Meats/beef

Shepherd’s Pie

Throwback to when hubs and I went to London and had the most incredible food at a pub our last night in Europe.  I had a burger, but what did hubs have? Yep, shepherd’s pie.  We were not disappointed, in fact, it was probably one of the best meals we had when were abroad this past August.  The butter flavor of the potatoes, atop a layer of slow-cooked ground Dorset lamb, with a medley of veggies.  I’m drooling.IMG_4246

Shepherd’s pie, to me, is a comfort food, but can be made anytime!  I love the different textures in it, especially with the potatoes on top.  I made this version with Russet gold potatoes mashed with half and half, butter, and a ton of garlic powder.  The innards of the pie included ground grass fed beef, carrots, celery, onion, and loads of spices and flavors, lest not forget… Worcestershire sauce (woo, spelled that in one shot.. bam!)

I can imagine that this tastes great with ground lamb (obviously because that’s what we had in London) and with sweet potato mash on top.  I’ll have to give that version a whirl next time.  I browned the meat, added in the veggies, the seasoning, and then a 1/4 cup of flour (GASP!  I USED REAL FLOUR THIS TIME!) to thicken and absorb the liquid (beef bone broth/stock).  For the finale, I ladled the mash on top and spread to a relatively thick layer.  The assembled “pie” baked for 20 minutes then broiled for 10 to brown and crisp the edges of the potato on top.  Damn, this came out 10/10.  Give it a go, cheers mate! Xx 🙂

Shepherd's Pie

Course Dinner
Cuisine Comfort, English
Keyword beef, comfort food, shepherds pie, winter recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs Grass Fed Ground Beef
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1/2 c beef stock preferrably bone broth
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • cumin
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • paprika to taste, or for coloring
  • 2-3 tbsp flour for thickening meat
  • pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves

Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 medium Russet Potatoes peeled, chopped, then boiled
  • 3 tbsp butter grass fed
  • 1/3 c heavy cream
  • garlic powder generous amount
  • salt to taste

Instructions

For the meat filling:

  1. In a large cast iron skillet, brown the meat in some oil or spray oil.

  2. Add in carrots, onions, celery.  Cook until onions are semi translucent and the meat is browned.

  3. Season the meat mixture with the cumin, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika.  Stir to coat all the meat and mixture.  Add in bone broth and flour.  Stir until the meat mixture absorbs the liquid and becomes a thicker consistency.  Let simmer for 15-20m.

For the potatoes

  1. Dice potatoes and add to boiling water.

  2. After 20 minutes, potatoes should be tender.  Drain potatoes and place them into a mixing bowl.

  3. Add in butter, garlic and heavy cream.  Mash together until the potatoes are creamy and can form high peaks.

Assembly of Shepherd Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 375* degrees

  2. Layer mashed potatoes on top of the meat in the skillet.  The layer should be on the thicker side.

  3. Place skillet on middle rack.  Let bake for 15-20.  Mashed potatoes should begin to brown.

  4. Move the skillet to the broil rack (top rack) for 5-10 minutes or until sides are bubbling and are crisp.  Serve immediately!

Slow Braised Short Ribs in Bone Broth and Red Wine

Sundays are for lazy mornings with a cup of coffee, Fixer Upper on HGTV, and home-cooked dinners.  A few years ago, I stopped eating red meat because it made me feel super bloated and inflamed; I felt like I couldn’t digest the meat.  Fast forward to a little research, a bit of experimenting, and I am back on the saddle, chomping on buffalo wings and Bistecca Alla Fiorentina (I actually re-introduced meat back in my diet in Italy, 2015).   My findings told me that it wasn’t the meat itself per se, it was the quality and where the meat was raised and how it was treated. Ever since switching to Butcher Box meat or high-quality grass-fed/grass-finished beef, my stomach does bloat, I get a euphoric high (look it up – it exists!) from eating quality meals, and I feel stronger than I felt eating only plants. (disclaimer: no judgement if your body runs solely on plants, I love me some veggie meals as well, I just thrive more on meats and fats).IMG_3987

