Beef Cavatappi

This one I made for my man and he absolutely loves it! Even though it makes a massive batch there’s always just enough left over for lunches the next day. I make it almost every week not only because he loves it but also because it’s cheap, fast and it’s a one pot meal so that means almost no dishes! What else can you ask for when you don’t feel like doing a whole heck of a lot? 

  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbs chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan 
  • 1 1/2 tbs dried oregano
  • 2 tsps dried basil
  • 1 tbs flour + 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbs butter 
  • 7 cups cooked Cavatappi pasta  (Appx 4 cups dry pasta)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Grated cheese to taste (optional)
  1. In a large pot melt butter and cook the ground beef, onions, garlic, oregano and basil together until the ground beef is fully cooked. 
  2. Add the tomato sauce and parmesan and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat and mix in the cooked pasta.
  4. Mix your flour and water together and slowly pour and mix in until your desired consistency is achieved.
  5. If you wish, add some grated cheese and broil on high for extra goodness 👌

Peri Peri Beef Stew

I have been trying to make a stew good enough that my man will want seconds, want it for lunch and want it added to our dinner rotation. Tonight I nailed it and the secret ingredients is Peri Peri. 

In our house we have homemade Peri Peri canned in the pantry at all times. Until I started dating my man I had never heard of Peri Peri and the first meal he ever made for me was Peri Peri flattened chicken and rice. It was love at first bite. I can’t ever express how phenomenal the first taste was. From there we spent years increasing the batch size and adjusting the ingredients so the consistency was right. It was worth every second now that we have it perfect. However I can’t share that recipe. It’s not mine and I’m not allowed so I will suggest Nando’ s Peri Peri sauce in the condiment isle of your grocery store and if you can’t find it you can order it online. It’s pretty darn close in taste. 

  • 1 lbs stew beef
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped into bite sized pieces 
  • 1 cup celery, chopped into bit sized pieces
  • 2 cups potatoes, chopped into bit sized pieces 
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 small onion, chopped into chunks (appx 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup beef broth + 1/3 cup set aside
  • 1 540ml can Italian stewed tomato halves 
  • 1 can tomato paste 
  • 1/3 cup Peri Peri Sauce + 2 1/2 tbs set aside 
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a medium sized bowl or Ziploc bag, mix together 1/3 cup of Peri Peri with the beef until evenly coated. Let marinate for 4 – 48 hours.
  2. In a large crock pot mix together all ingredients together except for the 1/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup beef broth and 2 1/2 tbs Peri Peri.
  3. Cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  4. Once all the veggies are cooker and the beef is tender, whisk together the 1/4 cup flour and 1/3 cup beef broth together until smooth, this is called a roux. Slowly pour the roux into the stew stirring until evenly mixed. 
  5. Add the 2 1/2 tbs Peri Peri and mix well. 
  6. Cover and allow to thicken for 15-20 minutes. 
  7.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Gnarly Beef Barley 

An all time classic, beef barley is a pretty darn good soup.  I love barley, always have since I was a kid and it is another one of those things I haven’t had in a very long time. So this afternoon my kitchen and I had a date and it worked out good and like most soups, little effort was required. 

  • 2 cups stew meat, cut into small pieces (measure the small pieces not the big chunks from the pack)
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot 
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup dried barley
  • 7 cups beef broth + 1/2 – 1 cup set aside 
  • 3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 of bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot add all ingredients except the salt into a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a light simmer and partially cover with the lid. I like to stick a wooden spoon between the lid and the pot, it seems to keep just the right amount of heat.
  3. Simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Season with salt and more pepper if needed. 
  5. If the soup is too thick add the broth you have set aside until you have reached your desired consistency. 

