Category Archives: Meat

Peposo Beef

Peposo Beef

Peposo Beef

If you like black pepper, you should try Peposo Beef. It’s a simple recipe but with 3 hours of simmering be sure to give yourself time to make it. This is a basic recipe, and you can make some variations. I think the carrots add a bit of color and texture, but you can leave them out. Three hours of simmering soften the pepper corns and make them very edible but if you want you can add them in a spice bag that you can remove before serving. One thing you shouldn’t change is the wine. This is a Toscano dish and should be made with Chianti.
Peposo Beef
Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (your choice – parsley, thyme, oregano, etc.)
  • 1 – ½ lb. stew beef cut in chunks
  • 2 cups of Chianti
  • 4 or 5 carrots cut in ¾ inch pieces (optional)
Peposo Beef
Heat the oil in a pot on medium heat. Add the crushed garlic cloves and peppercorns and cook for one minute. Add whatever herbs you’re using and then add the meat. Sear until its lightly browned on all sides.
Peposo Beef

Peposo Beef
Add the wine, cover, and simmer on a low heat for about 1 hour. If it gets too dry add some water and continue simmering. Add 4 cups hot water, and the carrots if using, and cover the pot. Allow it to simmer slowly for another 2 hours, checking regularly to see that the liquid has not evaporated completely. Add water if necessary to keep the meat covered.
Peposo BeefAfter 2 hours remove the lid, and let the liquid evaporate until the meat is left in a thick brown juice.

Peposo Beef

Peposo Beef is traditionally served with polenta. I like it with pasta.

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Italian Beef Stew

Italian Beef Stew

When my friend Carlo gave me his mother’s recipe for Italian beef stew, I asked him what made it “Italian.”  He said it was the addition of tomatoes and because his mother came from Genoa.

Italian Beef Stew

Ingredients:
  • 1 – 1 ½ lb. stew beef
  • Olive oil for browning
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 14 oz. tomato puree
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 – 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
Season the beef with salt and pepper. Dredge it in flour and shake off any excess. Let it come to room temperature and brown in olive oil. Do it in batches and don’t crowd the pot or it will stem instead of brown. Remove the beef and set aside.

Italian Beef Stew
Add more oil and cook the onions until soft. Return the beef and pour in the wine and allow to reduce, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, and enough broth to cover the meat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for 30 – 40 minutes or until soft. Cover with more beef broth. Add the peas, simmer for 5 minutes. Add more liquid if too dry, taste for seasoning and serve. It may seem odd for beef stew, but you can serve this with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. If you don’t have beef broth you can use bouillon cubes.Italian Beef Stew

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Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

This quick and easy recipe for sweet and sour pork chops is adapted from one I found in Bon Appetit. If you’d like it more ‘sour’ double the amount of vinegar.

 

Sweet and Sour PorkchopsIngredients:
  • 2 thick pork chops
  • Salt
  • 1 ½ sugar divided
  • 2 tbs. olive oil divided
  • 1 large, chopped shallot
  • 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tbs. capers
  • 2 tbs. butter
Season both sides of the chops with salt and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of sugar on one side of each. Allow them to come to room temperature. Hold them with tongs and sear the fat cap in a dry, very hot frying pan until browned. Sweet and Sour Porkchops
Sweet and Sour Porkchops
Add one tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook one side for 3 – 4 minutes until browned. Turn and cook the 2nd, sugared side for 1 – 2 minutes on a lower heat so the sugar doesn’t burn. Remove the chops to a plate.

Sweet and Sour Porkchops
Put the remaining tablespoon of oil in the pan, add the shallots, and cook until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and remaining teaspoon of sugar to the pan and stir until some of the vinegar burns away.
Add the rosemary, capers, and one cup of water and bring to a simmer. Add the butter and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Sweet and Sour PorkchopsReturn the chops, spoon some sauce over them and simmer for 5 minutes, turning once, until done.
Transfer the chops to plates, pour the sauce over them, and serve.

