Beef · Main Courses

Korean BBQ Beef (Bulgogi)

Beef Bulgogi

One thing we do not have here in the Bahia de Banderas is a good Korean restaurant. Many times in the 10 years we have lived here, I have longed for a seat in those plastic tables and chairs that grace the Bulgogi House in Edmonton. The memories of meals enjoyed there are still with me.

So, when Tasting Table published this recipe by Chris Oh, the chef of L.A.’s Hanjip restaurant, I thought I would give it a try. This is easy to put together, the marinade time is short and the results are tasty.

I did this in a cast iron pan on the stove, but next time, I will toss it on the grill for even more flavour.

Korean BBQ Beef (Bulgogi)

1 cup water
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes
2 lbs sirloin, thinly sliced crosswise 1/8" thick 
2 Tablespoons oil for frying
thinly sliced scallions for garnish (optional)
toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
steamed white rice for serving (optional)
kimchi for serving (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together the water, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and onion powders, and Korean red pepper flakes until the sugar has dissolved. Add the sliced rib eye and let marinate for 1 hour.

In a large cast-iron pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Drain the meat, discarding the marinade. Working in batches, cook the meat, flipping once, until caramelized and golden, 1 minute per side. Transfer to a platter.

Garnish the bulgogi with the scallions, sesame seeds and more pepper flakes, then serve with steamed rice and kimchi.

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Beef · Main Courses · Pork

Meatloaf with Tomato Gravy

Meatloaf with Tomato Gravy

The dish that was so popular in the 50’s & 60’s but something I rarely see anymore.

The list of ingredients is loooooong, but you probably have most of them sitting in your cupboard right now, just waiting to be put to work.

A food processor makes quick work of the chopping so it really isn’t as difficult or time consuming as your first glance may lead you to believe.

This will make one large meatloaf, or 8 individual ones.  I like the individual ones because you can customize them to match certain preferences and still make one meal for a group.   One of our guests didn’t like onions, so I  mixed everything else together and portioned out his serving before adding the onions.

The tomato gravy that goes with this is optional, but highly recommended.

Meatloaf

2 lbs lean ground beef

1 lb regular ground pork

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 bay leaf

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

1/4 teaspoon mace

3 cups fresh basil, leaves and tender stems loosely packed

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, loosely packed

1/4 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped

8″ piece of baguette, crust removed, torn into chunks

6 cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped

1 1/2 Tablespoons dried oregano

1 large onion, roughly chopped

3 large eggs, beaten well

1/2 cup red wine

1/4 cup water

1 cup tomato sauce, divided

Preheat oven to 375 and spray 8 individual loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Arrange on a cookie sheet and set aside.

Place pork and beef in large bowl.   Put the next 13 ingredients in bowl of a food processor and process until everything is finely chopped, stopping several times to scrape down sides of bowl.   (You may have to do this in 2 batches, depending on size of your processor. )

Add to beef and pork mixture along with the eggs, red wine, water and 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce.  Mix gently until well combined.

Divide equally and place in prepared loaf pans.  Brush remaining 1/2 cup tomato sauce over meatloaves and bake until thermometer inserted in centre registers 160F – 30 – 40 minutes.

Let stand 15 minutes before removing from pans and serving.

Tomato Gravy

1 Tablespoon butter

1 Tablespoon canola oil

2 Tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups hot water

1 tomato boullion cube

1/4 cup tomato sauce

2 Tablespoons ketchup

Heat oil and butter in saucepan over medium heat,  Add flour, stirring to remove any lumps.  Continue to cook mixture over low heat until flour turns a light brown.  Dissolve the bullion cube in the hot water and slowly pour into the flour mixture, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.  Increase heat to high, bring to boil.   Reduce heat add tomato sauce and ketchup and simmer until thickened.   Serve over sliced meatloaf.

Beef · Main Courses

Korean Beef Bowls

This is pretty much straight out of ‘A Pretty Dish’, by Jessica Merchant.   It is a well written book, and we are enjoying our way through it, with some tweaks here and there, of course.

I have increased the sauce from the original recipe as it goes so well with the rice.

You will find it easier to thinly slice the steak, if you pop it in the freezer for about an hour, until it begins to freeze.  Remove from freezer and slice immediately.

Another win for dinner in under an hour, and even with no marinating time, the flavour on the beef is very good.

Serves 2

 

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Korean Beef Bowls

Korean Beef Bowls

1 lb sirloin, thinly sliced

1 Tablespoons white flour

4 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 Tablespoons regular soy sauce

2 Tablespoons sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 Tablespoon peanut oil (for frying)

2 cups cooked basmati rice

1 large carrot, thinly sliced on the diagonal or julienned for garnish

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced for garnish

Toss sliced beef with flour and set aside.

