Archive for the 'beef' Category

Pho with beef or tofu

I ate pho at least once a day when we were in Vietnam, but when I gave up meat I knew it would be tough to make a vegetarian version that comes close to the rich, full-flavored broth that makes it so great. While this broth does have a nice blend of spices (star anise, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cardamom, and fennel), it’s missing the beef marrow that makes it so rich and smooth.

Still, for vegetarians, this is a great recipe to try because the flavors are nice, and honestly, one of the best parts of pho is all the things you get to stir into it! Plus, because each person assembles their own bowl, it’s easy to cater to vegetarians and meat-eaters at the same time, like I did here. I just put some thinly sliced tofu on top of my noodles, and some thinly sliced beef on top of Mikes noodles before ladling the broth over everything.

(adapted from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, via Steamy Kitchen)

8 cups water
1 onion, quartered
a 2″ piece of ginger, quartered
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 star anise
1 cardamom pod
3 cloves
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar

Combine all broth ingredients and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, then bring to a simmer in a large saucepan when you’re ready to assemble your soup. Taste and add more salt or sugar if necessary.

7 ounces medium rice sticks (like these)
1/4 pound flank steak, sliced as thinly as possible
6 ounces of tofu, drained and thinly sliced
2 habanero peppers, thinly sliced (if you like spicy food)
1-2 cups bean sprouts
2 limes, quartered
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (loosely packed)
fish sauce

Prepare the rice sticks according to package directions.
Arrange the peppers, bean sprouts, limes, and mint on a serving plate so people can customize their bowls of soup. Have the fish sauce available for seasoning soup as desired.
Put a few noodles in the bottom of a bowl, then top with either tofu or beef. Ladle the simmering broth over the noodles, then garnish your soup however you like.

Guinness Beef (or Tempeh) Stew

Two years ago we spent the two weeks before Christmas in Ireland, and pretty much everyone we met there thought we were absolutely nuts for leaving beautiful California and going to Ireland for such a cold, rainy time of the year. But lucky for us, the weather was perfect, the Guinness was plentiful, and we ate ridiculous quantities of hearty meat-and-potatoes Irish fare. One of the best things we brought home from the trip was a cookbook by Darina Allen, who is, as far as I can tell, the queen of Irish Cooking.

For Christmas Eve dinner this year, I wanted to incorporate as much Guinness as possible into the meal, and also to use up that giant bag of potatoes I seem to be writing about in every other blog post. So I turned to Darina for boxty pancake and Guinness beef stew recipes, (substituting tempeh for the beef in my portion because I no longer eat meat). It was a great dinner, but really made me wish there was a pub down the street where we could go to catch a traditional music session. Maybe next year…

Note: I made this recipe in two slow cookers. I made about 2/3 of the recipe with 1.4 pounds of beef in a large slow cooker, and 1/3 of the recipe with 4 ounces of tempeh in a small slow cooker. This was more than enough to feed myself and three meat-eaters.

Also: Christmas may be over, but if you’re still feeling that giving spirit and you’ve had a food blog for at least a year, Kristen over at <a href=";Dine and Dish is still looking for mentors for Adopt-a-Blogger. Read all about it and sign up HERE

(adapted from Irish Traditional Cooking by Darina Allen)

2 pounds lean stewing beef (or two 8-ounce packages of tempeh)
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper
2 large onions, chopped
3 tbsp canned tomato puree, mixed with 4 tbsp water
10 fluid ounces Guinness stout (look for the bottle with the yellow label, NOT the cans or bottles of Guinness draught)
5 large carrots, cut into chunks
a few tsp fresh chopped parsley

Cut the meat or tempeh into bite sized cubes. Toss the beef with the flour and a few pinches of salt and pepper (omit this step if using tempeh).
Heat the oil in a dutch oven or wide, heavy skillet. Brown the meat on all sides (or briefly saute the tempeh cubes).
Add the onions and tomato puree-water mixture (and salt and pepper, if using tempeh), cover, and cook for about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a slow cooker.
Pour about half the Guinness into the dutch oven or skillet and bring to a boil while stirring.
Pour that and the remaining Guinness into the slow cooker and add the carrots.
Cook on low for about 6 hours.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, then sprinkle with a little fresh parsley to serve.


This is an absolutely DELICIOUS dish, but it is very involved.  Give yourself about two hours from start to finish.  Every ingredient is seasoned and cooked individually, then they are all mixed together in a huge bowl.  In the process you will dirty a TON of dishes, but don’t let that deter you – the great blend of flavors and textures is completely worth it!  
(adapted from Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall)
4 tbsp rice wine or vermouth
3 tbsp sugar
8 green onions, white and pale green part only
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sesame seeds
8 oz chicken breast, sliced into 1/8″ by 3″ strips
8 oz lean beef tenderloin, sliced into 1/8″ by 3″ strips
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for about 2o minutes, then drained
3 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp sesame oil
1 lb napa cabbage hearts, stem part only, cut into 3/4″ by 3″ strips
1 lb spinach leaves, cut into 3 inch pieces
8 oz sweet potato noodles
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 jalapeno, cut into thin strips
To make the seasoning for the meat: combine 2 tbsp vermouth, 1 tbsp sugar, 4 green onions, 2 cloves garlic, lemon juice, sesame seeds, and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper.  
Stir well, then pour half into each of two bowls.  
Toss the chicken in one bowl and the beef in the other

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet, then add the chicken and cook for about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Wipe out the skillet, heat another tablespoon of oil, then add the beef and cook until done.
Place in the bowl with the chicken.
Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the mushrooms, then cut into slivers.
Toss with 1 tbsp vermouth, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 green onions, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp sesame oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in the skillet, add the mushrooms, and cook for 10 minutes.  Transfer to the bowl with the meat.
In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil.  Blanch the cabbage for about 3 minutes, then drain and plunge into cold water.  
Squeeze out as much moisture as possible, then add to the bowl with the meat and mushrooms.
Fill the pot with water again, and blanch the spinach for about 10 seconds.
Drain, squeeze out all the water, then transfer to a bowl and toss with 1 tbsp vermouth, 1 green onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Add to the bowl with the other ingredients, then add the peppers.
To cook the noodles, boil 3 quarts of water and add the noodles.  Boil for about 5 minutes, then drain.  Add to the bowl with meat and vegetables, add all remaining ingredients, and toss well.


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