Archive for the ground beef Category

Summer Memories: Charbroiled Beef Patties

Posted in eggplant, ground beef, mushroom, potato, sauce, stew with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by oskila

I mentioned in the last post that there’s a substantial backlog of unpublished material. Now would be as good a time as any to start sorting that out.

The first dish up is one with only one photograph, and a rather horrible one at that. I’m thinking that it’s probably taken with an iPad. The image file EXIF thingy informed me this meal was photographed, and thereby probably also eaten at the 11th of July.

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Charbroiled beef patties, sparsely seasoned but rather smoky. Served with likewise charbroiled eggplants and button mushrooms, caramelized onions, new potatoes and a chanterelle stew.

The real hero of the day is the stew, which is really in undefined stew/gravy/sauce-country. It’s important to first dry-fry the mushrooms with a pinch of salt to remove some liquid and then add a slightly too large knob of butter, a small amount of finely chopped shallots, a bit of pepper and perhaps a sprinkle of thyme. Add as much cream as you like, bring to a boil and reduce to desired thickness. If you’re not in a hurry it’s advisable to simmer the stew very gently for an hour or so to let the flavors develop properly.

A Quick Pie Tip

Posted in british, cheese, eggs, ground beef, leftovers, mushroom, pie, potato, stew with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2013 by oskila

Here’s a suggestion for what to do with lots of leftover bolognese sauce if you happen to have a bag of instant mashed potatoes around the house. Make a pie not dissimilar to the traditional shepherd’s. Instant mash is a terrible thing to do to potatoes, but quite handy for those days when fancy or wholesome or tasty aren’t the top priorities.

Since I had not only half a pot of bolognese sauce, but also quite a lot of button mushrooms, I whipped up a bit of mushroom stew to layer in between the meat sauce and the mash lid.

I substituted at least half of the water used for a four helping bag of mash for cream and eggs, and also added a cup or so of grated cheese.

30 minutes in the oven should do it, since most of the ingredients are already cooked and a nice crisp surface is the most important bit.

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For some reason a piece of mushroom found its way to the top of the pie, and removing it after baking would have looked odd.

Clearance Stew: Gumbo-inspired Muck

Posted in american, cabbage, cajun, crossover, discount, ground beef, leftovers, mushroom, okra, peppers, sausage, stew, stock with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2013 by oskila

It was one of those days when the leftovers and odds and ends reached critical mass. A number of loose food ends that are at risk of going bad unless they’re chucked out (which is very unfashionable these days) or made into a clearance stew (a.k.a. fridge stew). Such stews can take any number of directions, depending on what it is that you’ve forgotten behind the eggs and the jam. The deciding factor for me was probably the bag of okra pods in the freezer. I bought them just because I could, with only a vague idea that they’re used for thickening in Cajun cooking. As per usual, I knew very little about the dish I was going to get inspired by, in this case gumbo. Apart from okra I seemed to recall that onions, celery and green peppers were important, and that it was supposed to be fairly spicy. From there it was touch and go.

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Leftover spanish chorizo, beef stock cubes, ground beef (bought just before Christmas, frozen and forgotten) green bell pepper, the last bit of savoy cabbage, shallots, carrots, cured sausages of some kind, red chili pepper, mushrooms, garlic, onion, celery and okra. Since the main protein is ground beef, this dish can at most be Cajun-inspired or have a hint of Louisiana, but my intention wasn’t to make actual gumbo, but rather to make a stew that’d last all week.

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Chopped onions, carrots, garlic, celery, peppers and chili. Whole shallots.

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Beef, mushrooms, cabbage, cured sausage and chorizo added

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Stock and okra go in, along with some herbs and a bit of tomato paste

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A couple of hours of slow simmering produces half a gallon of swamp-like stew. Way tastier than it looks.

 

A Quick Stop to Meddle with Chili.

Posted in american, bacon, beans, condiments, corn, discount, ground beef, peppers, rice, stew, tex-mex with tags , , on September 18, 2012 by oskila

Since I spent a lot of spring and summer writing blog posts instead of school papers, this semester has had a bit of a rough start.  There’s still a lot to do before I can relax, but I felt a need to at least post a little something. Autumn is about to get serious (even took some time this weekend to pick a bit of mushrooms) and one starts to long for big pots of food that has simmered for hours on end and keeps you warm all week. Also the time for economically minded university students like me to start putting boxed lunches in the freezer. I hit the store and started forming a plan when there was good discounts on both bell peppers and minced beef.

I’d like to apologize to an chili purists out there in advance, as this post might be offensive to you, just like what I did to the other national dish of the United States a while back was potentially offensive. Before cooking the dish for this post I had never laid eyes upon a recipe for chili con carne, nor did I until I had started eating, after which I learned that there are lots of interesting dichotomies and conflicts regarding what constitutes proper chili. But we’ll sort that out along the way.

Sweating onions, garlic and bell peppers. Apparently, onions aren’t really allowed (but onion powder is fine) and peppers should at least be red, but preferably hotter than bell.

Browning ground beef. Choosing ground meat over cut seems to be a big faux pas among chili aficionados, according to the internet.

