Tag Archives: beef stock

Baked Rice with Roasted Pepper Sauce

This sauce is a nice change from tomato sauce—actually, we hardly ever eat tomato sauce, but we’re not normal. The roasted pepper sauce is mild and sweet, but if your peppers are red, you might just fool your family into thinking it’s made with tomatoes. I had a bunch of roasted red and yellow peppers in the freezer, but you could make roasting a part of the process, or you could use roasted peppers in a jar (or 2 jars). Another option would be to use both sweet bell peppers and some hot peppers.

I used long grain brown rice and some browned ground beef to make it a complete meal, but the sauce is the star here, and you can probably think of other ways to use it. Usually, I like to bake a rice casserole with rice that is already cooked, but I took a chance baking it all at the same time, today, and it worked out well.

I almost forgot to snap a picture of the finished dish, but grabbed a quick one—poorly focused—before it was all gone.

Baked Rice with Roasted Pepper Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 350°; butter a 2 quart casserole dish

1 large onion, chopped

5-6 roasted, peeled red, orange, and/or yellow bell peppers (about 2 cups chopped)

1-2 tablespoons grated garlic

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2-4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups beef or chicken stock, heated to a boil and set aside

1 cup long grain brown rice

1 lb ground beef

salt & pepper to taste

  1. Saute the onion and peppers in olive oil a large skillet over medium high heat until the vegetables soften and become translucent. Stir in the garlic and parsley and cook for a few minutes longer. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Remove the peppers and onions to a blender and add about 1/2 cup of the stock. Puree the vegetables, adding more stock if necessary to make a thick and fairly smooth sauce. Add the rest of the stock to the puree.
  3. In the same skillet, brown the ground beef over medium high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in the rice and continue cooking and stirring until the rice has absorbed any liquid from the beef. This gives the rice a head start cooking.
  4. Pour the beef and rice into a buttered 2 quart casserole. Pour the pepper sauce with all the stock over the beef mixture. Let the sauce settle or lightly stir, keeping the rice and beef submerged in the sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Check to see if the rice is done, adding more time, if needed. Mine looked pretty well done after 1 hour, but I am suspicious of baked rice and let it go another 15 mins.

I said 6-8 servings but then my husband ate it all—except my one serving

Beef Barley Stew

Nothing fancy here, just an old-fashioned beef stew with barley instead of potatoes. As you know, I try to call anything in a bowl that might be mistaken for soup, stew, to make an end run around my husband and his aversion to soup. I gave him both a spoon and fork, and he used the spoon, though. I asked him afterwards if he thought it was soup or stew and he said “stew,” so it was a win. He said it was too thick for soup, which is always “watery”—clearly, he’s not a soup connoisseur.

I could only find quick cooking barley 😦 but it still did its thickening routine, just not by soaking up so much of the liquid or having to cook so long. For vegetables, I stuck to the traditional onion,  green beans, and carrots—there’s a tasty reason those are traditional. I used a beurre manié at the end to slightly thicken the gravy.

Beef Barley Stew

  • Servings: at least 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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2-2 1/2 lb chuck roast, trimmed and cubed

olive oil or other fat for browning

1 large onion, diced

1 large garlic clove, grated or minced

2 cups sliced carrots

2 cups green bean, cut in 1/2″ pieces

5 cups beef stock

1 tablespoon tomato paste

salt & pepper to taste ( is your beef stock salty?)

1 cup quick-cooking barley (adjust times and liquid if using regular barley)

beurre manié, made from 4 tablespoons each flour and butter (see below)

  1. Choose a chuck roast with good marbling. Trim off most of the fat, especially the hard fat, and cut the meat into chunks—large if you want to eat it like a stew; bite-sized if you want to eat it more like a soup. I cut mine on the smaller size.
  2. In a heavy 6 qt. stockpot, brown the beef in about 3-4 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat until browned all over. Season as you cook, but consider how salty your beef stock might be.
  3. Add the onions and garlic and continue cooking until the onions are translucent, but not browned.
  4. Add the carrots and green beans, the beef stock and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
  5. Stir in the barley, cover, and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the barley has swelled up and become tender. 1 cup of quick-cooking barley, requires 2 cups of liquid, so I included that in my calculations when determining the amount of beef stock to use.
  6. Stir in the beurre manié until incorporated, continuing to simmer for a few minutes, to cook out the rawness of the flour.

Beurre Manié

In a small bowl, work equal amounts of all-purpose flour and soft butter together until they form a paste with no discernible lumps of flour. I use the tines of a fork for this, but you could use the back of a spoon or even your fingers. Just keep working it until it comes together. Then you can just gather it up with a large spoon and stir it into your hot, simmering or boiling sauce.

Beurre manié is one of those thickening miracles that comes in handy at the last minute. Sometimes, I make a beurre manié with masa harina corn flour and butter to thicken chili at the end. Not only does it thicken, but it adds a nice corn flavor.

