Quick & Delicious Ground Beef Dish
This easy 20-minute dish is a perfect alternative way to season ground beef. It even makes a unique grilled hamburger!
Substitute ground chicken. For a traditional Middle Eastern meal, use ground lamb.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup pine nuts
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- ½ cup dried currants (or cranberries)
- 2-4 tsp Baharat Spice Blend
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, then add the onion and cook it over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and pine nuts and continue cooking 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the heat to high and add the lamb. Cook until the meat is cooked through.
- Remove from heat, add mint, currants, and Baharat Spice Blend. Stir to combine. Serve.
For hamburgers: thoroughly mix all ingredients in a bowl. Shape into 4 or 5 patties and grill as usual.
For meatloaf: double all ingredients, including ground beef. Add: 1 egg lightly beaten, and 1/4 cup rolled oats. Press into a loaf pan and bake in a pre-heated 350 F oven for 40-45 minutes.
This delicious recipe also tastes great made the traditional way, with lamb. One of the great things about Kashmiri Garam Masala is that it’s sweeter than the usual commercially-available garam masala, which creates a whole new taste sensation!
(‘Garam Masala’ means ‘spice base,’ and it can be dry or wet, depending on the dish.)
Hint: I have tamed the heat of this recipe considerably! This is a delicious, very pleasant, and slightly sweet meal. Don’t let the next paragraph scare you!
However, if you like hot food – and I mean really hot food – replace the first 3 ingredients with the traditional 4 dried red chili peppers (such as cayenne) and 3 long, green chili peppers (such as Indian Jwala) – and be sure to provide hand towels and handkerchiefs for your guests. (By the way, ‘Jwala’ means ‘volcano’. You’ve been warned!)
Now, for the rest of us —
- 1 large red pepper, diced
- 1 large green pepper, diced
- ⅛ – ¼ tsp cayenne pepper depending on taste (start with a small amount; add more toward the end if it’s not hot enough for you)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala
- 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ cup dried unsweetened coconut
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 6 tbl oil (olive, coconut, or pure peanut)
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 pounds round roast, cut into 1½-inch cubes
- salt to taste
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- ½ tsp saffron threads
- 20 whole blanched almonds
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Make a spice past: place peppers, cayenne, cumin seeds, Kashmiri Garam Masala, ginger, garlic, grated coconut, and tomatoes in a blender; pulse several times to chop, then blend into a smooth spice paste. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is very tender and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more.
- Stir the spice paste into the onion and cook and stir until the oil separates from the mixture, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in beef pieces, turmeric, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently over medium-high heat, until the beef browns, about 8 minutes.
- Mix in yogurt, saffron, and blanched almonds until well combined.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the meat is tender and the gravy is thick, about 1 hour.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.
Serve with rice or hearty bread.
Smoked Texas Short Ribs
Okay, so it takes half a day to make these delicious smoked ribs, but that makes it ideal for a day at the lake with friends – and the results will knock your socks off!
- 2 racks of beef short ribs, roughly 1 square foot each
- 6 tbsp Smoky Texas spice blend
- 1 package of oak or hickory smoking wood (available wherever grills are sold)
- optional: 2 large pieces of butcher paper (try asking your local butcher when you buy the ribs)
- Prepare the rib racks by removing the membrane and trimming the hard fat cap to about 1/8″ thickness. Then thoroughly and thickly coat them with Smoky Texas spice blend. Let rest bone side down until ready to cook, at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours wrapped and refrigerated. Add remaining rub as a second layer, and let rest 10 minutes before grilling.
- Preheat grill to medium-low. Use the vents to achieve a temperature of 225-250° F. Then spread 1 cup well-soaked wood chips on the coals.
- Place the ribs, bone side down, on the grate. Cover and smoke until the meat’s internal temperature registers 165° F in the thickest part – 4 to 6 hours.
Note: check the ribs every hour or so. As needed, add a dozen briquettes to each side of the grill and spread a cup of soaked wood chips over the coals at those checks.
