Thai Lemongrass Beef + Root Vegetables (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

This is the slow cooker, crockpot, AIP version of the recipe I made a couple years ago. I love a good beef braise. This one is less labor intensive - just put everything in the slow cooker and let the magic begin. The kitchen's going to smell great thanks to the cinnamon, anise and lemongrass. 

My favorite part of making this dish is getting out my meat mallet and giving the ginger and lemongrass pieces a good hit. Bruising helps release the flavor. 

I'm going to sauté thinly sliced cabbage zoodles to serve with this. 

Serves 6. 

AIP Thai Lemongrass Beef + Root Vegetables

2 lbs stew beef, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 yellow onion, chopped

4-5 carrots, peeled, chopped

2 daikon, peeled, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

2" ginger root, peeled, smashed

3 lemongrass stalks, cut into thirds, smashed, tied into a bundle

2 kafir lime leaves, fresh or dried

2 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

several turns of szechwan peppercorns

1 quart beef stock

s + p, to taste

lime juice, to taste

Place beef, onion, carrot, daikon, garlic, ginger, lemongrass bundle, kafir leaves, star anise, cinnamon, fresh crushed szechwan pepper and beef stock into a slow cooker. Cook on high until beef is spoon tender, about 6 hours. Skim off any foam. Remove lemongrass bundle. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice. 

Classic Pot Roast in a Slow Cooker

Quick- before spring is officially here and we don't arrive home chilly wanting giant hunks of roasty, saucy warm beef with root vegetables.  I can hardly imagine.  

This is a classic, straight forward pot roast with lots of vegetables, spoon-soft meat and a flavorful gravy. 

I got out my kitchen scissors and knife and cut off as much fat as I had patience for.  This cut has plenty so feel free to get some of it off. 

serves 4.

Classic Pot Roast in a Slow Cooker

2 cups baby carrots

12 pearl onions, trimmed

1 pound turnips, peeled, large pieces

1 bay leaf

3 garlic cloves, sliced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 lb beef chuck pot roast, fat trimmed

s + p

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

3 tablespoons tomato paste

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup red wine

2 cups beef stock (chicken or veg is ok, too)

Place baby carrots, pearl onions, turnips, bay leaf, garlic, thyme and rosemary in bowl of slow cooker.  

Generously sprinkle beef with salt and pepper.  Heat grape seed oil in skillet over medium high heat.  When hot, sear roast until a deep, brown crust has formed, about 4 minutes each side.  When browned on all sides, place on top of vegetables in slow cooker.  Add tomato paste, flour and wine to pan, whisking constantly.  Bring to boil, add stock.  Whisk until thickened.  Pour over roast and vegetables.  Cover and set on low for 8 hours.  Beef will be super tender and fall apart when poked with a fork.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve on its own or over egg noodles.

 

 

Steak + Broccoli Stir Fry

Skirt steak might be my favorite kind of steak.  It has a great beefy flavor and not so much connective tissue that it get tough from high heat stir frying. When it comes to stir fries, a wok is great but I don't have one so I like to use a large iron skillet.  

A high heat, neutrally flavored oil is another thing you're going to need.  Grape seed oil is my favorite but canola, peanut, soy or corn are other options.  To keep things light, I like to keep it in a spritz bottle.  This way a couple squirts easily coat the pan.  I like this bottle from amazon.

serves 4.

Steak + Broccoli Stir Fry

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1/4 cup reduced sodium tamari soy sauce

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

grape seed oil, as needed

1 lb broccoli, peeled, sliced

1 lb skirt steak, bite sized pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

1" ginger, peeled, minced

4 scallions, whites only, minced

2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced

1 jalapeno, stems + seeds removed, minced

Whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar and sesame oil.  Set aside. 

In a large cast iron skillet, heat a small splash of grape seed oil over medium high heat and brown broccoli, about 4 minutes.  Cover and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes. Set aside. 

Oil pan, as needed.  Add steak to pan.  Cook until pieces are well browned on all sides.  Set aside with broccoli.    

