Category Archives: Beef

Sloppy Bao Sandwich “Baoquette”

Sloppy Bao Sandwich

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sloppy Bao Sandwich
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I spotted this Martha Stewart recipe for a simply but unique Sloppy Bao Sandwich that looked pretty interesting when trying to scratch that sandwich itch. I have mentioned it various times that I have some sort of gene for Asian/Eastern food. I just love their balance of spice, sweet and tangy.

Think of a sloppy joe with a “hmmm” factor to it. The punch of basil through that meaty savory slop with the chew of the bread is a perfect bite. I think I would adjust the ketchup and dijon mustard down a notch. I totally get using mustard and ketchup in BBQ sauces or on burgers and dogs but I thought they elbowed their way to the front versus harmonizing with the rest. It’s used to speed it up but I think I would have pulled them down and added tomato paste to replace some of the sweet with savory. All that said, it’s’ a good and fun sandwich.

Adapted from Martha Stewart
1 lbs of lean ground beef, pork, turkey or chicken
1 baguette
2 tbs of minced shallot
1 clove of minced garlic
8-10 leaves of fresh basil
1 jalapeno sliced (optional)
3/4 cup of Ketchup
3 tbs of dijon mustard
1 tbs of tomato paste
1 tbs of fish sauce
2 tbs of red Thai-curry paste
1 tsp of brown sugar
Kosher salt to taste

1. Super easy. In a skillet on medium heat add your protein and onion and cook until browned. Then add the garlic and let it cook for one minute before adding the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Turn to low and let this simmer stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. IMG_0559

2. Split and toast the baguette for about two or three minutes. Fill your baguette with your meat mixture and top with jalapeno, cilantro, basil or even some cabbage. Enjoy.

Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes

Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes
Chicken Fried Steak…. where to start. For many Texans this glorious piece of meat graced our plates at home and even school. In grade school chicken fried steak day was hands down the best thing the cafeteria produced/heated up. As a kid, I shamefully used ketchup over Mom’s gravy but now I like it dry or with a little gravy. In college a buddy kept a rolling list of top 5 chicken fried steaks. He would order it everywhere to see who dared to crack his top five. If you make it to Dallas you should check out Babe’s because they make a pretty nice one. You will even see it on the menu of several mexican food restaurants. If you do, know that they likely are pretty good too.

Chicken Fried Steak is basically as it describes, its like fried chicken but with a thin cut of beef. You take that beef round and beat it with a meat tenderizer until thin and tender, batter it with egg and seasoned flour and fry it up until brown and crispy on the outside. I know to those who are not from the south this seems odd and perhaps even disgusting but we have a lot of beef in TX and it is a cheap way to feed a family. For some reason it is almost always served with mashed potatoes and white or cream gravy. I did forgo the gravy to save a few calories. I mean we are in bathing suit season.

As for the mashed potatoes, I left the skin on because I like it that way. I creamed them with sour cream, cream cheese and a splash of cream. For some bizarre reason I added a few drops of truffle oil to bump it up. As for the cheese I went with Parmesan and a little cheddar for color.

2 to 4 tenderized beef rounds
2 cups of flour (seasoned with salt, cayenne, paprika, pepper)
3 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 tbs of Tabasco

Mashed potatoes
2 russet potatoes (cubed)
2 tbs cream cheese
2 tbs cream
2 tbs of sour cream
2 tbs of Parmesan
3 tbs of cheddar
3 drops of truffle oil
1 green onion diced.
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Took my steaks and put them in a Ziplock bag with buttermilk and Tabasco to further tenderize them. I then took two pie pans and put seasoned flour in one and beat three eggs in the other. When ready to cook I put my cast iron skillet on medium heat with vegetable oil to coat the bottom with about a quarter of an inch.

I took the steaks out and placed plastic wrap on top of them and further tenderized with a spike mallet. Dredged them in flour, then the egg wash and back into the flour and then put them on a wire rack to rest for at least 10 minutes. You oil should be hot by now so carefully put them into the skillet and cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let them rest on paper towels to pick up some of the excess oil. IMG_0217IMG_0231

2. For the potatoes, I boiled them until tender in salted water. Pour into colander and then put them back into the pan. Mash them up and add your cream cheese, cream, and sour cream until you get the texture you want. Then add your cheeses and seasonings. Stir well and taste adjust accordingly. If they are too stiff or dry add either cream or sour cream to loosen them up. IMG_0220IMG_0235IMG_0236IMG_0239IMG_0237IMG_0238

The Texas Burger

The Texas Burger

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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The Texas Burger
Today is National Burger Day. So there is that… That is not why I made this burger. I did so because one of my favorite shows to watch is the “The Kitchen” on Foodnetwork. Geoffry Zakarian is my guy. I end up picking up great tips, recipes and ideas from their show.

