Archive for the ‘Red Meats’ Category

Hamburger steak…

…doesn’t sound particularly exciting, does it?  Well, what if I told you Julia Child had a recipe for it? Interested yet?  You should be.

For Julia’s bifteck hache a la lyonnaise (aka, ground beef with onions and herbs) You need:

  • 3/4 cup finely minced onions
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean, ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. thyme
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. butter + 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine or beef stock
  • 2-3 tbsp. butter, softened

Melt the butter and cook the onions low and slow for about 10 minutes until they are tender, but not browned. Put them in a mixing bowl and stir them a bit to help them cool slightly. Then, add the beef, softened butter, seasonings, and egg. Use a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly. This surprised me a bit–I’ve made a lot of burgers, and always hear (and believe) that you have to be quite careful with ground beef because it is easy to over-mix it. However, what Julia says goes, and I tried the wooden spoon. It worked perfectly and it was kind of nice to not have raw meat all over my hands. Once the meat is well mixed, shape it into about 6 patties that are 3/4 inch thick. Right before you cook them, roll the patties lightly in flour, shaking off any excess.

Put the other butter and oil in a big skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter foam starts to lessen, cook the patties 2-3 minutes a side, until nice and golden. Take them out of the skillet and keep warm in the oven while you make a little sauce.


Get any excess fat out of the skillet, then add the wine or beef stock and boil it quickly, scraping up any browned deliciousness as it boils. Cook the sauce until it is reduced and a bit syrupy. Take the skillet off the heat and swirl in the butter a bit at a time until it is completely incorporated.


Pour the sauce over the warm patties to serve.


Believe me when I say this hamburger steak is absolute glory. Tender, melts-in-your-mouth, flavorful glory. And it actually comes together really quickly, too. Thanks for being a genius, Julia!


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Welsh Rarebit…

…is not something we have always been familiar with, and that is a crying shame!  We were introduced to it recently with these delicious burgers (which are sans rabbit!) and I daresay we could live off of the sauce on these ginormous works of burger genius.

For Rachael’s Welsh Rarebit you need:

  • 2 pounds ground beef sirloin, patted dry
  • About 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • A handful parsley, finely chopped
  • Lots of sea salt and coarse black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus some softened butter for toast
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 slices 1-inch-thick  white bread
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup stout beer, such as Guinness
  • 2 to 3 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 cup grated extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Heat a big skillet over medium-high.  Combine the meat, Worcestershire, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Shape the meat into a huge loaf and score it into four portions and form four HUGE “patties”, making them thinner in the center.  Drizzle the loaves (this is not a mere patty, people) with some oil and set aside.

Preheat the broiler and start making the sauce.  Melt two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Then, add the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, toast both sides of the bread in the broiler, then butter it.

Add the loaves to your hot skillet and cook for about 8 minutes, turning once.  While they are cooking, sprinkle the flour into your saucepan and cook for a minute.  Then, change the heat to low and stir in the beer, hot sauce, and mustard.  Using a figure 8 pattern, stir in the cheese until completely melted.  Stir in the eggs to thicken for 3-4 minutes, and the sauce is complete.

Place a burger on top of a piece of toast and slather it with sauce.  Place the burger under the broiler to toast for a couple of minutes, and enjoy.

Now this is a burger to write home about.  If you can eat a whole one in a sitting, we are impressed, as we (even Schatzi!) had trouble finishing one of these delicious creations.  And, really, this sauce is absolutely luscious.


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…was completely foreign to us: we had never heard of it until I found an intriguing recipe for it in this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine.  This month focuses on the brilliance of Italian food, and this recipe is a perfect example of just how wonderful the country’s cuisine is.  A timbale is apparently a food that involves cooking cheese, meat, and pasta in a mold typically used for desserts.  Hence, this particular version looks like a cake made of rice and stuffed with a luxurious sausage filling.

For Sausage-and-Rice Timbale you need:

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3/4 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp. breadcrumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups pecorino romano cheese, grated
  • 2 oz. provolone slices

Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt it.  Add the rice, reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until the rice is tender.  Stir the pot occasionally while you make the filling.  When the rice is finished, spread it out on a baking sheet to cool.

Preheat the oven to 450 and put a baking sheet on the middle rack.  Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high and add the onion.  Cook about 8 minutes, until soft, then add the sausage and cook until it is browned, breaking it up as it cooks.  Add the basil to the sausage mixture as well as the garlic and tomato paste.  Cook until the tomato paste browns, about 4 minutes.  Mix in the chicken broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits off the bottom.  Continue to cook the sauce until it is thickened, about 15 minutes.

