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Category Archives: Beef

Whisky Jerky

Old No. 7 – a little Jack can make anything taste better.  Jerky is no exception.  The flavor of charred Oak mixed with beef makes a jerky everyone loves.

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Ingredients:
1 lb Ground Beef – 90% lean or better
3 TBSP Whisky
2 TBSP A1 Sauce
1 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
3/4 tsp Onion Powder
3/4 tsp Table Salt
1/4 tsp Curing Salt

Directions:
First thing you need to do is to pour the Whisky and A1 into a small saucepan and mix to combine. Heat the mixture to below a simmer and allow to reduce approximately 80%, around 20 minutes, stirring very frequently. (Make sure to reduce fully or your jerky will turn out brittle.) Do not allow the sauce to burn to the bottom of the pan.
Next you need to mix the reduced sauce will all the remaining spices into a large bowl and stir together well.  Then add the ground beef into the sauce/seasoning mix bowl. Get in there with your hands and mix the meat and the sauce together very well. Mix a few minutes past when you think you’re done mixing. The more mixing, the better, it will extrude easier.

Jerky

Start piping some of the meat mixture into your extruder gun, you can see our gun in the picture above. Try not to allow any air bubbles to get in the works and mess up your jerky strips. Begin extruding approximately 6 inch strips onto the dehydrator grate trays. Allow a small amount of space in between the sticks. Do this until all the beef mixture is used up.

Extruding ground beef jerky

If the jerky strips are coming out in bits and spurts it means one of two things. Either your ground beef was too red and bloody (and extra moist), or that you did not reduce your sauce down far enough. The jerky should come out of the extruder gun easily. There’s not much you can do to fix the meat at this point so if it’s coming out poorly, just do the best you can with it.

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We dehydrate for 7-8 hours, rotating the trays every 2 hours, and checking for done-ness along the way. The time will vary depending on the temperature of your dehydrator. Our JerkyExpress only has an on and off setting, no actual temperature setting, but it runs at around 150 degrees. The jerky will feel slightly stiff when done. We like to allow the jerky about a day in the fridge before eating so the texture can firm up properly. Then you can store in the fridge or in a closed container in the pantry for 3-4 weeks, although most likely you’ll have eaten it all long before then. If you plan to store the jerky in the fridge, allow some time for it to warm up before eating, as it tastes much better warm than it does cold.

That’s it, how hard was that? I hope you like it! Enjoy!

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Posted by on December 16, 2013 in Beef, Homemade, Jerky, Party Foods

 

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Chili

I think there are as many different versions of chili in the world as there are different types of people. Some like it hot, some like it chunky. Some like it with meat, others argue it can only have beans. I think that no matter what your tastes are, a good basic chili is a recipe you need to have on hand and you can adapt it to whatever tastes you expect to be eating that particular batch. This recipe is a two-day version. Chili always tastes better the second day – and this way you will have all the mess and hard work done the day before too.

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Ingredients:
2 lbs Ground Beef
1 large Onion
5 cloves chopped Garlic
1 TBSP Olive Oil
14 1/2oz can Diced Tomatoes
15oz can Tomato Sauce
1 can Beer (I like to use Budweiser for this)|
15-20oz can of Chili Beans (mild/spicy/your preference – I use Bush’s Mild)
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/3 cup Chili Powder
Shredded Cheddar Cheese to top off each bowl as needed

Directions:
1. Brown and drain your ground beef. While that is cooking, start dicing your onion and chopping your garlic.
2. Warm a large stock pot and add your olive oil. Pour in your chopped onions and garlic and let them sweat in the pot for one to two minutes, just to bring the flavors out a bit.
3. Start pouring in all of the other ingredients – except for the cheddar. Include the browned beef and mix to combine.
4. Bring the chili to a low boil and then cover. Reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, for two hours. Stir occasionally.
5. After the two hours, let the chili cool and then sit overnight in the fridge. I like to use the same pot it cooked in, keep the lid on it, and put an oven coozy in the fridge after the pots cooled a bit and leave it just as it is.
6. The next day, when it’s getting close to time to eat, all you have to do is pull the pot out of the fridge, put it back on the stovetop, and reheat it. Serve with shredded cheddar on top and you’re good to go!

