Palate Pleasers

Archive for the ‘Beef Dishes’ Category

This is another cast iron dish from my favorite cookbook!  I know I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again how much I love cooking with cast iron.  It’s easy to make and easy to clean up!  I made this a few weeks ago and forgot to post it and my niece mentioned she was making beef brisket for St. Patty’s day, so I thought I would get this posted for her, and all of you!   This is comfort food at its best!  This dish is slow-simmered with a sweet and sour sauce that becomes very tender over time.  Serves 4-6 people.


1 beef brisket – 1 to 3 pounds

Apple Cider-Ginger Barbecue Sauce

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Caramelized Onions

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, cut into quarters, then thinly sliced crosswise

To prepare the barbecue sauce, place the brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a medium saucepan.  Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

To prepare the onions, spread the olive oil evenly in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until golden.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Turn up the heat to medium, add the brisket and cook turning once until seared on both sides about 5 minutes.  You may need to add a bit more olive oil to keep the meat from sticking to the pan.

Remove the heat and spread the barbecue sauce evenly over the top of the meat.  Sprinkle the cooked onions over the brisket, cover the skillet tightly with foil and bake until fork-tender, about 3 hours.  To serve, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices.

**COOK’s NOTE:  This is a really easy dish to make and I love caramelized onions.  All the flavors were great.  One thing that I left out was the ginger because I didn’t have any on hand, but it was just as good with the Apple cider barbecue sauce.  If you make it with the ginger, let me know how it turns out!   I was able to take 2 forks and pull the brisket apart.  I added potatoes to the barbecue mixture once it had cooked 90 minutes.  We ate it with just the shredded beef, potatoes and a salad.  I think that it would be great on a french roll also!

Bon Appetit!


I absolutely LOVE Beef Stroganoff!  I remember when I was in my late 20’s there was this item you could buy at the grocery store – it was a jar of white creamy Stroganoff sauce. You combined the sauce with the ground beef you had cooked up. It was heavenly over my egg noodles.  For awhile it was good  and hit the spot, but then I found this recipe and will never go back to that or ground beef and cream of mushroom soup.    I found this recipe in the 2007 Cooking Light magazine and have been cooking it ever since.  This is a delicious recipe that I’m happy to share with you.


1 pound boneless sirloin steak, trimmed

Cooking Spray

3 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (about 8 ounces)

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup beef broth (fat free, less sodium is recommended)

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

4 cups hot cooked egg noodles (8 oz uncooked)

3 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Cut beef diagonally across the grain into 1/4 inch wide strips; cut the strips into 2 inch pieces.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add beef to pan; saute 2 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove beef from pan and place in a medium sized bowl and keep warm.  Add mushrooms and onion to pan; saute 4 minutes.  Add mushroom/onion mixture to beef.
  • Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add flour, cook 1 minute, stirring with a whisk.  Gradually add broth, sitrring constantly.  Cook 1 minute or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. 
  • Add beef mixture, sherry, salt and pepper to pan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 4 minutes.  Remove from heat; let stand 30 seconds.  Stir in sour cream.
  • Combine noodles and minced parsley.  Serve beef mixture over noodles. 

**COOKs NOTE:  I typically use Baby Bella’s or Portabella mushrooms instead of  Cremini Mushrooms.  I like mushrooms so I use 2 pre-sliced bags or boxes,but use as much as you’d like.  The dry sherry can be found in the wine section – make sure it is dry and not sweet or sherry that you would drink.  This is primarily a cooking sherry.  Also, even though I add 2 Tbsp flour it doesn’t always get really thick – so if you want additional thickness, use broth from the strogranoff that is hot and add 1 Tbsp more of flour to the mixture.   I don’t always use reduced fat sour cream either.  That would need to be your choice.  It’s a great meal and tonight I had this with a salad.  I’m sure you will enjoy dish as well!**

Bon Appetit!

As you know I’ve collected recipes for a while so it was only natural to want to have some of Mike’s favorite recipes from his family when we first got married.  This recipe was deemed “Mike’s favorite casserole” but when I learned that it had tomato soup for the sauce I wasn’t too sure how tasty it would really be.  I mean, I’ve had spaghetti sauce with noodles and meat, but never Tomato Soup – it sounded interesting and turned out to be very good.  I love this dish, probably as much as Mike does.   Plus it’s amazingly simple and it all blends together really well once it’s out of the oven.  Plus it serves great with a nice green salad.


Set oven to 350 degrees.

1 Package Egg Noodles

1 pound Ground Beef

1 large can Tomato Soup (or 2- 10 ounce Campbell’s Tomato Soup cans)

2 Cups Tillamook pre-Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Add Egg Noodles to Boiling Water.  In separate skillet cook ground beef.  Layer a square casserole dish (or something of equal size) starting on bottom with Noodles, then ground beef, add the cheese to cover the ground beef and then top with the Tomato soup to cover the cheese.

Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Once baked stir everything together and serve.

