Category Archives: ground beef

Hamburger Soup

zippysoup

It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Soup is one of my favorite meals and since so many soups are quick to make, they are a  staple in my house. Filling, warming and satisfying soups make for the perfect dinner when paired with crusty bread and make even better leftovers for lunch the next day. And just about anything can be turned into a satisfying soup. This recipe, adapted from The Noble Pig has quickly become a favorite in my house where I liberally substitute the vegetables and even the ground meat depending upon what I have on hand. And thanks to the tangy and flavorful V-8, another favorite pantry staple, the broth is rich and flavorful without hours of cooking.

So if you are looking for a fast and tasty weeknight dinner idea, look no further than this soup. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

HAMBURGER SOUP

1/4 pound pancetta, diced

2 pounds ground beef

1-1/2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch thick coins

1-1/2 cups celery, sliced into 1 inch pieces

1 leek, white and green parts only, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup frozen corn

4 cups beef broth

1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes

15 ounces V-8 vegetable juice

1 teaspoon ground oregano

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 pound small dry pasta

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • Place a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, using a spoon to crumble the meat.
  • Drain off the fat.
  • Add the carrots, celery, leek, corn, broth, V8, garlic and oregano to the meat mixture.
  • Increase the temperature to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  • Return the temperature to high, add the pasta to the pot and cook until the pasta is al dental,8-10 minutes depending upon the size of your pasta.
  • Stir in vinegar right before serving.

Serves 6-8

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Bolognese Sauce

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Some dishes are simply classics. They are the go-to recipes that you return to over and over again. In my family bolognese sauce is one of those recipes. Rarely does a week go by without our eating a steaming plate of pasta topped with rich bolognese sauce for dinner. Its comforting, satisfying and when I make a pot of the sauce over the weekend, becomes the perfect fast weeknight dinner.

I’ve adapted this recipe from Williams Sonoma’s Essentials of ItalianIts taken me years to find my right balance of meat, vegetables and sauce but I think I’ve finally found my magic combination. The key to a good sauce is long and slow cooking. The process just can’t be rushed if you want to achieve the perfect balance of flavor and texture. I’m also a fan of including a piece of parmesan rind in my sauce. Most people discard this hard remnant of cheese but I stash my leftovers in the freezer then pop one into my sauce while it simmers. It adds a richness and complexity that you just can’t find any other way. If you don’t have a parmesan rind on hand that’s ok to. Skip it for now but save it the next time you use up your hard parmesan cheese. Try it once and you too will be a convert.

BOLOGNESE SAUCE

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces pancetta, chopped

1 large carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 leek, quartered and thinly sliced

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 cup drained and chopped plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 beef bouillon cubes

1 cup water

1 cup milk

1 parmesan rind

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Melt the butter in a large heavy pot set over medium-low heat.
  • When the butter has melted add the pancetta, carrot, celery and leek. Stirring occasionally, cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the ingredients are golden brown and tender.
  • Add the ground pork and ground beef to the pot and stir well.
  • Raise the heat to medium and stirring often in order to break up the meat, cook until the meats are lightly browned and crumbled with most of the juices having evaporated. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • Add the wine to the pot and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon cubes, water, milk, parmesan rind, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir well.
  • Allow the mixture to just begin to simmer then reduce the heat to very low and continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally for about 1 hour. If the mixture becomes too thick you can add in a bit more water.
  • Partially cover the pot and continue cooking until the sauce is thick and dark brown, an additional 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Skim off any fat that floats to the surface of the sauce and serve over hot pasta. Alternatively, let cool, cover and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat over low heat, additionally additional water or wine as necessary to get the right texture.