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2013 in Beef, Casseroles, Dinner, Easy, Party Foods, Soup

 

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Taco Pie

This is a dish that I used to make all the time as a young, single, college student. It is very flexible and can be made a thousand different ways and for a thousand different tastes. The recipe I’m typing up today is just the basic bones of the dish – but please feel free to experiment away and add any sort of toppings you like! A layer of re-fried beans, some salsa, peppers, onions, whatever it is you like to put on your taco will go just fine into this dish.

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Ingredients:
1 lb Ground Beef
1 pkg Taco Seasoning (Or make your own….Homemade “Old El Paso” Copycat Taco Seasoning
1 pint Sour Cream
1 pkg Crescent Rolls
2 cups crushed Fritos (divided)
1 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Brown your ground beef, drain the fat, and add in the taco seasoning. Only use about half of the water you would normally use per the package directions. Mix together and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
3. While the meat is simmering, grease an oven safe pan. I use a half-sized 8×8 casserole dish and it works out pretty well. You can also use a ceramic or glass pie plate if you like. Open your crescent rolls and pinch together the perforated seams so you have several rectangles of dough. Do your best to assemble the dough pieces in the bottom of your dish so that a bit curls up the walls as well. (See picture.)

DSCF0001It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just aim for even coverage and pinch together any open seams. You can stretch the dough a bit too once it starts to warm up to room temperature.
4. Put your dish aside and lightly crush one cup of the Fritos and spread them over the dough in the dish.
5. Spread your cooked ground beef over the layer Fritos and then spread the sour cream on top of the beef. Sprinkle on your layer of mozzarella cheese and then top it all off with the remaining cup of crushed Fritos.
6. Bake uncovered for 20  minutes until cheese is melted and crescent dough crust is nicely cooked.
7. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2013 in Beef, Casseroles, Dinner, Easy, Entree, Kids, Quick & Easy

 

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Teriyaki Ground Beef Jerky

How many different flavors of jerky can we come up with? This one is for our Teriyaki Jerky and it’s fabulous!

The trick to this one is that you need to eat it up quickly.  The Teriyaki flavor of the jerky diminishes after a few days to almost non-existent after a week.  Funny, ours never lasts long enough to have the flavor die out though –  in those first few days after it’s made, it is so delicious that it disappear before we know it!

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Ingredients:
2 lb Ground Beef – 90% lean or better
8 TBSP Sake Wine
5 TBSP Soy Sauce
1 Finely Chopped Fresh Jalapeno (remove seeds)
4 TBSP Honey
2 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Curing Salt

Directions:
First thing you need to do is to pour the sake, soy sauce, and chopped jalapeno into a small saucepan and mix to combine. Heat the mixture to below a simmer and allow to reduce approximately 80% (around 20 minutes), stirring very frequently. Make sure to reduce fully or your jerky will turn out brittle.  Do not allow the sauce to burn to the bottom of the pan.  After reducing, strain to remove jalapeno from sauce.

Next you need to mix the reduced sauce with all the remaining spices into a large bowl and stir together. Add the ground beef into the sauce bowl and get in there with your hands to mix the meat and the sauce together thoroughly. Mix a few minutes past when you think you’re done mixing. The more mixing, the better, it will extrude easier.

Jerky

Start piping some of the meat mixture into your extruder gun, you can see our gun in the picture above. Try not to allow any air bubbles to get in the works and mess up your jerky strips. Begin extruding approximately 6 inch strips onto the dehydrator grate trays. Allow a small amount of space in between the sticks. Do this until all the beef mixture is used up.

Extruding ground beef jerky

If the jerky strips are coming out in bits and spurts it means one of two things. Either your ground beef was too red and bloody (and extra moist), or that you did not reduce your sauce down far enough. The jerky should come out of the extruder gun easily. There’s not much you can do to fix the meat at this point so if it’s coming out poorly, just do the best you can with it.

