Tag Archives: Beef

Gaelic Steak Flambe – This recipe could bring the house down!

I thought that I would go ahead and do a blog post for St. Patty’s Day before the actual holiday since I cooked Valentine’s Dinner on Valentine’s Day and I guess that really is too late if you are interested in trying this recipe yourself! We did have quite the flame that evening and torching food is always fun, so this is a really cool recipe (especially if you are in the mood to impress someone with your culinary talents!). 😉

I wanted to prepare a good traditional Irish dish, but was not going with what everyone knows – Corned Beef and Cabbage, Bangers and Mash or Irish Stew. No…..I had to find something different (because I am just that kind of gal)! My hubby found this recipe online. The Gaelic Steak Flambe is served with Sean’s Irish Champ (betcha never heard of that!), which is a fancy name for smashed potatoes with scallions and a big, fat pat of butter. Yes, I said full fat, salted butter! I was also lucky to find a beautiful bunch of rapini which I served with the filet and potatoes. So, after much photography and time cooking this dinner, we had a lovely, Irish steak dinner!

This really was an awesome recipe for the steak and the potatoes. I changed the recipe for the steak quite a bit, so I will give you my version. The one thing that is the same is the Irish Whiskey! You cannot have a St. Patty’s Day dinner without including that! 😉 I have made a few changes to the potato recipe as well.

Gaelic Steak Flambe

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, chopped
3 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
2 8 oz. filets
Freshly ground coarse black pepper
Salt to taste
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Have filets at room temperature. Coat completely in black pepper.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in an ovenproof skillet. Saute shallots for a minute or two, then add the mushrooms. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are slightly brown and the shallots are soft. Remove and set aside.

3. Turn the heat up in the pan. Saute the steaks quickly on both sides (this should take between 2-5 minutes each side).

The steaks should be nicely seared.

Put them in the oven for 5-10 minutes to finish.

Mine took about 7 minutes. The filets were a little over 1 inch thick. The temperature was 145 degrees at the center for medium. Remove the steaks from the oven and put on a plate.

4. Melt the other tablespoon of butter in another pan over low heat. (I chose a copper oval fry pan because of how quickly and evenly it heats.). Add the steaks. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

Pour the whiskey over the steaks and ignite!

When the flames die down, turn the steaks over for about 30 seconds. Remove and tent the steaks on a warm plate.
5. Add the shallots and mushrooms back to the pan with the whiskey and slowly add half and half. Turn up the temperature a bit.

Add Worcestershire sauce and salt to taste. Stir and cook a few minutes to thicken sauce and pour over steaks.

Looking for handouts!

Irish Camp

2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 c. whole milk
Salt and pepper
Half and half to finish
Pats of salted butter

1. Boil potatoes in salted water, until tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Drain and return to pan. Stir and cook the potatoes over low heat until dry.
3. Heat the milk with the scallions in a small saucepan to almost boiling.
4. Mash the potatoes (I like leaving them a little rustic and chunky – it felt more Irish that way!)
5. Add milk, scallions and salt and pepper to taste to potatoes. I threw in a few tablespoons of half and half for a richer taste.

5. Keep warm until ready to serve.
6. Serve with a big pat of butter (yes, that’s right!) on top of each serving.

Sauteed Rapini

Enough rapini for 2 servings
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Good Olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling.
2. Add rapini and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove and place in an ice bath. Then, drain until ready to use.
3. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet. Add garlic and saute for a couple of minutes (do not brown).
4. Add rapini and saute with red pepper flakes until hot enough to serve. Season with salt and pepper.

I would say Bon Appetit in Irish, but it would certainly not make sense to most of us (you would not believe what the translation looked like!). Instead, I chose something we are probably more familiar with – Erin Go Bragh!

Oh, and do not forget a great bottle of wine to serve with dinner. I think we deserved it after all of the time spent in the kitchen! Pride Mountain is a traditional California Merlot that is velvety smooth and has deep flavors of blackberry and dark fruit with hints of herbs and cocoa. It was an incredible bottle of wine and complimented the dinner perfectly!



Filed under Beef, Entrees, Irish, Irish Whiskey, Potatoes, Rapini, Recipes, St. Patrick's Day

Cincinnati Chili – Mine finally tastes like Skyline Chili!!

