Archives for category: Beef

Poppy Cafe Scallops, brussels, etc 191What to do with all of that left over Corned Beef from St. Patty’s Day?

Make a quick stew!

Low Carb Cheesecake 060

I used a heavy chicken stock.

Low Carb Cheesecake 076

Added more cabbage because it is so good for you and brussels sprouts cause I love them.

Diced up the beef and veggies and simmered for half of an hour.

Do not add salt since the corned beef is salty.


Andy B-day in Jimtown 021

I recently did some research on corned beef and found some unsettling information about its past.  This delicious dish has a decidedly unsavory past.  During the 17th to 19th century most of Ireland’s fertile lands were taken oven by the British to be used as cattle grazing fields to produce corned beef that would be sent to Britain, France and America.  Due to the preservation technique of corning beef it could be shipped all over the world.  The Irish people were left with only marginal farm lands and needed to turn to the potato for much of their food consumption.  They did not get to enjoy the beef.  When the potato famine hit many people in Ireland starved.

Let us not blame the corned beef but the culture.  Has this changed?  Have we learned from our past?  Looking at farming practices of today it does not seem like we have learned a thing.

This Saint Patrick’s day I propose that you corn your own beef, preferably a free range locally produced beef, purchase a potato from a local farmer or make sure it is not a russet but a more obscure potato, and buy local cabbage.

Raise your glass of Guinness (room temperature) and remember the Irish folks who may have suffered for the corned beef.  Let’s make this holiday one to celebrate the  hardy Irish  people and not green cupcakes.

Remember the past because it is being repeated….

Ok, so I am now going to hop off of my soap box and corn some beef.

Please take the time to cure your own beef.  The results are amazing.  It is not hard, you just need to get started right away for it to be done by Saturday and you need to space in your fridge.

Recipe from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Rhulman and Brian Polcyn  (this is an interesting book and I cannot seem to put it down…)

Homemade Corned Beef Recipe


Pickling Spice

2 tablespoons black peppercone

2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons all spice berries

1 tablespoon ground mace

2 cinnamon sticks broken into pieces

4 bay leaves

2 tablespoons whole cloves

1 tablespoon  ground ginger


1 gallon water

2 cups kosher salt

½ cup sugar

5 teaspoons pink salt

3 garlic cloves minced

4 tablespoons pickling spice (see above recipe)

1 5lb beef brisket (first cut)

  • Make  the pickling spice
  • 1. Lightly toast the  peppercorns, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds in a small dry skillet, then  smash them with the side of a knife just to crack them.
  • 2. Combine the cracked  spices with the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Store in a tightly sealed  plastic container or glass jar.
  • Make  the brine
  • 3. Combine the water, salt,  sugar, pink salt, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the pickling spices in a pot  large enough to hold the brisket comfortably. Bring to a simmer, stirring until  the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool  to room temperature, then refrigerate the brine until it’s completely  chilled.
  • 4. Place the brisket in the  brine and weight it down with a plate to keep it submerged. Refrigerate for 5  days.
  • 5. Remove the brisket from  the brine and rinse it thoroughly under cool running water. (Resting is not  required here because the distribution of the brine will continue in the long,  slow cooking process.)
  • Cook  the corned beef
  • 6. Place the brisket in a  pot just large enough to hold it and add enough water to cover the meat. Add the  remaining pickling spice and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and  simmer gently for about 3 hours, or until the brisket is fork-tender. There  should always be enough water to cover the brisket; replenish the water if it  gets too low.
  • 7. Remove the corned beef  from the cooking liquid, which can be used to moisten the meat and vegetables,  if that is what you’re serving (see headnote). Slice the corned beef and serve  warm, or cool, then wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve, or for up  to a week.

After the rib fest this weekend salad seemed like a great idea.  I love the combination of lamb and feta cheese.  This recipe works well as a salad but I usually make up about 40 meatballs and freeze them for other dishes.  The meatballs work well in a curry, soup or with a tomato oregano sauce over rice. 

These meatballs are both low carb and gluten free.  I do not use any bread crumbs as a binder.  Just feta cheese, herbs, organic eggs and red wine with lots of garlic.

Bake the meatballs at a high temperature of 425 until browned and fully cooked inside about 20 minutes.

Cool in oven and serve with organic salad greens, fresh grape tomatoes, feta cheese and kalamata olives.  Drizzle the salad with good extra virgin olive oil and just a splash of red wine vinegar. 

Greek Lamb Meatballs

1 lb Ground lamb

1 lb Ground lean beef

3 cloves garlic minced fine

2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried

1/2 cup good feta cheese crumbles

2 organic eggs

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup red wine

Mix everything together in a bowl and let sit in your refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until cold.  This will help all of the flavors blend and the meat to firm and keep a meatball shape better.

Shape meat into balls and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.  Let cool and serve with feta cheese, organic salad greens, fresh grape tomatoes, kalamata olives and greek yogurt.  Also good with grilled pita bread.

Freeze remaining meatballs for later use.