So they have a contest around burgers by state. So I started thinking about The Texas Burger. Houston’s Hickory Burger is one of my favorites. It has BBQ sauce which is very Texan. We are also known for beef and BBQ brisket so I thought I would make a brisket/pot roast and grind it up into my 80/20 ground beef mixture. Got to have some local Texas bacon. Cheddar cheese and finally an ode to Chuy’s Mexican Food I whipped up Jalapeno Ranch. All of that Texas goodness between…. you got it.. Texas Toast. Drops the Texas mic, grabs belt buckle and spits. Okay none of that happened.

Such a great burger! I was worried the Texas Toast my have trouble standing up to the BBQ sauce and Jalapeno Ranch so I put them under the broiler to toast them up and to give them some structure. No sides needed for this burger. A Shiner Bock is all you need.

J-dawg Sauce (recipe in the blog) with an extra kick of BBQ sauce in it and a little mustard.
Jalapeno Ranch (recipe in the blog)
Mexican Pot Roast / Brisket (recipe in the blog)
1 lbs of 80/20 free range organic Texas beef
Texas thick cut Bacon (2 slices)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Texas Toast
Shiner Bock Beer

1. Make your sauces, shred your cheese.

2. I re-ground my 80/20 ground beef with my cooked brisket. You obviously wont use all the brisket in this mixture so grind in about 1/4 or 1/2 pound. I made four patties. I also loosely packed my meat..a tip I picked up from GZ on his burger he made a while back. IMG_0075

3. I crumbled my crispy bacon on top of my patty. On my toasted Texas Toast I slathered Jalapeno Ranch on the bottom and my BBQ sauce on top. Topped my bacon covered patty with fresh extra sharp cheddar cheese (not melted).

Dallas Brisket Tacos (Mia’s copycat) with Tomatillo, Avocado, Jalapeno Ranch Side salad

Dallas Brisket Tacos

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Dallas Brisket Tacos
Mia’s is a Dallas mexican restaurant dynasty. Two of their popular dishes are their brisket tacos and stuffed Chile Rellenos. This small unassuming house converted to restaurant is where Jerry Jones was rumored to have signed Jimmy Johnson as the Cowboy’s head coach. Mia’s family tree branches off to another Dallas fav, Mi Cocina, which also serves brisket tacos that are pretty similar.

Mia’s has well seasoned and super tender brisket topped with some onions and roasted poblano pepper pieces topped with melted Monterrey Jack cheese. They serve it with a little side of brisket gravy, a simple salad, some slices of avocado, mexican rice and refried beans. It’s a perfect plate.

Cinco de Mayo was rolling around and I wanted to create a nice mexican spread. I’ve recently posted recipes of beef/chicken tacos and enchiladas but I don’t think I have created a proper brisket taco recipe. So poking around for recipes I was reunited with one of my favorite blogs Homesick Texan by Lisa Fain. She makes my kind of food and likely eats at my kind of joints. She has been at this for a while and her cookbooks are great imho. I have both.

Butchered brisket (size depends upon serving size)
1 yellow onion (rough chopped)
7 cloves of garlic (rough chopped)
handful of cilantro
2-3 jalapeno’s seeded and sliced
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
4 cups of beef broth
1 mexican beer
1 tbs of cumin
1 tbs of ancho chili powder

2 Poblano peppers (roasted, skinned, sliced)
sliced yellow onion (or grilled green onion)
Fresh shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
Flour tortillas
Kosher Salt

Side Salad with Avocado Tomatillo Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
1 tomatillo
1 avocado
1/4 cup of pickled jalapenos
handful of cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1 lime
4 glugs of Worcestershire
4 glugs of hot sauce
1 tbs white vinegar
1/2 cup of Dukes Mayo
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1-2 tbs of Ranch seasoning
milk or cream as needed

1. Knock out the dressing really quickly. Everything in the blender and blend until smooth. If you need to loosen it up do so with some milk or cream do so.
2. Brisket. Salt and Pepper it and sear it off in a high heated cast iron skillet. Sear it on all sides and then add to a crockpot. Turn the fire down to medium. Add onions and a little oil or bacon grease to soften. Throw in garlic and red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan. Add that to the crockpot along with everything else on the list.
Cook for 7-8 hours.
3. About 20 minutes before you are ready to eat. Remove the brisket and let it rest. Shred it with a fork and bring along some of the onions and jalapenos. Char your Poblano peppers, put them in a bowl and cover to steam them. Remove the skin and slice into strips (seeded of course). Slice some onion into strips.