I have been making chili FOREVER! I am sure most of us have and I am certain that we would all say that we make the best chili or that we have some super top secret chili recipe from Uncle Whoever that we will never give up! Well, it seemed that Skyline Chili wasn’t giving it up either for awhile because until a week ago I could not seem to get it right!

I, frankly, had never heard of this Skyline Chili stuff until I married my hubby. He lived in Kentucky many years ago and first had this type of chili in Louisville. Apparently, it is now served in its home city of Cincinnati, Ohio as well as Indiana, Kentucky and even Florida (of all places!). My chili was more of what I would consider “normal” chili. It has the beans mixed in with the usual ingredients (onions, green peppers, tomatoes, chili powder, etc.) and this Cincinnati chili is just made with meat! It is also served over spaghetti! Now who does that? I had never heard of such a thing!

There are also several brands of Cincinnati style chili with Skyline Chili perhaps being the most recognizable name. Gold Star would be the next competitor with Empress and Dixie bringing up the rear! I went online and found out that all of these brands of Cincinnati chili have their own locations, several sell their chili, spices, T-shirts and even golf balls on their websites!

All of these brands of chili are available in the can (oh, yuck!) and are primarily sold in the same states where they have their restaurants. Skyline Chili is also available in your grocer’s freezer (even here in Atlanta), so that is what my husband has been eating for years when he needed a fix!

I guess there has been some huge rivalry between these chili makers (especially the top two – Skyline and Gold Star). There are also myriads of recipes floating around and lots of discussions about what exactly goes into this chili to make it taste so different. Well, I will tell you that I have probably tried 5 recipes since this quest began and as of last week, the adventure is over! I have done it! I finally found a recipe that tastes just like the stuff my hubby had in Indiana years ago and has craved from the frozen foods department since then.

So, this is how I spent a day in the mountains with 10 degree temps, 50 mile an hour howling winds and one foot of icy snow! I made chili! This recipe I used (with great success, I might add :)) was adapted from About .com. I made some changes based on what I read in comments online and how things were progressing while it cooked.

I read many discussions about how to fix the beef prior to mixing it with the spices. One was to put the ground beef in a food processor first to chop the meat finer (I am not so sure if that worked or not, but I tried it). The other key to making this is to boil the beef first. It sounds gross and does not make for pretty pictures, so you won’t be seeing those here, but it works! You need to really work the meat to get it into the teeniest pieces possible! That is part of the difference of this chili.

I would say the real secret is in the addition of cocoa and cinnamon and the large amount of spices you add. The chili tasted really hot at first, but as it cooked, the flavors mellowed and created that just right blend of spices that makes Cincinnati chili so different!

I used an equal amount of ground round and ground chuck. That way I had good flavor from the chuck, but did not have to worry so much about the fat (since we wanted to eat it right away!). I will say, however, that as with many dishes (especially chili) it was WAY better day 2 and day 3. We could not stop eating it!

One more thing about this chili…it is talked about in a way that reminds me of eating hash browns at Waffle House! Here are the ways you can fix it!

The Cincinnati “Skyline” Chili Ordering Code:

1-way: just the chili
2-way: chili served over spaghetti
3-way: chili, spaghetti, and grated Cheddar cheese
4-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions
5-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans
All “ways” are served with oyster crackers (we skipped the crackers!).

Our new personal favorite would be the cheese coney! This would include the hot dog with chili, cheese, diced onions and mustard. We left off the onions and mustard (did not want to mess up the yummy chili flavor!).

By the way, I cooked my chili for about 8 hours (low and slow!). The original recipe calls for simmering for 3 hours. Just trust me on this one and start it in the morning and let it cook ALL day. Better yet, cook it the day before and serve it the next day! No more frozen chili for us! 😉

Cincinnati Chili

* 1 quart cold water
* 2 lbs ground beef (I used 1 lb. each of ground round and ground chuck).
* 2 cups crushed tomato
* 2 yellow onions, diced
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
* 1/4 cup chili powder
* 1 tsp cayenne
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 2 tbsp cider vinegar
* 1 whole bay leaf
* 1/4 tsp ground cloves
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1 1/2 tsp salt (I used Kosher)


1. Put your ground beef in a food processor and pulse several times. Add beef and water to a 4-quart pot. Bring to a simmer while stirring until the ground beef is in very small pieces. Simmer for 30 minutes and add all the rest of the ingredients.

