Tag Archives: ground beef

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole

20 Jan
Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole

I made a soup with similar ingredients to this many moons ago with a mile-long ingredients list, so this time around I decided to simplify it a bit more plus turn it into a casserole. As much as I love soup, sometimes I crave a bit more heft in the bite.

I ALMOST made this inedible, as I had the Hungarian sweet paprika and cayenne pepper sitting side by side in identical containers during prep. I actually poured ONE TABLESPOON of cayenne pepper on top of the tomatoes, but praise be I immediately noticed my mistake and was able to scoop most of it out before stirring it in. The end result was still a tad spicier than I intended, but overall a great comforting meal for a cold night. It sure warmed my husband up, lol! And even though this is over an hour in the oven, I guarantee this is way less time than the traditional stuffed method!

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole

1 tablespoon olive oil
1  pound ground beef, pork, or turkey (I used half beef/half pork)
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 8-ounce can no-salt tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine or white vinegar
1/2 cup white rice, uncooked
1 3/4 cups homemade or low sodium beef broth
1 small head cabbage (about 1 pound), quartered and sliced thin
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Ground Beef and Pork Mixture

Ground Beef and Pork Mixture

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a skillet, brown the ground ground meat and chopped onions in the olive oil over medium heat until meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute or two more. Drain the grease, if any. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it and add salt, to taste. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix in the next 7 ingredients (diced tomatoes through the rice).

Tomato Rice Mixture

Tomato Rice Mixture

Lightly spray an 8 x 8 casserole dish with oil, then layer half the cabbage on the bottom.

Cabbage and Beef Layer

Cabbage and Beef Layer

Top with half the ground meat mixture, then half the tomato sauce mixture. Repeat. Last, pour the beef broth over all.

Layers Complete

Layers Complete

Cover dish tightly with foil, and cook in oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle cheese over top and broil for just a few minutes to melt cheese. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes, then serve.

p.s. We had to say goodbye to our beloved Hannah Banana last week. Our rescue dog of 14 years is deeply missed.

Hannah Banana

Hannah Banana

Hannah Banana

Hannah Banana

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Goulash ~ an Old Stand-by in a New (Old) Dish

19 Nov
Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash in Vintage Enamel-Ware

This is not a new recipe but it gave me a chance to use one of my new (old) casserole dishes I picked up at a garage sale a few months ago. It is vintage enamel-ware from the 1980s made by Lincoware, in the Lauria design. It came in a nesting set of three for only $1 each. How cool is that?

Some nights just call for your stand-by comfort casserole, and last night was no exception. This is one of my daughter’s favorite meals I make, and she actually happened to be home for a Friday night, of all things. I had a half-pound of ground beef left in the freezer needing used up, so halved the recipe and in doing so the vintage casserole dish became a perfect vessel for cooking the smaller portion.

However, I do have a new recipe I’m working on using the sous-vide technique, and will take a whopping 24-hours to cook! And no, I’ll not be slaving over it that entire time, I’ll be off doing my usual housework and PT exercises (and sleeping for a portion of that) while the cooking device does the work for me!

I’m also copying the goulash recipe below for any newcomers hesitant to click on a linky to get it. This takes less than an hour to make, which is always a winner in my book! Enjoy!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup dry elbow macaroni pasta
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (or 2 8-0unce cans)
1 jar homemade canned tomatoes diced, or 1 can low-sodium diced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the burger and chopped onions, then grind a bunch of black pepper over it. Cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. In the last minute or so, add the minced garlic. Drain any grease, if needed.

When the water is boiling for the pasta, add the macaroni and cook until just before al dente, then drain and set aside. It will cook more in the oven. Meanwhile, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and herbs to the ground beef and stir to incorporate.

Next add the cheddar and mix until cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked macaroni until combined. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish sprayed with oil. Top with the Mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Let rest about 5 minutes, then serve with buttered bread, and a salad if you want.

