SMOKIN’ HOT MEATLOAF AND HOMEMADE KETCHUP

Time flies like a Boeing-777. Cliche, I admit, but truth is we got our electric smoker in December, but only now, almost 6 months later I get to share a recipe with you. It’s not for lack of playing with it, we’ve made salmon countless times, we’ve made ribs, we’ve smoked chicken wings, chicken thighs, even a big piece of brisket. But the recipe I decided to share with you first is a bit unusual – meatloaf. Yes, smoked meatloaf. It was superb. If you have a smoker, do try it. If you don’t you can do the exact same recipe in a 250 F oven, and add a touch of liquid smoke to the mix and half a teaspoon of smoked paprika.

SMOKED MEATLOAF
(inspired by Alton Brown and other sources)

½ cup ketchup (store-bought or home-made, recipe follows)
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped fine
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
2 pounds ground chuck
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup almond flour
1 medium shallot, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2.5 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
black pepper to taste
2 large eggs, beaten

Combine the ketchup, tomato paste, brown sugar, chipotle, adobo sauce and cocoa powder in a small bowl.

Place the shallot, carrot and celery into the bowl of a food processor and process
until finely chopped.  Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan and add the processed veggies, season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and the veggies start to soften. Reserve, cool to almost room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the two types of meat with the ketchup mixture, reserving about 2 tablespoons to brush on the meat later.  Add the almond flour, eggs, all seasonings. Mix it all gently without overworking the meat. Shape as a loaf on top of a heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Close the foil around the meatloaf.

Heat the smoker (or use your oven) to 250F. Load it with the wood chips of your choice. We used applewood. Flip the package and poke holes at the bottom of the foil to allow fat to drip down.  Invert it again and place in the smoker, foil tightly closed for about 50 minutes.

Open the package and fold the foil back. Brush with the remaining ketchup mixture and continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 130 ° F, about 40 minutes longer.

Remove the meat loaf from the smoker and let rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

LOW-SUGAR KETCHUP
(adapted from Bacon & Butter)

1 ½ cups tomato paste
¼ cup water
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, combine the tomato paste, water, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, and cloves. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Transfer to an airtight container. Chill for 1 hour to allow the flavors to incorporate.

ENJOY!

to print the recipes, click here

Comments:  I had never made ketchup from scratch, and this is obviously not the authentic way to do it, but I wanted something slightly less indulgent and simple to put together. It is not as sweet and thick as a normal ketchup but it delivers similar flavor. For a more authentic recipe, definitely try this one from my friend Karen.

Brown food is no eye-candy to a camera, but it tastes sooo good!

The texture and flavor of this smoked meatloaf were pretty spectacular. You’ll need to cut thick slices because it is so fragile it tends to crumble a little, but it’s not a serious drawback at all. Leftovers were good for three days in a row, twice for my lunch and one final appearance for our dinner. Yes, I did not get tired of it. At all.

The ketchup had a second chance to shine also. It was outstanding to make a bit of cocktail sauce for oysters on the half-shell.  I realize oyster season is over, but as I mentioned, this adventure happened a few months ago, when we were having oysters pretty much once-a-week.  One of the few things I love about cooler months.

ONE YEAR AGO: Banana Bread with Espresso Glaze

TWO YEARS AGO: Slow-Cooker Carnitas & Paleo Planet Cookbook Review

THREE YEARS AGO: The Making of a Nobel Reception

FOUR YEARS AGO: Fennel Soup with Almonds and Mint 

FIVE YEARS AGO: Green Curry Pork Tenderloin

SIX YEARS AGO: Farfalle with Zucchini and Ricotta

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Slow-baked Salmon with Lemon and Thyme

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Hoisin Explosion Chicken

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FLANK STEAK CARNITAS

FELIZ CINCO DE MAYO!

Carnitas are a favorite in our home…  All you need is to place some over a tortilla, add a few toppings and call it a day. Those who prefer a low-carb path can grab a hearty leaf of Romaine lettuce instead of tortilla, and enjoy it while apologizing to the Taco Gods that will certainly frown upon such heresy. In this preparation, we put the pressure cooker to play, giving the flank steak a very pleasant texture. I’ve made it three times already, after seeing the original post from Kalyn. My recipe is a slight modification of hers, with a little additional step at the end.