Adding bacon (which is technically diced pork, should be safe) and seasonings, including chili powders (ancho and nameless) cumin, powdered onion, cocoa, dried basil, chili paste (which is probably unheard of and not right at all) and tomato paste. Tomato is another matter of debate within the modern chili paradigm. My excuse for using paste is that my fiancée is allergic to tomatoes in most forms, but can endure cooked paste without discomfort.

A few minutes later, the minced beef has joined the party along with beef stock, beans and sweet corn. In Sweden, chili con carne is strongly associated with beans, especially kidney beans, but I’m given to understand that Texan law enforcers may fire at will upon those about to put beans in chili. I don’t know if anyone but me puts corn in chili con carne, but I’ve always done that for no other reasons than that it’s an American vegetable and it tastes good.

Here it’s been simmering for a hour and a half, which is a bit on the short side, but considering that I’m using ground and not diced meat I saw no reason to keep from eating it any longer.

And the potentially abominable, chili-esque gringo food is done and plated. I added a bit of rice to secure more lunchboxes and crème frâiche and corn chips for awesomeness.

The Recycled Burger Brunch

Posted in bread, cheese, ground beef, leftovers, sandwich with tags , on July 9, 2012 by oskila

Yesterday my dear brother threw a barbecue at our parents’ house. He had a slice of marinated ham on the bone, the Swedish trade name for which translates as ‘Flintstone roast’ since it looks like a cartoon steak, which he suggested would suffice, but I had already thawed a kilo of ground beef to cook dinner with, so we had both. After a quick trip to the grocery store the four people attending ended up with enough food for 8-10 people. We left my brother with most of the leftover food for lunch boxes, but brought some grilled halloumi and one of the 200 gram cheeseburgers I had made back home with us. Those are the main ingredients for this post.

The burgers were probably the best I’ve ever made. Perfectly seasoned, beautifully slow-barbecued and with lovely flavors of smoke and charcoal.  A night in the fridge gave it a density that would make a meatloaf green with envy. Anyway – burger and halloumi sliced. Revolutionary idolatry optional.

Put burger and halloumi on bread. Add onion to taste and a sprinkle of grated cheese for good measure.  Grill in oven for a while.

Put sandwich on a plate on the balcony. Add potato chips, a squirt of ketchup, funny-looking tomatoes and a cool drink. Then call it brunch only because it’s past noon and the first meal of the day.

Spicy Meat Ovoids

Posted in discount, ground beef, mediterranean with tags , on April 18, 2012 by oskila

It’s that time of the month again! No, not the communists-in-the-gazebo-time, but discount ground beef time! And this time we’re talking proper deli shit at a small fraction of the original price (which in hindsight means I shouldn’t have seasoned it so heavily).

To start with, remove the ground meat from the fridge. It’s going to be much more cooperative at room temperature. After that’s been taken care of, chop up and  sear a carrot and a red onion.

Second, put the above in a bowl together with salt, pepper, an egg, a splash of milk, a spoonful of tomato paste and as much garlic and parsley as you want. Then have at it with a hand blender.

Once the contents of the bowl is a smooth goo, rummage through your herbs and spices stash and choose what to use. I started out with coriander seeds, onion seeds, allspice, black mustard seed and cardamom. Toast in a pan.

And then grind it up and add to the bowl. I also added some cinnamon, sumac, cumin, turmeric, chili powder and nutmeg and the tiniest hint of saffron.

In my opinion, the garlic and parsley are key to achieving the flavour I’m aiming for, which is probably something with an air of the eastern Mediterranean area. The closest I’ve been is Crete and in most restaurants we visited there they either served deep fried calamares or microwaved moussaka. What I mean is – use the spices you like.

Add a pound of minced beef and mix thoroughly. Using your hands is the most effective way, but be aware that everything you touch on the way to the hand soap afterwards will turn greasy and yellow. Put the bowl away for a while and go prepare the side dishes. I’m having rice with fried leeks but I forgot to take pictures (but rice isn’t that exciting).

While the rice simmers away, roll the meat mixture into balls or the shape you prefer. The meat sludge thingy should be fairly loose in the sense that these balls won’t stay in shape for more than a couple of minutes. This means they’ll still be juicy, even after being cooked well done.

And then it’s just about time to fry away. I roll the meat into balls only because it’s easier to make them the same size that way. Before I fry them I flatten them, which makes searing them evenly easier and cooking through faster.

As you will notice about now if you do this my way, half-heartedly squashed patties shrink and get thicker at the center when heated, which is why the title says ‘ovoids’ and not ‘balls’.

90 seconds per side and then done! Much easier than fiddling with round balls that need a constantly shaking pan.

Dinner accomplished. I’d assume a yoghurt-y something, like tzatziki, would fit in rather well on that plate, but I didn’t think about that until afterwards.

Valentine’s Day Lasagna

Posted in cheese, ground beef, italian, pasta with tags , on February 15, 2012 by oskila

When I started writing this post it was still Valentine’s, so that’s what the subject is today. Or rather, I’m just going to yap for a short while about the fact that I ate an awesome three course dinner that I didn’t cook. My girlfriend did. That’s love! Make up your own recipe, I’m too full to do it.

Half-eaten Valentine’s Day Lasagna.  (The dish is larger than it looks)

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