2. Simmer on low, uncovered, for 3 hours (longer is better, all day is best!). Add water as needed if the chili becomes to thick (I did need to do this several times, especially because I cooked mine all day).

3. Refrigerated the chili overnight, and the next day remove the layer of fat from top before reheating and serving (I really did not have any major fat to skim and I served it the same day).

I so hate to say this, but it really is “Yum-O”! 😉


Filed under Beans, Beef, Cheese, Cincinnati Chili, Entrees, Hot dogs, Recipes, Spaghetti

Braised Short Ribs

It has been so cold and rainy here this Winter that I have made countless soups and stews to keep us warm on these chilly days! I also love the aroma of a pot of something wonderfully fragrant simmering on the stove when you walk through the door. There is nothing more inviting.

In addition to soups and stews, another delightful dish for this wintry weather is braised short ribs. It is an incredibly satisfying comfort food that is also elegant enough to serve to guests.

I have a few recipes that I use when making short ribs. I will eventually share them all. The one I made this past weekend is a very hearty, earthy dish. The addition of dried porcini mushrooms and their liquid make the sauce especially thick and richly flavored. I have found that it needs very little adjusting. It is been consistently delicious every time I have made it.

My butcher cut the short ribs to order for me the other day. They were beautiful and incredibly lean. I did need to add some olive oil to the pan to braise them properly because the bacon I used was also very lean. I still let the dish sit overnight to make it easier to remove the fat. (I actually was surprised how much fat there was). I also like to let the ribs sit overnight to allow the flavors to come together, so making the dish a day in advance has two benefits.

I love these wonderful recipes that you can make ahead. It makes entertaining so much easier. Just so you know, this dish also requires an additional 12-24 hours to marinate the short ribs. They need to marinade in a bottle of red wine with veggies and herbs prior to braising. I used a medium bodied French Pinot Noir. It was perfect for standing up to the beef. Some of the reserved marinade also becomes your braising liquid, so you want to be sure the wine is as good as one you would drink with dinner. It is well worth the time spent and I know your family or guests will appreciate your culinary efforts!

Here is the recipe adapted from Sur La Table

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Serves 4 (generously)


* 1 large onion, sliced
* 1 carrot, scrubbed and sliced
* 1 celery rib, sliced
* 4 garlic cloves, smashed
* 2 bay leaves (I used fresh)
* 5 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1 sprig fresh rosemary
* ¼ teaspoon crushed juniper berries
* 10-12 peppercorns
* 1 bottle (750-ml.) medium-bodied red wine (I used a French Pinot Noir)
* 4 lbs bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed of fat

1. Combine the first ten ingredients in a large bowl. Add ribs, cover and marinate in refrigerator 12 to 24 hours. (I marinated mine for 24 hours. I also turned short ribs periodically. A better choice would be to put everything in a really large zip lock bag. I did not have one large enough, so I opted for a 13 x 9 inch glass pan).

Braising Aromatics

* Good olive oil (if you need some for sautéing)
* 6 oz bacon, sliced in to lardons (I used Applewood Sunday Bacon)
* Seasoned flour (½ cup all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp kosher salt, 2 tsp fresh black pepper)
* 2 carrots, peeled, medium dice
* 2 celery ribs, sliced
* 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
* 4 cloves crushed garlic
* 2 tbsp tomato paste
* 2 cups reserved marinade
* 1 cup veal or beef stock (I used Pacific Organic Beef Stock)
* 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in 1 cup boiling water, strained
* 1 sprig of rosemary, approx. 3″
* 5 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1 tbsp butter
* 2 tbsp cognac
* buerre manié (1 tbsp flour & 1 tbsp softened butter mixed together)

1. Remove ribs from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Place colander over a bowl and strain the wine; discard the vegetables.
2. Place Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until slightly crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the oil behind. Dredge the ribs in the seasoned flour, making sure to shake off any excess flour.
Add ribs to pan in batches; brown on all sides. Transfer ribs to a plate and set aside. Add vegetables and sauté until browned, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add reserved marinade to deglaze pan. Stir well with a wooden spoon, add the veal stock and porcini liquid to the pan. Return ribs and bacon to the pan, bone-side up; bring to a boil, reduce to low heat and simmer, covered, but with the lid cracked on the stove top until ribs are tender, about 2 hours, 45 minutes. **

3. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sauté porcini mushrooms in 1 tbsp of butter for about 3-5 minutes. Deglaze with 2 tbsp of cognac, and set aside.