PRESSURE COOKER FLANK STEAK CARNITAS
(slightly modified from Kalyn’s recipe)

1 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 flank steak, about 1.5 pounds
1  cup salsa verde (like Herdez)
1/2 cup tomato salsa (like La Victoria)

Heat the oil in the pressure cooker, add the minced shallot and cook 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add  the ground cumin and chili powder and cook about a minute more.

Cut the steak lengthwise and then again crosswise.  Add the steak pieces to the pressure cooker with the red and green salsa, lock the lid in place,  and cook at high pressure for 45 minutes. Shut down the burner and let the pan cool for 15 minutes, then do a quick release of steam under the kitchen faucet, and open the pan.

Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the meat, leaving the sauce in the pressure cooker.  Let the meat cool for a few minutes on the cutting board, then use two forks to shred the meat apart. Right before serving,  place it on a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add small amounts of the sauce left behind in the pressure cooker. You can add as much liquid as you feel like it, but allow the pieces of meat to get a bit browned in the pan first.

Use it to top tortillas with all your favorite additions, guacamole, shredded cheese, shredded avocado. Or enjoy it with white rice and beans.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: We are not big on cooking with ready-made sauces but make an exception to bottled salsas, because there are so many great brands out there. We love La Victoria, although it is not the easiest one to find. Leftovers go in mini-muffin pans straight to the freezer, and then inside a plastic bag. They do get a bit watery in the freezing-thawing process, but we mainly use them as addition to guacamole or stir-fries, so that’s not too serious a problem.  Sometimes I defrost them over a small sieve, so that the excess water drips away. 

This is one example of a recipe I would never try if it did not come from Kalyn’s site. I can see myself twisting the  nose at something made opening two different bottled products… but she raved about it, and I totally trust her. Indeed, it is a big winner. I don’t know what happens in the mixture of the green and red salsa, but you definitely end up with something that is more than the sum of its parts. In a very good way…

You can make the flank steak in the pressure cooker, in the instant-pot, or in a slow-cooker. Stop by Kalyn’s site to get specific instructions for each method. It is a great way to tame the fibrous texture of this meat, and give it a lot of spice without making it overly hot. I suppose you could go for a very hot salsa if you so desire… I’ve been in a more mellow phase lately. Such is life.

ONE YEAR AGO: Sesame and Poppy Seed Sourdough

TWO YEARS AGO: Pecan-Crusted Chicken from Southern at Heart

THREE YEARS AGO: Lamb Shanks en Papillote with Cauliflower-Celeriac Purée

FOUR YEARS AGO: Chestnut Brownies and a Blog Award!

FIVE YEARS AGO: Quinoa with Cider-Glazed Carrots

SIX YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday: Heirloom Tomatoes Steal the Show

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Pain de Provence

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Golspie Loaf, from the Scottish Highlands

 

 

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SLOW-ROASTED EYE OF THE ROUND BEEF

Eye of the round is a tricky cut of meat to cook. It can get stringy and, if over-cooked, pretty dry and lacking taste. My Mom was a master at preparing it. It was her favorite cut for what back home we call “carne assada.”  Her recipe was made on the stove, and always resulted in tender slices of meat swimming in a dark brown sauce with a flavor to die for. I know exactly how she made it, but never ever managed to replicate it myself.  Oh, well. Slow cooking in a moist environment is definitely a great choice. You can also shred the meat and use it in fajitas or “roupa velha” – the Brazilian version of “ropa vieja.”  See a version here.

A while ago I stumbled on recipes that use this very cut of meat in a totally unexpected way: in place of roast beef tenderloin. Can you imagine that? One of the cheapest and most looked-down cuts of beef posing as The King? It would be like me taking the stage in place of Annie Lennox. Scary thought. Anyway, the method intrigued me. Finally tried it and was quite pleased with the outcome. The timing can be a bit tricky, so at least the first time you make it, don’t plan on serving it for guests – do it when you have a flexible schedule. Take notes, and when the dinner party is on, buy a similar size of meat and prepare to shine as a hostess…

SLOW-ROASTED EYE OF THE ROUND BEEF
(inspired by several sources)

for the roast beef:
1 piece of eye-of-the round roast (3 to 5 pounds)
salt and pepper to taste (use a heavy hand on spices in this preparation)
olive oil spray

for the sauce:
1/2 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream)
1 to 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp minced fresh chives
salt and black pepper to taste

Season the piece of beef heavily with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight, or for an hour minimum.