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8″ springform pan with butter.  Coat the bottom with the breadcrumbs, tapping to remove any of the excess.  Mix the eggs and all but 3 tbsp. of cheese.  Put the cooled rice in a large bowl and stir in the egg mixture to combine.  Place about 2/3 of the rice mixture in the prepared pan.  Using moist fingers, press the rice onto the bottom of the pan and up the sides, making a 1/2″-thick layer.  Layer on the provolone slices.

Top the provolone with 3/4 of the sausage filling.

Then, pat the rest of the rice on top to cover the filling and top with the rest of the pecorino.  Put the pan on the baking sheet in the oven and bake the timbale for about 20 minutes, until golden.  Transfer to a rack to cool for 5 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the “cake”, then remove the side of the pan.  Serve a slice of timbale with the remaining filling alongside.

We were so excited to try this recipe and were definitely not disappointed–it is super fun (and downright easy) to make, and is delicious!


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…is one of the recipes that made Julia Child quite famous, and for good reason!!  My obsession with food and cooking developed around the same time the movie Julie & Julia premiered, and of course I wanted to see it–a movie about cooking?  Yes, please!  Of course, it is a delightful movie and I instantly wanted Julia’s first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  My mother-in-law was so kind as to surprise me with a copy for my birthday, and I finally got around to reading a bit of it and made a dish featured in the book.  I decided my first attempt would be the beef stew with red wine, onions, bacon, and mushrooms, and wow.  It is divine!

For Julia’s famous boeuf bourguignon you need:

  • A 6-oz. chunk of bacon (still on the rind)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 lbs. stewing meat, cut into cubes
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups red wine
  • 2-3 cups beef stock
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or mashed
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • The bacon rind
  • 18-24 small (pearl) onions, peeled & braised (recipe follows)
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, quartered & sauteed (recipe follows)
  • Parsley

This is definitely not a weeknight recipe, so make sure to plan for it on the weekend!  You need several hours to cook it well and correctly.  Begin by removing the rind from the bacon and cutting it into lardons/sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long.  Simmer the rind and lardons in 1 1/2 quarts of water for 10 minutes.  Drain the meat, dry it, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450.  Cook the bacon in an oven-safe Dutch oven (or large casserole) and the oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes, just until lightly browned.  Remove and set aside.

Reheat the oil in the pot until it is almost smoking.  Meanwhile, pat the beef dry.  Julia was huge on drying meat, as it browns much better when dry.  Saute the beef  in the bacon drippings, working in batches, until it is nicely browned on all sides.  Place it with the bacon.

Add the sliced veggies to the pot and saute them until browned.  Pour out any excess fat.

Put the meats back in the pot with the veggies and add the salt and pepper.  Sprinkle in the flour to coat the meat.  Place the pot in the oven for 4 minutes, then toss the meat and let it continue roasting for another 4 minutes.  When a nice, light crust has formed on the meat, take it out of the oven and reduce the heat to 325.  Then, add the wine and just enough stock to barely cover the meat and veggies.  Stir in the tomato paste, spices, and bacon rind.  Bring the stew to a simmer, then cover the pot and place it back in the oven, on the lower third rack.  Let the meat simmer gently for 2 1/2-3 hours (it is ready when the meat pierces easily with a fork).

Meanwhile, make the mushrooms and onions.  Heat a large skillet with 2 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. oil over high heat.  When the butter foam dies down, add the mushrooms, spreading them out as much as possible.  Occasionally stir the mushrooms until they are nice and brown, about 5 minutes.

For the onions, melt 1 1/2 tbsp. butter and 1 1/2 tbsp. oil in a skillet.  When the liquids bubble, toss in the onions and roll them around a bit for 10 minutes, until browned.  Then, pour in 1/2 cup red wine or stock, season with salt and pepper, and add a bay leaf, some parsley, and thyme.  Cover the skillet and simmer the onions for 40-50 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated.

When the meat has finished, pour everything into a sieve over a saucepan to strain.  Return the meats and veggies to the pot.  Simmer the sauce for a few minutes to thicken, skimming fat off the surface as it arises.  If the sauce is too thin, bring it to a rapid boil; if it is too thick, add some stock.

Mix the mushroom/onion mixture with the meats and pour the sauce over everything.  Serve a plate or bowl of stew with some boiled potatoes and garnish with a bit of parsley.