Italian Wedding Soup

For The Meatballs – makes 39 1/2 tbs sized meatballs or

  • 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 lbs ground pork
  • 1 tbs chopped parsley 
  • 1/2 tbs dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil 
  • 2 tbs grated parmesan 
  • 2 tbs minced onion 
  • 1/2 tbs minced garlic 
  • 2 -3 tbs coffee cream
  • 1 slice of fresh bread
  • 1 egg
      1. Set oven to broil on high.
      2. Make the panade.                Gently remove the crust from the bread. Discard or eat the crust, whatever meets your fancy 😊
      3. Place the bread in a small bowl and pour 2 tbs of coffee cream over the bread and let soak. Add another tbs if needed. After a couple minutes roll up your sleeves and mash the bread, removing any hard little bits if there are any.
      4. Mix the egg into the bread and milk mix.
      5. In a larger bowl, mix everything together until well blended. 
      6. Using a 1/2 tbs to measure the meat begin scooping it out and rolling them into nice little balls. 
      7. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Broil on high until the tops are golden brown. 
      8. Remove and set aside on paper towels to allow the fat to drain.

      For The Broth

      • 8 cups (2 x 946ml cartons) chicken broth
      • 1 tbs olive oil
      • 1 parmesan rind
      • 1 tsp ground fennel seed
      • 2 tsp dried oregano 
      • 1 tsp dried marjoram 
      • 2 large bay leaves
      • 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley 
      • 1/2 finely chopped onion
      • 1 tbs minced garlic
      • 2 cups chopped baby spinach 
      • Seasoning salt and pepper to taste
      • 1/2 – 3/4 orzo or acini de pepe pasta
      1. In a large pot heat oil over medium heat.
      2. Saute onion, ground fennel, oregano, marjoram and bay leaves for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly to avoided browning. We’re just drawing out the flavours from everything.
      3. Add all the chicken broth, garlic and parmesan rind and bring to a boil.
      4. Reduce heat to a simmer and add all the meatballs. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
      5. Add spinach and parsley and simmer another 10 minutes. 
      6. Add pasta and cook according to package time.
      7. Once noodles are cooked through remove the bay leaves and parmesan rind and discard. 
      8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


      Hearty Jalapeño & Pineapple Chili

      Nothing fills the soul like a big batch of chili and with this recipe you will have a BIG batch of chili! Not to worry though, it’s crazy good so left overs aren’t going to be an issue and if you’re looking for something to can, this recipe is what you’re looking for👌

      • 1 1/2 lbs  ground beef
      • 1 1/2 lbs ground pork
      • 3 398 ml cans fire roasted tomatoes
      • 1 398ml can kidney beans
      • 1  540ml can black beans
      • 1/2 cup pineapple Tidbits (optional)
      • 1 156ml can tomato paste
      • 1 cup chopped white onion
      • 1 cup chopped green pepper
      • 3 chopped Jalapeño or 2 Serrano peppers, I keep the seeds but remove if you like less heat.
      • 1/2 cup chopped celery
      • 1/2 cup grated carrot
      • 1/2 – 1 1/2 tsp hot sauce (optional)
      • 1 tbs dijon mustard
      • 3 tbs apple cider vinegar
      • 4 tbs brown sugar
      • 6 tbs chili powder
      • 2 tsp smoked paprika
      • Salt to taste
      1. In a large pot cook the ground beef and pork.
      2. While the meat cooks chop all the veggies to your preferred size and open all the cans. You’ll also want to rinse the beans off.
      3. Strain the fat and transfer the meat into a crock pot.
      4. Add the remaining ingredients to the meat and stir until everything is well mixed. It will look a little dry but by the time it’s done cooking it will be perfect 👌
      5. Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8.

      Enjoy!

      Veggie Stuffed Rouladen & Marinara 

      I felt like changing things up this weekend and put a different spin on pasta. I grabbed some Rouladen cut beef and the veggies we enjoy in a regular spaghetti or Lasagna sauce. My man was a bit iffy about this dish at first but when it came to dinner time guess who became a fan 😊 it really is a fantastic and affordable way to change up spaghetti night!