Oil pan.  Saute garlic, scallions, ginger, carrots and chiles until carrots are softened, about 3 minutes.  Add broccoli, steak and reserved sauce.  Cook, stirring until sauce has thickened and coats beef and veggies. Serve hot with rice. 

Steak Sandwich

This is a great quick dinner.  Takes about 30 minutes to whip up.  I picked up the steak already shaved from Trader Joe's but you can ask your butcher to give you a 50:50 mix of rib and round. Serves 4.

Steak Sandwiches

dash grape seed oil

1/2 tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, very thinly sliced

s + p

1 lb shaved steak

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary 

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

sliced or grated cheese

mustard of choice

4 buns

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Warm oil and melt butter.  Add onions and peppers.  Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and a bit caramelized.  Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Turn heat up to medium high.  Add steak to pan, season with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Give it a good sear before stirring or flipping.  Once cooked to your liking, stir in onions, peppers and Worcestershire sauce.  Assemble 4 sandwiches.  Wrap in foil and warm in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.      

 

Beef + Barley Stew

Let's embrace the cold weather and make this stew.  

Beef + Barley Stew

2 pounds lean stew meat, cut into small bite sized pieces

high heat oil, such as canola or grape seed

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups water

2 quarts beef stock

1 cup pearled barley

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 1/2 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1 1/2 cup diced cremini mushrooms

s + p

Season meat with salt and pepper.  In a large pot, set over high heat, brown meat in oil.  Work in batches to avoid crowding the pan.  Set browned meat aside.  

Brown onion in pot, stirring frequently to avoid burning.  Add garlic and tomato paste, cook, stirring until browned.  Stir in meat and accumulated juices, water, stock, barley, bay, thyme and rosemary.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 1 1/2 hours until meat and barley are tender.  Skim off any fat or foam that occurs during simmering.  

Add carrots, celery and mushrooms.  Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove bay leaf.  Serve hot. 

Classic Beef Stew

My mom used to make a delicious beef stew when I was young.  It was my absolute favorite - I could eat bowls and bowls of it.  I had a hankering for it this weekend that couldn't be stopped. Here's my version, it's pretty close to the original with super tender bites of meat, satisfying root vegetables and a hearty beef flavor.  I think it was the chilly pre autumn evenings that put me in the mood for something so filling and warm.  Feel free to add peas or corn to this along with the green beans, if you'd like more vegetables.  

Cooking time will greatly depend on the size of your stew meat pieces.  For something like this, that I'm eating like soup, I prefer the meat to be bite sized.  Think no bigger than a ping pong ball.  It will take less time to become tender and is easier to eat.  

Serves 6-8.

Classic Beef Stew

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

3 lbs lean stew beef, in bite sized pieces

s + p

3 tablespoons flour

high heat oil, as needed

1 large yellow onion (or two small), chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tomato, peeled, seeded, diced

2 quarts beef stock

4 carrots, peeled, chopped

2 potatoes, peeled, chopped

zest of 1 lemon, in long strips, no pith

1/4 teaspoon chile flakes

2 cups chopped green beans

Gather thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, peppercorns and mustard seeds in cheesecloth and secure with string.  Set aside.  Secure lemon zest with strips with string, set aside. 

Season meat with salt and pepper.  Toss with flour. In a large pot, over high heat, brown meat. Try for a deep brown crust. Work in batches to avoid crowding the pan.  Add more oil, as needed during browning.  Set browned meat aside. 

Add onion, cook until browned, stirring, to avoid burning.  Add garlic and tomato, cook until browned.  Add stock, beef, accumulated juices and spice sachet to pot.  Bring to boil, cover and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until beef is tender, about 1.5 hours.  Skim any fat or foam from surface.  

Add carrots, potatoes, chile flakes and lemon zest bundle.  Boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender.  Add green beans.  Turn off heat, season with salt and pepper.  Remove spice sachet and lemon zest bundle before serving. 

