Archives for category: Beef

My friend Lindsey shared her family’s recipe with me and I knew I had to try it.  It sat in my email inbox for a couple months, and I’m not sure why I delayed for so long in trying it.  I’ve made it three times in the last couple of months!  It’s perfect for a chilly fall Sunday, or for feeding a crowd.  As she said “it makes an impression!”

I love the addition of spinach to the lasagna, but if you aren’t a fan, feel free to leave it out.  Also, the sauce is the “secret”- so set aside an extra thirty minutes to let it simmer!  Lindsey’s directions to me were very flexible- so feel free to make it your own, as I did!


-1 Large Jar of Traditional Prego Sauce
-1/2 Cup of Dry White Wine
-2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
-Dash of Salt
-Dash of Italian Seasoning
-1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

-Sauce from above recipe
-1 Box Lasagna Noodles (NOT precooked or no-boil type)
-1 15 ounce container of Ricotta Cheese
-1 15 ounce container of 2% Cottage Cheese
-2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella
-1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
-1 Pound of Ground Beef
-1/2 Cup Frozen Spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

For the sauce:  Add ingredients to a medium saucepan and let simmer  on low-medium heat for at least 30 minutes before you start making the lasagna.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Boil water and cook 12-15 lasagna noodles per box directions.  Brown the ground beef and drain the fat.  Set aside.

If using spinach, run under warm water and thaw.  Squeeze out as much liquid as possible and dry again with paper towels.  Any remaining liquid will make the lasagna watery, so do your best.  In a large bowl, mix together ricotta cheese and cottage cheese.  Add the spinach and stir.  Set aside.

1) In a 9×12 inch casserole pan (I use Pyrex), spread a generous amount of sauce along bottom, in the corners, and up the sides.
2) Add three lasagna noodles, next to each other and not overlapping.  Add another layer of sauce to cover the noodles.
3) Add some of the ricotta/spinach mixture and gently spread with a spoon.
4) Add a layer of sauce, then noodles, followed by more sauce to cover the noodles.
5) Add the layer of beef now, and coat it in the sauce.
6) Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella cheese over the beef.
7) Add a layer of noodles, then sauce.
8) Add a layer of the rest of the ricotta/spinach mixture.
9) Add a layer of noodles, then sauce.
10) Finish with a layer of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Put the lasagna in the oven for 20 minutes uncovered.  If it is starting to look too dark, then cover with foil.  Bake for another 20 minutes (totaling in 40 minutes.)  Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-7 minutes.


I had never had meatloaf that I enjoyed.  My husband, however, is a meatloaf fanatic.  When he was in college, his mother would send him back with a meatloaf or two.  Never have I made it until now.  I scoured the internet for ones claiming to be the best meatloaf recipes.  I wasn’t convinced, and tweaked a few combinations of recipes to come up with this final shot at me liking meatloaf.  Guess what?  It was actually good. It was great.  Who knew meatloaf could be enjoyable?

P.s. can we please rename meatloaf?  It just sounds unappetizing.  It doesn’t give an actual good meatloaf any justice.

-1 Onion, chopped
-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
-1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
-2 Eggs
-1/2 Cup Milk
-2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
-2 teaspoons Fresh Majoram (or 1 teaspoon dried)
-1 1/2 Pounds Veal, Pork, and Beef mixture*
-1 1/2 Cups Breadcrumbs

For the Glaze:
-1/2 Cup Ketchup
-4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
-3 Tablespoons White Vinegar

*A note about the meat.  It is essential that you use a mixture of at least pork and beef.  I used a mixture of beef, veal, and pork from Whole Foods.  If you just use ground beef it will taste like a giant baked burger.  (No thanks!)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Saute onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until cooked, about five minutes.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard and marjoram.  In a large bowl, gently mix together the meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, and onion mixture.  Pour in the milk mixture and gently mix until incorporated.  Bake in a loaf pan for an hour.

While baking, prepare the glaze.  Whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar.  After the meatloaf has cooked for an hour, remove from oven and pour glaze over it.  Bake for another 15 minutes or fully cooked.

Labor day is quickly approaching and the grills will be firing up!  For some of this, it marks the end of Summer.  I know I will be celebrating the cooler temperatures since my poor garden fried up and died in this year’s heat.

Royal Burger
Italian Burger
Cabernet Burgers

Try your hand at homemade buns if you have some extra time!
Homemade Buns
Rosemary Buns

Mmm, burgers.  We’ve been throwing together some recipes to mix things up with the regular-old-burger lately.  This burger was inspired by a local tavern’s, which involves cheese, bacon, and a fried egg on top.  It is the perfect combination on top of a juicy patty!

This recipe makes four burgers.  You must give this a try this Summer!

