Browsing Tag:

beef

Featured/ Vietnamese Recipes

Mongolian Beef

Once in awhile I get a craving for “Westernized” Chinese food. You know what I mean? Like sweet and sour pork, ginger beef, chicken lettuce wraps, stuff that you would find on the menu at P.F. Chang’s. Speaking of P.F. Chang’s, what is all the hype about? I hear people rave about this place all the time, so my husband and I went there for dinner when we were in Vegas last summer. I do not see what the big deal is – the food was very generic and Westernized Chinese food (seriously, I can guarantee you that chicken lettuce wraps are not enjoyed in traditional Asian households anywhere!). If you want an elevated Asian food experience in Vegas, check out Tao in the Venetian or Koi in Planet Hollywood. Those are my two must-go Asian food places while in Vegas.

Anyways, I digress. As much as I rag on “non-authentic” Asian food, I do sometimes crave the strong comforting flavours that they provide. Like this Mongolian beef dish. It’s not Vietnamese, it’s not really authentic Chinese cuisine, and one could only guess that it’s not really Mongolian either, despite its name. Yet it has the familiar  and typical Asian flavourings of brown sugar, soy sauce, green onions and ginger that make it so comforting.

For the beef, I used a couple of top sirloin grilling steaks but you can probably use any cut of beef. Thinly slicing the beef against the grain, tossing it with cornstarch and doing a quick sear will make any cut of beef super tender.

The best part of this dish is that it takes minutes to make. There is no pre-marinading or extensive prep involved. If you have all the ingredients at hand, it takes 15 minutes to prepare!

Serve the beef over some hot jasmine rice for a filling and comforting meal! You can see in my pictures that I had paired it with a Riesling but I wasn’t too impressed with the pairing. I think Mongolian beef is one of those basic meals that is best paired with a cold light beer!

Mongolian Beef

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • FOR THE BEEF:
  • 2 top sirloin grilling steaks (or any cut of beef), very thinly sliced against the grain
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 thai red chili pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced
  • 5 green onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Instructions

1

Toss the sliced beef in a large bowl with cornstarch and set aside.

2

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk together. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low while you prepare the beef.

3

Heat canola oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the thai red chili pepper and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the ginger begins to brown, about 2 minutes.

4

Add the garlic and sliced beef to the skillet, spreading the slices of beef in an even layer across the skillet. Sear the beef well, about 1 minute per side.

5

Pour the sauce from the saucepan into the skillet with the beef. Mix well so that the sauce coats all the beef. Let simmer for one minute.

6

Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle the green onions on top

7

Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy!

Beer and Wine Pairings/ Canadian Recipes/ Featured/ Meal Planning

Weekday Pot Roast

Weekday Pot Roast Dinner

One of the hardest things that I had to come to terms with after having a baby is that I don’t run the schedule anymore. Prior to having a baby, I was an extreme type-A person, and my cooking was run on a tight schedule. I prided myself on my ability to time dinner prep perfectly so that I was plating it up just as the husband was walking in the door. Now with a baby, that is completely unrealistic. Dinner prep now is interrupted multiple times with crying and feedings and there’s no guarantee when it will be plated up!

I’ve heard from other moms that slow cooker meals are lifesavers when it comes to preparing weekday meals. You just throw a few ingredients into a slow cooker and let it cook by itself. Admittedly, I have yet to find a slow cooker meal that I love. I find them all to be bland and it literally tastes like you threw a bunch of ingredients together to cook with no technique or finesse. (I know, I kind of sound like a culinary snob there, didn’t I?)

Anyways, I will continue my search for a decent slow cooker meal, but in the meantime, I have this pot roast recipe that I have been making at least once a week. There are three reasons why I love this recipe:

  1. It takes about 10-15 minutes to prep and brown the vegetables and the meat. This is about the maximum amount of time my baby will peacefully sit in her bouncy chair and watch me cook.
  2. I use a cup of red wine to deglaze the pot. This gives me the perfect excuse to open up a bottle of red wine and have a glass. I mean, I could also use beef broth to deglaze the pot but what would be the fun in that?
  3. After everything has been prepped and browned, you toss everything back in the pot and let it simmer for 4 to 5 hours. I just love that wide time range – 4 to 5 hours means that even if at the 4 hour mark, I get derailed by a crying baby who needs to be fed, it’s not that big of a deal.

This pot roast is best prepared in a Dutch Oven (or French Oven). On my Christmas wish list is a Le Creuset French Oven.

On my Christmas wish list – the Le Creuset French Oven, perfect for roasts and stews.

These things are so pricey but would be well worth the investment. However, since I don’t have one yet, I just use a big pot and it works just fine.

For the meat, I usually buy whatever roast is on sale that week. It doesn’t have to be a premium cut of meat because 4-5 hours of cooking will make any cut of meat super tender and flavourful. The meat falls apart when you take it out of the pot. This week at Sobeys, “inside round marinating oven roasts” were on sale so that’s what I used.