Korean Beef Jerky

Guess who finally got herself a food dehydrator?! (It's me.)  I love it.  The lowest setting on the oven worked fine but now I don't have that space monopolized for hours and hours.  

And what better food for my new dehydrator's maiden voyage than beef jerky?  Nothing.  This recipe is gingery, spicy, garlicky and a pinch sweet. 

Use grass fed/pastured local, super lean beef.  I like top round, the london broil cut.  Ask your butcher to slice it into very thin strips.  Or put it in the freezer for 20 minutes and slice it yourself.  Just don't freeze it solid, it'll be impossible to slice right. 

makes about 6oz.

Korean Beef Jerky

1 tablespoon honey

4 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

1 tablespoon sambal oelek

2 tablespoons water

1 garlic clove, grated

1/2 inch round of ginger, peeled, grated

1.5 lb grass fed top round / london broil steak, in thin strips

sesame seeds, optional

Whisk together honey, tamari, sambal oelek, water, garlic and ginger.  Combine with steak strips, coating evenly.  Place in fridge and let marinate overnight, stirring once of twice.  

Arrange marinated strips on dehydrator screens, sprinkle with optional sesame seeds and dehydrate at 160 degrees for about 4-8 hours.  (Ours took 6 but the amount of time varies with thickness of your slices, humidity, moisture content of the beef... lots of things so check it occasionally.)  Once dry, store in airtight container. 

 

Lemongrass Beef Stew + Cabbage "Noodles"

Want to spend 3 hours making dinner?  Who doesn't!  Don't worry, this recipe has easy and minimal prep, otherwise simmering on the stove unattended.  This stew is full of south east asian flavors, rich and spicy.  

When browning the meat, start with a hot pan that is not too full.  If there are too many pieces of meat in the pan they will end up steaming without color.  We are looking for a deep brown, crust to form.  This adds a ton of flavor to the meat.  

We used cabbage instead of my usual preference of rice or noodles to keep the recipe healthier and gluten free.  A quick dip in boiling water milds the flavor and creates a chewy, tender texture making it perfect as a noodle substitute.  

I used a fresno chile but you could use a long green chile, hot cherry or jalapeno.   If you use anything spicier, think about decreasing the sambal oelek which is a popular spicy chile paste, found in grocery stores near the siracha.  

Serves 4.

Lemongrass Beef Stew + Cabbage Noodles

3 tablespoons high heat oil

2 lbs stew beef chunks, 2 " pieces

s + p

4 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves removed, chopped

2" ginger root, peeled, chopped

1 fresno chile, seeded, chopped

5 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped, divided

2 star anise pods

2 cinnamon sticks

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons sambal oelek

3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

2 tablespoons fish sauce

32 oz beef stock

1 lb daikon radish, peeled, halved lengthwise, 1/2" slices

8oz carrots, peeled, 1 1/2" slices

lime juice, to taste

1/2 head cabbage, cored, thinly sliced

Heat a heavy pot, like a dutch oven, over medium high heat.  Add oil.  Season beef with salt and pepper.  Add to pot in 3 or 4 batches, careful not to over crowd the pan or the meat will not brown, only steam.  Brown meat well on all sides.  Transfer to plate, set aside.  

Add a splash more oil to the pot, if needed.  Add lemongrass, ginger, chile, garlic, 1/4 of the onion, star anise and cinnamon.  Cook until lightly browned, stirring often to avoid burning.  Add browned beef and all juices, tomato paste, sambal oelek, tamari, fish sauce and beef stock plus 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer.  Let simmer, covered, 2 1/2 hours.  

Remove beef.  Strain cooking liquid.  Discard solids.  Return beef and stained liquid to pot.  Add daikon, carrots and remaining 3/4 of onion.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer partially covered until daikon is tender, about 45 minutes.  

While stew is simmering, blanche cabbage:  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add cabbage.  Cook about 1 minute or until cabbage is crisp tender.  Strain.  When stew is done, ladle over portions of cabbage.  

