Tag: Beef (Page 1 of 2)

A Favorite Recipe: Mafe, West African Peanut Stew With Beef

Every time we move, I lose my recipe binder and rejoice upon finding it again.

The binder’s not fancy. It’s a tattered, spiral-ring binder overflowing with recipes I’ve collected since college. Some of the recipes are photocopies of my mom’s cookbooks or library books. Others are packets I’ve collected from cooking classes. A few recipes are from friends who actually hand wrote them on recipe cards, while others are clippings from old Star Tribune Taste sections.

According to the time stamp on my recipe, I printed it February of 2007. At this time, I was finishing my senior year of college where I lived in a house with a group of friends. We were in the midst of planning a party to welcome our housemate back from Mali. Looking back, I must have searched online for West African recipes and chosen this stew.

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Korean-Inspired Loose Meat Sandwiches: #Sponsored By Farmer Girl Meats

This post is sponsored by Farmer Girl Meats

When Leslie, a third-generation beef producer and owner of Farmer Girl Meats asked if I wanted to partner on a recipe post, I gladly said “Yes.”

Farmer Girl Meats offers a delivery service for Kansas and Missouri pasture-raised meats including beef, chicken, pork, and turkey. Or, if you live near her farm in Warrenton, MO, you can also pick-up your order. Leslie offered to send me two pounds of ground beef from her family’s farm where their cows feed on native prairie grasses.  Meat delivery to St. Louis costs $5 per order, or $25 per year, unlimited.  She let me try it out for free. Learn more about delivery here.

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Recipe: Red Wine & Rosemary Pulled Beef In The Slow Cooker

Chuck roast hitting a hot, oiled pan.”

chuck roast

Beef from Baumann’s Fine Meats in Maplewood, MO.

If this was an essential oil, I’d totally join your team.

My folks made their first trip to St. Louis to see us and I invited them over for a home-cooked birthday dinner. As I was searching for an uncomplicated one-pot meal to prepare, Whitney of Little Leopard Book’s recipe for Slow Cooked Beef Ragu caught my eye. This recipe for slow cooker beef is a breeze to prepare in the morning and has a short ingredient list.

Slow cooking turns the beef silky and fork tender. At the end of the day you’ll find a rich, complicated sauce made from just the broth, aromatics, red wine, and canned tomatoes. I served the beef with parmesan polenta and crusty french bread to soak up every last drop of the sauce.

Everyone returned for seconds and that’s all we need to know.

Italian Slow Cooker Beef
Thank you Whitney of Little Leopard Book for giving me your blessing to share my tweaks on your recipe! This recipe served our family of four, providing everyone with seconds + some leftovers. 


3 lb chuck roast
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon per 1 tablespoon dried)
1 can chopped tomatoes (I used the a variety seasoned with Italian herbs)
1 can tomato paste
About 1/2 cup red wine (I used Merlot)
About 1/2 cup beef broth
1 tsp kosher salt (or less, depending on how salty the broth is)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar


  1. Spread sliced onions, rosemary, and smashed garlic cloves in the bottom of a large crock pot.
  2. Season the beef lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Sear the roast on all sides in a hot, oiled pan.
  4. Place the roast in the crock pot.
  5. In a bowl, mix together the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, beef broth, salt, pepper, and sugar. Pour over the roast.
  6. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the meat is fork tender. Whitney’s instructions suggest cooking the roast on high for 6-8 hours. My slow cooker runs hot so I cooked the meat for about four hours on high and two on low.
  7. When the meat is tender, remove it from the crock pot and set aside on a plate. Turn off the heat for about 15 minutes so that the fat can settle at the top of the sauce.
  8. Skim off as much fat as you’d like. Return the meat to the crock pot and shred. Hold at a warm temperature until ready to serve.


I served the pulled beef with creamy, parmesan polenta.

For a sweet and savory breakfast treat, make enough polenta to have leftovers. Store it in a flat container in the refrigerator so that it will congeal into a shape that’s easy to cut. The next morning, carefully cut out a slice of polenta and lightly dredge it in flour. Saute the polenta in hot butter until golden brown on both sides and drizzle with maple syrup or honey.


Dr. Vicki’s Recipe For Papa Lewis’s World Famous Brisket

My recent trip to Chicago with the North Iowa Bloggers commemorated my sixth visit to the city. Visiting Chicago always makes me think of a May Term course I enrolled in during my sophomore year at Wartburg College that focused on Jewish history and culture. Unlike real life, students at Wartburg got to choose one intensive course to take during the month of May. Due to their laid back nature and travel opportunities, May term courses often had a reputation for being fun. On-campus courses often lasted for half a day which left students plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine or party.

This particular class was taught by a woman named Vicki who converted to Judaism upon marriage. Of all of the classes I took at Wartburg, this was one of my most favorites. I have fond memories of Dr. Vicki teaching us how to bake hamantaschen and cook latkes in her home. No shortcuts were taken. We pulverized whole dates in her blender and grated potatoes by hand. Afterwards, we built a Sukkot in her back yard.

