Posts Tagged 'beef'

Vegetable Beef Soup

I love soup.

On a cold day, not much else can warm you in the same way.

Vegetable Beef soup is one of my favorite one-dish meals.  It’s chockfull of vegetables, hearty thanks to the beef, and totally satisfying.

It’s also super easy to make.

You can always use fresh vegetables if you prefer, but I just love the ease of using frozen vegetables.  In addition to no chopping, there no need to thaw the frozen vegetables. They will thaw as they cook.

As an added bonus, did you know that some products in the frozen food section may even be healthier than the fresh variety? Several research studies show that freezing vegetables and fruits “locks in” important vitamins and stops the nutrient loss that can occur in fresh vegetables that are often picked weeks before they make it to the grocery store aisles.

I always have several containers of this soup in my freezer.  It is my healthy “go-to” meal when I don’t have time to cook.  Think it may become the same for you!

Enjoy!

Vegetable Beef Soup
From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

1 pound beef chuck roast or stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
1 can (28-ounce) diced tomatoes with juice
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen cut green beans
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup frozen lima beans
1 cup peeled and diced carrots
6 cups chicken stock

Pat the meat dry with a paper towel and generously season with salt and pepper. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and reserve. Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, thyme, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the reserved meat, peas, green beans, corn, lima beans, carrots, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Over high heat, bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the flavors have melded, about 45 minutes. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve hot.

Cooking Tip: You can always use fresh vegetables if you prefer, but I just love the ease of using frozen vegetables.

Some products in the frozen food section may even be healthier than the fresh variety. Several research studies show that freezing vegetables and fruits “locks in” important vitamins and stops the nutrient loss that can occur in fresh vegetables that are often picked weeks before they make it to the grocery store aisles.

Time-Saving Tip: No need to thaw the frozen vegetables. They will thaw as they cook.

Freezes well.

 

 

 

Flank Steak Roulade

I love dishes that look so much harder than they are to make!  When I serve them, my guests ooohhh and aaahhh over how impressed they are with my cooking skills.  Little did they know, the dish was so simple, my daughter could have assembled it!

My flank steak roulade is the perfect example of such a dish.  It makes a beautiful presentation at the table, has a delectable combination of flavors, and is a cinch to prepare!

Here’s the trick.  You take a flank steak and place it on a cutting board. Generously season it with salt and pepper to taste, layer your favorite filling ingredients, and then roll it up like a log.  Finally, I tie it up with cooking twine to ensure it holds it shape. That’s it. See, I told you it was simple!

I prefer to brown the roulade on all sides before placing it in the oven.  I think it adds flavor and texture to the meat.

For the filling, I like to use ingredients that add flavor, texture and color.  Vibrant spinach and roasted red peppers make a statement.  French fried onions add both flavor and texture to the mix.  Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese add creaminess.

Feel free to substitute ingredients that you have on hand. Sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese and fresh herbs are all delicious filling alternatives.  Worried about fat?  Omit the cheese.

This delicious dish that is much easier than it looks will definitely impress your company.

Enjoy!

Flank Steak Roulade

1 flank steak, pounded about 1/3-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups fresh spinach
3/4 cup FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions
1/2 cup drained and diced roasted red peppers
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the flank steak on a cutting board.  Generously season with salt and pepper. Place the spinach in an even layer over the steak. Next layer the FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions, roasted red peppers, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese on top of the spinach. Roll the steak tightly into a log.  Tie with kitchen twine every 2 inches along the length of the roll. Generously season the outside of the roulade with salt and pepper.

Place the oil in a large, oven-proof sauté pan and warm over medium-high heat until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Sear the roulade until well-browned on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place the roulade in the oven to finish cooking, about 20 to 25 minutes for medium. (If you like it more well done, leave it in longer.)

Let the roulade rest for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the kitchen twine. Slice into 1-inch thick slices and serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cooking Tip: Be sure to let the roulade rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. This ensures a juicy steak.

Variations: For the filling, feel free to substitute ingredients that you have on hand. Sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese, and fresh herbs are all delicious filling alternatives.

Do Ahead: The roulade can be assembled and refrigerated one day in advance.

 

 

 

 

Blues-y Bacon Onion Burger

I love burgers!  There is just something about a good burger I can’t resist.

But as much as I love a good old fashioned burger topped with the classic garnishes of cheese, tomato, and lettuce, I love to experiment with the ingredients to come up with my own “specialty” burgers.

This Blues-y Bacon Onion Burger is one of my favorites.