4. Fill your flour tortilla with the brisket, top with peppers, onions and cheese and put the taco under a broiler so the cheese melts. Toss your salad and serve and eat.

“California” Ground Beef Tacos

California Beef Tacos

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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California Ground Beef Tacos
Growing up, taco night right up there with the rare mythical pizza night. Back then, it was the simple hard shell ground beef taco topped with cheddar cheese. Today my taco aperture is fully widened. To adapt a JBJ lyric … “I’ve seen a million tacos and I’ve rocked them all” or something close.

A few decades ago on a visit to the the mother in law, she made us some “California” tacos. At this stage in my game, I had soft and hard shells but not oiled ones. It’s the same basic taco set up but she would take the corn tortillas and softened them in a heated and oiled skillet. Kind of what you might do to an enchilada in sauce.

Between us, I am not sure that single act of hot oil made them “Californian.” My hunch is someone, not from California, made them for her whilst she was living out there in her post college days. To me the California taco is a proper fish taco or some street barbacoa or carne asada tacos. The only reason I point that out is out to calm down any Californian who might read this and feel the need to educate me. I get it. The name is more about my MIL vs the state.

For my beef filling I like to really concentrate and reduce the sauce to a deep, spicy, rich salty mixture. I also like a fine cut of my ground beef while adding beans too. For the flavor, I will play around with my mixture by adding, beer, tomato sauce, green sauce or salsa etc.. This batch I went heavier on the tomato sauce but will use the typical amount in my base recipe.

1 lbs ground beef (chopped further before browning)
corn tortillas
1 onion
8 oz of tomato sauce
8 oz of beer
4 oz of beef stock
Shredded cheddar for topping
1 green pepper (seeded and spined)
1 jalapeno (seeded and spined)
1 can of jalapeno pinto beans (rinsed)

2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs ancho chili powder
2 tbs of Penzey’s taco seasoning
1 tbs of cumin
1 tbs of paprika
1 tsp of coriander
1 tsp of cayenne

1. Take your ground beef and chop it on a cutting board. Add to a medium heated skillet to brown. Drain some of the fat.

2. Mince your onion, jalapeno, green pepper and add to the mixture and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Now add your spices and let them bloom for 5 minutes more.

3. Add the wet ingredients and simmer until it is really reduced and tight. You can cheat with cornstarch if you are in a hurry. Just put a 1tbs in a little water and then add and stir. IMG_9850IMG_9860

4. I add my beans towards the end and kind of mash it up a bit.

5. For the tortillas I take about a tablespoon of peanut or vegetable oil in a non-stick pan and heat it up. I use my hand so be careful of burning your self. Tongs tend to rip them. Since I cooked 4 tacos I put all 4 tortillas in the skillet. I flip all four and then take the top two, flip them and then flip all four. The point is each one needs to have contact with oil and heat. This is a one to two minute ordeal. Pull from heat and let them rest on a paper towel to soak up some of the oil.

6. Fill the tortillas with beef, cheese and anything else you want. I also made a simple salad and used avocado, lime juice and oil and blended it until smooth. I smashed a few chips to top.

Mongolian Beef (P.F. Chang’s copy cat) with Asian Peanut Broccoli

Mongolian Beef with Asian Peanut Broccoli

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Crispy Mongolian Beef (P.F. Chang’s) with Asian Peanut Broccoli
Not sure why but I have been on an Eastern food binge lately. Salty and spicy with a touch of sweet. It just works. So I got suckered into another “copy cat” recipe. This time by P.F. Chang’s. It’s been a while since I have been to a P.F. Chang’s and my typical meal consists of General Tso’s Spicy Chicken and/or lettuce wraps. It’s one of those places that I just can’t sacrifice my chicken to try something else. So in full disclosure, I have never had this recipe before so I can’t comment on how close it is to their dish.

I found the recipe from a new site I ran across called “Gimme some Oven”. Great site with impeccable food photography and arrangements. Recipes look solid too. So anyway, I take her copy cat Mongolian Beef and look at the ingredients and apply some creative license based upon my taste. I lowered the sugar content and added some heat (Sriracha). The other thing I did was to work in a side dish of broccoli with a nice naturally sweetness from natural peanut butter.

So how did it turn out? Pretty damn delicious. Jill even said it was one of my best Asian dishes. So either I suck at Asian food, she is placating me or it was delicious. I must admit by reducing the sauce down to a syrup does also concentrate the sodium from the soy. We liked it that way, especially when you work in the broccoli with that peanut butter sauce. Really fantastic. I also liked how the beef maintained a really nice chew and how it was coated in that deep dark syrupy sauce. The broccoli was only slightly cooked so the crunch was a punch of freshness.
1 flank steak
3 green onions (sliced)
1 tbs of minced ginger
5 cloves of minced garlic
Vegetable oil for cooking
3/4 cup of soy sauce (gf)
3/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of Sriracha
1/4 cup of cornstarch
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Green onions
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs honey
dash of sesame oil
water for thinning it.