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Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja translates to ‘old clothes’ in English. There’s probably a good story that goes along with that, but I don’t know it. I do know that ropa vieja is a hardy meat stew. The recipes for it vary a bit but basically, its shredded meat, peppers, tomatoes, and onions. It can be made with beef or pork.
Ropa Vieja
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ – 2 lbs. flank steak cut along grain into 3-to-4-inch pieces
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil divided
  • 3 bell sliced peppers – vary colors
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 – 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup olives, cut in half
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup drained capers
  • 2 cups chicken stock
Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and let it come to room temperature. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven and brown the meat. Do it in batches and don’t crowd the pan.
Ropa Vieja
Remove the meat and add the remaining oil to the pot. Add the peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, and bay leaves. Cook for about 30 minutes until soft.
Ropa Vieja

 

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja
Now add the olives, raisins, capers, tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, mix, and deglaze the pot.
Ropa Vieja
Lower heat and simmer for 2 ½ hours. Shred the meat with 2 forks, stir everything together and simmer for another 30 minutes and serve with rice.
Ropa Vieja

 

Ropa Vieja

Like most stewed meats, ropa vieja is better left over the next day.

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Reverse Seared Steak

Reverse Seared Steak

I’ve heard about this method of cooking a steak and decided to give it a try. The standard for a thick steak is, sear the steak and finish cooking it in the oven. As the name implies, this reverses that. Don’t try this unless you steak is at least 1 ½ inches thick. I’m using a 2-inch rib eye.
Reverse Seared Steak
Ingredients:
  • 1 steak (at least 1 ½ in. thick and your choice of cut)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 crushed clove garlic – optional
  • 1 sprig of rosemary – optional
Season the steak with salt and pepper, the edges too. Place it on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Place it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight to dry out. This step is optional but do it if you have time.
Preheat the oven to anywhere between 200 and 275°F (93 and 135°C). The lower you go, the more evenly the meat will cook.
Put the baking sheet, rack, and room temperature steak in the oven, and roast until it reaches an internal temperature about 10 to 15°F below the final temperature at which you’d like to serve the meat. Time in the oven is about 20 minutes for rare. 
Reverse Seared Steak
After 20 minutes in a 250 degree F. oven.


When you take the steak out of the oven, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan on a very high heat. When the pan is hot begin searing the steak. Holding it with tongs, start with the the edges. Lay the steak down and add the butter (and garlic/rosemary, if using). Tilt the pan and spoon the melted butter over the steak. Flip the steak and do the other side. This should take only about 35-40 seconds per side for a good sear.
Reverse Seared Steak
Reverse Seared Steak

Slice and serve the steak. It’s not necessary to rest the steak before cutting if you’re using the reverse sear method.Reverse Seared Steak

Steak Internal Cooking Temperatures
Reverse Seared Steak
Some other steak cooking methods here

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Mississippi Pot Roast

Mississippi Pot Roast

I saw this on a YouTube video  by Emmy Cho  and it looked interesting. It’s a different and maybe a little strange combination of ingredients but the result is great and it’s very easy easy to put together. 

Mississippi Pot Roast

Ingredients:
  • 1  2-3 lb. chuck roast
  • 1 pack au jus gravy mix
  • 1 pack ranch dressing
  • ½ 12 oz. jar of pepperoncini and brine
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Salt and black pepper

Place the chuck roast in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the packets of au jus and ranch on top of it. Pour half the brine and half the jar of peppers into the cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Put in a stick of butter and cook on low for 8 hours.Mississippi Pot Roast


Mississippi Pot Roast


Pull it apart with two forks and serve with potatoes, noodles or rice. Mississippi Pot Roast


Here’s the New York Times article on the  origin  of Mississippi Pot Roast. Mississippi Pot Roast


. . .  and here’s Emmy Cho’s video. Mississippi Pot Roast

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Pork Chops with Pan Sauce

Pork Chops with Pan Sauce

Here’s a simple method for making an elegant sauce. It’s perfect for pork chops but you should also try it with other types of meat.
Pork Chops with Pan Sauce
Ingredients:
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 pork chops
  • 1/3 cup meat stock or broth
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon or any brown mustard
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 2 pats of butter
Bring the chops to room temperature and season with salt and black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the pork chops until done to your liking.Pork Chops with Pan Sauce
Pork Chops with Pan Sauce
Remove them to a warm dish, add the stock to the pan and deglaze. Add the mustard, half & half, and butter, and whisk for a few minutes. until the sauce is creamy. Pour it over the pork chops and serve.

