once again decent grilling weather here in TX, we have been using the grill quite a bit! Recently, we dug out an old favorite, and added a few additional veggies (eggplant and zucchini – since the eggplant is growing abundantly in the garden, and zucchini is still everywhere at the farmer’s markets!). The additions were great, and – in fact – you can use any vegetables you like – the marinade is very versatile!

Although threading the skewers takes a bit of time, it’s great to be able to cook the different components for slightly different amounts of time – that way everything is cooked perfectly. The end result is fantastic – enjoy!

Classic Beef Shish Kebabs
Adapted from Cooking Light, January 2006
Serves 4

Beef marinade:
2 tsp olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp red wine vinegar
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 pound beef sirloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

Vegetable marinade:
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup frozen pearl onions, defrosted
2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces (red or orange bell peppers also work well)
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stemmed and halved (or can sub 1/2 lb large chunks of portabello mushrooms)
1 pound small new potatoes, scrubbed
1 medium zucchini, cut into chunks
1 small eggplant (ichiban or asian-style eggplant), cut into chunks

Combine 2 teaspoons oil, rosemary, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large zip-top bag. Add beef; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally. Remove beef from bag; discard marinade. Thread beef evenly onto 6 (12-inch) wooden skewers.

Combine 2 teaspoons oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and potatoes, tossing to coat.

Thread each vegetable separately onto 12 (12-inch) skewers. Place beef and vegetable kebabs on a preheated grill.

Grill potato kebabs about 12-15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Grill onion, pepper, zucchini, and eggplant kebabs 10 minutes. Grill beef kebabs 9 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Grill tomato and mushroom kebabs 7 minutes.

**Note** Both beef and veggies can be marinated overnight for easier preparation.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 368.2
Total Fat: 10.7 g
Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 182.1 mg
Potassium: 1,152.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 37.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.8 g
Sugars: 5.0 g
Protein: 33.9 g

Rosemary Beef Tenderloin

I think this has to be one of my favorite special-occasion recipes. It is so simple to make, but the end result is elegant and tastes amazing! This is perfect for company, and any leftovers make great sandwiches, too. Enjoy!

Rosemary Beef Tenderloin
Slightly adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
Serves 8

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 beef tenderloin roast, trimmed, 2.5 lbs

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl combine mustard, oil, 1 tablespoon rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread mixture over the beef tenderloin. Place roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

2. Place roast in oven. For medium-rare doneness, roast the beef, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes or until internal temperature registers 125 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Cover with foil; let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Meat temperature will rise about 20 degrees F on standing. (For medium doneness, roast, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes or until meat reaches 135 degrees F. Cover and let stand as directed above.)

Nutritional info:
Calories: 294.2
Total Fat: 12.9 g
Saturated Fat: 4.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 5.7 g
Cholesterol: 111.9 mg
Sodium: 188.4 mg
Potassium: 519.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 0.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Sugars: 0.0 g
Protein: 40.5 g

Shepherd’s Pie

Although this seems more like a fall or winter meal, we make shepherd’s pie year-round. My recipe uses beef instead of lamb, but either would be great (or you could even use ground turkey or chicken, if you’d like). All-in-all, this is a great year-round comfort food. And – bonus – it freezes well, too. Enjoy!

Shepherd’s Pie
Adapted from unknown source
Makes 4 servings

4 tsp olive oil
16 oz raw 93% lean ground beef (can sub 12 oz cooked turkey breast – see directions below)
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 medium onion,diced
1 medium carrot,diced
1 clove garlic,minced
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp canned tomato paste
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 oz red wine
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 cups mashed potatoes (2 3/4 cup sliced plain potatoes mashed with 1/3 cup skim milk, and 1/2 tsp salt added)

Place oil in large skillet, heat to med-high. Saute ground meat with salt & pepper until well browned, transfer to a bowl.

Reduce heat to medium and saute chopped onions and carrots until soft, about 5 min. Add minced garlic, flour, and tomato paste and cook for 1 min. Stir in chicken broth, wine and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in thyme, rosemary and the cooked ground beef. Bring to a boil then simmer for 8 min.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir in thawed peas into mixture and pour mixture into a 12 inch round pan *. Place prepared mashed potatoes over entire filling, using a spatula to spread. Bake on center rack in oven till golden (about 20 minutes).

* Also can make this into 4 individual servings using oven-safe bakeware containers (like corningware).