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

29 Oct
One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

This is a soup I’ve wanted to make for ages, and FINALLY got inspired to just do it. Soup? Check. Easy? Check. One pot? Check. One hand? Check, dammit. I get my traction device off in less than two weeks, woohooo! But in this seemingly long entrapment from my injury, I have found that one can be quite resourceful while dealing with a disability. Did you know you can break dried lasagna noodles into even pieces one-handed? Simply place the noodle in a glass bowl then push the edge of the noodle hanging out over the lip of the bowl. Snap! Keep moving it up and snapping off the end. See? Easy-peasy! (Newcomers to this site can read about my injury here.)

My recipe here came from several internet-inspired sources. As always, feel free to adapt, as that is pretty much all I’ve been doing lately. Without further ado…

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground hot Italian sausage
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 cups homemade or low-sodium beef broth, divided
1 24-ounce jar good-quality meatless spaghetti sauce
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1 bay leaf
10 uncooked dried lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
Fresh Mozzarella slices
Ricotta cheese scoops
Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef, sausage, and onion over medium heat until meats are browned and onion is translucent. Add the garlic and stir for a minute more. Drain grease, if necessary.

Add 4 cups of the beef broth and the rest of the ingredients except the cheeses, stirring to separate the noodles. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about a half hour until noodles are soft and soup has thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Add the remaining two cups of broth, as needed during that time, until soup is desired consistency.

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Discard bay leaf and add Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses to the pot, then let sit without stirring until starting to melt. Ladle scoops of soup and melty cheese into bowls and garnish with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a side salad.  This is good. Really good. We are talking seconds and thirds good. Trust me.

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

 

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Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

16 Oct
Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

After we got back from our trip to the coast for our anniversary, I harvested the last of my chile peppers and the wee tomatillos and poblanos I managed to eke out with our short summer weather. Half the hot peppers had turned red while we were gone, but that’s OK as I like spicy!

Cooking is quite the challenge one-handed, but I’ve figured out some hacks to where I don’t ask for much assistance any more in food prep. Dicing a fresh onion is the hardest I’ve found, but luckily I have a bag of diced onion in the freezer that I brought home from a work potluck, which can be used in soups and stews.

Tips: A mini food processor can be used for a rough dice of carrots, celery, and onion, and a pair of kitchen shears does quick work on green onions. I do have limited use of my left thumb and forefinger, so I place the green onion between those two fingers and snip away!

This soup was the culmination of wanting to use my peppers and tomatillos in something as well as a large leek that needed to be cooked stat. I roasted the poblanos, tomatillos, and a serrano until charred, then had my daughter peel and mince them for me. I then scrounged the freezer and pantry and came up with a half pound of burger, black beans, and golden hominy. Combined with my homemade beef stock, a filling Mexican-style soup was on the horizon!

I’m still limiting my prep photos until I have two hands again but this is a pretty straight-forward soup recipe. Note: I used all my very small poblano peppers and tomatillos in this, but have adjusted the recipe below for standard grocery-sized produce.

Pepper and Tomatillo Harvest

Pepper and Tomatillo Harvest

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

1 large leek, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 peeled, rinsed and roasted tomatillos
1 large roasted and peeled poblano, minced
1 roasted and peeled serrano pepper, minced
1/2 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
4 cups homemade or low sodium beef stock or broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can golden hominy, drained and rinsed
2 soft corn tortillas, diced large
Juice squeezed from a large lime wedge
Tortilla chips, sour cream, and cilantro for garnish (optional)

Roast and prep the peppers and tomatillos. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef and leeks in 1 teaspoon olive oil until burger is browned and leeks have softened. Add the minced garlic in the last minute of cooking them.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the garnishes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes until the tortillas have dissolved and soup thickens, stirring occasionally.

Ladle into bowls and serve with desired garnishes. This soup was even better the next day!

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

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Garden Dump Soup ~ Plus a Wild-Caught Chinook Salmon!

