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Instant Pot Short Ribs

Ingredients

  • 6-10 pieces bone-in short ribs (try boneless? Sirloin tips?)
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 2 small onions, minced
  • 200g matchstick carrots, processed with…
  • …2 ribs celery
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste.
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef bone stock
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Dried thyme leaves
  • Mashed potatoes

Method

  1. Heat on Sauté (hit adjust to high if needed). Season ribs with salt and pepper. Brown, in batches, 4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
  2. Saute onion and garlic until softened.
  3. Add processed carrot/celery mixture, tyme, bay leaves, and tomato paste. Sauté for an additional two minutes.
  4. Deglaze instant pot with red wine. Scrape up fond. Simmer until alcohol evaporates.
  5. Add soy and fish sauces, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and bone broth. Return ribs (and any juices) to pot.
  6. If making mashed potatoes in pot, add potatoes to small metal bowl and nestle on top of ribs.
  7. Pressure cook for 45 minutes, naturally release pressure for 15, then quick release.
  8. Remove potatoes and mash. Thicken sauce with cornstarch/water. Season to taste.

Pot Roast with Gravy

This is a simple crock pot recipe that makes a super tender pot roast. We mixed all 3 packets together then saved the rest for next time.
Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb Beef Chuck Roast
  • ⅓ cup Water
  • 3 TBSP Gravy mixture:
    • Mix together 1 package Brown Gravy dry mix, 1 package Hidden Valley dry mix, 1 package Italian Dressing dry mix
  • 1+ TBSP Flour
  • 1+ TBSP Milk
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  • Place meat into crock pot. Add water.
  • Sprinkle Gravy mix over the roast.
  • Cook on low 7-8 hours

For the gravy:

  • In a small pot over medium heat, take 1/2 cup of the drippings from the roast.
  • Add Flour and Milk 1 TBSP at a time and cook to desired consistency. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Quick Mini Meatloaves

This a quick weeknight meal. The mini loaves can be frozen individually and then taken out to defrost a day before.

Mini Turkey Meatloaves

Total Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: About 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1 2/3 cup BBQ sauce
20 oz Ground turkey (one package)
20 oz Sweet italian turkey sausage (one pacakage)
30 Saltines, crushed (About 1 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup Parsley, chopped
2 Large Eggs
5 TBSP Whole Milk
3 cloves Garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper
2 TBSP Vegetable Oil

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, with oven rack in middle position

  • Cook the BBQ sauce in a small sauce pan over medium heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • Mix together the Turkey, Turkey sausage, Saltines, Parsley, Egg, Milk, 5 TBSP thickened BBQ sauce, Garlic, Salt, Pepper.
  • Form mixture into 5 equal loaves. (Freeze extras at this point)
  • Heat oil in an oven-safe skillet at number 6 -7 (medium-high).
  • Brown the loaves in the oil on each side, about 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Top each loaf with around 1 TBSP of the thickened BBQ sauce.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven, then bake until the loaves are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  • Serve with the remaining sauce.

Sicilian Meatloaf

1 onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1/2 tsp oregano
2 slices white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
1/2 cup whole milk
1 lb 85% lean ground beef
8 oz Italian sausage, without its casing
2 large eggs
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, rinsed and patted dry, chopped fine
4 oz thin sliced mortadella
4 oz thin sliced hard salami
4 oz thin sliced provolone cheese
3/4 cup jarred tomato sauce

Instructions:
1. Line slow cooker with aluminum foil collar and foil sling.

2. Microwave the onion, garlic, oil, and oregano in bowl, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Mash bread and milk into paste in large bowl using fork. Mix in the onion mixture, ground beef, sausage, eggs, parsley, and sun-dried tomatoes, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper, using hands.

4. Transfer half of the mixture into slow cooker and press into an even layer. Layer mortadella, salami, and provolone evenly over meat mixture. Press the remaining meat mixture into even layer on top of the provolone. Brush meatloaf with tomato sauce.

5. Cover and cook until meatloaf is tender, about 4 hours.

6. Using sling, transfer meatloaf with foil to service platter, allowing juice to drain back into cooker. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Easy Pesto Meatballs

From one of the best slow cooker books ever.

Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil
6 TBSP EVOO
2 TBSP Toasted pine nuts
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Mix the basil, EVOO, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor.  Transfer into a pest bowl and then stir in parmesan cheese.

Meatballs:

1 lb 85% Ground beef
2/3 cup Plain bread crumbs
2/3 cup basil Pesto
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 large egg yolk
2, 24 oz jar Tomato sauce
1/2 cup water

Instructions:

1. Mix ground meat, bread crumbs, pesto, Parmesan, and egg yolk in bowl using hands.  Pinch off and roll mixture into 1 1/2-in meatballs.  Microwave meatballs on large plate until fat renders and meatballs are firm, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Stir tomato sauce and water into slow cooker.  Nestle meatballs into slow cooker, discarding rendered fat.  Cover and cook until meatballs are tender, 4 to 6 hours on low.

3.  Let meatballs and sauce settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Mrs. C’s Sausage and Spinach Pie

Now I have no idea who Mrs. C is or how we came across her dinner pie, but I don’t care!  This is one of those recipes from childhood that brings back so many fond feelings.  I have my big sister Wendy to thank for this recipe.  She is, I’m pretty sure, entirely responsible for my love of spinach.  I remember some dinners where she would make cooked spinach and butter special, just for us, since I know (as kids, anyway) we were a spinach loving minority!  I remember Wendy making Mrs. C’s sausage and spinach pie 0r at least convincing my non-spinach loving mom to make it for us… as I said, fond memories, a happy comfort food!

Mrs. C’s Sausage and Spinach Pie

Ingredients:

1 lb Sweet Italian sausage
6 eggs
2, 10 oz. packages of frozen spinach – thawed and drained
16 oz. fresh Mozzarella, shredded
8 oz.  Ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Garlic powder
Pie crusts (top and bottom)
1 TBSP water

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 F
1. Brown the sausage in a skillet then drain.
2. Reserve 1 egg yolk.
3. In a large bowl, combine remaining eggs, sausage, spinach, mozzarella, ricotta, salt, pepper, and garlic pepper. Set aside.
4. Fit one half of the unbaked pie crust into a 9in pie pan. Turn the sausage mixture into the pie shell.
5. Top with the other half of the pie crust.
6. Cut slits into the pastry top. Then brush the top with mixture of reserved egg yolk and water.
7. Bake at 375 F for 1 hr and 15 minutes or until the pie is golden brown.
8. Let the pie stand 10 minutes before cutting.

“Asian” fish/chicken/steak packets

We love this recipe because it is a nice, simple, healthy, and great tasting dinner for any night!  The recipe works exactly the same whether you use a white fish filet (Tilapia, Cod, Haddock) or a thin sliced chicken breast.

There are many different ways to adjust this recipe, but the basic principle is the same… put cooked rice on the bottom, some vegetables in the middle, and your protein on top.  The topping is where you can have a lot of fun.  I personally love this sauce, but Rob has found a few pre-prepared sauces that he will substitute. He loves Teriyaki variants, which I just don’t.  But, that’s the great thing about this for dinner, I can have my sauce in my packet, he can have his sauce in his packet, and in the end… dinner is great!

Asian Fish/Chicken/Steak packets

2 Firm fish fillets, chicken cutlets, or steaks (5 to 6 oz each) e.g., tuna

1 Cup cooked rice

2 Cups coarsely chopped spinach or other easily cooked green vegetable

The sauce (per packet):

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tsp grated ginger root
1 Garlic glove, minced or pressed
2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp hot sauce
1 Tsp dark sesame or chili oil

1 Tbsp brown sugar

Directions:

Cook rice.
Preheat oven to 450

Take two 12X24 sheets of aluminum foil, and fold each sheet over to make a double think square. Brush a little oil on the center part of each square.

Spread half of the cooked rice on the center of each foil square. Layer greens, and protein on top of the rice.

For the sauce: In a small bowl combine the oil, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot sauce, and brown sugar.

Pour ½  of the prepared sauce over each serving. Or top each packet with your sauce of choice.