**COOK’s NOTE:  I made this dish tonight and added about half of one 10 ounce can to the meat mixture to give the meat some moisture and extra flavor.   I then put the remaining half of the can on top of the cheese along with the other can.  I used a Corningware white oval casserole dish tonight and it worked out perfectly.  As for the noodles, I use about 1/2 – 3/4 of the bag.  I try not to over power the dish with noodles and if I have extra noodles just keep them in a bag in the refrigerator.  I also use whatever Mild or Sharp cheddar cheese I have available.  I served this with a green salad and that was our meal.  It was quick, easy and delicious as well as inexpensive to make.  I’m sure it’ll become one of your favorite’s too!**

Bon Appetit!

I’m sorry that I haven’t been online blogging away with the great things I’ve been eating lately.  It seems that work has overwhelmed my life the past 2 weeks but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I don’t anticipate being away that long again.

On my first real official date with Mike we went to George’s in Belmont Shores for Greek food.  I love Greek food and if i remember correctly Mike ordered Eggplant Mousaka saying how much he liked Eggplant.    I don’t think I had ever had anything with Eggplant in it.  It just wasn’t one of those vegetables that I wanted to get to know or learn to cook with.   About a year later I came across this recipe from Weight Watchers,  (The point value 6) and knowing how much Mike liked Eggplant I thought I would give it a try.  This doesn’t have the Bechamel sauce that the traditional Greek Mousakka has, but it does have a nice cheese topping.   I hope you enjoy it!


Turn oven to 350 degrees

1 large eggplant – diced into cubes

2 Tbsp Olive Oil  (or more if needed)

1 pound Ground Sirloin (or ground beef)

1 small onion – chopped

1 clove garlic – finely clopped

1 – 16 oz can Tomato Sauce

1/3 Cup red wine

1 tsp dried parsely

1 tsp dried Oregano

1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1 large egg white – beaten

1 cup Parmesan Cheese

Once Eggplant is diced, put 2-3 Tbsp of Olive Oil in a non-stick skillet with the Eggplant and Saute until cooked (3-5 minutes).  Add more oil to pan as needed.  Once cooked set aside in separate dish and keep warm.

In the same skillet, saute beef, onion and garlic until the beef is brown and onion is gender.  If there is excess oil from the beef you use, drain off the fat.  Stir in 6 ounces of tomato sauce, add the wine, parsley and Oregano.  Add cinnamon if desired.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Return the Eggplant to the beef mixture and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

Stir 1/4 cup of beef mixture into the egg white – mix all together and then return egg white/beef mixture to skillet mixing well and cooking an additional 2 minutes.

Pour 1/2 cup to 1 cup tomatoe sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.  Place eggplant/beef mixture into the sauce.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  Bake 20-30 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbly.

COOK’s NOTE:  I drastically changed the recipe to make it more user friendly and faster to prepare.  The original recipe called for slicing the eggplant, salting it and then putting it under the broiler to get the salt out.  I eliminated those steps and chose to saute the eggplant instead mixing the flavors of the olive oil into the eggplant.   The first time I made this I included the cinnamon and Mike didn’t quite the like the taste of it.  So, I’ve left it out ever since.  We don’t miss that spice.  I tend to sprinkle 4 shakes of parsely and 4 shakes of Oregano to suit my tastes along with some Salt and Pepper to taste.  I also add Orzo Pasta or Rice to the bottom of my dish (pre-cooked) before adding the eggplant mixture to give it some Oomph.  It’s really tasty that way too.  Just make it your own dish – it’s very healthy and one that we enjoy often**

Bon Appetit!

When Mike & I first got married I thought I would make Chili for dinner.  I never really made it while I was single and figured how difficult can it be?  Aside from hamburger and beans – I couldn’t quite figure out what else to put in to it.  Do you put tomato sauce, diced  or crushed tomatoes?  So, Mike suggested I call his mom and see how she made hers.   Over time, I have added a few things extra things to make it my own.  These are the basic ingredients for chili and in time you too will make it your own.   


1 Cup Onion

1 lb ground hamburger or turkey

1 packet Chili Seasoning (Schilling’s or McCormick’s)

1 can 14 ounce Chili Beans

1 can 14 ounce Kidney Beans

1 can 14 ounce Black Beans

1 can 14 ounce Diced tomatoes

1 Cup water

In a Stock pot or Dutch Oven, sauté onions in olive oil until tender.  Add hamburger and cook until done – Once hamburger is cooked add the packet of Chili seasoning to the hamburger and onion.  Follow the directions on the package of the seasoning mix which includes adding water and tomato sauce or diced tomatoes.  Mix everything together and continue to add the 3 different types of beans and their juice.  If you want the sauce to be thinner, than add water or tomato sauce.  Add Salt & Pepper to taste.

Bring chili to boil and then reduce it to simmer and cook for an additional 1-2 hours.

**COOK’s NOTE:  I cook mine in a cast iron dutch-oven as it retains the heat and I can simmer for a couple hours before serving.  This allows all the juices and flavors to meld together.  I also prefer diced tomatos and sometimes I add Chili powder to the chili to give it a kick.  I like my Chili garnished with Cheese, but you can add raw onions or sour cream or nothing at all.

I also always serve it with Cornbread and not Marie Callender ‘s – I make mine from scratch – once you try it this way you’ll never want it from a package.**


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June 2018
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