11 Sep
Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

Our kindly neighbor in back gifted us with two giant zucchinis and a large summer squash just before we left on our trip to the coast last weekend. I packed the largest zucchini and my mandoline and made a huge pan of Zucchini Lasagna in our RV’s convection oven, so that made use of one.

A couple days after we got back, I discovered the other zucchini and squash in the vegetable bin plus a half bag of baby spinach. AND our tomatoes had gone gangbusters while we were gone!

Garden Fresh Veggies

Garden Fresh Veggies

Soup was the only thing that came to mind where I could use that many veggies at once, so scoured our freezer for a bit of protein to go with it. I found a 1/2 pound of ground turkey, and about a 1/4 pound of homemade ground hot Italian sausage, which I figured needed using up anyways. Last, I grabbed a quart of homemade beef stock out of the freezer, as I had 6 quarts of that and only 2 quarts of chicken broth.

Basically I chopped it all up, sauteed the veggies and meats, then threw the rest of it in a stock-pot with some seasonings and spicy oregano from gardening and voila! Garden Dump Soup. Maybe I should have called it Garden and Freezer Dump Soup? Also at the very end I tossed in a cup of elbow macaroni to thicken it up a bit. Either way, this wowed the hubs, who went back for second and thirds, and he kept asking me what I was going to call it for my blog. I finally came up with this name.

What’s good about a soup like this is you can use any  vegetables you have on hand, your preference of broth, and any kind of ground meat and pasta. So versatile! If you don’t end up using any ground hot Italian sausage I would recommend adding a 1/2 teaspoon or so of dried Italian seasoning and perhaps a pinch of red chile pepper flakes. But that’s just me.

Even better, the next day I made myself a hearty breakfast (it was workout day) by plopping a farm-fresh egg into it and simmered it to perfection. Yay!

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Garden Dump Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 extra-large zucchini (about 3 cups chopped)
1 large summer squash (about 2 cups chopped)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 to 1 pound low-fat ground meat or combination of meats
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
4 cups broth or stock of choice, preferably homemade or low sodium
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (or canned)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1 cup dry elbow macaroni
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional for garnish

Chop and mince up everything to prep. Add the oil to a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Veggies and Ground Meats

Veggies and Ground Meats

Add the ground meat, veggies (except tomatoes, and spinach if using), onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook for about 15 minutes until the meat is cooked pretty much through.

Add the stock or broth, tomatoes, and oregano plus other herbs/spices if necessary.

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Bring to a simmer, then add the elbow macaroni or other small pasta. Simmer until pasta is done then add the chopped spinach (if using) and cook until wilted.

Wilting the Spinach

Wilting the Spinach

Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve in bowls with optional Parmesan cheese. Filling and super yummy!

Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

p.s. Never Forget! 9-11-01

 

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p.p.s. My hubby caught a 40-inch 24-pound Chinook Salmon out of the Siletz Bay last weekend! Woo hoo! Here’s a few photos (or 6 or 7), if you don’t mind me sharing. My turn next. 🙂

Hooked

Hooked

Netted!

Netted!

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Weighing the Salmon

Weighing the Salmon ~ That’s One Happy Man!

 

Cheesy Baked Goulash

9 Apr
Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

 

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash Just out of Oven

Howdy friends and family! This is a repost recipe from three years ago that never got much attention from my readers, minus the intro paragraphs. Unfortunately, we had a series of three medical events in the house recently that has prevented me from creating a new recipe for you this week. (One event was an excruciating back spasm that lasted an hour and a half before I felt I wasn’t going to die. After multiple trips to both my doctor and chiro, I now have the pain under control.)