Heat the oven to 225 F. Spray the beef with a light coating of olive oil and sear on a heavy skillet over high heat on all sides. Transfer roast to a rack over a baking sheet and place in the oven. If you have a probe thermometer, stick it inside the meat and set your gadget to let you know when the meat reaches 115 F (for rare), or 125 F for medium-rare. In this preparation, you do not want the meat cooked past medium. It will take anywhere from 75 minutes for rare, to a little over 2 hours for medium-rare.

Turn oven off; leave roast in oven, without opening door, until meat-probe thermometer or instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 130 to 140 degrees, depending on your preference. This will take another 30 minutes or so.

Transfer roast to carving board and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Slice meat crosswise as thinly as possible and serve with horseradish sauce, if so desired.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: You know that instruction that says “allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes?”  That’s the one I did not follow, and paid a price with some excessive leaking of meat juices when I sliced it. Oh, well. Do as I say and not as I do. I was too anxious to slice and see if the meat was cooked the way I expected. Which indeed it was. The probe thermometer works like a charm, it beeps when the desired temperature is reached, so no need to even open the door of the oven from time to time. Since for this method the oven is kept at a reasonably low temperature, the less you open the door, the better.

If you are not into the sharpness of horseradish, omit the sauce, serve it with sautéed mushrooms, maybe make a reduction of red wine to go with it. I have to say that I was very pleased with the match meat/horseradish, and intend to keep it as a classic pair in our kitchen from now on. So easy to put together! Plus, we always have prepared horseradish in the fridge because we regularly buy fresh oysters and serve them with chili-horseradish sauce. Nice to have one more use for this ingredient. If you have fresh horseradish available, you can use it grated with the creme fraiche. I would eye-ball it and taste as you go. That stuff is potent.

Dinner is served! Roast beef, horseradish sauce, and sautéed mushrooms…
Heaven on a plate…

The other day I was reading a cookbook by Gordon Ramsay, and apart from nice recipes, he offers quite a bit of culinary wisdom. One observation in particular might be worth sharing. It is easy to make spectacular meals with expensive items. Filet mignon, top of the notch sea bass, sea scallops. But coming up with great recipes using humble ingredients? That can be a challenge, but one that he as a chef faces with enthusiasm. This take on roast beef is a good example making the best of a less than stellar cut.

ONE YEAR AGO: Steam-Roasted Indian-Spiced Cauliflower

TWO YEARS AGO: Creamy Zucchini-Mushroom Soup

THREE YEARS AGO: Ken Forkish’s Pain au Bacon

FOUR YEARS AGO: Carrot and Cumin Hamburger Buns

FIVE YEARS AGO: Potato Galettes a l’Alsacienne & Book Review

SIX YEARS AGO: Caramelized Carrot Soup

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Miso-Grilled Shrimp

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Pain Poilane

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SLOW-COOKER POT ROAST WITH POTATOES, CARROTS AND FENNEL

The Instant Pot is the most recent obsession of cooks everywhere. As a lover of all gadget things, I’ve been seriously tempted to get one, but decided against it. My rationale for swimming against this current is that a regular pressure cooker does the exact same job, with the advantage of heating up faster and achieving higher final pressure (at least my model does).  I always use a skillet if I need to brown meat before cooking under pressure, so the saute feature of the Instant Pot doesn’t appeal to me. Its surface is smaller, I much rather stick with my 12 inch skillet for that. Then there is the slow-cooking capability. From what I heard, it does not compare to a regular slow-cooker and more often than not your tried and true recipe for the trusty old crock pot needs to be tweaked. I also think the size and shape of the classic slow-cooker are more appropriate for the type of stuff I cook in it. Think large pieces of pork shoulder, baby back ribs, or several little pots of custard things for crème brûlée. The only feature of the instant pot that cannot quite be matched by other gadgets is the yogurt making. But, do I ever make yogurt at home? Not really. So there you have it, the Bewitching Kitchen will go on Instant Pot-less. And today I share with you a pot roast made in our crock pot, melt-in-your-mouth tender, with the delicious addition of fennel, that absolutely makes this dish. Don’t omit it. By all means, if you own the Instant Pot, put it to use. My feelings won’t be hurt…

