Cooking ground beef on the stove top seems simple enough, but so much can go wrong. Have you ever crowded the pan too much, and found yourself with rubbery, steamed ground beef? Does your beef seep out a ton of liquid, or do you struggle to chop the meat up into bite-size pieces, resulting in "meat rocks" (as one editor's boyfriend hilariously dubs it)? If cooking perfectly ground beef eludes you, have no fear. These pictures will show you how to properly brown ground beef — or any ground meat, for that matter — so that your tacos, tomato sauce, and sloppy joes turn out tasty every time.
I'm all for tacos consisting of crispy corn tortilla shells, ground beef, and cheddar cheese. This Tex-Mex favorite — inspired by the beef tacos I grew up on — may be a far cry from saucy carnitas and queso fresco, but that doesn't mean there's not room in the taco world for them to coexist!
The best part of the recipe? You'll be able to get these tacos on the table before you have time to say "giddyup." Just prep all the ingredients, and let diners customize and stuff their tacos to their liking at the table.
I made these in the style they're served at some of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants — stuffed over the brim with lettuce and tomatoes. Care for more flavor? Add in some guacamole or salsa. I've even been known to drizzle (or more like drown) queso dip over these bad boys.
Forks will be required to scoop up the falling fillings, y'all. Get ready to dig into these Tex-Mex tacos.
When I moved to the Bay Area, my friend Jennifer's family had me over for this steak. It was love at first bite! Recently, Jen made it for us with our kids, and I was reminded why it's such a whole-family favorite. The simple marinade leaves you with the most tender and flavorful steak you've ever eaten, and after 12 minutes or less on the grill, dinner is served!
For a nice departure from a heavy meat-and-potatoes meal, keep yourself satisfied with a wholesome Asian steak and noodle salad. With plenty of crunch, tang, and color, it's just as easy and comforting as what you'd order from your favorite restaurant, only cheaper.
The key to this recipe is the ginger, soy, and lime marinade, which infuses the meat with umami-rich flavor. Watch our video to learn how this lettuce, rice noodle, and beef creation comes together, then print out the recipe and make it tonight.
Looking for a less traditional — that is, compared to corned beef and cabbage — way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year? These hearty but daintily portioned Guinness-braised beef stew pot pies are just the ticket. Paired with an Irish brew, whiskey (or both), and a side of roasted vegetables, they make for an appropriately celebratory meal perfect for a casual dinner party.
Admittedly, they're a bit of work, but they're hardly challenging to prepare, just slightly time-consuming as braised dishes are by nature. Just plan ahead so that you and yours can dig into a meal to remember. Come evening's end, I can near guarantee that y'all will leave the table satiated, satisfied, all around jolly, and in the Irish spirit.
Adapted from Sam Sifton
Individual Guinness Beef Pot Pies
For a family-style pot pie, pour the stew into a deep 8-by-8-inch square pan, cover with pie dough, and bake slightly longer, about 45 minutes. Alternatively, this stew can be served without a pastry lid alongside a starchy dish like a potato gratin, just make certain to braise the stew for an extra 30 minutes (since it would cook longer while the pie crust browns).
3 pounds brisket or stew meat, chopped into bite-size pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large red onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
10 mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 sprig rosemary
About 4 cups (2 cans) Guinness or other stout
8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
Sherry vinegar, to taste
1 recipe (2 discs) pie dough
1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Season the beef generously with salt and pepper; set aside.
- Melt the butter in a dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, flour, and another pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and the mushrooms have begun to brown and have shrunk considerably, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a mixing bowl.
- Brown the beef in two batches, transferring the first batch of browned beef to the bowl of vegetables to make space for the second round.
- Pour about half of the beer into the dutch oven and scape up any browned bits with a flat-sided wooden spatula.
- Transfer the vegetables and beef back into the dutch oven, and add the rosemary and enough beer to just cover the beef and vegetables. Put in the oven and cook, covered, for 1-1/2 hours.
- Remove from the oven and stir. Return to the oven and cook for another hour.
- If the stew remains thin, set the pan over medium-low heat, and cook uncovered until the liquid has reduced to a sauce-like consistency. Fold in half of the cheddar and season to taste with salt and sherry vinegar.
- Ladle the stew into eight 8-ounce ramekins, dividing evenly. Sprinkle each stew with the remaining cheddar.
- Roll out pie dough rounds until 1/8-inch thick, divide each round into quarters, and top each ramekin with a piece of pie dough. Trim excess dough leaving an inch border around the rim, tuck the excess underneath itself, crimp with a fork, and make a few slits in the center with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape when cooking.
- Whisk the egg and a tablespoon of water together in a small mixing bowl. Brush the tops of the pie dough with the egg wash. Set the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the dough has crisped up and browned.
- Serve hot, or reheat in a 350°F oven until warm.
We've got a new partnership with the recipe, equipment, and product testing gurus at America's Test Kitchen; they'll be sharing some of their time-tested recipes and technical expertise with us. Today, America's Test Kitchen shares smart ingredient substitutions for a St. Patrick's Day favorite, shepherd's pie.
Shepherd's pie, a meaty filling topped with rich mashed potatoes, can be pub grub at its very best. However, at more than 700 calories and 40 grams of fat per serving, it's decidedly not dainty fare. In our lightened up version, we wanted to retain the heartiness and rib-sticking qualities of this classic Irish dish while streamlining its numbers. Our shepherd's pie is cooked in and served straight from the skillet. An aromatic beef mixture is topped with creamy scallion mashed potatoes, which are piped evenly on top and scored with a fork before a brief finish under the broiler for perfectly golden-crispy ridges. Sláinte!