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Teresa’s Sicilian Steak

Teresa’s Sicilian Steak

Teresa Giudice is one of the Housewives of New Jersey and she can really cook. She’s published a few cook books and this steak recipe is adapted from Skinny Italian. The light coating adds a lot of flavor and yet doesn’t take away from the taste of the steak.
Teresa's Sicilian SteakIngredients:
  • 1 steak about 1 inch thick
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp. breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. grated Parmigiano cheese
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper
Place the oil and garlic in a shallow bowl. Place the steak in the bowl and let it stay at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning it after 15 minutes.

Teresa's Sicilian Steak

In the meantime, mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, oregano, salt and pepper. Remove the steak from the oil and dip it into the crumb mixture coating it evenly.
Teresa's Sicilian Steak
Let it stand on the baking rake for 10 minutes for the crumbs to set. Place a rack between 6 and 8 inches below the broiler preheat the oven.

Teresa's Sicilian Steak

Broil the steak for 3 – 4 minutes – until the crust is browned. Turn it over and do the same to the other side for medium-rare. Ovens may vary so move the rack closer or further away from the heat source so it browns and doesn’t burn. When it’s done let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing across the grain into one inch strips.

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Sausage and Chicken with Vinegar Peppers

Sausage and Chicken with Vinegar Peppers

Sausage and Chicken with Vinegar Peppers

I wish this dish had an interesting name. If I said, “Ma, what’s for dinner.” She’d say, “Sausage and chicken with vinegar peppers,” so that’s what I call it.

Sausage and Chicken with Vinegar Peppers

Ingredients:
  • Olive oil for frying
  • ½ lb. Italian sausage (about 3) cut into pieces
  • ½ lb. skinless/boneless chicken thighs (about 3) cut into pieces
  • 2 Idaho potatoes cut into half inch half moons
  • 1 onion cut into wedges
  • 1 cup of sliced vinegar peppers (sweet or hot)
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup liquid from the pepper jar
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste.
Bring chicken and sausage to room temperature and season the chicken with salt and black pepper. Fry the meat in olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until browned. Don’t crowd the pan or the meat with steam instead of brown. Remove and set aside. Fry the potatoes using more oil if necessary. Season, remove from the pan when almost done and set aside.

Sausage and Chicken with Vinegar PeppersFry meat and potatoes in batches so they brown and don’t steam.

Sausage and Chicken with Vinegar Peppers
Fry the onions and when they start to brown, add the peppers. Add a half cup of water and deglaze the pan. Return the potatoes and then the sausage and chicken on top. Pour in the vinegar and pepper liquid, sprinkle on the thyme and cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.Sausage and Chicken with Vinegar Peppers

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Cajun Meatloaf

Cajun Meatloaf

Meatloaf isn’t one of my favorite things. I generally prefer my ground beef in the form of a medium-rare, charred on the outside, hamburger. But this Cajun meatloaf is different. It has interesting spices (no ketchup), and because there’s so little filler it looks and taste meatier.
Cajun meatloaf
Ingredients:

For the meatloaf-

  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup of tomato puree
  • 3 tsp. of Cajun spice mix
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 cup Cajun Trinity
  • 2 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 pounds of ground beef
For the topping-
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup of tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
If you have a meatloaf pan, great. If not, you’ll have to improvise. Cover a rack with foil and punch holes in it with a skewer. This will prevent the fat from accumulating at the bottom of the pan and making the meatloaf greasy.
Add the breadcrumbs, tomato puree, Cajun seasoning, minced garlic, and Cajun trinity, and Worcestershire to a bowl and mix it. Add the chopped meat and mix it. The best way to do that is with your hands.  Get it thoroughly mixed and form a loaf.Cajun meatloaf
Grease the foil with olive oil spray. Put the meat mixture in the pan or on the rack (whichever you’re using) and form a loaf. Roast for 50 minutes.Cajun meatloaf
To make the topping, mix the Worcestershire, tomato puree, and paste in a small bowl. After 50 minutes remove the meatloaf and coat it with the sauce. Put it back in the oven and roast for another 20 minutes.Cajun meatloaf
When it’s done, let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting it. It’s great for dinner and the leftovers make perfect sandwiches.

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