The Beauty in the Beef

For the love of South Dakota Beef

Archive for the month “September, 2014”

The French Dip


There are some recipes that you simply do not mess with, and French Dip is one of them.  It’s a signature sandwich that everyone loves.  Put this on your menu for an easy weeknight meal, entertaining guests, or even tailgating- you can never go wrong serving a French Dip.

There a few steps to this recipe that will set it apart from others.  The first step is braising your roast before putting it in the slow cooker.  It only takes a few extra minutes, but worth every one of them!  Braising gives meat dishes an incredible depth of flavor.  Searing over high medium-heat caramelizes the surface, which enhances the savory ‘meat’ (or umami) flavor and fills the finished dish with complex layers of nutty caramel and coffee-like bitterness. In technical terms, this is called a Maillard reaction and it’s a flavor profile we find quite delicious.

The next step you won’t want to skip in this recipe is toasting your ciabatta bun prior to creating your sandwich.  By creating a warm and crunchy base to your sandwich, you will enhance your overall eating experience as you dip your layered work of art into savory juices that will bring it all together for a flavor combination second to none.

Drooling yet?

Print this Recipe!
2-3 lbs. Lean Beef Roast (Round, Chuck, Arm)
1 Tbsp minced Garlic
1 Tbsp dried Rosemary
1 Tbsp dried Thyme
2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
1-2 Onions, chopped
1-2 Red Bell Peppers, chopped
1-2 Green Bell Peppers, chopped
2 (14.5 oz) cans Low-Sodium Beef Broth
6 Whole Grain Ciabatta Rolls
6 Provolone Cheese Slices

1. In a small bowl, combine garlic, rosemary, thyme and 1 Tbsp olive oil.
2. Generously rub and press mixture into all sides of roast.

3. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet or pot. Add roast and sear each side for approximately 4 minutes before rotating.
4. Add onions and peppers to the bottom of a slow cooker.  Top with braised roast and pour in beef broth.
5. Let cook on medium-low heat for 6-8 hours, or until roast if fork tender.
6. Remove roast and shred using two forks.  Return to slow cooker and let rest in juices.
7. Slice and toast ciabatta buns in the oven at 450°.
8. Remove from the oven and set top bun aside.  Add roast, peppers and onions and top with a slice of provolone cheese. Return to oven and allow cheese to fully melt before removing.
9. Add top bun, slice and serve with a side of the remaining warm slow cooker liquid.
10. Enjoy!

Beefy Enchilada Soup + Hosting a Soup Swap!

IMG_6328This week I will be hosting a soup swap with a group of my girlfriends.  It’s the perfect way to stock your freezer with a variety of delicious and wholesome meals that can be warmed and served in a matter of minutes.  Not to mention, a great excuse to get together and simply enjoy time together! 🙂  I’m really looking forward to it and can’t wait to enjoy the tasty soups for weeks to come!

It’s a pretty simple process, if you’d like to try hosting one in the future!  We came up with the idea several weeks ago and set the date.  Next we asked everyone to declare their “soup de jour”, to prevent any duplicates.  We have a group of 10, so we decided that everyone should prepare a soup that serves approximately 8-10.  On the day of the swap, everyone will bring their soup, prepared and chilled.  In addition, they will also bring storage containers (freezer bags or tupperware) to take home their swaps!  I plan to do single servings to have on hand for easy lunches! #momwin

I felt it was only appropriate that I contributed a beef soup (naturally :)), so I’m sharing my recipe with you in this week’s blog.  I used a personal favorite, Beefy Enchilada Soup!  I love me some spicy food- and this recipe brings the heat! You can certainly modify and tame it down a bit if you prefer a more mild flavor.  It’s as simple as 1-2-3. Brown the ground beef, add ingredients to the crockpot and let it simmer into a warm (and spicy!) bowl of delicious and satisfying soup!

Print this recipe!

