Category Archives: Beef

Cheeseburger Sliders

My family is a huge fan of burgers, and burgers of any type. Everyone has their ‘go to’ burger and as I typically go the most extreme in terms of condiments and toppings, everyone else takes it pretty easy. One will do just cheese, the other just bacon, and the other, well, let’s just say she refuses to eat them. I’m fine with that. I really am. One of my favorites however is the simple cheeseburger slider. Maybe it was when I fell in love with them when my parents would travel to Indiana and stop by White Castles and grab a bag of sliders. Who knows. The cheeseburger slider, along with some nice pickles just makes everything better.

Cheeseburger Sliders

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Package of King’s Hawaiian rolls, sliced
  • 1/2 pound of ground chuck, shaped into 2 ounce patties
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3 slices of Cheddar or American cheese
  • pickles

Simple. Love it.

Start by forming your patties into 2 ounce portions, a bit larger than a golf ball. Be gentle with these as you do not want to overwork the meat. Season both sides with salt. To one side, make a thumbprint in the middle. Continue with the remaining ground chuck. This should make about 6 sliders.

Heat a large, cast iron skillet, or non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, about 1 minute or so, add as many burgers as you can, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet.

Sear the patties on one side and do not touch them for a few minutes, just let them get nice and caramelized.

Once caramelized, flip each burger, and season with a bit of cracked black pepper. Cook for another minute, then add about 1/2 of a slice of cheddar or American cheese to the top of each patty.

Add about 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet, and cover. This process gets some awesome steam going and quickly melts the cheese.

Add each patty to a sliced, King’s Hawaiian roll, and top with a pickle, or serve pickles on the side.

You can add condiments if you want, but to me, the simplicity says it all when it comes to beef and cheese.

Enjoy! Are you all fans of cheeseburger sliders or do you just go all in and load them up with toppings and condiments?

Roast Beef and Giardiniera Mac n’ Cheese

I’m a huge fan of mac n’ cheese. You all should know that by now. I’ve made everything from a Cajun mac n’ cheese, a nacho style mac and cheese,  a mac and cheese loaded with bacon and jalapenos, a buffalo chicken mac and cheese, and even a mac cheese loaded with beer. You get the idea. I love me some mac and cheese. So it wasn’t too long ago where my colleague had mentioned when travelling he was eating at some restaurant and noticed they had a roast beef mac and cheese. I’ve never heard of such a thing, but thought it would be awesome in flavor, and that’s when I decided to make a roast beef and giardiniera mac and cheese.  Let’s just say it was awesome.

Roast Beef and Giardiniera Mac 'n Cheese

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound penne past, cooked under al dente
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz giardiniera, oil strained
  • 1/2 pound deli style roast beef, chopped
  • 1 tsp canola oil

Cook your pasta, drain, and set it to the side.

Start by adding a pot on medium heat. Add in the butter, and let it come to a bubble. During this time, heat a skillet on medium heat and add in the canola oil. Toss in the roast beef into the skillet, and cook until slightly crisp. This is for some texture.

Once the butter has come to a bubble, add in the flour, and begin stirring with a wooden spoon for a minute or two to cook out the flour flavor. Once lightly browned, slowly pour in the milk, and turn up the heat just slightly. Use a whisk to break up the cooked flour, then continue stirring with a wooden spoon.  The sauce will begin to thicken. That is the awesome part. As soon as it comes to a simmer and the sauce has thickened, reduce the heat, and slowly add in the cheese. Do this in batches until you have a nice creamy sauce.

Add in the slightly crispy roast beef, along with the giardiniera. Give it a good stir and pour into a casserole dish.

How to make Roast Beef and Giardiniera Mac and Cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Place the casserole dish into the oven and cook, uncovered for 20 minutes, or until nice and bubbly.

The end result was total comfort food. It was everything you love in a mac and cheese but then loaded with the roast beef, and ever so spicy and vinegary giardiniera. My wife, who did not realize there was giardiniera stated she loved those vegetables and little did she know that it was giardiniera as she would never eat that on a sandwich. Win! Hope you enjoy!