In another bowl, combine brown sugar, soy sauces, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes.  Stir with fork until sugar is mostly dissolved and mixture is well combined.

Heat vegetable oil in wok or wide deep skillet over high heat.  Add beef and saute for about 2 minutes, until beef is beginning to caramelize and nearly cooked through.

Reduce heat to medium and add soy mixture to pan.  Cook, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes, until sauce begins to thicken.  Remove from heat.

Assemble the dish:  Divide the cooked rice between 2 bowls, top with the meat and sauce.   Garnish with carrot slices and sprinkle sesame seeds and scallions over top.

 

 

 

Beef · Main Courses · Pork

Albondigas (Mexican Meatballs)

Oh, just try them.  You will like them.  Even though we are using Chipotle, the level of heat is very low.  For those not familiar with Mexican flavours, this is a good introduction.

I’ve taken these to pot lucks and returned home with an empty dish every time.

If you cant find dried chipotle, you can sub canned chipotle in adobo and skip the soaking step.

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Albondigas, White Rice and Corn with Poblanos

Albondigas (Mexican Meatballs)

For the meatballs

8oz ground pork

8 oz lean ground beef

1 onion, minced

1 cup fresh white bread crumbs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

Oil for frying

For the sauce

1 chipotle chili, seeds and stem removed

1 Tablespoon canola oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3/4 cup beef stock

14 oz can chopped tomatoes

3 Tablespoons tomato paste

Make the Meatballs

Combine the first 10 ingredients (everything but the oil). Mix together well then roll mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls.

Place in single layer on baking sheet and chill while you prepare the sauce.

Make the Sauce

If using dried Chipotle Chili:  Soak the dried chilli in boiling water to cover for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon canola oil in saucepan over medium heat, and fry the the onion and garlic 5 – 6 minutes until onion is soft.  Remove chili from soaking liquid, reserving the soaking liquid.

Chop the chili and add to onions and garlic.  If using chipotles in adobo, fish at least one or maybe 2 chilis out of the adobo sauce, roughly chop them and add to the onion/garlic mixture.

Cook for 1 minute, stirring.

Increase heat to high, Add beef stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and soaking liquid.   Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer partially covered, while you cook the meatballs.

Cook the Meatballs

Heat oil in frying pan and fry meatballs in batches, turning occasionally to brown on all sides.  They will not necessarily be cooked thru and this is okay.  You just want to get a sear and some colour on them right now.

As you remove the meatballs from the frying pan, transfer directly to the sauce in the pot.  Once all meatballs have been fried, continue to simmer in sauce, stirring every once in a while, for about 10 minutes to cook meatballs thru.  Be gentle!  Stir too roughly and you will break up all those meatballs you just worked so hard to make!

Serve with plain white rice on the side.

 

 

 

 

Beef · Main Courses · Soups and Stews

Beef Chili

Yes, I know, I have already posted a chili recipe, but I like this version too.   The dried chilies in this recipe add a nice depth of flavour that will help chase away those winter blues.    They are easily found here in Mexico, but depending on where you live, you may have to do a bit of searching.  If your local grocery doesn’t carry them, look around for a Mexican or East Indian market.  They often carry spices that the big name stores do not.   I realize it could be a bit of a treasure hunt for some of you, but I’m pretty one bite will convince you that finding the chiles was worth the effort.

This serves 8.

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Beef Chili

4 large ancho chiles

2 dried guajillo chiles

2 dried pasilla chiles

3 cups boiling water

3 Tablespoons canola oil

2 kilos boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2″ slices

Salt & pepper

2 large onions

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 bottle Corona beer (or any other kind you like)

1    14 oz can diced tomatoes

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 Tablespoon molasses

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

sour cream and grated cheese for serving

Wipe chiles with a damp paper towel to remove any dust or sediment.  Remove stems and seeds from all of them.  Tear into large pieces and place in large heat-proof bowl.  Pour boiling water over, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes to soften chiles.

Meanwhile, season beef with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, brown beef on both sides – about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer to plate.

Reduce heat to medium add onions and cook, stirring often until onions are translucent and very soft.  About 6 – 10 minutes.  Add garlic, cook one minute more.  Add cumin and oregano and cook, stirring one minute more.  Add tomatoes and brown sugar and scrape bottom of pot to loosen any spices stuck to the bottom of the pot.  Add the beer, increase heat to high and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the beer has evaporated.  10 – 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put chiles and their soaking liquid into blender and blend on high until smooth.  About 1 minute.  Cut beef into 1/2 inch pieces.

Add beef, chile puree and 2 cups of water to pot.  Bring to boil, reduce and let simmer, uncovered, until meat is very tender and liquid has thickened slightly.  About 2 hours.

Stir in beans and cook just until they are heated thru, another 5 minutes.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.

