Tag Archives: ground beef

Tacos

I love tacos.  Homemade ones especially.  For years I was making them with the little packet that comes in the taco kit from the store, but the only problem was the incredible amount of salt in the packet.  With the blood pressure problems, I couldn’t do that anymore so a good friend of mine taught me how to make the taco meat from scratch.  Since his partner of 25 years is Mexican, the original recipe I got was pretty authentic.  I’ve made some changes to it and this is what I’ve come up with.  If you’re expecting the exact same thing you get at the grocery store, you’re going to need to add quite a bit more salt than I do here.

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 4.5oz can of chopped green chilies
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef, drain, and set aside.  I reserve a small amount of the fat in the meat because after refrigeration, it reheats much better.  In the same pan, add a little olive oil, the minced onion, minced garlic, and chopped chilis.  Sautee until the onion starts to clear.  Add the spices and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then set to low, stirring occasionally.
I serve this with low carb tortillas, sour cream, guacamole (see below), shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, lettuce, and tomato.

Guacamole:

  • 2 soft haas avocadoes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • one splash hot sauce

Halve the avocadoes and remove the pits.  Scoop out the filling and mash with a fork – you want it chunky.  Add the vinegar, hot sauce, salt, and pepper.  Mix and refrigerate for about 15-30 minutes.

Norwegian meatballs. Kjøttkaker. Two recipes

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Once upon a time, many many years ago, I lived in Norway.  I was a teenager.  I left Miami to head to a small town between Bergen and Trondheim.  It was cold, though not as cold as expected.  It was also very possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.  I made some great friends and came back the better for it.  One thing about it is the local cuisine is it’s very fish heavy.  Not being a fan of fish, I was introduced to this dish.  Years later, I still make it, though I’ve modified it a bit from the original.  I’m making it more these days because of the new lower glycemic lower carbohydrate food.. thing.

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My friend Nina, from all those years ago, gave me her recipe for this dish, which I’m sharing here.  Below, I’ll put my version.  My suggestion – try hers first.  It’s so very worth it.

Kjøttkaker (meatcakes)

  • 1 pound ground beef/venison mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 tbsp potato starch
  • 3 tbsp oatmeal

sauce

  • water
  • melted butter
  • gravy flour
  • beef stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix the meat and salt.  Add the egg and the spices.  Mix while adding the rest of the ingredients.  Let it set while making the gravy (see below).  Using a tablespoon, take meat mixture and work into a flattened meatball.  Brown both sides in a frying pan and add gravy.  Allow to simmer while making sides.  Traditionally this dish is made with peeled boiled potatoes and peas.  Serve with a side of ligonberry or cranberry sauce.  For the purposes of this dish, go for the ligonberry if you can find it.  It makes all the difference.

To make the sauce, add equal parts water and beef stock, melted butter, salt and pepper.  Thicken with gravy flour or corn starch.

Norwegian Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef/pork mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup milk (go for broke – use whole milk.. or cream.  mmmmm.. cream…)

sauce

  • 1/2 sliced small sweet onion
  • handfull of mushrooms
  • melted butter
  • 1 tbsp corn starch and enough water to make a liquid
  • 1 cu beef stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix the meat and salt.  Add the egg and the spices.  Mix while adding the rest of the ingredients.  Let it set while making the gravy (see below).  Using a tablespoon, take meat mixture and work into a flattened meatball.  Brown both sides in a frying pan and add gravy.  Allow to simmer while making sides.
To make the sauce, sautee sweet onion and mushrooms in melted butter.  Add beef stock and spices then bring up the heat and add the cornstarch mixture to thicken .

I haven’t been back in years.  Making this makes me want to return.

Chili

I started cooking as a hobby years ago.  Turned out, I’m not bad at it.   I started this as a way to share some of the recipes – mostly regular dishes, maybe a little baking – with my friends and possibly collect some new ones.  I’m going to start with chili since it seems to be a favorite around the house.

Recipe:

  • 2-3 pounds chili cut beef
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can dark kidney beans
  • 2 medium size cans of colorado sauce
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chili powder

Cut the onion fine and sautee in regular olive oil (not EVOO.  I don’t like to waste extra virgin olive oil on cooking.. and the acronym EVOO gets used far too much –  use slutty olive oil when cooking).  Brown chili cut beef.  Add paprika, cinnamon, and chili powder.  Mix until the paprika blooms.  Add both cans of beans and mix thoroughly.  Toss in both cans of the colorado sauce, and cook on low, stirring occasionally for about two-three hours.  At this point I turn the heat off and let it sit for a couple of hours before serving.  I add shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top and serve with multigrain Wasa.