Anywho, I’ve seen restaurants whip up some bangin’ recipes involving short ribs.  I honestly never knew what they were or how they looked because they were always shredded or legitimately falling off the bone as I ate.  Short ribs are one of those cuts that is super tender when cooked correctly, and can easily turn chewy and tough.  My favorite way to make these babies is to braise them in (or on, in this case) the oven for 2-3 hours on a medium-low flame in broth and yes, lushes, red wine.  Red wine adds beautiful notes and aromas, also the meat itself turns a succulent red color #drool.  The best part?  It all gets cooked in a dutch oven.

Seasoning is super simple: salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano.  I quickly pan sear the short ribs in some Kerrygold butter (a staple in my household), browning each side.  I added the red wine – I used Cabernet, but a Merlot works too – to deglaze the bottom.  After a few minutes of simmering, I add in two containers (each measured 1 pint) of bone broth and sprinkled some rosemary on top of the ribs.  This simmered for 2.5 hours on low.  I swear this was the most buttery, flavorful, and tender piece of meat I’ve had in a while, paired with my cheesy roasted broccoli I was a happy pup :).  Nomaste!

Slow Braised Short Ribs in Bone Broth and Red Wine

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs grass fed short ribs
  • 2 tbs grass fed butter
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 pints or two cartons bone broth, beef
  • Dried oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large pan or dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat.
  2. Season short ribs with dry seasonings, be generous here!
  3. Add short ribs to pan/dutch oven to brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Re-season if you need to. Add in cup of red wine to de-glaze the bottom of the pan. Turn short ribs over. Simmer for five minutes
  4. Add in bone broth and stir/turn the short ribs. Cover and let simmer for 2-3 hours on medium to medium-low heat (low is preferred). Meet may not fall off the bone, but it should be tender where you can fork off pieces rather easily.
  5. Serve with cheesy roasted broccoli, sweet potatoes, rice, etc. Enjoy!

Kale with Sausage and Onion

I’m one of those people that has a love-hate relationship with kale.  Sometimes I’m craving it, but other times I want nothing to do with it.  Kale can be so versatile: sautéed, steamed, made into chips, tossed with some oil and lemon, or layered in a sandwich.  My personal favorite: sautéed for sure.IMG_3808

This recipe is so delicious and perfect for lunch and meal prepped.  I’m totally one of those ladies who will #mealprep on Instagram and be all proud I took care of my food for the week, and this one never fails me.  For the sausage, I never skimp out – I always use pork, but it has to be good quality.  I like Niman Ranch or Applegate (or even Vermont brand has quality nitrate-free uncured sausage).  The snap that the sausage has on it when it’s cooked is great and takes seasoning very well.  I cut the links into 1/4in thick circles and chop the onion into slices as well.  The onion goes in the pan first and will cook until translucent and fragrant (who doesn’t love the smell of cooking onions in a pan?).  Then I add the sausage and sauté until the sausage browns on the sides.

I like a traditional Old bay seasoning, but didn’t have any so I opted with a Mexican blend.  It acted as a nice little twist to the dish.   After the sausage is pretty much browned on both sides, add in the kale and stir it in by layering the onions and sausage on top to wilt the leaves.  Continue to do this and add as much kale as you’d like!  I also added a bit more oil to saturate the kale and get things nice and seasoned.  This could be done with a varietal of foods like spinach instead of kale, chicken sausage, peppers AND onions (mind.blown), or stick to the recipe!  The choice is yours 🙂 Happy cooking!

Kale with Sausage and Onion

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg sausage
  • 2 bunches organic kale - rinsed; just the leaves
  • 1 medium onion sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil I used avocado oil
  • Seasoning such as Old Bay or your choice!