Serve with sour cream, grated cheese and /or whatever else floats your boat on the table so guests can help themselves to toppings.  Round the meal out with a  salad, baked potatoes or rice and garlic bread.

 

Beef · Main Courses

Oven-Braised Beef Short Ribs

One of the best things about going back to Alberta, is of course, THE BEEF!!

I was very fortunate during my last trip home, as we were gifted with the most wonderful beef short-ribs  from the farm of a family friend.  Yes, free range, grass fed, IMG_7138hormone and antibiotic free (Dare I say organic?) Alberta Beef!

As always when I am home, there isn’t a ton of time to be standing over a stove so we skipped the searing and just popped the roaster straight into the oven.  This is a very simple recipe, with the oven doing all the work to bring out the flavour of the meat.  You can fancy it up any way you like, if you are so inclined, by using a rub on the ribs, subbing red wine or beef stock for the water or adding additional vegetables to the braise, but the great thing about this recipe is that is excellent just as written.

I was very happy with the way our simple recipe turned out, and think we did that cow proud with our results.   I turned the leftovers into a Ragu to serve over pasta later in the week.  Predictably, I did not think to take photos of our efforts, but I did find some reasonable likenesses on the good old internet.

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Oven-Braised Beef Short Ribs

5 – 6 lbs beef short ribs

3/4 cup water or beef broth

2 onions, sliced

salt and pepper

Mashed potatoes for serving

Preheat oven to 325F.  Season ribs with salt and pepper and place in large roaster.  Scatter onions over top and add water.  Cover tightly with foil or lid and place on rack in middle of oven.

Check after 3 hours, and add a bit of water  if most of braising liquid has evaporated.

Continue to cook, covered, for another hour, or so, until meat gives no resistance when pierced with a fork.  Remove short ribs to serving platter.  Pour braising liquid through a sieve into a bowl, skim fat and serve alongside the ribs and mashed potatoes.

 

 

Beef · Main Courses · Soups and Stews

Pho at Home

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I love this soup and it is on my ‘Must Eat’ list whenever I am back in Canada.  Where we live, Pho can difficult to find.  There are 2 restaurants we know of that serve it, and strangely both only offer it on Thursday nights.  The one closest to us closes for the summer.   So we make our own.

This recipe includes instructions for making your own beef broth, from scratch, but no one will judge you if you skip that part and open a couple of boxes of store-bought low sodium beef broth (See cooks notes below).  Toss in some of last nights roast beef or leftover steak, or pork or shredded deli chicken for that matter, and your hungry family will still be awestruck by your amazing cooking abilities.

This recipe serves 4 comfortably.

Pho at Home

2  kilos beef soup bones

1/2 kilo stewing beef or beef shank (leg)

1 – 3  Tbs canola oil

1 large onion, quartered

2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and smashed

5 scallions, white and green parts separated; white parts smashed, green part sliced and set aside

2 large cloves garlic, smashed

1 jalepeno, stem removed, halved lengthwise

5 whole star anise

1   5″ stick cinnamon, whole

2 1/2  litres water

1/4 cup soya sauce

200 gms dried rice noodles

Basil leaves, bean sprouts or shredded iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced radishes, chopped peanuts, hoisin and Sambal Olek or Sriracha sauce and those green onion tops you sliced earlier as accompaniments.

Heat oil in large stock pot over medium high heat, then, working in batches, brown the bones and beef shanks, about 5 minutes per batch.  Transfer browned meat to platter, adding additional oil if needed, as you go.

Once all the beef and bones are browned, cook onion, ginger, white parts of scallions, garlic and jalepeno in same pot over medium heat stirring once in awhile, until onions are soft and beginning to brown.  Add cinnamon, star anise and cook, stirring 1 minute longer.

Add browned beef, bones and any accumulated juices back into the pot, along with the water and soya sauce.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 1/2 hours, until meat is tender but not  quite falling off the bone.

Using tongs, remove meat and bones from broth.  Set aside to cool a bit.  Line a fine mesh sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth and strain the broth into another pot.  Discard solids, skim off fat.   (do ahead:  cool broth to room temperature, then refrigerate up to 3 days.  Fat will be easier to skim off of the chilled broth, too)

Cook noodles according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cut meat off of bones and  into half inch slices and return to broth.  Reheat broth and taste for seasoning.  You will probably want to add a bit of salt here.   Discard bones.

Divide noodles between bowls, ladle broth and meat over top.

Serve hot, with any combination of accompaniments listed above.

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COOKS NOTES:  If you are not into making your own stock, simmer 2 litres of low sodium beef stock or broth with white parts of the scallions, ginger, garlic jalepeno, cinnamon stick, star anise and soy sauce for about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, strain the scallions and spices out.  Add some leftover cooked meat, and voila!  Cook the noodles and add your accompaniments.  Dinner on the table in less than 40 minutes!!

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