DSCF0006

Dehydrate for 7-8 hours, rotating the trays every 2 hours, and checking for done-ness along the way. The time will vary depending on the temperature of your dehydrator. Our JerkyExpress only has an on and off setting, no actual temperature setting, but it runs at around 150 degrees. The jerky will feel slightly stiff when done. We like to allow the jerky about a day in the fridge before eating so the texture can firm up properly. Then you can store in the fridge or in a closed container in the pantry for 1-2 weeks, although most likely you’ll have eaten it all long before then. If you plan to store the jerky in the fridge, allow some time for it to warm up before eating, as it tastes much better warm than it does cold.

That’s it, how hard was that? I hope you like it! Enjoy!

 
 

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Salami Ground Beef Jerky

Here we go again, my hubby’s latest jerky creation.  Some members of our family thought that his Pepperoni Jerky was too spicy so he toned it down a bit, tweaked the flavor, and created a salami jerky.  If you’re on a budget this is a great choice as all of the ingredients are really cheap, easy to come by, and it creates a jerky that packs a really nice flavor.

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Ingredients for a two pound batch of jerky:
2 lbs Ground Beef (90/10 or ultra lean)
2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Table Salt
1/2 tsp Curing Salt
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Liquid Smoke

Directions:
Place the crushed red pepper into a plastic sandwich bag and seal the bag. Lay the bag on a hard counter top or on the floor and roll a rolling pin over it to further crush the flakes. (Don’t try this on a soft wood table or you are going to scratch it all up.)

Add the ground beef, the crushed red pepper flakes from the sandwich bag, and all of the remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Combine them all together and then get in there with your hands and mix the meat and the spices very well. Mix them a few minutes past when you think you’re done mixing. The more mixing you do the better, it will extrude easier.

Jerky

Start piping some of the meat mixture into your extruder gun, you can see our gun in the picture above. Try not to allow any air bubbles to get in the works and mess up your jerky strips. Begin extruding approximately 6 inch strips onto the dehydrator grate trays. Allow a small amount of space in between the sticks.

Extruding ground beef jerky

Do this until all the beef mixture is used up.

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Dehydrate for 6-7 hours, rotating the trays every 2 hours, and checking for done-ness along the way. The time will vary depending on the temperature of your dehydrator. Our JerkyExpress only has an on and off setting, no actual temperature setting, but it runs at around 150 degrees. The jerky will feel slightly stiff when done. We like to allow the jerky about a day in the fridge before eating so the texture can firm up properly. Then you can store in the fridge or in a closed container in the pantry for 3-4 weeks, although most likely you’ll have eaten it all long before then. If you plan to store the jerky in the fridge, allow some time for it to warm up before eating, as it tastes much better warm than it does cold.

 
 

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Pepperoni Ground Beef Jerky

Jerky is my opportunity to bust into my wife’s Blog.  She may make the posts and watch the kids but I bring home the Bacon and make the Jerky.  Pepperoni Beef Jerky is a favorite among the guys.  This is one of the easiest ground beef recipes as the mixture is almost completely dry – just mix the meat and spices and you’re ready to go.

I brought some of my first attempt at this jerky to the guys at work, and it was a big hit.  So big, that a coworker bought the ingredients so that I could make him a two pound batch.  After a little tweaking, this became my final recipe.

This is my second Jerky post with many more to come. Look for future posts of my recipes for a Mild Jerky and a Jack Daniel’s Jerky. I am currently working out a Teriyaki Jerky which I need another crack at to get just right.  Check out my original recipe – Homemade Ground Beef Jerky

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Ingredients for a two pound batch of jerky:
2 lbs Ground Beef
4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
3 tsp Fennel Seed
1 1/2 tsp Table Salt
1/2 tsp Curing Salt
1 1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Liquid Smoke

Directions:
Place the crushed red pepper and the fennel seed into a plastic sandwich bag and seal the bag. Lay the bag on a hard counter top or on the floor and roll a rolling pin over it to crush the seeds and flakes. (Don’t try this on a soft wood table or you are going to scratch it all up.)

Add the ground beef, the crushed ingredients from the sandwich bag, and all of the remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Combine them all together. Get in there with your hands and mix the meat and the spices very well. Mix them a few minutes past when you think you’re done mixing. The more mixing, the better, it will extrude easier.