Instructions

  1. In a large sauce pan, heat the oil on a medium heat.
  2. Slice onions into long strips and set aside. Chop the sausage links into 1/4in thick rounds and set aside.
  3. Add onions to the pan and sauté until fragrant and translucent
  4. Add in sausage to the onions and begin to sauté until browned.
  5. Season the onions and sausage with choice of seasoning and stir.
  6. Layer in the kale and stir in as needed. Add in a bit more oil as desired.
  7. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Swap out pork sausage for chicken as desired. Use spinach instead of kale if thats' what you prefer!

Four Layer Taco Dip

Who doesn’t love a good dip?  I sure do.  For as long as I can remember, this dip has been a staple at SuperBowl parties (and I’ve been told I can’t come unless I bring it, so it’s kind of a big deal…) and is always a hit.  It can be served cold sans melted cheese, or it can be broiled to melt the cheese just enough that it’s not burnt.

Let’s talk about the layers:  sour cream, ground beef, mild salsa, and Mexican cheese. The first layer is sour cream.  I swear by Wallaby’s cultured organic sour cream because it has such a thick, rich flavor and is incredibly low in sugar, but high in the good stuff. I found a great salsa to pair as well with easy ingredients and paleo-approved.  Lastly, the cheese tops this monster of a dip (I don’t get fancy with the cheese… Sargento is great for this).

I start out with browning the meat like you would for tacos, adding the seasoning about halfway through (when the meat is 75% browned).  I add a 1/4c of water to the meat, then the seasoning, lower the flame to low and stir around.  I let it sit uncovered on a low heat just until the water is absorbed and remove it from the heat.  Add the sour cream at the bottom of any corning wear or pyrex dish (be generous), then add the meat, the salsa, and then the cheese.  Melt cheese or not melt cheese?  The choice is yours 🙂

This dip is very high in good fats and is Ketogenic-friendly.  I’ve dabbled in the Keto diet before it was a thing and found that while I LOVE me some bacon, avocado, and butter, I missed having a ton of veggies on my plate (keto is incredibly low-carb and, as you already know, vegetables pack some carbs regardless if they’re a vegetable.  All in moderation and balance right friends?  I decided tonight was a good night to roast some asparagus tossed in EVOO sprinkled with pink sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Mmmm, I already ate and am still drooling.

Four Layer Taco Dip

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz package ground beef
  • 3 cups sour cream
  • 1 container salsa
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3 cups Mexican blend cheese
  • Taco seasoning
  • Tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, turn heat to medium and brown the ground beef until 75% of the beef is browned. Add 1/4c of water to the meat, then stir in seasoning. Bring heat down to low and continue to cook and stir in seasoning until water is fully absorbed. Turn heat off and let sit.
  2. In your dish of choice, assemble the dip with sour cream at the bottom, adding the ground beef atop of the sour cream. Pour salsa and spread evenly across the ground beef, and sprinkle cheese to cover the top of the meat. Broil for 10m at 325 degrees. (or serve as is!). Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips, or solo.

Bolognese with Sweet Potato and Garlic Butter Zucchini

Alright, I must admit, this is not my recipe. *GASP*.  It’s my husband’s recipe and in fact when he makes it, his version always tastes better (you’re welcome babe.) Bolognese is something that can’t be done in 15-20m, but it’s possible in an hour.  The slow simmer of the meat and sauté of fresh veggies filling the air with scents that remind me of vacation in Florence.  The faint scent of sweet potato in the oven brings so much happiness to my belly and to my pooch who LOVES sweet potato (side note: sweet potato is one of the best starches for all species, more on that in a different post…)

What’s fun about bolognese is that it can be done with a variety of ingredients. We’re rather traditional and like our meat sauce to be marinara or tomato-based with fresh garlic (I throw in minced garlic too for the flavor), oregano, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder.  I start with browning the meat first as traditional bolognese sits on a low flame for hours and grows saturated with all the flavors.  I prefer to cook with grass-fed beef.  My reason? The quality, the taste, the COLOR is so much richer than conventional beef, and the animal it comes from is treated in a humane way and literally only fed grass, as they’re supposed to.  I usually buy my beef/chicken from Whole Foods or ButcherBox and their grass-fed beef is 10/10 every time.  I brown the meat in some oil with minced garlic and then add some jarred low sugar marinara sauce, stir it around and then add spices (oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and sea salt – can either be fresh or dried.. I use dried). Once this simmers for 15 minutes, I add my parmesan and creamer – this will thicken the bolognese and make it creamier! I like to use coconut creamer from Trader Joe’s because it just has a nice smooth texture with not a lot of coconut flavoring.  Continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. note: the bolognese can get salty and oily quickly, mind your oil and salt here!