While it takes a bit of effort, this is a fun meal to cook and the payoff is tremendous.  And, Julia wasn’t kidding when she said the beef is even better the next day–it just gets more tender and flavorful!  The next time you are feeling adventurous and want to put a super meal on the table, look no further than the genius of Julia Child.




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Papa Lawson’s chili…

…is getting quite famous.  In fact, we have now had to change the delicious recipe’s title to “Award-Winning Chili.”  That’s right, Papa Lawson won the grand prize in a chili cook-off for his vegetarian version of this very chili.  I am quite excited to share this recipe–you must try it, especially as the cold of Winter sets in!

For Papa Lawson’s Award-Winning Chili you need:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef or chuck (for veggie, sub veggie crumbles)
  • one onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 4 14.5 oz. cans “Chili-style” diced tomatoes
  • 1 pouch regular chili seasoning
  • 1 pouch mild chili seasoning
  • 1 27 oz. can pinto beans
  • 1 large bag egg noodles

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, and cook the noodles according to the package directions.  Then, move on to cook the meat in a large skillet over medium heat, chopping it finely as it cooks.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in another skillet and cook the onion until soft, about 5 minutes.

In a huge pot (we are talking the biggest one you have), combine all of the tomatoes, beans, and seasonings.  Bring the mixture to a bubble, then stir in the meat.  Dad does not recommend draining the meat first, but we do…sorry, Dad.

Serve up a bowl of noodles dowsed in delicious chili and your favorite chili toppings.  For this dinner, to quote Dad, “eating isn’t eating without a goodly amount of noodles.”  As for toppings, we think cheddar cheese and sour cream are absolutely the way to go.

If you have never eaten chili over noodles (as I had not before I became a member of the ingenious Lawson clan), this is the recipe to start with.  It is no wonder this chili won an award–it is ridiculously easy, and you won’t believe how good it tastes!


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…is a favorite meal for both Schatzi’s and my family.  We love the stuff!  However, we recently decided to branch out and try a different version of the typical cube steak dinner, and it was incredibly delicious.

For cube steak with red wine and mushrooms you need:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 beef cube steaks
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic,  grated
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Heat a large skillet over medium-high and add a few tbsp. of oil.  Season the steaks with salt and pepper and cook them for about 3 minutes a side, until a nice crust forms.

Move the steaks to a plate and add a drizzle more oil.  Toss in the mushrooms and cook until they are golden, 3-5 minutes.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until nice and tender.  Stir in the stock and wine along with some salt and pepper and cook until the sauce has reduced by about half.  Pull the sauce off the heat and stir in the butter.

Se served some cheesy broccoli on the side.  Simply cook your broccoli, season with salt and pepper, and toss with a few tablespoons of pecorino cheese.

Top a steak with a healthy portion of mushroom sauce and serve some broccoli  on the side.

While it is hard to beat the traditional meal of cube steak, gravy, and biscuits, this is a delicious dinner!  And, it is pretty nutritious to boot.


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Moroccan meatballs…

…are probably one of my most favorite meals by RR that we have made yet.  This delicious recipe was featured in Every Day, and we were so excited to try it!  And, as expected, a bowl of delicious tiny meatballs smothered in homemade sauce and an egg cracked on top is absolutely fantastic!

For Rachael’s Moroccan meatballs you need:

  • 2 lbs. ground lamb ( we used elk and beef)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 6 gloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 28 oz. fire-roasted tomatoes
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment for the meatballs.  Mix the meat, a good amount of salt and pepper, the parsley, 4 cloves of garlic, the lemon zest, chili powder, paprika, and cumin and form about 65 tiny meatballs.  Place them on the baking sheet, drizzle with a bit of oil, and bake for 10 minutes until the meatballs are browned.

Heat a big skillet with a drizzle of oil over medium-high.  Toss in the onion and 2 cloves of garlic.  Cook until softened, then add some salt and pepper, chicken stock, and tomatoes.  Bring the sauce to a bubble, then add the cloves and cinnamon.  Cook the mixture for about 10 minutes, or until it has thickened up a bit.

Then, add the meatballs in to simmer for a few minutes.

Pour the meatball and sauce mixture into a bowl and crack an egg on top.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand for several minutes to cook the egg.  This didn’t work great for us the first go-round, so we ended up cooking our eggs in a skillet and just sliding them onto the meatballs after.  Serve your bowl of meatball goodness with some crispy bread (you will want it for that sauce!!) and a fresh salad alongside.