The other event was too low of blood pressure, and I thought I would pass out so had to have my high blood pressure meds adjusted. The third event involved my daughter but she’s healing up nicely since an outpatient procedure. However, on the first day I felt well enough to cook, I dragged out my old stand-by recipe for this dish of Cheesy Baked Goulash. My daughter requests this often, and for my new readers, I am glad to share it with you. I am also fortunate to have a hubby that cooks and for takeout pizza, ha! Happy Spring!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup dry elbow macaroni pasta
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (or 2 8-0unce cans)
1 jar homemade canned tomatoes diced, or 1 can low-sodium diced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the burger and chopped onions, then grind a bunch of black pepper over it. Cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. In the last minute or so, add the minced garlic. Drain any grease, if needed.

Browned Burger and Onions

Browned Burger and Onions

When the water is boiling for the pasta, add the macaroni and cook until just before al dente, then drain and set aside. It will cook more in the oven. Meanwhile, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and herbs to the ground beef and stir to incorporate.

Cooked Macaroni and Tomato Beef Sauce

Cooked Macaroni and Tomato Beef Sauce

Or you can be like me and forget the parsley until later. Next add the cheddar cheese (or perhaps parsley if you forgot) and mix until cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked macaroni until combined.

Cheddar Cheese and Parsley Added

Cheddar Cheese and Parsley Added

Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish sprayed with oil. Top with the Mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes.

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Let rest about 5 minutes, then serve with buttered bread, and a salad if you want.

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Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Chorizo and Beef Enchiladas with Cheesy Hatch Chile Sauce

12 Mar
Chorizo and Beef Enchiladas with Cheesy Hatch Chile Sauce

Chorizo and Beef Enchiladas with Cheesy Hatch Chile Sauce

I had a hankering for Tex-Mex last weekend, and when I get a hankering for something there is no stopping me! Of course I wanted to use some of my roasted Hatch chiles and Mexican chorizo sausage from the freezer, and lots of ooey-gooey cheese.

The supermarket has started carrying “artisan-style” tortillas in a variety of flavors, so I picked up some whole wheat/corn blend in a “New Size!” I wonder what the old size was as I had never even seen them before. The new size turned out to be 8 inches, which made it tricky fitting them into my existing casserole dishes, and I wasn’t planning on making a huge batch for a 9 x 13 dish. Placing them length-wise in my 2-quart casserole did the trick!

Rolled Enchiladas

Rolled Enchiladas

I ended up with 5 rather large enchiladas, which was almost a perfect amount for the three of us.

One thing to note: These did not seem to reheat well the next day (too dry), so plan on adjusting the amounts or eating the entire dish! If I weren’t trying to cut my calorie intake recently I certainly could have eaten more than I did. I got thumbs up all the way around from the fam for this, and my hankering was well-satisfied. The flavors were just fantastic and the perfect blend of spices, chiles, and cheese.

Chorizo and Beef Enchiladas with Cheesy Hatch Chile Sauce

3/4 pound (12 ounces) ground beef
2 to 4 ounces Mexican chorizo
1 teaspoon oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms
3 roasted Hatch chiles, diced and divided (or 6-ounce can diced green chiles)
1 3/4 cups of low-salt beef or chicken broth, preferably homemade, divided
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 to 8 corn and/or flour tortillas
Vegetable oil, as needed for tortillas
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
Sliced avocado and cilantro, for garnish

Enchilada Ingredients

Enchilada Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet over medium heat, add the ground beef and Mexican chorizo and brown.

Sausage, Beef and Veggie Mixture

Sausage, Beef and Veggie Mixture

Add the mushrooms, onions and chile peppers into the mixture. Add the smoked paprika, then salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 more minutes, then add 1/2 cup of broth. Simmer for a minute or two more until the broth reduces, but don’t let the mixture dry out. Turn off heat and set aside.

Heating a Tortilla

Heating a Tortilla

In a cast iron or other skillet, heat up a small amount of oil over medium-high heat. One at a time, heat each side of a tortilla until pliable and just starting to brown. Don’t overcook or the tortilla will be difficult to roll. Place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding a small amount of oil as necessary.