- When the ribs register 165° F, wrap each rib in a piece of butcher paper and replace on the grill. Continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 185° F, another 2 hours or so.
Note: Texans often use tin foil, which doesn’t breathe; it’s a matter of choice. Foil traps the stream and speeds up the cooking process. It also softens the “crust.” By contrast, butcher paper allows much of the steam to escape, but retains enough to help soften the meat without altogether softening the crust made by the rub. So it’s a question of time or crust: you decide!
- When the internal meat temperature reaches 185° F transfer the ribs to an empty cooler and let it rest at least 30 minutes, up to 3 hours. The longer it rests, the softer and juicier it will become.
To serve: Slice into individual ribs and serve garnished with steak sauce or Hickory smoked BBQ sauce.
Spicy Maple Beef
- 2 lbs beef chuck steak, sliced thinly for stir-fry
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 sweet onion (Vidalia is a good option) halved and cut into thin strips
- Up to 3 tbsp Spicy Maple seasoning blend
- 2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil, divided
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 ea. red and yellow pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 1-2 stalks celery sliced thinly
- Combine Spicy Maple blend, maple syrup, and crushed garlic cloves in a small bowl. Stir until fully combined. Set aside.
- Place 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan or (better) Dutch oven and heat on High. Then add 1/2 of the sliced beef and sliced onion and brown, about 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl and repeat with the 2nd tbsp oil and remaining sliced beef and onion. Remove.
- Reduce heat setting to Medium. Add Spicy Maple mixture to skillet and heat, 1 minute. Return beef to skillet and stir to thoroughly coat the meat with the spice mix.
- Add tomato paste and beef stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to Low, cover, and cook for 1 3/4 hours, or until beef is tender.
- Remove cover, add peppers and celery, and cook 1/2 hour to reduce and slightly thicken sauce.
Serve over rice or barley.
Sik Sik Wat (Beef Stew)
Sik Sik Wat is one of the most popular North African dishes, and can be found in almost every Ethiopian restaurant. It takes 3 hours to make this superb slow-cooked, nutritious, and flavor-rich meal, and it is oh so worth it!
Substitute chicken and the dish is called Doro Wat. It is also delicious with pork and lamb. This is truly an all-purpose main dish recipe!
- 3 lbs beef cut into 1-inch pieces, or sliced 1/4″ thick
- 2 T fresh lemon juice
- 2 T butter
- 2 T extra virgin olive, pure peanut, or coconut oil
- 3 C yellow onions, finely minced/pureed
- 1 T finely minced garlic
- 1 T finely minced ginger
- 1 T butter
- 1/4 cup Berbere Spice Mix
- 2 T butter
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 cup White wine mixed with 1 t honey
- 1 cup Beef stock
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and pierced all over with a fork 1/4-inch deep
- Place the cubed or sliced beef in a bowl and pour the lemon juice over it. Let them it at room temperature at least 30 minutes. (Or leave it on the counter while you do Steps 2 – 4, 95 minutes.)
- Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven. Add onions and sauté, covered, over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic, ginger, and 1 tbsp butter. Continue to sauté, covered, another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add Berbere Spice Mix and 2 tbsp butter. Continue to sauté, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the beef, broth, and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Adjust seasonings, adding more Berbere according to your preference. Add the hardboiled eggs, simmer on low heat, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Serve with a side of rice.
- Cut each egg in half and use a half egg as a plate garnish.
- Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro over the dish as a colorful and tasty garnish.
- Sprinkle diced fresh tomato over the dish for a cooling color and taste contrast.
Southwest Baked Steak
This dish is delightful when made with local, field raised steak or London Broil with a rich strip of fat still attached!
1. Mix 3 tbsp of Mellow Santa Fe spice blend in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil. Stir until a thick paste forms.