Fold the foil into airtight packets. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully avoid the steam when opening the packets.

Chicken Fried Steak

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 large egg whites
1 cup Panko bread crumbs, toasted
2 oz Funyuns onion flavored rings, finely crushed (1 cup)
1 TBSP canola oil
salt and pepper
1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper
2, 1 lb boneless strip steaks, timmed of all visible fat, each steak halved
4 oz turkey breakfast sausage, chopped fine
1 1/2 cup 2% low-fat milk
2 tsp cornstarch

Instructions:
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 425 degrees.

2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and a wire rack. Spray rack with Pam.

3. Add flour into one shallow dish.  In a second shallow dish, whisk egg whites until foamy.  In third shallow dish, combine toasted panko, Funyuns, oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and cayenne.

4. Pound steaks 1/2 inch thick with meat pounder then pat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with 1 steak at a time, dredge in flour, dip in egg whites, then coat with panko mixture; lay on prepared wire rack.

5. Roast steaks until meat registers 150- 155 degrees, about 1o minutes.

6. Meanwhile, cook sausage in medium saucepan over medium heat until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup milk and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Combine remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch, then whisk into pot. Continue to simmer sauce, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes.

7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon sauce over steak and serve.

Kenny’s Ribs

This recipe comes thanks to a good friend of ours, Kenny, out in Colorado. Making these ribs is an event, but a well worth it one. This one is also the reason for our last post about rib rubs.

For this recipe you’ll need some sort of Rib rack and deep roasting pan.  We usually end up rigging up a contraption that involves our roasting pan, a cooling rack, and an upside down roasting rack.  (We’ll take pictures next time).

Kenny’s Ribs

1 package bone-in baby back ribs
Liquid smoke
Rib rub
Butter
Your favorite BBQ sauce

  • Peel the ribs.  A handy trick we learned for this was from my chef brother who showed us that if you grab the membrane with a paper towel it grips it and you can usually get it off in one careful pull!
  • Rub the ribs down in liquid smoke and let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Do this in the pan you are going to use so that any excess drains down onto the bottom.  Another handy trick, wear gloves or anything while rubbing in the liquid smoke.  Otherwise your hands will smell for a looooong time!
  • After 30 minutes, rub the ribs down with your rib rub.  Again, wear gloves!!
  • Place the ribs in a rack bone to bone and flesh to flesh standing up with the fat end of the bone facing down.  It should look like this )()(.
  • Add about 1.5 inches of water to the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Cover the whole pan in plastic wrap or extra large baking bags.  Then cover with foil.  The goal is to make a good seal so that the ribs steam and “smoke” (liquid smoke) inside the tent.
  • Cook in 325-350 F oven for 3-4 hours until the meat pulls down about 1/2″ on the bone.
  • Remove the foil then allow to stand for 15 minutes.
  • Brush the ribs with melted butter while still warm, then let them cool completely.  Kenny notes that at this point you can refrigerate or freeze the ribs until you’re ready to eat them.

To Finish:

  • On the grill cook them bone side down for 4-5 minutes. 
  • Flip them over and cook on the other side for 4-5 minutes. Baste the bone side with BBQ sauce while the other side is cooking.
  • Then baste them 3-4 times constantly turning them so that the BBQ sauce caramelizes but doesn’t burn.
  • EAT!

Get a Husband Brunswick Stew

A man’s stew! From all recipes.

Brunswick Stew

Total cook time: 3+ hours

1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1.5 lbs ground pork
1.5 lbs ground beef
3 lb whole chicken, cooked and deboned
3, 14.5 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes, pureed
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Hickory BBQ sauce
1 tsp+ Hot Sauce
1 green pepper, whole
3, 14.7 oz cans creamed corn
salt and pepper, to taste]

Instructions:

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Add onions and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add pork and beef and cook till browned. Do not drain.
  • Transfer the mixture into a large pot over low heat.
  • Stir in chicken, tomatoes, ketchup, and BBQ sauce, and hot sauce.
  • Add the green pepper, whole.
  • Cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thickenend.
  • Stir in the creamed corn, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook for an additional 1 hour stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the green pepper, finely chop, and stir back into the stew.