Filling a Tortilla

Filling a Tortilla

Spoon the meat mixture into a tortilla, then roll up, placing seam-side-down in the in a lightly oil-sprayed casserole dish. Repeat until mixture is gone.

Melting Butter in Same Skillet

Melting Butter in Same Skillet

In the same skillet the meat mixture was in, melt the butter over medium heat. You don’t need to wipe out the pan first. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter, whisking continuously until the mixture is light golden brown.

Chiles in White Sauce

Chiles in White Sauce

Add the remaining broth and whisk until starting to thicken. Add the rest of the chopped green chiles, stirring to incorporate.

Adding the Cheese to the Chile Sauce

Adding the Cheese to the Chile Sauce

Reduce the heat and mix in the sour cream, then add the cheese to the sauce. Stir until combined and melted.

Cheesy Enchiladas Ready to Bake

Cheesy Enchiladas Ready to Bake

Pour the sauce evenly over the rolled tortillas.

Bake the enchiladas at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbling. Remove and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve enchiladas garnished with avocado and cilantro.

Garnished Enchiladas

Garnished Enchiladas

 

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Mexican-Style Beef with Cabbage Soup

14 Feb
Mexican-Style Beef and Cabbage Soup

Mexican-Style Beef and Cabbage Soup

I have this awesome foodie friend named Adam. Adam J. Holland is his name and he cooks some crazy good food and shares it with the world on his website The Unorthodox Epicure. Not only is he talented food-wise, he is also a talented and witty writer. Do pop over to his blog at some point and check him out.

Now, on to this fabulous soup that I “stole” from Adam. His version of this recipe is not a soup, but since I am a soup fanatic I just had to transform it into one. I added a few other tweaks, but the base recipe is fabulous on its own. My family LOVED this soup, and the hubs declared it a soup that I MUST make again! How’s that for a complement? He tends to be wary whenever I spring something “different” on him. I am very happy to have a new soup to add into the rotation! After I took my photos my husband decided to crush up some tortilla chips and add it to the soup. It was a GREAT idea! It complemented the soup very nicely.

OH! And to those of you who celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, I wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day filled with Love and Food! ❤

Mexican-Style Beef with Cabbage Soup
Adapted from Mexican-Style Beef with Cabbage at The Unorthodox Epicure

2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 jalapeño, chopped (I used my dehydrated jalapeños)
1/2 cup tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon chile powder (I used Ancho)
Lots of ground black pepper and a wee bit of salt, to taste
3 cups beef stock, preferably homemade
2 cups shredded cabbage or chopped (I used my Ninja processor)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
Tortilla chips, for garnish (optional)

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.

Making the Soup Base

Making the Soup Base

Add the garlic, jalapeño, tomatoes, tomato paste, chile powder, and ground black pepper and salt. Stir and cook for about 7 more minutes.

Browning the Ground Beef

Browning the Ground Beef

Add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it up with your spatula. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.

Beef and Cabbage Soup Ready for Stirring and Simmering

Beef and Cabbage Soup Ready for Stirring and Simmering

Add the beef stock, cabbage, cilantro, and lime juice. Bring up to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes more.  Serve in bowls and garnish with tortilla chips (optional).

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

14 Nov
Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

I probably sound like a broken record, but I LOVE SOUP SEASON! A few weeks ago I grabbed the rest of the beef marrow bones out of the freezer and decided to make a huge pot of beef bone soup stock. We have a new quarter side of beef on the way for our freezer and it was way past due to finish using those up.

Beef Bone Stock

Beef Bone Stock

After that task was accomplished, of course I had to make some soup out of that rich, golden broth. Our grass-fed ground beef from last year was long gone, but my hubby bought a fancy electric meat grinder and he ground up a bunch of chuck and made 3/4-pound bags for the freezer. That amount makes so much more sense for our family than a pound since there are only three of us.

Also out of the freezer came some frozen tomatoes from our harvest. All I had to do was run hot water over them and the skins slipped right off!