Yields 4 cups

Hamburger Steaks w/ Sweet Onion & Mushrooms

IMG_7958

It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

When is a cheeseburger not a simple cheeseburger? When it is topped with richly browned mushrooms, caramelized onions and gooey melted cheese. And that is exactly what this sophisticated take on a traditional staple is all about. The recipe is adapted from Cooking Light and is fast, delicious and decidedly not your kid’s burger. The mushrooms and onions are cooked until tender then drenched in red wine making for the perfect sauce. I like chestnut mushrooms but you can use whatever mild mushrooms you prefer. The same goes of the cheese. I’m a fan of Emmental but cheddar, munster or even a mild gorgonzola all work well.

And if you have more time this burger is delicious when accompanied by a side of crispy duck fat roasted potatoes. But whether you serve it alone or with a favorite side dish you are sure to love this burger.

HAMBURGER STEAKS w/ SWEET ONIONS & MUSHROOMS

4 crusty rolls, sliced

1 pound lean ground beef

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
8 ounces chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry red wine
8 slices Emmental cheese

 

Rosemary & Red Wine Hamburger Patties

IMG_4053

It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Here is a ridiculously simple yet tasty dinner that is also fast. I think of it as a more sophisticated take on  your classic hamburger patty. My husband first introduced me to this dish early in our relationship; he wasn’t much of a cook but as an adult, realized that he couldn’t live on take out alone. I was skeptical when he first told me about this dish. Perhaps it was because he referred to it “as that hamburger thing”. However, I quickly changed my tune once I tasted it. In the years since then I’ve tweaked his recipe and in my opinion, improved upon it.

This is truly an easy dish to make. My number one recommendation, however, is to use a good tasting wine that you enjoy drinking. If you don’t like it in the glass, chances are you won’t like it on your plate. Besides, you only use a cup so there will be plenty left in the bottle to enjoy with your dinner. Serve this alongside noodles, mashed potatoes or another starch that can help absorb the yummy sauce because you won’t want to waste a single drop of it.

ROSEMARY & RED WINE HAMBURGER PATTIES

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 pound lean ground beef

salt and pepper

1 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced

3 tablespoons butter

Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.

When the oil shimmers, add the shallot to the pan and saute until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, use your hands to form the ground beef into four equal sized patties.

Season the patties generously on both sides with the salt and pepper.

Add the patties to the skillet and cook until the meat begins to cook and the patties are slightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

Flip the patties and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Add the wine and the rosemary to the pan.

Continue to cook until the meat is cooked through to your liking and the wine begins to simmer. For me, this usually takes an additional 4 to 5 minutes.

Off the heat and stir in the butter. Adjust the seasoning as necessary and serve.

Serves 4

Bolognese Sauce

IMG_4181

Some dishes are simply classics. They are the go-to recipes that you return to over and over again. In my family bolognese sauce is one of those recipes. Rarely does a week go by without our eating a steaming plate of pasta topped with rich bolognese sauce for dinner. Its comforting, satisfying and when I make a pot of the sauce over the weekend, becomes the perfect fast weeknight dinner.

I’ve adapted this recipe from Williams Sonoma’s Essentials of ItalianIts taken me years to find my right balance of meat, vegetables and sauce but I think I’ve finally found my magic combination. The key to a good sauce is long and slow cooking. The process just can’t be rushed if you want to achieve the perfect balance of flavor and texture. I’m also a fan of including a piece of parmesan rind in my sauce. Most people discard this hard remnant of cheese but I stash my leftovers in the freezer then pop one into my sauce while it simmers. It adds a richness and complexity that you just can’t find any other way. If you don’t have a parmesan rind on hand that’s ok to. Skip it for now but save it the next time you use up your hard parmesan cheese. Try it once and you too will be a convert.