4. Transfer ribs to platter and cover with foil. Strain cooking liquid into a saucepan. Discard vegetables. Bring liquid to a simmer over medium heat and skim fat. Whisk in the beurre marié and continue to cook until sauce has thickened. Add porcini mushrooms and return ribs to the pot. Adjust seasoning and serve.

** You can stop at this point and refrigerate the dish overnight to allow the fat to rise to the top and harden making it easier to remove. Refrigerate the porcini mushrooms as well and begin at Step 3 when you are ready to serve the short ribs.

You also may want to cook the ribs a little longer, depending on the size of your ribs. Mine were fairly large and were very tender. However, if you like the meat literally falling off the bones, you may need to cook them a little more than 2 hours and 45 minutes. I like to serve mine with the meat still on the bone.


Braised Short Ribs on Foodista


Filed under Beef, Braising, Entrees, Pinot Noir, Recipes, Short Ribs, Wine

Boeuf Bourguignon – A perfect dish to celebrate the beginning of Winter

Last evening, we had friends over the celebrate the beginning of Winter and the holidays. There could not have been a more perfect dish to serve than Boeuf Bourguignon on a chilly evening in December! I am sure that Julie and Julia almost overdosed everyone on this wonderful bistro favorite. Even people that never heard of it prior to the movie were running off to make a big pot of fancy French beef stew…Well, I must say that I have been making it for many years and will never tire of this delightful dish. It truly is one of the great classic French dinners.

I love the fact that you can make Boeuf Bourguignon a day in advance and warm it up right before guests arrive. Voila! Wonderful, easy dinner and time to spend with your company. It is much tastier after all the flavors have had a chance to get to know each other better. That is why I prefer to make it a day ahead. If you have to make it the day you plan to serve it, you should make it early in the morning to allow all the wonderful flavors to come together.

I am sure that some people will look at the recipe and find it daunting with all the ingredients and steps. I say phooey! The best thing you can do for yourself is get a bunch of cups and bowls (of all sizes) and set out your measured ingredients (that would be mise en place in French). It makes all the difference in the world. I do all the washing, chopping, pepper grinding, etc. and then get everything in order. That way you are not running around looking lost trying to find the salt or tomato paste. It will all be right there in front of you when the recipe calls for that particular ingredient. It also makes clean up easier as you put things away before you start cooking and not during. Once the pot is in the oven you can finish up and prepare the last few ingredients. Look, I even have time to write this and take pictures!

I truly find this to be the best way to cook and entertain. I served the Boeuf Bourguignon with a baby lettuce salad dressed with a champagne vinaigrette, crusty bread and Baked Pears with a Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert (recipe will follow in the next blog). Of course, there is already one whole bottle of burgundy in the dish (be sure to use a nice bottle that you would like to drink). We also served complimentary wines with the dinner (and too many of those and cognac to follow, I might add!). By the way, this 2003 Chehalem Reserve Oregon Pinot Noir, Wilamette Valley was amazing!

This recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten.
Here is the link.

I have to say that I have tried several other versions over the years (including Julia Child’s). Although Julia’s and Ina’s are quite similar, I find that I prefer the flavors of the dish when I prepare Ina’s. It has been consistent every time that I have prepared it. I do not have to add one single pinch of salt or tweak the final product at all.

Just so you know, I always use a nice French Burgundy (Pinot Noir is the same grape if you are using an Oregon or California wine) as well as a good cognac in the Boeuf Bourguignon. I use Swanson’s Organic Beef Broth (which has a lower sodium content) and Oscar Meyer’s Center Cut Bacon in the dish. I have found these few items to really make a difference. When prepared this way, it is perfect. I promise you will be hard pressed to find a better version in a Parisian bistro!


Filed under Beef, Entrees, French, Recipes