SLOW-COOKER POT ROAST WITH POTATOES, CARROTS AND FENNEL
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by many sources)

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or oil of your choice)
1 bone-in chuck roast, 4 to 5 pounds
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
6 yellow potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), halved
2 fennel bulbs, cut in large pieces
6 carrots, peeled, and cut in large pieces
1 shallot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup water
fresh parsley, to serve (optional)

Mix the spices in a small bowl, crushing the fennel seeds lightly. Rub the dry rub all around the beef.  In a large skillet, heat the oil and brow the meat on all sides. As the meat browns, place the potatoes, carrots, fennel, shallots and celery inside your slow-cooker. Season them lightly with salt.

When the meat is golden brown, transfer it to the slow cooker, placing it on top of the veggies. Deglaze the skillet with a little water, and transfer the juices to the slow-cooker. Add the beef broth and water. Set it on low for 10 hours, you can also cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, but I really prefer the texture of the meat when cooked low and slow.

Shred or cut the beef in serving pieces, and enjoy with all the veggies. It is even better when prepared one day in advance.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

This was very good served over mashed cauliflower, my to-go veggie of choice for a low-carb side dish. I made the pot roast the day before our dinner, and re-warmed it gently on the stove top, adding fresh parsley right before indulging in it. The exact same recipe could be made in the pressure cooker, probably taking around 30 minutes in high pressure. Still, there’s something to be said about coming home to a house that smells like dinner is waiting for you with open arms. Even if you will place it in the fridge for a day…  Leftovers are as amazing as one would expect!

ONE YEAR AGO: The Best, the Very Best Hummus

TWO YEARS AGO: Cheddar Cheese Crackers

THREE YEARS AGO: A New Take on Cauliflower Puree
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FOUR YEARS AGO:
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FIVE YEARS AGO:
 
The Lab Move and New Beginnings
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SIX YEARS AGO:
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SEVEN YEARS AGO:
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EIGHT YEARS AGO:
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INCREDIBLY SIMPLE TIMES FOUR

Every once in a while I like to group very simple recipes in a single post, like I did last February and again in June.  Today’s post has three really simple recipes and one slightly more involved, but  still uncomplicated enough to justify hanging out with the others. A meaty main dish, a cute skewer-salad, a side dish, and oh-so-very-trendy kale chips. Yeap, I am jumping on that bandwagon, and you should too because when my beloved loses all self-control next to a bowl of kale, it means a lot. Seriously, it was a scene never before witnessed in gastronomic history.

 

POUNDED FLANK STEAK

This non-recipe was in a recent issue of Bon Appetit. Get a flank steak, lay it over a cutting board, place a saran-wrap over it. Pound it with gusto with the flat side of a meat mallet. With gusto. You want to really get at the fibers and tenderize them. Try to go for less than 1/2 inch width all over. Season with salt and pepper, give it a very light coating (or spray) with olive oil. Grill to your desired degree of doneness. It will be medium-rare very quickly, a couple of minutes per side on a super hot grill. In fact Bon Appetit called it “minute steak” for good reason. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

We loved it so much I made it three times within a ten-day period.  Very good paired with a red cabbage-cucumber salsa, but I need to tweak that recipe a little before sharing with you.


WATERMELON-FETA SKEWERS

Cut seedless watermelon into cubes. Do the same to the best quality you can find feta cheese. If you find real Greek feta, go for it. Place in wooden skewers cubes of feta and watermelon separated by pieces of fresh mint leaves. Make a simple dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, a touch of balsamic vinegar, or, if feeling particularly trendy, add a bit of pomegranate molasses. Whisk all together and drizzle over the skewers, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper (keep in mind that feta is very salty).

Only two pointers for success: use good quality feta (repeating this point because it is really important), and do not skip the mint. It offers the exact right counterpart to all other flavors. Great also as a little appetizer for a dinner party. Can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge for a couple of hours.