2. Coat one side of steak or broil, using a basting brush, and place them in a baking dish, coated side down. Then throughly coat the tops, letting the paste drizzle down the sides, too. Cover and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
3. To cook, preheat oven to 350 F, place beef on a center rack and bake until the internal temperature is 140 F (rare) to 160 F (medium well), 20-45 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cut.
4. Reposition the rack for broiling, turn oven to Hi Broil and quickly broil for 5-10 minutes to form a crusty top surface. Serve immediately.
Spicy Beef Stew
Here’s an old friend: a stand-by meal with a refreshing heat pop. This simple recipe takes about 15 minutes to prep and 1¾ hours to cook; or get the slow cooker on it all day so it’s fork-tender and savory when you get home! Boil up some egg noodles and slice a vegetable plate to deliver a complete meal within a half hour of walking through the door!
- 1½ lb beef stew meat, cut into 1″ cubes
- ¼ cup flour
- dash sea salt and ground black pepper
- 2+ tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 5 cups beef broth
- 3 tbsp Spicy Hot spice blend
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 4 potatoes, cubed
- Drain and pat dry the stew meat. Dredge in the flour combined with sea salt and black pepper. Reserve any left-over flour.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a stockpot, then brown the coated beef in 2 or 3 batches, adding oil as needed to prevent sticking.
Tip: Don’t crowd the meat. Crowding causes meat to steam rather than brown; you want to create a crusty surface on all sides, to hold in the meat’s juices as it stews.
- As you finish browning a batch, remove meat to a plate, or if you are using a slow cooker, place meat in the slow cooker and turn the cooker on ‘high.’
- After all of the meat is browned, add remaining oil (up to another tablespoon) to the pot. Scrape the meat bits from the bottom, then add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are golden and softened.
- If you are cooking on the stove top:
- Add the meat back in and stir to integrate with the onions.
- Then add 3 tbsp Spicy Hot spice blend and any left-over flour from Step 1, and stir to coat.
- Add the beef broth. Cover, bring to a boil, then turn to low and simmer uncovered 45 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and carrots. Continue to simmer 30-45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- If you are using the slow cooker
- When the onions are golden and softened, add the potatoes and carrots and stir to coat with oil.
- Add 3 tbsp Spicy Hot spice blend and any left-over flour from Step 1, and stir to coat.
- Add the vegetables to the slow cooker. Add the beef broth. Turn heat setting to ‘Low’. Fit the cover snugly and go about your day!
Egg Noodle Side Dish
- Cook 12 oz. of egg noodles in lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Meanwhile, finely chop ½ bunch parsley leaves. Set aside.
- When noodles are cooked, dip ¼ cup cooking water into a skillet. Heat. Whisk in 4 tbsp butter, 1 at a time. Then add the chopped parsley and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Stir, remove from heat.
- Drain the noodles, place in a serving bowl and toss with the sauce.
Serve as a base for the stew, or as a side dish.
Optional: If you are using the noodles as a side dish, sprinkle liberally with our Lemon-Pepper Herb blend.
Optional: Also slice up a side plate of cut fresh vegetables. Carrot sticks, sweet bell peppers, crisp cucumbers, and juicy garden tomatoes are among my favorites.
Asian Style Maple Onion Beef Tips
Try this delicious version of Asian beef tips, substituting healthy organic maple sugar for the denatured commercial white stuff! Our less concentrated, natural sugar contains micronutrients that put less load on your body while providing a subtle, complex sweetness.
- 1 1/2 lbs sirloin tips
- 1/3 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
- 3 tbsp coconut or olive oil
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp Sweet Onion Maple blend
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 scallion, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
- 1 tbsp flour or cornstarch
- 1 1/2 hours before serving, mix all ingredients except the tips and flour/cornstarch, to make a marinade. Place the tips in a gallon ziploc, pour in the marinade, squeeze out the air, and seal. Place in fridge. Marinate 1 hour, turning over halfway through to soak evenly.
- Remove tips from the bag to a strainer set over a bowl. Allow to drain while heating cast iron (or other heavy) skillet at medium-high heat (setting 7 on the burner).
