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Posts Tagged ‘beef’


I suppose the most memorable recipe I’ve posted in the first year of Meatballs & Milkshakes has to be my Shaved Asparagus Salad because it won Best Spring Vegetable recipe on Food52 at this time last year. They have been nice enough to spotlight me here and I can’t say enough good things about their wonderful site.

For Christmas, the Feast of the Seven Fishes was definitely another memorable moment– I made seven fish dishes in one night! And we had delicious chocolate pudding to end the night, it doesn’t get much better.

Some of the recipes that really stick out in my mind over the year are obviously pastas. This linguine bolognese that I made for Valentine’s day was unbelievable and it still makes my mouth water.

This tagliatelle with shrimp and cabbage was a recreation from one of my favorite restaurants, and it got some press over on Serious Eats, another of my favorite blogs.

Of course, it all started with my homemade pappardelle with duck ragu. You can see that hopefully my pictures have improved a bit…the recipes were yummy even then though!

And of course, I made my first pork shoulder, slow roasting it and shredding it for tacos which were a big hit. Who knew pork could be so good!

While we’re talking meat, I can’t forget this beef stew that I made…it was by far the tastiest beef stew ever with amazingly delicious carrots. They soaked up the beef juices are were almost better than the beef itself. Almost.

And of course we can’t forget my obsession with the Flour cookbook this year. I made all sorts of cookies from it, including these yummy oatmeal raisin cookies

and chewy chocolate cookies. I’ve almost baked my way through all the Flour cookies, and they’ve all been amazing. Definitely a go-to cookbook that I recommend buying.

As far as other desserts go, there were a lot of pies but the ones I’m looking forward to again most are these: the mini strawberry rhubarb pies that were great for individual servings straight from the freezer, and the quick berry pie. Both are great for summer and I’m hoping it will be another good one!

I’m off to Italy for a week, but I’ve left a couple posts for you while I’m away….and hopefully I’ll bring back some new Italian inspiration! Bring on the broccoli rabe and orecchiette!

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I’m not a big fan of going out for Valentine’s Day because restaurants typically overcharge and it feels a little forced. Plus, my favorite evenings are ones spent at home over a delicious meal– why do something different? I see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to be reminded how good we have it every other day of the year. And when I think about what my favorite meal is, and what I would like to share, it always comes back to pasta. Of course.

I love a simple bolognese, and some fresh spinach linguine makes it even better. We had this with a 17-year old brunello that my parents gave us, and it was a perfect evening.  Full disclosure: I decided to take the evening off from blogging, and I took these pictures the next day with leftovers. No distractions. But it’s just as good the next day, even more reason to make some tonight.

Linguine Bolognese 

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

2 garlic cloves

1/2 onion

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup red wine

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons chopped oregano or marjoram

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic in a food processor and grind into a chunky paste. Brown the meat in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Make sure to really brown the meat well and don’t move it until it starts browning. This is the best opportunity to develop flavor.

Once the meat is browned, move it to the side of the pan to add the vegetable paste and allow it to start browning as well. Season everything with salt and pepper and the oregano. Once the vegetables have softened and browned a bit, add the tomato paste and let it rust for a few minutes. Add the milk and wine and stir through. Add the sugar. Let the whole thing simmer for an hour until it thickens and the flavor deepens. Toss with pasta in a saute pan with a little of the pasta water and some parmesan and enjoy!

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I don’t talk up my own food very often, but I have to say that this stew was really killer. You can call it beef stew or beef bourgignon or brasato al chianti, but it’s all very similar. The meat was just falling apart and tender with delicious carrots and flavorful gravy. I served it with some egg noodles, but I think it would also go really well with some polenta. The key is in the browning of the meat–you MUST brown the meat well. And don’t try to cut the cooking time, it will not be as succulent and fork tender. Yum. I want more of this.

The Ultimate Beef Stew

1 pound beef chuck, cubed

4 carrots, chopped in large pieces

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, whole

1 sprig rosemary

4 sprigs sage

5 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2-3/4 of a bottle chianti

1 tablespoon sugar

Dry the meat well with a paper towel and season with salt. Brown in a very hot pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. DON”T move them until they get a nice dark sear–they should look like a delicious steak. Brown on all sides and remove to a plate.

Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and saute until softened. Add the tomato paste, sugar, rosemary, and sage. Add the meat back in. Pour in enough wine to almost cover the meat. Simmer very low for 2 hours or until the meat is falling apart. Serve on egg noodles or polenta. Leftovers are even better!

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Well, this was the post I was waiting to do. Spaghetti and meatballs is one my all-time favorite meals, and my blog is named after them. I was lucky enough to share this meal with some great friends, so it was a fantastic evening. Almost everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs, it’s really hard to go wrong. The secret ingredient in mine is actually in the sauce- the anchovies. I promise, you will never know they’re there but they make it so delicious. The meatballs soak up the flavor as they cook in the sauce, you can leave them in longer and they just get better and better. And because one of my friends is a vegetarian, I kept them separate at our dinner…it’s her loss though…(She had her own sauce, no anchovies)

I’ve started doing my meatballs in the broiler instead of frying them because it’s just so much easier. If you prefer, you can fry them in a frying pan with some olive oil until browned. I don’t particularly like baked meatballs because they don’t get the extra flavor from browning, and they don’t hold together as well unless you use more breadcrumbs and egg. And well, meat without the crusty brown bits just isn’t as tasty.

Meatballs

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground veal

1/2 pound ground pork

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg

1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce

1 tablespoon sage, minced

1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Mix everything except the meat together until combined (you leave the meat until the end so it doesn’t get overworked). Add the meat and combine with a fork until just mixed.

Make them into golf ball-sized meatballs, rolling between your hands. Place them on a baking sheet with some olive oil.

Broil them for 15 minutes or so, until they brown on the outside.

Tomato Sauce

3 anchovies

1/2 onion, chopped

1 carrot, grated

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon sage, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup red wine

1 can San Marzano whole tomatoes, crushed

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

Melt the anchovies in the olive oil until they have broken up. Add the onion and let them soften but not brown. Add the carrot, garlic, sage, and oregano and cook for a minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add the tomatoes and sugar. Let it cook down for 15 or 20 minutes.

For the spaghetti and meatballs, you would add the meatballs to the tomato sauce at this point and let them finish cooking together for 10 minutes. Cook some spaghetti according to the package instructions. Remove some of the tomato sauce to a saute or frying pan along with some of the pasta water. Let that cook down for a minute, then add the pasta to cook for the last minute together. Plate and put some meatballs on top. Sprinkle the parsley over and some grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

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