 

TOMATILLO RICE

TOMATILLO RICE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for the tomatillo sauce:
8 large tomatillos cut in half
2 medium shallots peeled
1/2 Serrano pepper, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
juice of half a lemon

for the rice:
1 cup rice, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt

Place the tomatillos, cut side down, shallots and Serrano pepper on a baking sheet and roast at 425 F until soft and the tomatillo skin is starting to get brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer everything to a blender shallots to a blender, add half a cup of chicken stock or water, a bunch of fresh cilantro leaves and the juice of half a lemon. Process until smooth. Adjust seasoning. Sauce is perfect over fajitas, or seafood. To make rice, you only need 1/2 cup of it.

Sautee one cup of rice on a little bit of olive oil, add 1/2 cup of tomatillo sauce and 1 + 1/2  cups of water. Cover and cook for about 18 minutes, until done. Leave it covered for 10 minutes, fluff with a fork, and serve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

This rice is addictive.

 I could easily eat it every day for a year.

Yes, that’s how much I love it. 

 

KALE CHIPS


Remove the stems from a bunch of fresh kale, cut the leaves in large pieces. Wash and dry them well, a salad spinner is the best way to approach it. Add very little olive oil to the leaves, massaging them briefly. Add them to the basket of an air-fryer at 390 F, and fry until done, shaking the pan every couple of minutes.  It will take less than 10 minutes to finish. Season with salt, pepper, and spices of your choice if so desired. No air-fryer? No problem. The hot oven works the same way, only a bit slower. Also, make sure to have all leaves as a single layer. As to the seasoning, cumin and paprika go very well with kale, on my next batch I will try nutritional yeast, as I heard it gives it a very intriguing flavor. And of course, it would take the trendy quotient of this dish to the highest possible level. I don’t do trendy often. But sometimes, when that special mood strikes…

Phil went absolutely crazy for these chips. He showed up at the kitchen as I was preparing dinner, and mumbled his usual “hummm… kale.”  Not the yummy-anticipating-hummmm… it was the “how-to-escape-this-hummm….”. So yes, I was unprepared to have to fight for the last four chips sitting at the bottom of the bowl. Go figure.

 

I hope you enjoyed these four simple recipes, and give some (or all) a try, even if kale might not be your thing, or watermelon in a savory dish a bit too much of a stretch for your taste buds. Sometimes it’s fun to try something different, especially when the preparation is so simple.

 

ONE YEAR AGO: Going naked, and my husband loved it

TWO YEARS AGO: Cream Cheese Mini-Pancakes with Smoked Salmon

THREE YEARS AGO:  Star-Shaped Chocolate Brioche Bread

FOUR YEARS AGO: Blueberry-Banana Bread 

FIVE YEARS AGO: Into the Light Again

SIX YEARS AGO: Five Grain Sourdough Bread

SEVEN YEARS AGO: The Nano-Kitchen

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Kaiser Rolls

 

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BRUNCH BURGER

We almost never eat at chain restaurants, but there is one situation in which we almost look forward to them: road trips. They usually have fast service, and the menu offers a ton of options. Recently, during our trip to Colorado, one of our stops to charge the car was Hays, Kansas. The charging station is located right by a little Applebee’s.  If you don’t live in the US, Applebee’s is a restaurant chain that started in the 80’s and now has over two thousand spots all over this and 15 other countries. We decided it would be a good option for lunch during our 40 to 50 minute stop to fully charge the battery. We ordered their signature Brunch Burger: beef patty, a thin layer of hashbrown potatoes on top, bacon, cheese, and a fried egg. Ok, now that you’ve read the description you can get up and do a few jumping jacks or else you’ll be a pound or two heavier. We softened the caloric damage by ordering it without a bun. We like it naked (wink, wink). It was so tasty, I could not wait to get home and make my own version. Here it is…

BEWITCHING BRUNCH BURGER
(inspired by Applebee’s)

turkey burgers (use this recipe)
air-fried carrots (use this recipe)
melting cheese (any kind you like, we used Morbier)
sunny side up fried egg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
lettuce and avocado slices
bacon (optional)
hamburger buns (optional)

Cook the burger to your liking. Add cheese in the final minutes on the grill. Place on a plate over lettuce leaves (or a bun, for more traditional presentation).