- When the skillet is hot, put the tips on; they should immediately begin to sear. Cook 4 minutes, turning the heat down to 5 after the first couple of minutes. Flip the tips, and cook another 5 minutes on the other side. Remove to a plate, tent loosely with tinfoil, and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pour the marinade into the draining bowl and whisk 1 tbsp flour or cornstarch into the marinade until smooth. Then add to a small saucepan, and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. The marinade will slightly thicken, making a nice sauce for the tips or to top side dishes.
Tip: Cooking tongs make it easy to remove the marinaded beef from the bag to the strainer, and then to place them in the hot skillet, and turn them over.
To serve place on a bed of rice. Garnish with the thickened sauce.
Perfect Brown or Wild Rice
1. For every 1 cup of rice to be cooked, bring 4 cups of cold water to a boil.
2. When the water’s boiling, rinse the rice in a strainer under running water for 30 seconds, stirring with your hand. Then add to the boiling water.
3. Bring the water back to a boil, then lower the temperature to a slow roll and cook rice exactly 30 minutes uncovered. (If you use white rice, watch the pot carefully because white rice absorbes more water and could boil dry.)
4. After 30 minutes, pour the rice and water into a strainer over the sink. Let it drain for just 10 seconds, then dump the rice back into the cooking pot.
5. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and set aside for 10 minutes to steam. Fluff and serve.
Flavor-Filled Hungarian Beef Brisket
This is our take on one family’s traditional Hungarian brisket recipe. Sure, it marinates overnight and cooks for 4 hours, but it’s got lots of bacon! And it tastes great, too!
- 5 lbs beef brisket
- 2 tbsp Hungarian Spice Blend
- 2 lbs sliced bacon
- 5 cups cold brewed coffee
- ¼ cup salt
- 1 cup butter
- ½ cup minced garlic
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 lb fatback, sliced into small rectangles
- 2 sweet potatoes, quartered
- Dust the brisket in our Hungarian Spice Blend, then completely wrap it in the bacon.
- Dissolve the salt in the coffee.
- Set the brisket in a large glass baking dish. Pour the cold coffee-salt brine over the meat, cover, and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
- In a saucepan, combine the butter and minced garlic over low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted and the garlic has turned golden brown.
- Spread all of the shortening onto the inside of a roasting pan.
- Place the brisket in the pan; add 1 cup of the coffee-salt marinade. Lay triangles of fatback over the roast. Place the sweet potatoes around the meat in the roasting pan.
- Pour the garlic-butter mix over the brisket and the sweet potatoes. Let stand 1 hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 325° F. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil. Bake 4 hours, and until the internal temperature of the roast measures 145° F. Remove from oven.
- Let the meat rest 10 minutes before slicing. Slice across the grain.
While the roast rests, make a dipping au jus by stirring together in a small saucepan
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2½ tbl prepared horseradish
Cook over low heat for ½ hour, then pour into a serving bowl.
These are perfect for the grill! You can use any of these spice blends in this super-simple burger recipe:
- Chipotle Maple
- Sweet Onion Maple
- Smoky Maple
- Hot & Smoky Maple
- Spicy Maple
- Santa Fe
- Smoky Texas
- Spicy Hot
- Sweet Carolina
- Berbere (add some brown sugar to balance the heat)
Thoroughly mix 1-2 tbsp seasoning into one pound of ground hamburger. Shape into 4 or 5 hamburgers and grill as usual.
Adding a spice blend that includes sugar – and some spices – will cause a normal “blackening” effect on the surface. Be sure to check for doneness by temperature or by slightly opening the burger to see if the center is at its desired level of cooked.
Hint: Meat flavor is in its fat. That’s why grilled meats taste best when they include 10-15% fat. (Fat also keeps grilled meats from drying out.) The higher the heat during cooking, the more fat will be lost; a slower cook will help seal in the flavor – and the blackening effect of the spice blend will contribute to the sealing.
Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Red Pepper & Black Olive Sauce
With thanks to Rachel Ray, who inspired this delicious recipe!
- 2 center-cut pieces of beef tenderloin (2-2½ lbs each)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2+ tablespoons Sweet Carolina spice blend
- 5 whole roasted red peppers, chopped, drained, and patted dry (see roasting instructions, below)
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, stripped from the stems
- 1 cup good-quality kalamata olives (or other black olive; but fresh or artisanal rather than commercially canned), well-drained
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 500° F.
- Liberally coat the meat with the oil and Sweet Carolina spice blend – at least 1 tablespoon per tenderloin.
- Place meat on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Roast 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and cook another 30 minutes.
Do not open the oven in the first 10 minutes, even if it seems smoky! You are developing a crust to seal in the juices, and partially steaming the meat. Ideally, don’t open the oven until at least 20 minutes have passed at 350°, at which point you can check to see if the meat is cooked to your desire in the center – especially if you prefer your meat rare.
- When the meat has cooked, remove from the oven and let it rest 10 minutes. Then slice thinly against the grain and at an angle from top to bottom for maximum flakiness and tenderness.
- While the meat cooks, place the roasted, chopped peppers, garlic, parsley, and black olives in the blender. Turn it on, then very slowly drizzle in up to 3 tablespoons olive oil until the mixture thickens into a thin mayonnaise-like consistency.
To serve, garnish piles of thinly sliced meat with the red pepper-olive sauce. Add a side of thickly cut crusty bread and plenty of fresh, cultured butter.
Roasted Red Peppers
Make these peppers a day or more in advance. Keep them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them – up to 5 days.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
- Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, turning them twice during roasting (about every 10 minutes).
- Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
- Remove the stem from each pepper and cut them in quarters. Remove the peels and seeds. Discard the stems, peels, and seeds.
Tip: Don’t cube or dice the peppers until you’ve removed the skins – it’s a lot easier to de-skin quarters than small squares!
- 1 lb sirloin or rump steak, sliced thinly
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tbsp Chipotle Maple seasoning blend
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 large red peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
- 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1″ lengths
- Place beef strips in a shallow bowl with the garlic, cinnamon, Chipotle Maple seasoning; stir and toss to fully coat.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet, then stir-fry the red pepper chunks until they begin to soften, 3 or 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Reheat the oil, than add the beef strips, with ginger and garlic. Stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add the scallions. Continue stir-frying 1 minute.
- Return peppers to skillet and continue stir-frying until peppers are hot and tender, about 2 minutes.
Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro. Use as a filling in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and on tostillos.Plate with a side of Mexican-style beans, refried beans, or rice made with chicken broth and cilantro. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, salsa, or guacamole.
Quick Chipotle Moussaka Meat Sauce
This is the meat option for the Chipotle Maple blend Eggplant dish listed on the Chipotle Maple blend recipe page. You can use either ground beef or ground lamb, or opt for eggs rather than meat.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups marinara sauce
- 3 tbsp Chipotle Maple blend
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: 8 eggs
- Optional: 2 lbs ground beef or lamb
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant, being careful not to burn it. Pour in the marinara sauce, Chipotle Maple blend, salt and pepper. Stir well to mix. Then add in the eggplant and stir. Cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes until the eggplant is cooked through.
Top with cilantro and feta, and serve with pita, naan or lafa!
To add eggs: When the eggplant is cooked through, turn heat to medium-low and crack eggs directly into the sauce. Cover with a tight fitting lid and let cook until desired doneness, or about 10 minutes.
Meat Option: Make a Chipotle Moussaka Meat Sauce while the eggplant is cooking by browning 2 lbs ground beef or lamb in 2 tbsp olive oil. When the eggplant is cooked, add the meat instead of eggs. Serve over spaghetti or zucchini noodles, over spaghetti squash, or on your favorite cooked grain. You can even serve it Sloppy Joe style.