**Note** This works well with leftover Thanksgiving turkey breast – just add chopped skinless turkey breast after cooking the onions and carrots.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 337.5
Total Fat: 12.8 g
Saturated Fat: 3.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.3 g
Cholesterol: 65.4 mg
Sodium: 603.9 mg
Potassium: 589.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 25.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.4 g
Sugars: 4.1 g
Protein: 28.9 g

Nutritional info (subbing 12 oz cooked turkey breast):
Calories: 300.9
Total Fat: 7.5 g
Saturated: Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated: Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.8 g
Cholesterol: 59.1 mg
Sodium: 588.3 mg
Potassium: 848.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 25.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.4 g
Sugars: 4.1 g
Protein: 30.3 g

Pepper-and-Spice-Rubbed Steaks

When having friends over for dinner, I always try to make something new and interesting. But nothing TOO new and interesting – I’m not trying for something that will scare people off! I leave those experimental dishes for me and John, since we always like to try new things!

So, I knew I wanted to make a steak, but which recipe to choose? I had just finished reading my new Food & Wine magazine, and they had a fantastic-sounding steak recipe in the February issue. It was originally for a different cut of meat, but since I had sirloin steaks, I went with those. I think it would work on any cut of steak, really.

These were fantastic! I highly recommend this recipe – so easy, and so flavorful! We made the rub the night before, and all we had to do for dinner was rub the mixture on and cook the steaks. Easy and tasty! Enjoy!

Pepper and spice-rubbed steaks - cooking

Pepper-and-Spice-Rubbed Steaks
Adapted from Food & Wine, Feb 2014
Serves 6

1/4 cup coarsely ground pepper
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Two 1 1/4-pound, sirloin steaks, trimmed
Kosher salt
spray canola oil (I used my misto)

1. In a bowl, whisk together everything except the steaks, salt and oil. Rub 1 tablespoon of the spice mix on each side of the steaks and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Pepper and spice-rubbed steaks - with seasoning

2. Season the steaks with salt. Spritz a large skillet with cooking spray, and let the pan get hot. Add the steaks and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until medium-rare, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut the steaks into 3 equal pieces and serve.

Make Ahead The spice rub can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 272.3
Total Fat: 8.1 g
Cholesterol: 79.3 mg
Sodium: 164.0 mg
Total Carbs: 5.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
Protein: 42.4 g

Flank Steak with Caramelized Onions and Balsamic Glaze

Every time we visit the Koch Ranches Gourmet Country Store, I seem to buy more flank steaks! So, I keep needing new recipes for them! 🙂

I found this recipe in my “to try” pile from Cooking Light, and we made it last night. It was fantastic! We served it with roasted cauliflower and crispy polenta, and it was a tasty combination. We will definitely make this again!

Flank steak with caramelized onions and balsamic glaze - edited

Flank Steak with Caramelized Onions and Balsamic Glaze
From Cooking Light, April 2005
Serves 4

2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Cooking spray

Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small, heavy saucepan. Reduce heat to medium; cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; sauté 18 minutes or until onions are golden brown. Remove from heat.

Preheat broiler. Sprinkle steak with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and thyme. Place steak on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve steak over onions; drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 317
Fat: 9.9g
Protein: 26.9g
Carbohydrate: 30.6g
Fiber: 3.4g
Cholesterol: 37mg
Sodium: 375mg

Beef and Butternut Tagine

Ah fall! The time when the winter squash are plentiful! Sometimes I get tired of doing the same-old, same-old with butternut squash, so I tried this recipe for a bit of variety! The result – a tasty, different way to enjoy butternut squash! 🙂

Beef butternut tagine - done

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash
Adapted from Cooking Light, Jan 2011
Serves 4

2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) trimmed beef sirloin, cubed
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 shallots, quartered
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add beef; toss well to coat.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and shallots; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Beef butternut tagine - cooking

Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Add squash; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until squash is tender.

Beef butternut tagine - cooking in process

Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve over scallion couscous.

For the scallion couscous
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1/3 cup chopped green onion tops

Bring stock to a boil, add couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then stir in green onions.

Nutritional info per serving for Tagine:
Calories: 298.5
Total Fat: 8.4 g
Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 48.2 mg
Sodium: 567.1 mg
Potassium: 616.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 29.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.8 g
Sugars: 3.2 g
Protein: 28.5 g

Nutritional info per serving for couscous:
Calories: 186.4
Total Fat: 0.8 g
Saturated Fat: 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 1.6 mg
Sodium: 301.7 mg
Potassium: 11.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 39.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.3 g
Sugars: 1.1 g
Protein: 7.1 g