Add a good layer of air-fried carrots (or roasted in super hot oven), top with a fried egg, well-seasoned with salt and pepper.

A little Sriracha adds a nice punch. Avocado slices sprinkles with lime juice and Tajin go well with it too.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

No air-fryer? Use a 425 F oven until done…

Comments: The turkey burger recipe became my default ever since I blogged about it. This time I made two very small changes, using regular mushrooms instead of Portobello and cilantro instead of parsley. Other than that, exactly as posted. I don’t worry too much about precise amounts. I grabbed one of those little boxes of mushrooms pre-sliced from the grocery store, and after processing with the other ingredients, added that mixture to one and a half pounds of ground turkey.

The air-fried carrots are considerably lighter than hashbrown potatoes, but of course if you’d like to indulge, go for the Applebee’s version. What really makes this recipe amazing is the fried egg. The warm yolk forms a natural, luscious sauce and turns this burger into a very satisfying and complete meal, even without any bread. Phil is already lobbying to get it into our weekly rotation. And I will be more than happy to make it happen…

ONE YEAR AGO: Mango Salsa with Verjus

TWO YEARS AGO: Raspberry Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Brownies

THREE YEARS AGO: Scary Good Pork Burgers

FOUR YEARS AGO: Review of exercise program Focus25

FIVE YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with a Thai Seafood Curry

SIX YEARS AGO:  Post-workout Breakfast

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Semolina Barbecue Buns

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Lavash Crackers

 

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BEEF GOULASH, SLOW-COOKER VERSION

I realize it’s not the time for goulash, at least not where we live. But, having just spent a week in Colorado. I also realize this classic Hungarian dish could come in quite handy mid-August.  Highs of low 60’s in the middle of the day, cooling down to 40-something in the evening? That’s goulash-friendly all the way. Come to think of it, using the crock pot in the summer is a pretty nice way to approach cooking. And yes, I’ve been known to enjoy a hearty beef stew in Kansas at the height of the summer and not even feel awkward about it. It is not a common meal for us during this season, but when I get that craving for comfort food, I listen to my body and go for it.

 

CROCK POT BEEF GOULASH
(inspired by America’s Test Kitchen)

2 medium shallots, minced
1/8 cup sweet paprika
¼ cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 cups chicken broth
⅓ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Minute tapioca
2 bay leaves
1 piece of boneless beef chuck (4 to 5 pounds),  cut into 1½-inch chunks
Salt and pepper
⅓ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Season the pieces of beef with salt and pepper and reserve.

In a small skillet, heat the oil, saute the shallots until translucent, add the paprika, tomato paste, garlic, and caraway seeds. Stir until fragrant, transfer the mixture to the slow-cooker. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, tapioca, and bay leaves. Place the seasoned beef  over the sauce, mix it to coat the pieces.

 Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low. Discard bay leaves. In a bowl, combine 1 cup hot stew liquid with sour cream, then stir the mixture into stew. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh parsley sprinkled on top. 

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you happen to own this product reviewed a while ago by Mimi, definitely put it to use in this recipe. I have used it in the past, but ran out of it and completely forgot to re-order, Not the type of ingredient easy to find where we live.  As to the recipe, do not get pre-cut stew beef. It is simply not the same as getting a beautiful, marbled piece of chuck roast and cutting it yourself. Especially using the crock pot for so many hours, it makes a difference in the texture of the meat.  The packages sold at the grocery store are usually cut too small and often go through some process to tenderize them. No bueno.

I have a confession to make. After enjoying goulash as it was meant to be enjoyed, over a hot, delicious bowl of buttered noodles, I’ve been known to push the boundaries of fusion cuisine. Leftover goulash going on a date with a corn tortilla might sound a bit odd, but… I find it truly delicious. And if you crumble feta cheese on top, you won’t be hurting my feelings… I might do the same later…

ONE YEAR AGO: Post-workout Chia Yogurt Bliss

TWO YEARS AGO: Tomato Tatin

THREE YEARS AGO: Best Thing I Ever Made: Chocolate Chip Cookies

FOUR YEARS AGO: Farofa Brasileira

FIVE YEARS AGO: Thai-Inspired Pork Tenderloin

SIX YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

SEVEN YEARS AGO:  Summer’s Tomatoes

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Leaving on a jet plane… 

 

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