BOLOGNESE SAUCE

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces pancetta, chopped

1 large carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 leek, quartered and thinly sliced

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 cup drained and chopped plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 beef bouillon cubes

1 cup water

1 cup milk

1 parmesan rind

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Melt the butter in a large heavy pot set over medium-low heat.
  • When the butter has melted add the pancetta, carrot, celery and leek. Stirring occasionally, cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the ingredients are golden brown and tender.
  • Add the ground pork and ground beef to the pot and stir well.
  • Raise the heat to medium and stirring often in order to break up the meat, cook until the meats are lightly browned and crumbled with most of the juices having evaporated. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • Add the wine to the pot and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon cubes, water, milk, parmesan rind, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir well.
  • Allow the mixture to just begin to simmer then reduce the heat to very low and continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally for about 1 hour. If the mixture becomes too thick you can add in a bit more water.
  • Partially cover the pot and continue cooking until the sauce is thick and dark brown, an additional 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Skim off any fat that floats to the surface of the sauce and serve over hot pasta. Alternatively, let cool, cover and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat over low heat, additionally additional water or wine as necessary to get the right texture.

Yields 4 cups

Rosemary & Red Wine Hamburger Patties

IMG_4053

It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Here is a ridiculously simple yet tasty dinner that is also fast. I think of it as a more sophisticated take on  your classic hamburger patty. My husband first introduced me to this dish early in our relationship; he wasn’t much of a cook but as an adult, realized that he couldn’t live on take out alone. I was skeptical when he first told me about this dish. Perhaps it was because he referred to it “as that hamburger thing”. However, I quickly changed my tune once I tasted it. In the years since then I’ve tweaked his recipe and in my opinion, improved upon it.

This is truly an easy dish to make. My number one recommendation, however, is to use a good tasting wine that you enjoy drinking. If you don’t like it in the glass, chances are you won’t like it on your plate. Besides, you only use a cup so there will be plenty left in the bottle to enjoy with your dinner. Serve this alongside noodles, mashed potatoes or another starch that can help absorb the yummy sauce because you won’t want to waste a single drop of it.

ROSEMARY & RED WINE HAMBURGER PATTIES

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 pound lean ground beef

salt and pepper

1 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced

3 tablespoons butter

Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.

When the oil shimmers, add the shallot to the pan and saute until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, use your hands to form the ground beef into four equal sized patties.

Season the patties generously on both sides with the salt and pepper.

Add the patties to the skillet and cook until the meat begins to cook and the patties are slightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

Flip the patties and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Add the wine and the rosemary to the pan.

Continue to cook until the meat is cooked through to your liking and the wine begins to simmer. For me, this usually takes an additional 4 to 5 minutes.

Off the heat and stir in the butter. Adjust the seasoning as necessary and serve.

Serves 4

Mini Greek- Style Meat Loaves

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My family loves meatloaf.  In order to make it as fresh and health as possible, I choose to grind my own meat.  Using my trusty Kitchen Aid stand mixer and meat grinding attachment, I have complete control of what is (or isn’t) in my ground meat.  By grinding my own, I can limit the amount of fat that goes into the mixture. Because fat does add flavor, I like to choose a high quality meat with plenty of marbling.

I have adapted this recipe from one found in Cooking Light magazine.  I love the fact that these meatloaves are cooked in muffin tins. Not only does their small size expedite the cooking time making this an easy weeknight dish, but they are also more appealing to small diners.  I find Cooking Light recipes to be easy and generally tasty but often a bit bland. To counter this I’ve increased the amount of herbs and spices. The results are meatloaves that we all enjoyed.

MINI GREEK-STYLE MEAT LOAVES

10 ounces ground sirloin

5 ounces ground lamb

1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs

1/3 cup grated red onion

4 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint, divided

1/2 Teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 Teaspoon allspice

1/2 Teaspoon cumin

1/2 Teaspoon crushed red pepper

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 large egg, slightly beaten

Cooking spray

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Juice from 1 lemon

1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Coat 8 muffin cups with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  • Combine the ground sirloin, lamb, breadcrumbs, and red onion in a large bowl.  Stir in half of the mint, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, the allspice, cumin, crushed red pepper, minced garlic, and egg.
  • Press the meat mixture into the prepared muffin cups.  
  • Bake for 7 minutes.  Turn the broiler to high and broil for an additional 3 minutes.  
  • Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, and remaining mint in a small bowl.  Whisk to combine and serve over meatloaves.

Serves 4

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