Why this recipe works: For a lower-fat shepherd's pie that was still ultra-rich and hearty, we used lean ground beef and handled it gently when cooking so we had big chunks of meat throughout. Tossing the meat with a bit of baking soda was key to keeping it tender and juicy in the finished dish.
See the recipe when you keep reading.
If you're hoping to cook up some traditional Irish eats for St. Patrick's Day, corned beef should definitely be on the menu. Its association with Irish-American culture makes corned beef a holiday must, but feel free to get creative with your dish. From a morning classic to a salty, cheesy sandwich, here are five delicious ways to serve corned beef on March 17.
- With eggs. Start your St. Patrick's Day with a tasty take on the traditional beef. Corned beef hash and scrambled eggs are sure to get your holiday off on the right foot. Try the canned version or create your own with this simple corned beef hash recipe.
- On a sandwich. Stick to a classic Reuben sandwich recipe or keep things simple by adding slices of corned beef to marbled rye. A few condiment ideas: horseradish, mustard, or a layer of your favorite cheese.
- With potatoes and cabbage. Get in the Irish spirit by serving smoked corned beef with boiled potatoes and cabbage. Need some extra flavor? Add salt, pepper, onions, and fresh chopped dill to kick the savory taste up a notch.
- Over pasta. Get creative with corned beef by serving slices over pasta. Pick a recipe with an extracreamy sauce and let the meat supply a salty accent flavor.
- On a grilled cheese. With Dijon mustard and creamy fontina cheese, you're bound to fall for this corned beef grilled cheese recipe. Add just a handful of sliced sweet onion and toast some buttered rye bread for a dish you'll love year-round.
Do you have a favorite way to serve corned beef? Share your tips in the comments below!
Up until a couple years back, I was a staunch red meat avoider. Not because I was a vegetarian or had moral qualms over its consumption, but rather as a matter of taste. Steak, burgers, meatballs, and the whole lot of much-beloved American classics held no sway over my palate, until one simple but revelatory bite changed it all. No, it wasn't a dry-aged steak or juicy Shake Shack burger that changed my mind — though I'm now irretrievably enamored with both — but rather, a bite of tender, succulent, braised short ribs.
Little by little I came to crave these tender, boldly flavored bites, soon embracing carpaccio, tartare, roasted bone marrow, and even grilled beef tongue. But it's still tender, falling-off-the-bone short ribs that get me every time. So when I came across this beer and hoisin braised stunner of a recipe, I knew I'd have to simmer up a batch posthaste, as it would inevitably enter my meal rotation. Thankfully, I was right on this account and then some. Slightly sweet, tangy, and full of deeply meaty flavor, they're so lovely that I'd wager they'd have made a red meat convert of me far earlier had I only tried them years back.
Ever since I was first introduced to roasted bone marrow, it has been a must-order appetizer — if I see it on the menu, my mind is almost unimpeachably made up — but until I tried my hand at cooking the trendy dish, I had no idea how easy, enticing, and accessible bone marrow can be to make at home.
To say that making this recipe was a revelation is a major understatement. Truly, the most challenging (and not terribly difficult at that) step is procuring the bones. I found mine at the butcher counter at Whole Foods, though this required calling slightly ahead of time to make certain they had enough in stock, and to ensure that the bones were cut to my specifications. If this buttery appetizer is up your alley, try your local butcher. All it takes is a short phone call to see if they can wrangle up a few pounds of bones to brighten your meal (and day). Trust me: it's worth the extra step.
The first thing I learned to cook was scrambled eggs, followed by macaroni and cheese. I'm pretty sure the third thing I learned to cook was beef and broccoli stir-fry. My best friend growing up (who, 22 years later, is still my best friend) is Chinese, and her dad would make the most incredible stir-fries using very simple ingredients.
Growing up, we'd beg her father to tell us exactly how he prepared his beef and broccoli. How much soy sauce did he put in? For exactly how long did it need to marinate? And what's the trick to stir-frying so swiftly with chopsticks? He always shrugged at our questions and responded with ambiguous answers, so we resorted to watching him intensely to understand the process. Years later, every time we munch on our attempted beef and broccoli dish, we taste a glimmer of her father's famed flavors, but we've decided it may require a lifetime before we've mastered it.
Even this rendition is a far cry from her father's. When I called my best friend for exact details to the recipe, I realized she has inherited her father's fashion. She vaguely replied, "Oh, you could add a little of this and a pinch of that. These ingredients are optional, of course. It's whatever you feel like."
What I felt like creating is the most basic marinade, but three simple ingredients magically transform into a rich, flavorful sauce for the beef. The standout ingredient has to be oyster sauce. Despite its somewhat repulsive name, it gives dishes a salty, earthy, almost mushroom-like flavor. I adore it. Also worth mentioning is peanut oil. Although a bit more expensive than canola oil, it is so worth the splurge. Unlike neutral oils, peanut oil imparts a subtle, nutty flavor to the stir-fry. If you're allergic to peanut oil, use a neutral vegetable oil to stir-fry and splash a few dashes of roasted sesame oil into the finished dish to achieve a similar effect. Click here to see the beef and broccoli recipe.