There are certain dishes that make me wish I had smell-a-vision on my blog.  This is one of them. I am about 45 minutes into the cooking process of this braise and the house smells heavenly.  The garlic, beef, wine and onions are creating an aroma that is truly beautiful.  Pot roast is much like any other large piece of tough meat.  You need to have patience with it and let it cook slowly for a long time.

We had a big snow storm and stayed inside reading, watching movies and sitting in front of the fire-place.  My son and I played games and I watched some cartoons with him.  It was very relaxing.  The roast cooked away slowly in the oven filling the house with its yummy aroma.

Today we are going to strap on some snow shoes and venture out into the forest to find a Christmas Tree.  The leftover pot roast will be great after an afternoon snow shoeing.

I like to use chuck eye roasts best when making pot roast but this time I used a chuck blade roast.  This cut also works well I just prefer the chuck eye since it has less fat.  Fat is important in this dish and the chuck eye roast has plenty of fat and marbling but not as much as the blade roast.

Red Wine Pot Roast

1  4-5 lbs Chuck Roast

1-2 tablespoons Canola Oil

Sea Salt and Pepper

1 medium Onion chopped in a medium dice

4 Small Carrots chopped in a medium dice

4 Celery Stalks chopped in a medium dice

2 Cloves Garlic minced finely

3-4 Cups Red Wine (I like to use a lot of wine but stock can be substituted)

4 Cups Chicken Stock (do not use chicken broth with salt)

4 Stems each of fresh Thyme and Rosemary

8-12 Small Red Potatoes cut in half


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a heavy bottom dutch oven or pan add canola oil and let the pan get hot.  While pan is heating season meat on both sides with salt and pepper.  Brown meat on all side is the hot pan.  Be careful when adding meat to hot pan so you do not get splattered.

When meat is browned on all sides add chicken stock, garlic, herb sprigs, onions and red wine.  Cover and put in your oven at 350 degrees.

Let this braise for about 2 hours checking to make sure all of the liquid has not evaporated.  Add more stock and red wine if needed to keep liquid half way up the meat.

Check internal temperature of meat.  When temperature reaches 210 degrees add carrots, celery and potatoes.  Braise for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender and falls apart easily.

Shred beef with fork and season if needed.  I usually will mash up the potatoes with a fork and serve the shredded beef over potatoes with the veggies on the side and pour juice over the whole plate.


Slow roasted Brisket of Beef is one of the most requested dinners that I prepare at Cal-Wood.  The kids and adults both love it.

My first time cooking a whole brisket it was a disaster.  I knew it needed to be cooked for a long time but was not sure how long.  I cooked the brisket for 2-3 hours and it was tough.  I just figured brisket was that way and I did not like it.  I since changed my tune through trial and error.  Now brisket is a frequent menu item for me and something I love to cook several different ways.  There is something wonderful about cooking a large piece of meat for a very long time at a low temperature ntil it becomes tender and juicy.

This process happens when the collagen in the meat begins to break down and melt.  You can be assured this will happen when the internal temperature of the roast rises above 200 degrees.  At this point collagen break down occurs and the meat becomes meltingly tender.

Since the weather outside for many of us is cold right now I suggest braising your brisket in the oven.  Over the summer I will post how to BBQ your brisket but for now we will go with the oven.

I could tramp across the knee high snow to the grill… because I have been known to do that….no… I don’t think so.

Most brisket at the grocery store are cut at a 4-5 lb size.  We will use this size as a guide.

You can braise your meat and serve it in one day but the process is best when you take 2 days to make your brisket.  It will result in a great roast instead of a good one.

Here are the steps that I take to make meltingly tender brisket.

1.  Choose a 4-5 lbs brisket with the fat still attached to the top.

Some places like Costco will trim all of the fat off but you want a brisket with the fat still on.  You will cook the meat for 4-5 hours and let it still overnight in your fridge.  Most of the fat will rise to the top and solidify.  You can just lift it off but you do want it on the meat when cooking to tenderize and flavor it.

2.  Double line your roasting pan with foil so your clean up is minimal. 

3.  Season the brisket with kosher salt and pepper. 

4.  Lay the meat in the foil lined pan and bake in your oven at a hot temperature of 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes uncovered.  This will brown the meat and add flavor to the braise.  When the meat is well browned on the outside add 2-4 cups chicken stock, 2 large thick sliced onions and 3-4 whole fresh rosemary stems. Just throw in the whole stem with leaves still on.  You will remove this before serving.

5.  Cover the brisket with foil and crimp foil to the pan to seal the roast.

6.  Turn your oven down to 300 degrees and let the roast cook for 4-5 hours until internal temperature reaches above 200 degrees. 

7.  Remove roast from oven and let sit on your counter top for at least 45 minutes until cooled.  Put uncovered in your fridge for 1 hour and then cover and let rest in the fridge over night.

8.  The next day take your roast out of the fridge and remove the layer of fat on top of the stock.  Not the fat layer left on the meat.   Take the roast out of the gelatinous stock in the pan but do not throw this stock away! 

9.  Slice your roast across the grain of meat and nestle your slices back in the stock.  Put pan uncovered into the oven at 350 degrees until warmed.  Serve hot and enjoy.


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