Armed with these ingredients, I set off to make some soup. I cobbled together more ingredients out of the pantry and fridge (including some almost expired fresh spinach) and this is what I came up with:

Ground Beef and Lentil Soup Ingredients

Ground Beef and Lentil Soup Ingredients

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups crushed tomatoes with liquid (or a 14.5-ounce can)
4 cups low-sodium beef broth, preferably homemade
1 cup dry green lentils
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Large handful fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Ground Beef and Veggies

Ground Beef and Veggies

Add the ground beef, onion, carrots, and celery in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. In this case I used my pressure cooker pot. (Stay tuned, confession time coming!) Cook over medium heat and stir until meat is brown and vegetables are starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Next add the tomatoes (I crushed them with my hands when adding them) plus the liquid, the beef broth, lentils, oregano, and sugar. (The small amount of sugar offsets the acidity in the tomatoes.) Stir to combine.

Soup Ingredients Ready to Finish Cooking

Soup Ingredients Ready to Finish Cooking

CONFESSION TIME: At this point, I honestly do not remember if I actually pressure cooked this or just finished simmering uncovered. Really! I know I used my pressure cooker pot from the photos. Did I use it because I intended on pressure cooking the lentils, or did I use it because all my other large pots were used up from making the beef stock earlier in the day? This was only a few weekends ago! Please don’t laugh at me, laugh WITH me!

Nonetheless, either pressure-cook this for 20 minutes, or simmer it uncovered for about an hour. After the lentils are soft, add in the chopped spinach and stir until wilted.

Chopped Spinach Added

Chopped Spinach Added

Taste test, then add sea salt and ground pepper, to taste. I thought the soup needed just a tad more flavor boost, so added a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. Perfect. Soup’s on! Serve with crusty bread.

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Keema ~ A Taste of India

11 Apr
Keema  ~ A Taste of India

Keema ~ A Taste of India

About six years ago my employer decided that hosting an Indian Cuisine potluck would be a good idea for some newly hired employees from India who were training at our local office for an extended period of time. At that time, I had zero experience with Indian cuisine, so had asked one of the new hires for a recipe I could make for them. The next day I was handed a photocopy from an unknown cookbook. It was titled simply “Keema.” I made it for the potluck and remember it was a hit! But then it remained forgotten in my loose-leaf recipe archive (read “mess”) until last week.

I had obviously adapted it the first time around, as it had scratch outs, scribbles, and additions and substitutions written all over it. This time around, I decided to search it out on the internet. There are so many variations of Keema that I felt I had good liberty to basically “redo” it again to my family’s tastes as they are today. My new remake got two thumbs up from the family! My only regret was not buying some cottage cheese to serve on the side, as it makes a refreshing accompaniment to the meal. Since this made way too much for one meal, I went straight to the store the next day and bought cottage cheese for the leftovers. No leftovers were thrown out, I am glad to say!

This is traditionally made with ground lamb, but I used ground beef as a substitute, but you could use either one or a combination of the two. Make sure you use at least a 12-inch skillet, as this makes a LOT! Feel free to halve the recipe.

Keema

1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or lamb
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons garam masala (I used dried Mild Curry #512, according to the bulk bin I bought it from)
1 teaspoon salt or Mrs. Dash table blend
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste
1 1/2 cups homemade or low sodium beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen peas
Lime wedges, for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving
Cottage cheese, for serving

Ground Beef and Onions

Ground Beef and Onions

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef or lamb with the chopped onion until evenly browned. Drain off any grease. Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute more, then add the spices and combine.

Spices Added to Ground Beef Mixture

Spices Added to Ground Beef Mixture

Add the the rest of the ingredients except the frozen peas and garnishes. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. In the last five minutes, add the frozen peas and cook until heated through.

Keema Ready to Serve

Keema Ready to Serve

Serve over a bed of rice, with a squeeze of lime, and cilantro. Please add cottage cheese to the side as a lovely, refreshing side.

Keema

Keema

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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