I could really go for another bowl of these meatballs!  They are absolutely fantastic.  Trust me–this is one dinner you do not want to miss!


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Papa Lawson…

…is a darn good cook and has handed down many a delicious dinner recipe.  Most recently, we had a craving for some good ol’ spaghetti, and knew that his family recipe would hit the spot!

For Papa Lawson’s spaghetti you need:

  • 1 lb spaghetti (we used whole grain)
  • 2 lbs beef (we used elk and beef)
  • a few Italian sausages
  • 1 large jar of Prego
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 stick butter (we only used a few tbsp…sorry, dad!)

Not only is this spaghetti delicious, it is super-simple!!!  Simply brown all that meat in a skillet (try to chop it finely as it cooks).

Then, add in the sauce, sugar, and salt.

Boil some salted water for your pasta and cook it for about 9 minutes.  When they are done, toss the noodles with some butter to loosen them up and help the spaghetti sauce stick.

Add the spaghetti sauce to the noodles and you are already done!  Serve up a plate of pasta and meat sauce with bread and, yes Dad, a salad, alongside.

When you are craving a plate of spaghetti, this is what you want!!!  It comes together so quickly and is absolutely delicious.  Plus, it makes a boatload of pasta, so you won’t have to worry about what’s for dinner for days!


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…is so incredibly delicious.  Last week, we made RR’s “two-sauce weeknight lasagna” and it combines besciamella (white sauce) with a delightful meat sauce to make one delicious dinner.

For the lasagna you need:

  • 1 lb. campanelle or fiore pasta
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 lb. pancetta, chopped
  • 3/4 lb. ground beef/elk
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, 2 grated
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-reggiano

Boil some water and salt it for the pasta.  Cook the campanelle to al dente.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high and add the pancetta.  Cook the meat for a couple of minutes, then add in the rest of the meat.  Cook until the meat begins to caramelize, 4-5 minutes, then add the carrot, onion, 2 cloves of garlic, allspice, some salt and pepper, and the bay leaf.  Now, we didn’t have allspice and did not particularly feel like purchasing it, as our spice cabinet is already bursting at the seams!  So, we tossed in a combo of oregano, crushed red pepper, and Italian seasoning.  I believe it worked out quite well!  Cook this mixture for about 3 minutes to soften the veggies, then stir in the tomato paste.  Let the tomato paste cook out for a couple of minutes, then add in the stock and knock the heat back to low.

Meanwhile, take the clove of garlic that isn’t grated and cut it in half.  Rub the sides of a saucepan with the clove.  Add the butter and melt it over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute, then whisk in the milk and bring the mixture to a boil.  Knock the heat back to low and season the besciamella with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Cook the sauce for about 10 minutes, until it is nice and thick.

Toss the cooked pasta with the white sauce and 1/2 cup cheese.

RR also has a delicious salad to serve alongside the pasta:

  • 1 tsp. zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 large head of escarole, chopped
  • 15 oz. can butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Whisk the oil, lemon zest/juice, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg together.  Toss the dressing with the escarole and beans.  We used romaine instead of escarole.  This is a salad we could eat every day!

serve up a bowl of pasta topped with the meat sauce and sprinkled with cheese and a plate of salad alongside.

YUM!  This lasagna dinner is absolutely fantastic, from the crisp, refreshing salad to the creamy pasta and comes highly recommended!


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…is one of our favorite meats to cook with.  However, we don’t use it too terribly often because of the fat content!  When we do decide to splurge and eat this delicious sausage, it is always enjoyable.  Lately, we’ve been attempting to develop our own recipes, and last night we made the much-anticipated creation that we now like to call “chorizoloaf.”

For Mexican meatloaf  you need:

  • 1 lb. ground elk/beef
  • 4 links Mexican-style chorizo
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 1/2 tbsp. adobo sauce
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350.  Combine the meats, eggs, almost all of the onions, breadcrumbs, milk, and cilantro.  Mix it together using your hands and mound it into a loaf.

Next, combine the tomatoes, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cinnamon, and the rest of the onion in the food processor.  Pulse the sauce until it is thick and mostly smooth.

Spread the sauce on top of the loaf and bake it for about an hour.  In the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, top the loaf with the queso fresco crumbles.  When the cheese is melted and slightly browned, it’s time to eat!

We served a slice of chorizoloaf with an ear of corn on the cob topped with herb butter.

This version of meatloaf is delicious, if I do say so myself!  Experimenting in the kitchen is always a lot of fun, and (as I’ve said before) you really can’t go wrong when chorizo is involved…


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