-1.5-2 Pounds Ground Beef
-4 Buns, sliced in half and buttered
-4 Slices of Havarti Cheese (Provolone works well, too)
-4 Fried Eggs
-4 Slices of Bacon, cooked cripsy
-Salt and Pepper

Fry bacon on medium heat until just crispy.  Drain most of the fat out of the pan, except for 1 Tablespoon or so.  Fry the eggs in the bacon grease until over-easy.  Set aside.

Form four equal-sized burger patties and season with salt and pepper.  Cook burgers on direct medium heat, about 4-5 minutes per side.  Toast the buns for the last minute.

Assemble the burger and enjoy!

The grill has been working overtime with all of the nice weather we’re having!  With than being said, a regular burger doesn’t cut it!  We’ve come up with some unique ideas to share as the weather warms up.

This burger packs a lot of flavor with chopped sun dried tomatoes, Italian Seasonings, garlic, and marinara sauce on a toasted bun!

-1-1.5 Pounds Ground Beef
-1 teaspoon Italian Seasonings
-1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
-3 Tablespoons Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes
-1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
-1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
-Salt & Pepper
-Marinara Sauce
-4 Buns, sliced in half and buttered

Mix together ground beef, seasonings, sun dried tomatoes, red wine vinegar, mozzarella cheese, and salt and pepper.

Gently form into patties.

Grill on direct high heat (preheated).  Allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes per side.

Toast the buttered buns for the last minute.  Remove from grill and serve immediately.  Spread a light layer of marinara on the buns.


We’re big fans of affordable cuts of beef and the tri-tip is a great one to try!  This marinade is by far one of our favorites, despite how simple it seems.  It adds a lot of flavor without taking over the taste of the steak.


For the Marinade:
-2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
-2 Tablespoons Steak Sauce
-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
-1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
-1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped

-1 Tri-Tip Roast, about 2 lbs.
-Kosher Salt

Put the marinade ingredients in a baking pan or deep dish.  I always whisk it right in the container I’m marinading in (saves a dirty bowl!)

Add the tri-tip and be sure to get the marinade all over each side.

Refrigerate with the marinade on it for at least four hours.

Allow the steak to reach room temperature for 20-30 minutes out of the fridge.  Lightly season both sides with salt.

Seat over direct medium heat for about ten minutes, flipping halfway through.

Grill over indirect medium until temperature is 135F (medium rare.)  This will be an additional 20-25 minutes.

Let rest off the grill for five minutes before serving and enjoy!

Lots of people ask me what Pastitsio is.  It is commonly referred to as the Greek lasagna, but I think it has a lot of differences.  It’s a Greek/Mediterranean dish that is topped with Béchamel sauce.  The dish has warm spices in it that set it apart from any other baked pasta dish.  It is truly an incredible dish and worth the work to put it together.

For the Pasta:
-1 Pound Mustacholi or Ziti
-Olive Oil

For the Meat Sauce:
-Olive Oil
-1 or about 4 Cup medium Eggplant, diced
-2 Cup Onion, diced
-2 Cloves Garlic, minced
-2 Pounds Ground Sirloin
-½ teaspoon Cinnamon
-2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
-3 Cups San Marzano Tomatoes (crushed)

For the Bechamel:
-4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
-½ Cup Flour
-2 Cups 2% Milk
-½ Cup Heavy Cream
-¼ teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
-1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
-2 teaspoon Salt
-Freshly Ground Black Pepper
-½ Cup Parmesan or Kasseri Cheese

Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions.
Set aside until later.

Dice the eggplant and sauté it in a large pan or dutch oven with a couple tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove eggplant from the dutch oven and set aside.

To the same dutch oven or pan, add more olive oil and cook onions and garlic.
 Cook for about three minutes, until onions are translucent.
Add ground sirloin to the onions and break it up with a spatula as it cooks.
When the meat has browned, add cinnamon and oregano.

Add the tomatoes and reduce heat to low.  Allow to simmer for ten minutes.

Put the eggplant back into the dutch oven and keep on low heat, stirring occasionally while making the Béchamel.

Preheat oven to 350F.

For the Béchamel:

In a saucepan, melt butter on medium heat.

Once butter has melted, add flour and whisk it in.

Whisk in milk and cream.  Add cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
Whisk constantly until the sauce starts to bubble and gets thick.  Add Parmesan, mix,  and turn the heat off the burner.  Set aside.
In a 13×9 baking dish, assemble the Pastitsio.  First, put a layer of 1/3 of the meat sauce down.
Put half of the pasta on top.

Add another third of the meat sauce on top of the pasta, then another layer of pasta, followed by the last third of meat sauce.  Top with Béchamel and a little extra Parmesan.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Let sit for five minutes before serving.  Enjoy!