Another highlight of the trip was traveling to Chicago. We visited a holocaust museum, temples, homes, schools, and a kosher bagel bakery where we met the Rabbi who oversaw the operation. At many of these places, people shared challah with us. I was fascinated with this glossy, braided bread that I had never tasted it before and still have yet to find challah as good as what I remember.

Closer to graduation, Dr. Vicki facilitated a small Seder meal celebration in our living room and shared the most delicious beef brisket. This brisket was so tender, silky and flavorful that my former roommate who I had never witnessed eating red meat in all four years enjoyed a serving. Years later, I find myself longing for a taste of this beef brisket. Fortunately, I saved an email from Dr. Vicki that includes the brisket recipe and rejoiced upon its retrieval. She is gracious enough to allow me to share this recipe on my blog.

Papa Lewis’s World Famous Brisket
Courtesy of Dr. Vicki Edelnant who adapted Elyse and Randy Frapart’s recipe
4.5-6 lb trimmed brisket
Olive oil
Fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt
1 head of minced garlic
1 onion
3 Bay leaves
1 packet of Lipton onion soup mix

1. Place a 4 1/2 – 6 lbs trimmed brisket in a large frying pan with a small amount of olive oil. Sear the brisket all over. It should take at least 20 minutes. The more you sear the better it is.
2. Now place the brisket in a large Pyrex dish with the fat side up. Salt and pepper all over. Be generous with both. Next press another generous amount of garlic all over the top, bottom and inside. The hardest part is done.

3. Now with the fat side up spread a thin coat of honey, then a thin coat of tomato ketchup.

4. Next place 3 bay leaves.

5. Then sprinkle 1 package of Lipton onion soup mix and the next-to-last ingredient that goes on the brisket is to finely cut up an onion and place on top about 1/4 inch thick.

6. Lastly pour about 1/2 of inch dry red wine in the dish. Tightly cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

7. Place into 350 degree on bake for 1 1/2 hour, then reduce the heat to 300 for another 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Total cooking time of 4 – 4 1/2 hours. Scrape the ingredients off the top of the brisket in to the liquid. This is your gravy. Slice on cutting board.

Recipe: Adobo-Style Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker

I love vinegar.

I clean with vinegar and I cook with vinegar. There’s always a collection of vinegar bottles in my cupboard. At any given moment, my pantry may contain white vinegar, mellow rice wine vinegar, tart red wine vinegar, balsamic, the sweeter white balsamic, or fruity apple cider. I’m not sure if my tastes are changing as I’m getting older, but I crave the tangy note vinegar adds to dishes. Some people are tiring of restaurants squirting ornate tapestries of reduced balsamic drizzle on everything, but honestly, I couldn’t even be that mad.

One of my new favorite flavor combinations is salty soy sauce and tart vinegar in Filipino-style adobo. I’ve never had the opportunity to enjoy real adobo from a Filipino restaurant, but have tried preparing adobo-style dishes in my slow cooker. According to this Splendid Table piece about adobo, the step that really sets adobo apart is browning the meat after it’s done cooking. I never completed this extra step when I prepared my chicken or beef dishes. We dipped our forks directly into the crock pot for tastes and liked them so much so we dug in right away.


This beef stew is easy to throw together in the morning before work. As a word of caution, those of you who know me know that I usually cook without carefully measuring ingredients. This recipe provides a basic outline of how I adapted this recipe for the stew. Not to fear, though. Crock pot recipes are usually forgiving and you can’t go too wrong with a sauce made of soy, vinegar and sugar. Just be careful not to add much additional salt, besides the soy sauce. When the dish is done cooking and the beef’s tender, skim off the excess fat and taste the sauce to see if it needs more sugar, soy or vinegar.

Adobo-Style Beef Stew In The Slow Cooker
Adapted from Kaz’s recipe for Beef Adobo (Slow Cooker Recipe) posted on Knittingforums.org, 2009. 

Adobo stew bowl

2 lbs. stew beef (My favorite butcher recommended chuck)
Flour, about two tablespoons (Omit if gluten-free)
5 tablespoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons vinegar (I used white vinegar)
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
2 bay leaves
Water or broth (try to use low-sodium)


  1. Preheat large skillet to medium-high.
  2. Place beef in a large bowl and dust with enough flour to lightly cover each piece. Stir pieces around so they’re evenly coated.
  3. Drop stew beef in hot vegetable oil and brown on a couple of sides. Try your best to leave the excess flour in the bowl. Brown beef in two batches if necessary. Overcrowding your pan will steam the meat instead of brown it.
  4. Add browned beef to crock pot.
  5. Add soy sauce, vinegar, onion, garlic, ginger, honey, and bay leaves to the crock pot. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the crock pot. I added about 1 1/2 cups. Stir.
  6. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until the beef is perfectly tender. If you are home, stir the stew occasionally. Some of the pieces that stick to the edges of the crock pot become dry.
  7. When the stew is finished, let the stew sit on warm long enough for the fat to rise to the top. Gently skim off with a spoon. A little sheen is ok! Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  8. Serve with your favorite grain and vegetable.
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