Even though I’ve posted two beef recipes in a row, I am generally pretty picky about my red meat. I usually only eat red meat on the rare (pun!) occasion I go to a steakhouse (NY strip, medium please). Red meat in general, and steaks to be exact, are the one thing I have yet to find and master a go-to, fail-proof recipe (quality beef is too expensive to experiment with). Brisket would be the one exception to the red meat rule. I can make a mean brisket. I did learn from the best. Mama CC makes the best corned beef I have ever had. Yes, I am completely biased, but really her recipe is wonderful. So wonderful I need to share it.
The special secret to her corned beef is the amazing mustard glaze she puts on top before serving. It’s delicious. There is something about the sweet, slightly caramelized mustard and the combination of salty corned beef that is out of this world. If you really want to impress any St. Patrick’s Day guests, I highly recommend this recipe. I would also recommend serving with a horseradish sour cream sauce on the side. It’s the perfect finishing touch.
Mustard Glaze Corned Beef
For the Corned Beef:
3-5 pounds corned beef (with spice packet or brine, if included), trimmed of excess fat
12 ounces pale ale/light beer or low-sodium beef broth
1 large onion, quartered
2 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 dried bay leaves
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup grainy mustard
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light, doesn’t matter)
Place corned beef in a large pot. Add the beer/broth, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, 1 1/2 cups water and the contents of the spice packet/brine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until very tender and easily pierced with a fork, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Heat oven to 375ºF. Transfer the beef to a foil-lined baking sheet.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the mustard and sugar. Brush the beef with the mustard mixture and roast until the sauce has thickened and set slightly, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let sit 5-10 minutes. To serve, slice thinly across the grain.
This stew is the perfect alternative to corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day, especially if you don’t have all day to cook. Slow cooker recipes are great for entertaining a crowd.
Some people put potatoes into their stew, which I think is just a waste of perfectly good potatoes. Stew just cries out for creamy mashed potatoes. I made a delicious horseradish and green onion mash, which was absolutely amazing with the beef and the broth of the stew.
One other note about the onions… I got a new crockpot recently and for whatever reason it does not like cooking onions unless they have already been softened a bit. To make this stew turn out, I sautéed the onions in the same pan I browned the beef in and deglazed it after all that. If your slow cooker isn’t as moody, feel free to skip that step, but it really does help add some extra flavor to the stew.
The result is a great combination of tender beef, wonderfully flavored veggies and the broth is so flavorful I can’t even put it into words. The broth and potatoes I used to sop it up were probably my favorite part.
Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds stew meat,
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Blend)
1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
kosher salt & pepper, to taste
4 large carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
4-8+ cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas
kosher salt & pepper, to taste
1 large bay leaf or 2 small
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup rich red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
Place the carrots and peas into the crockpot.
Rinse the meat and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Toss and coat beef with flour, garlic powder, paprika and salt and pepper, to taste. (I recommend using a large bowl or large plastic bag.)
In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté in batches until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Add more butter and oil as needed and make sure not to over crowd the pan. When beef is browned, add to crock pot.
When done browning the beef, add in onion, sauté until softened and starting to brown. Add in garlic and brown until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Use a generous drop of beef stock or wine to deglaze the pan and add everything to the crock pot.
Add the rest of the ingredients (bay leaf, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, broth, wine) to the crock pot. Stir together.
Cook on high for 4-6 hours or 6 to 9 hours on low.
This recipe is not one that I had planned out making. It kind of just happened. I bought some sirloin to make this delicious sounding recipe I found over the weekend and then I lost the recipe… Typical. Beef is not something I normally cook, mainly because I just can’t get it right, it’s either too rare or too burnt well done. It usually just seems like too much of a hassle and waste of money when all is said and done. When I do cook with beef it is generally a stew or a stroganoff type of deal that can’t be messed up by the doneness of the meat. I can totally screw it up in other ways, but it won’t be the beef’s fault. Since I lost my original recipe, I turned to the internets. I am currently obsessed with Google’s recipe search that lets you filter by ingredients. It’s genius. I mainly filter by everything I hate first (celery is always the first to go) and hope that the end results turn up something good. That’s where the inspiration for this little gem of a recipe came from.
It also seemed rather autumnal (I’m still using it every chance I get!). I think my effort to force fall into existence is slowly working. It was below 70/21 yesterday for the first time in as long as I can remember (I will just ignore the fact that it’s going to be way above 80/27 this weekend…). If I cook it, fall will come!
This is just a random aside, but important in cutting down the amount of time preparation might take. I never understood why so many vegetables are sold pre-cut until making this. Do yourself a huge favor if you are going to make this; buy a pre-cut butternut squash. Prepping this took nearly an hour (53 minutes to be exact)! I had never cut up a butternut squash before, so that was half the battle. If you have been reading my blog with anything vaguely resembling regularity, you might also remember that knives and I do not have the best working relationship and I seem to be losing fingers or limbs on a fairly regular basis. So the butternut squash also had to be approached with great caution. Even though I still look down on most pre-cut vegetables, the pre-cut butternut squash has forever earned a place in my heart.