I’m trying not to be that person complaining about the chilly temperatures and rain because, well, it’s Spring in the Midwest.  This soup will warm you up and wake up your senses!

This French Onion Soup smells fantastic cooking up in the kitchen.  It’s super thrifty and simple, but takes a bit of your time.  Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I have to admit, I made up my own finish.  Typically recipes call for broiling the soup in oven proof bowls, but it seemed too complicated.  (I could just picture myself spilling a baking sheet with hot bowls of soup on it!)  Instead, I broiled the French bread until well toasted, and topped with cheese and broiled some more.  Voila.


-2 Pounds Yellow Onions, sliced
-4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
-1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
-1/4 teaspoon Sugar
-3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
-2 Quarts Beef Stock (low-sodium preferred)
-1/2 Cup White Wine
-Freshly Ground Black Pepper

-Slices of French Bread
-Parmesan, Swiss, or Gruyere Cheese
-Fresh Parsley

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil and butter on low heat.  Add sliced onions.

Cover with the lid and let cook for 15 minutes on low heat.

Raise heat to medium.  Now comes the “hard” part.  Stir frequently on medium heat for the next 30-45 minutes, until onions caramelize.
Keep cooking them down.

You might as well get comfy…or a glass of wine.

You’re about half way there…

You don’t want to skimp out on this process.

Ok, now it’s time to add the flour.  Stir for a couple of minutes, and then add the wine. Stir again, and slowly add the beef broth until you’ve added it all.

Add some freshly ground black pepper and give it a little taste test.  Allow to simmer for an additional thirty minutes.

Meanwhile, slice some French bread and put under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until toasted well.

Top with cheese and put back under the broiler for 1-2 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with the French bread.  Sprinkle fresh parsley on top and serve immediately.


We’re enjoying an early taste of Spring here in Ohio, so we decided to fire up the grill and enjoy some steaks.

The NY Strip is one of my favorite big steaks.  This recipe keeps it simple with just salt and pepper rubbed on the steak beforehand.  However, the roasted garlic butter adds the perfect amount of flavor while still being able to taste the flavors from the steak.


-2  New York Strip Steaks, about 3/4 lb. and 1 inch thick.
-1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
-2 teaspoons Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Garlic Butter:
-1 Large Head of Garlic
-1 teaspoons Olive Oil
-2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
-1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
-1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
-1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

First, make the garlic butter.  Preheat the oven to 400F.  Remove the outer parts of the clove of garlic, but not too much so that it falls apart.  It should look like this:
Next, chop off the top 1/2 inch of the head of garlic and drizzle some olive oil over the top.

Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Garlic will be a golden color and will be done when it can easily be pierced with a fork.

In a small bowl, add softened butter, olive oil, Djion mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and salt.
Squeeze the garlic into the bowl with your fingers.

Mash everything together with a fork…

…until it’s well blended and creamy.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

About 30 minutes before you’re ready to grill, remove the steaks from the fridge.

Rub them in salt and pepper.

Grill over direct high heat for about 8-10 minutes, for medium rare.

Flip halfway through grilling time.
Remove steaks and let rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.  Serve on a warmed plate with your favorite sides.

This might sound crazy, but I had never made lasagna until recently.  I saw Joanne’s recipe here, and knew I had to try it out.  I altered it quite a bit, and also decided to try it out with lamb, veal, and pork instead of beef and sausage.  The result was a super rich, delicious lasagna fit for a king!

-1.5 Pounds of Meat- I used a mixture of ground lamb, veal, and pork.
-1/2 Box (1 lb size) of Lasagna noodles
-4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
-1 Zucchini, sliced and cut in half lengthwise
-2 Cups Ricotta Cheese
-1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
-2 Eggs
-4 Cups Marinara Sauce
-1 lb Bag Shredded Mozzarella

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook lasagna noodles for about 6 minutes.  They should be extra al dente (they will cook the rest of the way in the oven.)

Heat a large skillet and brown the meat until cooked through.  Drain any fat off the meat.  Cook zucchini with garlic in a separate small skillet until it just starts to soften and remove from heat.

Begin to assemble your lasagna and preheat oven to 350F.  Put a thin layer of marinara on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish and smear up the sides of the dish as well to prevent any sticking.  Put a layer of noodles on top, followed by meat and zucchini.  Add the ricotta mixture and then mozzarella, and repeat process to build the next layers.  It should go in this order:
1) Sauce
2) Noodles
3) Meat
4) Zucchini
5) Ricotta
6) Mozzarella

-and then repeat until ingredients are gone, ending with noodles, sauce, and mozzarella cheese on top.

Bake at 350F, covered with foil, for one hour.  Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes until cheese is melted.

Be sure to check out Joanne’s site, Fifteen Spatulas, for many other tasty recipes!