      • 1 pkg Beef Rouladen (usually comes with 3 pieces of meat)
      • 1 medium green bell pepper 
      • 1 medium red bell pepper 
      • 1 large carrot
      • 1 small zucchini 
      • 1 medium onion
      • 1 cup chopped spinach
      • 2 – 3 cups Fire Roasted Marinara or more if desired
      • Grated mozzarella and parm to taste
        1. Pour marinara into slow cooker and heat to high.
        2. Julien all the veggies except the spinach, you just want to roughly chopped that and mix it into the marinara right away. Put the julienned veggies aside.
        3. Unpack the beef and lay it out flat on a clean workspace. 
        4. Add desired amounts of veggies on the beef, I used 4 of each vegtable. For present purposes I left the veggies sticking half way out of the beef.
        5. Starting on one end roll the beef around the veggies so you have a nice tight bundle. Continue until all the beef and vegetables are used. 
        6. Place the bundles in the marinara and spoon sauce over the bundles. 
        7. Cook on high for 5 hours or 8 hours on low. 
        8. Remove bundles and place on a baking dish. Cover with desired amount of cheese and broil until melted.
        9. Serve over penne or pasta of choice.

        Slow Cooked Red Wine Beef Stew

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        Wine is beautiful. There is a wine for everything you can eat and it is loved world wide. As good as it is, every now and again for whatever reason you will end up with some left over in a bottle. The Dude and I went on a mountain getaway for the weekend and the last day we decided to open a bottle of wine to enjoy while we soaked in the outdoor hot tub. We never did finish the bottle and we ended up with a 1 1/2 cups of wine left over that I just couldn’t toss out. I decided it has been a long time since I threw a nice hearty beef stew together and it would be a perfect way to use the remaining wine. Results were pretty yummy!

         

        • 1 lbs bite sized stew meat ( usually chuck is used for stew meat but use any beef you prefer )
        • 1 & 1/2 cups red wine ( I used a Cab Sav but use whatever you have )
        •  4 & 1/2 cups beef broth or stock
        • 1 540 ml can Italian stewed tomatoes
        • 1 156 ml can tomato paste
        • 2 med russet potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
        • 1 med onion, chopped into bite sized pieces
        • 6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
        • 2 large carrots, chopped into bite sized pieces
        • 3 celery sticks, chopped into bite sized pieces
        • 1 cup frozen peas
        • 1 cup frozen corn
        • 1 cup frozen green beens
        • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
        • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
        • 3 med bay leaves
        • 1 tsp dried oregano
        • 1 tsp dried basil
        • 1/2 tsp white pepper
        • salt and pepper to taste

        Flour Coating for Stew Meat

        • 1/2 cup flour
        • 1/2 tsp  white pepper
        • 1/2 tbs coarse black pepper
        • 1 tsp seasoning salt
        • 1 tsp garlic poweder
        • 1 tsp onion powerder
        • 1 tsp dried basil
        • 1 tsp dried oregano

         

                            **For best results adjust the stew with all the dried herbs and spices a few minutes before serving**

        1. Combine all ingredients for flour coating into a large ziploc bag or bowl.
        2. Add beef of choice and toss until all meat is evenly coated.
        3. Remove beef from flour (keep flour!) and place into the bottom of your crock pot.
        4. Add chopped veggies into the flour mix and toss until evenly coated.
        5. Remove veggies and add with the beef to the bottom of the crock pot, take 1 tbs of the flour mix and sprinkle it on top of the meat and veggies and toss the remaining flour. (This will help the stew thicken as it cooks over the next 7-8 hours)
        6. Add the tomato paste into the meat and veggies and mix well. Then add the stewed tomatoes, red wine, beef broth and all the dried and fresh herbs and spices.
        7. Mix everything together until well combined, cover crock pot.

        LOW: 7 – 8 hours

        Make A Roux For Desired Thickness

        A roux is basically flour and a liquid mixed together, making sure there are no clumps of flour. I believe you should use anything but water unless that is your only option. For this stew you will need to :

        Remove 1 cup of the stew liquid 1 hour before it is finished. Allow it to cool off completely in a bowl. Once cooled add 4 tbs flour and whisk until completely smooth and well incorporated. It should be fairly thick

        Slowly pour the roux into the stew while stirring quickly. Cover again and allow the stew to finish it’s last hour. The stew will become thicker the cooler it gets

        If you prefer a stew that is not as thick, I would mix in small portions of the roux so you have more control over the thickness.