Beef and Butternut Squash Stew
1½ pounds lean stewing beef, trimmed of excess fat
1 medium butternut squash
1 large onion, sliced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces baby carrots left whole
2 (14.5) ounce can diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ Tablespoon smoked paprika
½ Tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Brown beef in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Put to one side. Peel and half butternut squash, then cut into 1-1½ inch pieces. Place vegetables and browned beef in a 4 or 5 quart crockpot. Add crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, garlic, thyme and oregano. Cook on low for 8 hours.
So this might be one of the most sacrilegious things I have ever done in the kitchen. I apologize in advance to all tri-tip purists. Tri-tip goes on the barbecue, it’s just a fact. That’s how it’s done. Well, when I decided to cook my tri tip, it was raining out and as much as I love my barbecue, there was no way I was going to stand out in the rain trying to cook this thing. Luckily, I’m an oddly early riser, so I had enough time to improvise and experiment. I figured if people make brisket and corned beef in the crockpot, I could stick a tri tip in there. So I did just that and crossed my fingers.
Tri-tip is a big deal around these parts. I grew up with it so I never knew it wasn’t a thing in other parts of America. It’s from the bottom of a sirloin cut and looks like kind of like a triangle. It’s normally just rubbed with garlic, salt and pepper, then cooked slow and low over the barbecue. You serve it with garlic bread, green salad, sometimes salsa and beans. It’s pretty simple and super delicious. I guess I can thank the rain for forcing me to break the rules on this one and I’m pretty glad I did.
Now on to the salsa! This fresh tomato salsa can be found at pretty much any taco shop around here. It’s so simple, yet full of flavor and it goes with just about any Mexican meal. One, note about the jalapeños… Make sure to wash your hands with soap and hot water for like 20 minutes (just kidding, not really…) after touching them and definitely do not touch your eyes and face for a couple hours. Trust me, it’s all fun and games until someone gets jalapeño in the eye. The salsa recipe will make a lot. You will definitely have leftovers, which is great because you can use it on just about anything. Serve it with chips, tortillas, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tostadas, nachos, eggs, pinto or black beans, eat it with a spoon out of the bowl, go wild.
Shredded Tri-Tip Tacos
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 pound. tri-tip roast
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt (omit if tri-tip is already seasoned)
3 large sized fresh tomatoes, stems removed, finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced
1-2 jalapeño chili peppers (stems, ribs, seeds removed), finely diced
Juice of two limes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop the tomatoes. Prepare the chilies (be careful while handling these hot peppers!). Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling and avoid touching your eyes for several hours. If you like hot salsa, save few of the seeds to add in for heat.
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for at least an hour for the flavors to combine. This salsa gets better with time, so let it marinate a bit.
I totally slacked off on both blogging and cooking this week. Meh. Just wasn’t in the mood. Whatever. It happens.
Luckily, I did manage to make a meal that is perfect for when you don’t feel like cooking. Bust out the slow cooker, come back in 6 hours and a delicious pot roast will magically be waiting for you. There is really no rhyme or reason to this recipe. You can definitely add more or less of anything, like the carrots or celery or garlic. I hate celery, so I chopped it into bigger pieces so I could easily pick them out and I love garlic so I added about a billion ten minced cloves.
Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
3 pound beef roast
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
butter or olive oil
1 large onion, cut into chunks
5 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 small container of mushrooms, roughly chopped
5-10 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 cups low-sodium broth
2 cups dry red wine
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
Trim the roast if there is a lot of excess fat. Pat dry and season with kosher salt and black pepper on all sides. Heat olive oil or butter in a in a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the roast on all sides.
Place the roast, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, and bay leaves in the slow cooker. Pour the stock and wine over the roast. Set the slow cooker to low and allow to cook for 6-8 hours. Start checking internal temperature after 6 hours.
Remove the roast and vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside and tent. Strain the leftover juices in a fine mesh sieve, and skim the fat off the top (or use a gravy separator). Place the juices in a small saucepan. Spoon about 1/2 c of the juices in a small bowl, and whisk in the cornstarch to form a roux.
Pour the roux back in the saucepan and bring the juices to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir until juices thicken into a gravy. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Slice/shred the pot roast. It should kinda just fall apart at this point.
Serve with mashed or roasted potatoes and some of the vegetables from the slow cooker.
Yeah. I don’t quite know why I’m sharing this recipe because:
I don’t eat pork
I didn’t actually try the recipe (see number 1).
But I have made this recipe several times with both pork and beef (which I also don’t eat) and it has been a hit with both small children and Marines, therefore I believe that it can be declared a success all around. If I was to base this recipe on smell alone, it would be an overwhelming success. It smells amazing! Like amazing enough to be tempted to eat it, but in the end my love for the movie Babe always wins out…
I also like this recipe because it is a good make-ahead recipe. It requires very little preparation and once it’s in the oven, you don’t have to do a thing. You have more than enough time to get the rest of the meal prepared while the meat is cooking.
Heat oven to 250. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except meat. Make a foil packet and place meat in it. Pour sauce into packet and cover meat. Closed up packet. Place in baking dish an cook for 2 to 2.5 hours. Be sure to check the internal temperature of the meat after 2 hours.When meat is cooked, transfer to a cutting board and thinly slice. Serve with sauce.