Pasta with Pesto, Tomatoes, and Shredded Beef

I had a bunch of roasted tomatoes and poblano peppers in the freezer from the garden and friends, and I had used a few of each on hamburgers, but I was looking for something else to do with them and ended up making a big batch of pesto, using 1/2 cup for today’s dish and putting the rest in the freezer. It’s a parsley-walnut pesto base with the typical additions of Parmesan cheese and garlic and olive oil, then made richer with roasted tomatoes and poblano peppers.

The poblanos at first made me think of doing a Tex-Mex dish, like beef enchiladas or burritos, but the tomatoes and parsley had me leaning in more of a pasta direction. The Parmesan could go either way, because it’s a lot like the Mexican Cotija cheese. What finally led me in the pasta direction were those last five fresh tomatoes from the garden—well, not really the last because there’s a big flat of green ones in the garage that I’m hoping will ripen this fall. So this dish makes use of both roasted and fresh tomatoes.

This recipe is also about what else to do with a chuck roast than make pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and gravy. Nothing wrong with pot roast, but a chuck roast is flavorful and can be used in many other ways. I have a small chuck roast (about 2 lbs) roasting in the oven on a bed of the fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded, and 1 cup of beef broth. When the beef is done and falling apart, maybe after 3 hours, there should be a nice sauce in the pan, although it may need to be reduced on the stove. Then I’ll add the pesto and some sautéed mushrooms and mix it all with the pasta, whole wheat bow ties in this case.

Pasta with Pesto, Tomatoes, and Shredded Beef

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 350°

2 lb chuck roast

4-5 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped

1 cup beef broth or stock or bouillon

salt & pepper

1/2-1 cup Roasted Tomato and Poblano pesto (see below) or your favorite pesto

12 oz button mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in olive oil

1/2 lb pasta, cooked according to package directions

  1. On bottom of small roasting pan, place tomatoes and beef broth.
  2. Arrange chuck roast on top of tomatoes and broth. Salt and pepper the roast.
  3. Cover and roast for about 2 1/2-3 hours, until meat is easy to pull apart.
  4. Remove roast to cutting board and pull meat into shreds, discarding fat and connective tissue.
  5. If necessary, pour tomatoes and beef broth into small saucepan, bring to boil, then simmer, uncovered until it cooks down to about 2 cups.
  6. Stir in 1/2 cup pesto and taste. I don’t add any extra salt, because I find pesto to be salty enough for the whole dish. You can add more pesto to suit your taste.
  7. Stir in sautéed mushrooms and shredded beef. Pour over cooked pasta.

Roasted Tomato and Poblano Pesto

2-3 cups flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

8-12 roasted tomato halves (roasted with salt, olive oil, and thyme)

3-4 roasted poblano peppers, peeled and seeded

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup walnuts

olive oil to reach desired consistency, maybe 1/2 cup

salt & pepper to taste (I felt my tomatoes and the cheese added enough salt)

  1. Place all ingredients, except oil, in a food processor.
  2. Begin processing the ingredients, adding olive oil through the chute until it all comes to a fine and thick consistency.
  3. Reserve 1/2-1 cup for the pasta dish.

Earthy Venison Stew

This stew started with a recipe someone photocopied and gave to us years ago, which I adapted and simplified to fit the kinds of hearty, rustic flavors I thought better suited the venison. I used two pounds of cubed venison, for which you could substitute beef or pork. We butcher our own deer, and you can see in the photo that we keep it lean, so you need more cooking oil if using a lean cut of meat in the stew.

I really dislike the taste and texture of potatoes in this stew and don’t think it needs any starchy accompaniment, but I could see serving it with rice or noodles, if you really need that.

Earthy Venison Stew

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs venison, cut in one inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (or more—venison is very lean)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6-8 oz cremini or baby portobello mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3-4 cups venison or beef stock
  • 4-6 carrots, sliced (not too thinly, because they need to stand up to long cooking)
  • 3-4 cups fresh green beans, cut in about one inch lengths
  • 10 juniper berries, crushed, tied in cheesecloth
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, unsweetened if you can find them (good luck)
  • Salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Shake venison with flour and pepper until coated. Heat olive oil in large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown cubes in small batches to brown evenly. Remove meat to platter until all is browned.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. In same pan, adding more oil, if needed, add onion. Cook until translucent, then add mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms have begun to brown.
  3. Stir in tomato paste until well blended.
  4. Return browned meat to pan with orange juice and 2 cups beef stock. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Raise heat to medium again. Add carrots, green beans, and juniper berry package. Add at least one more cup of beef stock—you’re trying here to make sure you are making a stew, not a soup. Bring to boil and then cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
  6. Remove juniper berry packet. Stir in dried cherries. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, using the last cup of stock, if needed.

The floured meat thickens the gravy, but you could add more thickener if you find you need it. Serve the stew in a bowl or over rice or noodles. The combination of venison, mushrooms, juniper berries, and cherries creates a unique flavor that is perfect on a cold winter night. It would be even better in a cabin in the woods with the fireplace flickering.