I serve this roast with the carrots that were cooked along with it, some mashed potatoes and a quick gravy made with the liquid in the pot.

Browned meat and veggies, swimming in broth and red wine, ready to simmer for 5 hours

It’s the perfect weekday meal for these cold winter nights. Also, I should mention that after 4-5 hours of cooking time, your house smells super delicious – it smells like you put in way more effort to make this meal than you actually did!

As you can see in the photo above, we paired this particular dinner with the Stark Raving red wine. There’s no rhyme or reason for this – the Stark Raving red is the every day drinking wine in our house, so when I don’t have a particular wine preference to pair with a meal, we default to the Stark Raving. It’s an easy drinking red blend that pairs well with everything and it’s a decent price (~$15).

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. Also, if anyone has any delicious slow cooker meals that will convert me into a slow cooker believer, then please share!

Weekday Pot Roast

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 15 minute prep, 4-5 hours cooking time

Ingredients

  • 3-5 lb roast
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole yellow onions, peeled and halved
  • 8 whole carrots, peeled and cut in half (4 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

1

Season the roast all over and well with salt and pepper.

2

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the halved onions on both sides and set the onions aside on a plate.

3

Brown the carrots in the pot and set aside with the onions.

4

Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pot and sear the meat for one minute on all sides until it is brown all over. Remove the roast and set aside with the carrots and onions.

5

Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Place the roast and the vegetables back into the pot and add 3 cups of the beef broth to almost cover the meat.

6

Add the fresh herbs, put a lid on the pot and cook on medium-low heat for 4-5 hours.

7

If you're making a gravy, after the 4-5 hours of cooking time, take a cup or two of the liquid in the pot and strain into a small sauce pan. Whisk together 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water, and then add to the sauce pan. Heat over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Shepherd’s Pie

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but you’ll have to forgive me. Life with a newborn baby has definitely been a game changer. It’s been over two weeks since we welcomed baby E into our family, and I’m slowly getting back into the kitchen. I didn’t really have to cook much the first two weeks, as my parents brought food almost every day and I had some freezer meals ready in our freezer. Earlier this week, my mother-in-law came to visit and brought us some beautiful locally raised meats from the Ranch House Meat Company in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan.

Locally raised meats from Ranch House Meat Company in Shaunavon

Locally raised meats from Ranch House Meat Company in Shaunavon

The quality lean ground beef is exactly what I needed to make my shepherd’s pie recipe. I’ve made this recipe so many times I could probably do it in my sleep. With a newborn in the house, it is pretty rare that the husband and I can sit down together for a plated dinner anymore. This recipe is perfect as it can be easily dished up and eaten, no fancy plating or preparation needed. This also tastes amazing as leftovers the next day.

My husband and I like our food spicy, so I put 6 tablespoons of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce into the meat mixture. If you don’t like spicy foods, I’d recommend just putting 2 tablespoons or so, just for a little kick.

This is probably the quickest and easiest comfort food recipe that I have in my repertoire. Give it a shot and let me know what you think! This new mama is off to have a nap now while my baby naps!

P.S. Have you guys stopped by Mortise and Tenon Shop for any kitchen gear or early Christmas shopping yet? Remember to mention that you were referred by Culinary Cents to receive a 10% discount off your purchase! Check out my post here for some great holiday gift ideas from this local Regina shop!

Cutting board by Mortise and Tenon

Cutting board by Mortise and Tenon

Stacking bowl available at Mortise and Tenon Shop

Stacking bowl available at Mortise and Tenon Shop

shepherds-pie-out-of-the-oven

Shepherd's Pie

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 45 mins

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEAT MIXTURE:
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cups mixed frozen vegetables
  • 2/3 cup beef broth
  • 2-6 tbsp of Frank's Red Hot Sauce (depending on how spicy you want it!)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • FOR THE MASHED POTATO TOPPING:
  • 6 large potatoes
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

1

Peel and quarter the potatoes. Put potatoes in large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil on the stove.

2

While potatoes are boiling, make the beef mixture. Cook the beef, onions and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat until meat is no longer pink.

3

Stir in paprika and thyme and cook for 1 more minute.

4

Add the frozen vegetables and mix well.

5

In a medium bowl, whisk together the beef broth, hot sauce, cornstarch and Worcestershire sauce. Add to the meat mixture. Season the meat mixture with salt an pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer so that the mixture thickens slightly.

6

While the meat mixture is simmering, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare the mashed potatoes. Take the potatoes off the stove, drain well. Return potatoes to the pot, add butter and cream and mash well.

7

Assemble the shepherd's pie by spreading the meat mixture evenly over the bottom of a 9-inch baking dish or casserole dish. Top with the potato mixture. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.

8

Remove from oven and top with fresh parsley before serving.