Jerky

Start piping some of the meat mixture into your extruder gun, you can see our gun in the picture above. Try not to allow any air bubbles to get in the works and mess up your jerky strips. Begin extruding approximately 6 inch strips onto the dehydrator grate trays. Allow a small amount of space in between the sticks. Do this until all the beef mixture is used up.

Extruding ground beef jerky

If the jerky strips are coming out in bits and spurts it means one of two things. Either your ground beef was too red and bloody (and extra moist), or that you did not reduce your sauce down far enough. The jerky should come out of the extruder gun easily. There’s not much you can do to fix the meat at this point so if it’s coming out poorly, just do the best you can with it.

DSCF0006

We dehydrate for 7-8 hours, rotating the trays every 2 hours, and checking for done-ness along the way. The time will vary depending on the temperature of your dehydrator. Our JerkyExpress only has an on and off setting, no actual temperature setting, but it runs at around 150 degrees. The jerky will feel slightly stiff when done. We like to allow the jerky about a day in the fridge before eating so the texture can firm up properly. Then you can store in the fridge or in a closed container in the pantry for 3-4 weeks, although most likely you’ll have eaten it all long before then. If you plan to store the jerky in the fridge, allow some time for it to warm up before eating, as it tastes much better warm than it does cold.

 
 

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Meatballs

This recipe was a life saver for me tonight. My day starting taking a sharp nosedive around lunchtime and just kept plummeting. The house was a wreck, things were breaking, kids were crabby and difficult and soo NOT interested in letting Mommy go in the kitchen to cook dinner (even though they assured me they were soo desperately hungry for snacks *sigh*). Just as I thought things had just about reached the peak of chaos, I get an email from the hubby that he’s working really late and won’t be home until after the kids are in bed, dinner’s over, and I’m so far past stressed out that I’m already halfway back to sanity again.

Luckily I made my Mega Meatloaf last night. No, that’s not a total non sequitur and random plug for another one of my recipes, it is why I had meatballs already made and rolled and ready to go today!

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Both my recipe for meatballs and my recipe for my Mega Meatloaf call for a 50/50 mixture of ground beef and ground pork. Because both are sold in 1lb packages – I would have to either make a two pound meatloaf or two pounds of meatballs. Either way, it would be way too much for my family to eat and as it is we have quite a bit of leftovers from each dish when we split them! I buy my ground meats, mix them together with the ingredients listed below, and then divide the mixture in half and make half of it into a meatloaf and the other half becomes my meatballs! AND I was lucky enough yesterday to have made the meatloaf half so all I had to do today was retrieve my plate of mixed, rolled, and prepared meatballs out of the fridge, toss it in the oven, and then serve it to my ever-so-charming children!

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Ingredients:
1/2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Ground Pork1 Egg
1/2 cup Romano Cheese
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3/4 TBSP Parsley
salt/pepper to taste
1 cup Bread Crumbs
3/4 cup lukewarm Water
Optional: Marinara Sauce, grated Mozzarella Cheese, Bread for meatball sandwiches or spaghetti for pasta

Directions:
1. Combine the meat, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add about half of the breadcrumbs and mix it in, then half of the water and mix it in fully. Repeat with the remainder of the bread crumbs and water – though you have to make a judgement call on the water. You might need a little more or a little less, depending on how moist your ground meats were. You want the meat mixture to be firm enough to hold its shape. Too dry and it will break apart, too wet and it will just be a sloppy mess.
2. Once your meat is mixed together, you get to start rolling your balls. I like mine to be roughly a TBSP each as a general rule of thumb for sizing. Any size works though, just remember that you want them to be as uniform as possible and that bigger meatballs will take longer to cook, smaller ones will cook quicker.

(Up to this point, the meat mixture is the exact same as the mixture for my Mega Meatloaf mix. This is where the recipes start to split apart so if you want to use half your meat for the meatloaf, divide it now and save some for later. Check the tabs above in the meat/pork drop down for my Mega Meatloaf recipe!)

3. At this point in the recipe you can make a choice. You can fry up your meatballs in some olive oil and then toss them in a pot of marinara to finish cooking and absorb the saucey flavor – OR – you can put them on a greased cookie sheet in the oven at 350 for about half an hour. Either way they come out delicious and ready-to-eat!
4. Enjoy!

 

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