I’m a sucker for zucchini in all forms, but sliced, sautéed in butter with garlic is my ultimate favorite.  I try to stick with organic or local produce as much as possible.  I am a firm believer that local is better and supporting small farms in the area really benefits more than just my family, but theirs and our community. These are from Whole Foods and were perfectly crisp as I sliced them. I sautéed in butter (#kerrygoldFTW) and sprinkled garlic powder right when they turned translucent (approx. 10m on med-low heat, covered).IMG_3649

The last few months I have tried to stay away from rice and pastas (heavier carbs and I are not BFFL anymore) so I find alternatives…alas, the sweet potato!  I love the bright orange color and how this potato is versatile: mashed, sautéed, fried, baked, the possibilities are endless!  I start with slicing them rather thin (1/4in), then cut the slices into quarters – they bake easier.  I toss in some avocado oil, lay on a pre-oiled pan, sprinkle some sea salt, and place in the middle rack of the oven.  I suck at timing things, but I’d say it takes about 15 minutes (on 325*) to really get the potatoes just soft enough to taste awesome. Enjoy this recipe y’all.. it’s one of my favs 🙂

 

Bolognese with Sweet Potato and Garlic Butter Zucchini

Bolognese with Sweet Potato and Garlic Butter Zucchini
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 lb grass-fed or whatever you have available beef
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes sliced then quartered
  • 2 medium zucchini sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 2 tbsp oil for beef
  • Cooking spray for pan for sweet potato
  • 1 jar low-sugar marinara sauce
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c cream or nondairy creamer
  • Oregano - to taste
  • Red pepper flakes - to taste
  • Garlic powder - to taste for beef and for zucchini
  • Sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a large pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add beef and break up into smaller pieces/to your liking. Stir the meat until 90% is browned. Here, add minced and chopped garlic. Continue to stir. Pour in marinara and stir around to coat the ground beef. Mix in your seasonings (red pepper flakes, salt, garlic powder, and oregano) and stir it all in! Let simmer for 15 minutes on medium low heat. After 15 minutes are up, pour in your creamer and parmesan cheese.
  2. Turn oven on to 325 degrees. Rinse and slice your potatoes to 1/4in circles, then cut the slices into quarters. Throw into a bowl and toss with your favorite oil (I like avocado or EVOO). Pour over a pre-greased pan and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 15 minutes on 325 (can lower heat if it's cooking too quick to 300) in middle rack of oven.
  3. Turn another pan onto medium heat with 3 tbsp butter to melt. Place zucchini slices into pan, toss to coat zucchini evenly. Let sauté for 5 minutes, toss again. Cover pan and let sit. Continue to check on zucchini ever 2-3 minutes as it will become translucent fast and start to burn. When most rounds are see-through, add garlic powder and turn down heat to low. Cover and cook for another 5-7 minutes, checking every so often to toss and stir. Once most pieces are tender, turn off flame and plate separate from the bolognese and sweet potato.
  4. Assemble bolognese with sweet potato at bottom, ladle two scoops of bolognese on top, and sprinkle with garnish such as cheese, more grated parm, or leave as is 🙂 Bon Appétit!

Recipe Notes

You do NOT need to add creamer if you don't want to! Please make this recipe your own. Add in different spices like coriander or maybe even cinnamon to give it a different taste. Making dinner for a larger family? Double the recipe (2lbs of meat instead of 1, etc.)