1. First step. Trim your flank steak and then slice it on the bias (45 degrees) against the grain for maximum tenderness. Sprinkle a little pepper and then cornstarch. Coat it well and set it aside for later.

2. Let’s get the sauce going. In a sauce pan with a little oil soften your minced garlic and ginger. Then add the soy, water and brown sugar. Get it to a nice simmer and let it ride.

3. Now fire up your wok on medium high with a bit of oil. My Wok is nonstick so I don’t really need any but you might. Add your beef and let it brown.

4. While your beef is browning you are going to chop your onions, broccoli and make your peanut butter sauce. So chop first and then make your sauce in a glass measuring cup put all your ingredients in (rice wine, peanut butter, soy, honey, sesame oil and a little water) Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds to allow the peanut butter to combine with everything else. IMG_9724

5. Okay go check on your meat. It should have a nice crust to it. Add your sauce from the sauce pan and stir. This is going to reduce into a syrup with very little left that isn’t coated to the beef. IMG_9726

6. Okay while your saucy beef is reducing. Heat a large bowl of water in the microwave (3m). Get it to a boil for close to it. Add your broccoli for 30 seconds and then immediately shock it in ice water to stop the cooking. Strain the water/ice and put your broccoli, nuts and onions in a bowl and add half of your peanut butter sauce. Stir until well coated.
7. Finish your beef by removing from the heat and adding the onions. Quick stir and now serve over some rice. Plate your broccoli and top it with some of the peanut butter sauce. Enjoy!

Patty Melt on Dark Rye

Patty Melt on Dark Rye

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Patty Melt on Dark Rye
This is my second patty melt post. The first I used Gina and Pat Neely’s recipe from their most recent cookbook. Love me some Gina. I remember liking it quite a bit so I thought I would try it again and maybe try a new sauce. Not sure where patty melts came from and why they are not called a hamburger but “real” diner patty melts must have four things; beef patty, rye bread, swiss cheese and caramelized onions.

For my burgers, I can really go any direction on sauces…mayo, mustard or ketchup. Probably Mayo and mustard edge out ketchup. So I wanted to make the typical secret sauces that are basically thousand island dressing. I backed off ketchup and added a few non-traditional ingredients for some tang and zip. It turned out okay probably not as good as the Neely version. I went with dark rye and in the future switch back to the lighter rye.

Ingredients (2):
3/4 lbs Grass Fed Ground beef (85-90%)
Rye Bread
4 tsp of Dukes Mayo
Swiss Cheese
Cheddar cheese
1 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
Season Salt and Pepper
1 Red onion

2 tbs of Dukes Mayo
1 tbs Stone Ground Mustard
1 tbs Ketchup
splash of soy
splash of Tabasco
splash of Sriracha
3 spoons of Wickles Pickles relish (2 for you and 1 for the sauce)

1. The onions will take 20 minutes to caramelize so start by cutting the onion in strips. In a medium non stick pan on medium heat with a splash of oil, cook these for 20 minutes until dark and sweet like below. One tip is to continue to add a little water to keep them from burning. Just splash it every 3 minutes. IMG_9545

2. Mix up your sauce. You can use whatever floats your boat. I was just screwing around and whipped this one up. Basically Thousand Island or everyone’s secret sauce. The Soy, Tabasco and Sriracha are the outliers. Mix and put into fridge.

3. Form your patties into the shape of your bread and make it a little bigger to allow for shrinkage. To the beef I seasoned with “season salt”, black pepper and about 2 tsp of Ketchup and a splash of Worcestershire.

4. Let’s make some patty melts. Your onions are cooked and cooling. You get a large cast iron skillet on medium heat with a splash of oil. Cook your patties to medium rare and pull them out of the pan and let them rest with the onions.

5. Wipe that pan and put it back on the fire. Lower the temp to medium low. Now I learned this tip from Bon Appetit. Instead of buttering your bread you spread about a 1 tsp of Dukes Mayo on the outside (grill side down). Build your melt in the pan by adding the bread, swiss, patty, onions, cheddar and then spread your sauce on the bread and top it. IMG_9549

Put a heavy object on the patty melts to get them hot and crusty on the outside.
Upon the flip, remove the heavy object and stripe the top of the bread with mayo and then flip.

Cut and serve.