In my hometown of Memphis, folks take their blues and barbecue seriously.  And I can guarantee this burger will be sure to appeal to discriminating blues and barbecue fans everywhere!

For the blues, I stuff and top the finished burger with crumbled blue cheese.  (You can’t get enough of blue cheese in my opinion!) I also stuff and top the burger with zesty FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions.  The French Fried Onions are my secret ingredient.  They add flavor and texture both inside and outside the burger. Oh … and I almost forgot to mention the bacon!  I add crispy, crumbled bacon to the patty to give it an extra kick.  The barbecue sauce makes its appearance as the condiment of choice for the finished burger.

Enjoy!

Blues-y Bacon Onion Burger

1 pound ground beef
1 cup FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions, divided
1 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce
4 hamburger buns, split

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high.

In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, ½ cup FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions, ½ cup crumbled blue cheese, and the crumbled bacon. Generously season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently mix together, by hand or with a fork, until well combined. Divide and shape the mixture into 4 patties.

Grill patties 10 minutes or until no pink remains (160°F internal temperature), turning once.

To serve, toast the buns. Place each burger on a bun. Top with the barbecue sauce and the remaining blue cheese and FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip:  

Don’t have a grill?  No problem.  These burgers can easily be made indoors.

In a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Cook the burgers until well-browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

Do you have a crock pot?  I didn’t think I did. Then one day last year I decided to clean out my pantry.  And low and behold, what did I find tucked at the very back of the top shelf?  A brand-spankin’ new crock pot.

I thought “Now where did this come from?”  As I was scratching my head in puzzlement, I opened the lid and lying inside was a gift card from Goldsmith’s Department Store (which by the way has been a Macy’s for a long, long time). The enclosure read “Best Wishes! Happy Cooking!” It seems this long-forgotten crock pot had been a wedding present.  It had been tucked away waiting patiently to be used for over 11 (Yes…I said 11!) years!

Neither my parents nor my grandparents had a crock pot so I had never used one before.  It was one of those wedding gifts where I appreciated the thought…but I didn’t really have a use for it.  (Now that I have discovered it, I am so glad that I didn’t gift it to Goodwill like I had that huge Japanese rice cooker I had gotten.)

As chance would happen, my sister had recently been telling me about this great beef stew she had made.  So I decided to give it a try in my “new” crock pot.  Before heading off to work that morning, I browned the meat and threw all the ingredients in.  With a bit of skepticism, I turned the pot on and headed out the door.  I thought “This is too easy to be true.  Will this taste good?  Will it be done when I get home?”

When I opened my back door hours later, I was hit by the delicious aroma of wine, tomatoes and garlic.  I rushed over to the pot and lifted the lid.  I was thrilled to discover a simmering pot of juicy and tender beef stew.  The beef literally fell apart at the touch and the tomatoes, wine and beef had rendered a delicious sauce.  I though “Wow!  Paul is going to think I spent all day in the kitchen!”

All that was left for me to do was boil a pot of rice.  (Heck…maybe I should have kept that Japanese rice cooker!) And since I had used a little wine to deglaze my browning pan, I also had almost a full bottle open to enjoy with my “no-effort” gourmet dinner!

So, here is a recipe that will turn even the most skeptical slow cooker skeptic into a crock pot enthusiast!

Enjoy!

P.S.: I am still trying to build up my crock pot recipe repertoire, so feel free to share your favorite slow cooker recipes!

Crock Pot Beef Stew

This is one of my favorite work-day dishes. I place everything in the crock pot before I head off to work…and when I come home, I have a delicious home-cooked meal waiting to be served.

4 pounds chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup good red wine, such as a Merlot or Shiraz
1 can (28-ounce) whole tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups baby carrots
2 bay leaves

Generously season the meat with salt and pepper.

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium–high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle in the pot. Working in two batches so as not to over crowd the pan, cook the meat, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 5 minutes. Place the meat in a crock pot. Pour the red wine into the skillet, scraping the brown bits off the bottom, to deglaze the pan. Pour the wine mixture into the crock pot.

Add the whole tomatoes to the crock pot, breaking them up with a spoon or fork. Add the garlic, carrots, and the bay leaves. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours. Adjust seasonings as needed. Serve warm.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: If you do not have a crock pot, you can still make this dish. Instead of putting the ingredients into a crock pot, place them in a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot with a lid and bake in a 250 degree oven for 3 hours.

Freezes well


Jennifer Chandler

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