Chinese Beef and Broccoli

Our vegetable garden is really starting to take off and as I have mentioned in the past, we are picking bowls of a variety of tomatoes on a daily basis, along with fresh herbs, and recently we harvested our broccoli. My wife and I did not plant broccoli last year, but a few years ago we did, and to this day we admit that was probably the best broccoli we had ever tasted. That was no joke. So when I saw the heads of broccoli, I got pretty darn excited, I’ll admit that. As I wanted to simply lightly steam the heads of broccoli, I decided to go a different route and bust out a classic Chinese beef and broccoli, only because my sister-n-law had mentioned it and it was stuck in my head.

Chinese Beef and Broccoli Recipe

This recipe is super easy to make, and granted it uses a couple of ingredients that you may, or may not have (but probably should), and it is just packed with good old comfort.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb flank steak, 1/4 inch thick slides
  • 1 head of broccoli, trimmed
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups iced water
  • Cooked rice
  • 4 tbsp canola oil

For the Beef Marinade:

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tbsp sherry cooking wine
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Start by adding your sliced beef to a bowl. Mix the marinade and pour over the beef, and give it a good toss. Marinade for at least one hour in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to make the Chinese beef and broccoli, remove the marinated beef from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Bring the water to a simmer, and toss in the broccoli florets. Cook for about 3 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon into a bowl of iced water.  Once cooled, drain the broccoli and set to the side.

Next heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of oil, then toss in the beef, stirring along the way. Cook for about 5 minutes until the beef has some great color, then remove the beef onto a plate.

How to make Chinese Beef and Broccoli

Wipe out the skillet, and add the additional two tablespoons of oil, bringing to medium-high heat. Add the sauce, and give it a good stir. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the broccoli, and return the beef to the skillet. Cook for a few minutes until everything is warmed through and the sauce has slightly thickened.

Did I mention I love corn starch, especially when making a great sauce?

When you are ready to place, add cooked rice to the bottom of bowl, and ladle on the Chinese beef and broccoli, ensuring you get plenty of that great flavored sauce.

This was a real winner and it was a perfect use of that broccoli, and again, some of the best broccoli we have had this year. Hope you enjoy!

Easy Pastrami Recipe

I’m making an attempt at purging my freezer in the basement so that we can get it cleaned out and thawed. On my way to doing that, I came across some corned beef that I wanted to use up. My initial thoughts are always to make corned beef hash, as I really do like corned beef hash, but then I decided to make an easy pastrami. I love a good pastrami sandwich, so I figured why not take my spin on an easy pastrami recipe. To say the least, it was dynamite!

Easy Pastrami Recipe

Now you can go a bunch of different direction with this and make your own spice blends, and brine it if you want to, but the brisket was already brined, so I went with just a lot of cracked black pepper. Again, super simple, and extremely delicious.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 pound corned beef brisket
  • Black pepper, enough to generously coat the corned beef
  • Smoker

Start by rinsing the corned beef with cold water. Pat dry.

Cover the corned beef with black pepper. I used some great pepper I purchased from the Milwaukee Spice House. Once the corned beef is rubbed, cover and place in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Homemade Pastrami Recipe

Next is the smoke. Prepare your smoker, and get it going to about 225 degrees. You can probably go with your favorite wood, and in this case I used apple wood chunks. Smoke the brisket, fat side up, for about 4 hours, then continue cooking for about another 4 hours. You want the internal temperature to be about 180 degrees.

How to make pastrami

Remove it from the smoker, and place it into a large pot to let rest, and cool. Once cooled place it in the refrigerator overnight. The following day, place the corned beef onto a steamer rack, adding water to the bottom of the pan, and cover. I used my Chinese steamer for this. If you do not have one, just add it to a wire rack on a large baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil, and steam for about 2 more hours, adding additional water when needed. Just make sure the water does not come in contact with the corned beef.

Remove, and slice.

I cannot tell you how awesome this was, and trust me, it did not last long. My boys loved it, and I was already in heaven. I served it onto a sandwich, slathering a bit of Dijon mustard on it.  I wish I would have made about twice as much!

It is a process, but it is well worth the time and effort. Hope you enjoy!