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 chopped onion
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 15 oz can low sodium black beans
1 8 oz can mexi-style corn
4 oz green chilies
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 large can enchilada sauce

1. Brown ground beef with zucchini and onion in a large sauce pan until thoroughly cooked.  Add cumin and chili powder.
2. Combine ground beef mixture with beans, corn, chiles, tomatoes and lime juice in a crockpot.  Pour in enchilada sauce and stir.
3. Heat on low for a minimum of 6 hours.  The longer it simmers, the better! I like to top mine with diced avocado and fresh chopped cilantro prior to serving.

Spaghetti & Meatball Cups


One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is take classic, family favorite recipes and recreate them in new and different ways.  Perhaps you’ve tried a blog favorite “Pizza Bombs“, a fun twist on homemade pizza, or maybe this recipe will be your new favorite way to serve the traditional dish, spaghetti and meatballs.

You simply can’t go wrong cooking with muffin tins!  Such an easy way to decrease cooking time as well as help with portion control #yesplease with a variety of dishes and casseroles.  Not to mention everything that comes out of a muffin tin is just cute 🙂  “Spaghetti & Meatball Cups” is yet another great weeknight recipe that can be put on the table in 30 minutes or less.  By substituting spaghetti squash for pasta noodles you’ll be lightening the calories as well as adding a serving of vegetables! Wahoo!

What family favorite recipe would you like to see recreated next?  Have you had any recipe recreation successes of your own?

1 Spaghetti Squash
1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
1/2 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1/2 Tbsp Dired Oregano
1/2 Tbsp Dried Basil
1/2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Marinara
* Fresh Sliced Mushrooms- optional
Shredded Cheese

1. Slice spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds.  Place face down on a microwaveable plate and cook on high for 8-10 minutes. Tip- I like to add a little bit of water to the bottom of my plate to create steam while the squash cooks.

2. Preheat oven to 425°.
3. Next combine ground beef, herbs and garlic in a medium sized bowl.  (I used my hands to mix here)
4. Form ground beef into 12 meatballs.
5. Remove squash from microwave and flip over, allowing to cool.
6. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a frying pan over medium heat.  Add meatballs and brown each side, rotating occasionally.
7. Add marinara (and fresh mushrooms if you’re using them).  Reduce heat and let simmer.
8. Next, carefully string the spaghetti squash by dragging a fork across the flesh.
9. Spray the muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and fill each cup full with spaghetti squash, pressing down firmly in the middle to create a hole for a meatball.
10. Add one meatball to each cup and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
11. Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal cooking temperature of each meatball meets 160°.  Serve with a side of warm marinara.

Simple Philly CheeseSteak Pasta

IMG_5997Cooking meals for your family each week can be a daunting task- we hear ya!  Trying to prepare meals that not only include healthy ingredients, but are fast and your entire family will enjoy- now that’s a job.  
2947cbc4cac55a67af8a119345b00612We aren’t saying it’s easy, but we will tell you it’s possible!  Don’t forget simple forms of nutrient-rich proteins, such as deli-style roast beef.  It’s affordable, delicious and ready to go when you are!  Making small substitutions at mealtime, like switching to whole wheat pasta noodles will also help provide your family with the proper nutrition they need. 

Here’s a great recipe to try. It’s quick, healthy and who doesn’t like Philly Cheesesteak?! Oh, and we almost forgot- you only dirty one dish for the entire recipe! #winning 

Print this Recipe!
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2-3 Bell Peppers
1 Onion
6-8 oz. Deli Style Roast Beef 
2 Cups Low Sodium Beef Broth
1 Cup Water
2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Rotini Pasta 
4 slices of provolone cheese

1. Slice peppers and onion into thin strips.  Heat olive oil in the bottom of a large pan and add peppers and onion.  Cover and cook for 7-10 minutes over medium heat. 
2. Cut roast beef into pieces and add to cooked veggies. Pour in beef broth, water and pasta noodles.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and let cook for 10-12 minutes. 

3. Remove lid and add cheese.  Cover and allow cheese to melt.  Once melted, remove lid and stir until evenly combined.
4. Serve and enjoy! 

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