 

 

 

Skirt Steak Fajitas + The Best Marinade Ever

I love skirt steak.  It's a great and inexpensive cut of meat from the plate section, behind the cow's front legs.  Lots of flavor but not the most tender cut.  Marinating a skirt steak before cooking it will add even more flavor and help tenderize it.  

Serves 4 with leftovers.  Serves 8 if you're serving other sides or starters.  

Skirt Steak Fajitas + Cumin Soy Lime Marinade

for the marinade:

juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

for the fajitas:

2 lbs skirt steak

grapeseed oil, as needed

3 bell peppers, red, green, orange or yellow, stemmed, seeded, sliced

1 large yellow onion, sliced

12-16 tortillas, corn or flour

s + p

Stir together lime juicem soy, olive oil, worcestershire sauce, garlic, cumin and chile powder.  Cut each skirt steak to into 2 or 3 pieces so they will fit on grill, skillet or grill pan, if needed.  Place marinade in bowl or large zip lock bag, add steak, coat in marinade.  Let marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.  

When done, remove steak from marinade, discard marinade and blot steak with towel.  Heat a grill, skillet or grill pan over medium high heat.  Oil grates with grapeseed oil to lubricate if necessary to prevent sticking.  Once hot, place steak on grill.  Let once grill marks form, (about 30 seconds) give it a quarter turn.  Cook about 1 minute, flip, do the same, cooking to desired level of doneness.  Set steak aside to rest before slicing.  

While steak is resting, cook the onions and peppers.  If cooking on the stove, add a splash of oil to the skillet or grill pan still over medium high heat.  If cooking on a grill, place oiled skillet or grill basket directly on the grill rack and heat.  Once hot, add onions and peppers, cook, stirring frequently to avoid burning.  Cook until onions are soft.  

Throw tortillas in the hot pan or on the grill for 15 seconds, it will warm them and improve the flavor.  

Serve with sour cream, salsa, lettuce, fresh herbs, rice and beans, hot sauce, whatever you like.  

 

Braised Short Ribs Dinner

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I cannot express how tantalizing you kitchen will smell as these cook and how that smell quickly turns torturous as you realize you're hungry and that the short ribs are on oven lock down for 3 hours.  That said, it's worth the wait so plan a snack and gather your will power.   

The second best thing about this dish (the first is the taste!) is that it's a one pot meal and it's hearty so, besides maybe a light salad, there's no side dish to prepare.   

Serves 2.   

Braised Short Ribs

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon mustard seed

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds 

high heat oil (like grape seed or sunflower) 

2 bone in short ribs (about 1.5 lbs total) 

1 cup red wine 

3 carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped

1 celery stalk, halved

1 shallot, studded with 3 cloves

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 bay leaves

2 14oz tins beef broth

1 tablespoon tomato paste

4 cippolini onions, trimmed

2 potatoes, coarsely chopped

Wrap black peppercorns, mustard seeds, red chile flakes, thyme, oregano, rosemary and coriander in a square of cheese cloth.  Tie up with kitchen twine.  Set aside.   

Heat oven to 300 degrees.  

On the stove, in a large heavy pot, heat a splash of oil over medium heat.  Place ribs in pot and brown 5 minutes on each side.  Remove ribs from pot and pour out excess oil if necessary.  Return pot to heat and deglaze with red wine.  Add one of the carrots, celery, shallot, garlic, bay leaves, 1 tin of beef broth and tomato paste.  Stir until tomato paste is combined.  Place ribs in pot, bone side up.  The liquid should come up about halfway up the ribs.  Cover with lid or foil.  Place in oven and cook 2 1/2 hours.  

Remove from oven, remove lid carefully and remove carrots, celery and shallot.  Discard.  Add 2 remaining chopped carrots, cippolini onions and potatoes.  If liquid level has diminished, add another tin of beef broth.   

Cover, return to oven and braise one hour more or until ribs are so tender they may be cut with a spoon.  

Spoon ribs and vegetables into bowls and serve.