Tag Archives: beef

Halloween Stew (Beef Stew served in a Pumpkin)


  • 1              Pumpkin (8-10 inches in diameter)
  • 1/2 C     Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1             Onion (large, chopped small)
  • 2             Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1             Bell Pepper (chopped small)
  • 1 LB       Stewing Beef (chopped – 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 jar  Lucini Organic Tuscan Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 C         Beef Stock (chicken or vegetable will also work)
  • 3             Sweet Potatoes (peeled, 1 inch cubes)
  • 2            White Potatoes (peeled, 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 LB  Dried Apricots (chopped large, about 1 Cup)
  • 1 C          Corn (fresh kernels are best, but frozen will work in this recipe)


Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.  Cut a lid out of the top of the pumpkin and reserve.  Clean all  of the seeds and stringy fibers from the inside of the pumpkin (reserve seeds for roasting).

Brush the inside of the pumpkin with 2-3 TB of olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, paprka, salt, and pepper.  Place the lid on the pumpkin or cover opening with foil.  Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for an hour.

While the pumpkin is baking, prepare the stew.  Heat a large pot over medium heat.  Sauté the onions, green pepper, and garlic in 1/3 cup of the olive oil until golden and soft.  Raise the heat to medium-high and add the beef, browning on all sides.   Add the tomatoes, stock, potatoes and apricots, cover and lower heat to a simmer – cook for 45 minutes.

Taste for seasoning, and season with salt and pepper.  Add more stock if stew seems too thick, then stir in the corn.

Carefully pour stew into the pumpkin, replace top, and return to the oven for 30 minutes more.

Serve stew from the pumpkin bowl. When you transfer the pumpkin to a platter, do so very carefully and be sure to support the bottom of the pumpkin.


Sloppy Joe recipe

I have always loved Sloppy Joes, even as a little kid when we made them with a packaged spice mixture and canned tomato paste.  This recipe is great with ground turkey (by itself or mixed with turkey sausage) – just be sure to add a bit more olive oil when you brown the meat so that it doesn’t dry out.  The sauce should cling to the meat – do not let so much liquid cook off that the sauce sticks to the pan.

So simple!

So simple!



Heat the garlic infused olive oil over medium (4 out of 10) heat.  Saute the onions, 1/4 tsp salt and ground pepper for one minute.  Then add the green pepper and continue to cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.  Remove the vegetables to a plate.

Turn up the heat to medium high (7 out of 10).  Add the ground meat without crowding the pan – make two batches if necessary – and 1/4 tsp salt.  Cook until all of the meat is browned.   Remove any excess (greater than 2 TB) fat then add the vegetables back to the pan.  Stir in the tomatoes, 3 TB of reserved tomato liquid vinegar and worcestershire sauce and bring the mixture to a boil on high (9 out of 10) heat until the tomatoes are reduced to a thick, sauce like consistency.  Turn the heat back down to medium low (3 out of 10), add the paprika and chili powder and simmer for 15 minutes.  Lower the temperature if necessary – do not let the sauce stick to the bottom of the pan (if it does add tomato liquid,  stock or water until the consistency is right).  Add the basil infused olive oil.  Adjust the spices and salt to taste.  Serve on buns or rolls.

Slow Braised Short Ribs

This easy to prepare, but time consuming, dish was inspired by a wonderful meal at Daniel, where the short ribs are braised for 8 hours!  I keep it down to around 5, and the ribs ain’t Daniel’s, but the final product is melt-in-your-mouth good.  The fig vinegar adds a wonderful dimension to the dish, as the sweetness highlights a similar flavor in the meat.

5 hour Braised Ribs

5 hour Braised Ribs


  • 4             Short Ribs (about 1/2 LB each)
  • 4 TB       Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 tsp Salt (high quality)
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper (fresh ground)
  • 1 tsp      Smoked Paprika
  • 2             Carrots (about 1 C, coarsely chopped)
  • 1             Onion (about 1 C, coarsely chopped)
  • 4             Garlic cloves (2-3 TB, finely chopped)
  • 1 C          Lucini Organic Plum Tomatoes (about 1/2 jar, finely chopped)
  • 3 C          Red Wine (preferably full bodied, definitely not sweet)
  • 4 C          Stock (beef or poultry)
  • 2              Bay Leaves
  • 3 TB       Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic Vinegar


Preheat oven to 250°F.

Pat wash the ribs and dry well.  Season the ribs all over with the salt, ground pepper and paprika and then dust with flour.  Add 12 TB oil to a heavy, oven-safe pot and sear the ribs on all sides until well-browned (about 7-10 minutes).   Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 TB olive oil and add the carrots, onion and garlic. Cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add wine and boil again, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced by half, about 8 minutes.

Add wine, stock, bay leaves, 2 TB vinegar, and remaining salt and pepper to sauce and bring to a simmer.   Skim fat from surface, then add beef along with any juices accumulated on plate and cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer to oven and braise until beef is very tender, 4 to 5 hours.  Every 30 minutes, skim and discard fat from the surface.

Pour sauce through a medium-mesh sieve into a large bowl and then skim fat from sauce.  Boil sauce, if necessary, until thickened and reduced to 2-3 cups.  Drizzle with remaining TB of fig vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the sauce with the ribs.

  • 4 (8-ounce) pieces bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes in juice, puréed in a blender with juice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 4 cups brown veal stock or 1/2 cup Demi-Glace Gold concentrate (concentrate requires a dilution ratio of 1:8; 1/2 cup concentrate to 4 cups water)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Banyuls vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Burgoo Recipe

Burgoo is a spicy stew that got its start in Kentucky, before spreading to nearby areas.  It actually looks, cooks and tastes similar to chili, but swaps in local ingredients.  If beans are used they tend to be lima, heat comes from tabasco or other hot sauce, okra and turnips are common and the meats are different then those generally found in chilis.  Burgoo always contains multiple meats and can include:  mutton, pork, beef, chicken and even squirrel.  Many of the famous burgoo purveyors are in and around the Owensboro, KY area, but I have also seen references to Indiana and Illinois burgoos.  I have subsituted pickled okra for fresh on occasion, but that is definitely NOT a traditional choice.



  • 1           Chicken, cut up
  • 2 LB    Beef shank  (other lean beef will also work)
  • 2 C       Lucini Tuscan Harvest Plum Tomatoes
  • 4 C       Water
  • 2           Onions (chopped)
  • 1 C        Lima beans (fresh or 10 oz frozen)
  • 1 C        Corn
  • 1 C        Okra (fresh or 10 oz frozen, You can substitute chopped green pepper if you do not like okra.)
  • 3            Bay leaves
  • 1 TB      Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB     Lucini Pinot Grigio Italian Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp     Hot Pepper sauce (Tabasco, etc.)
  • 1 tsp     Salt
  • 2 TB     All-purpose flour


In a large kettle or Dutch oven combine chicken, beef shanks, tomatoes, 5 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 2 hours or until meats are tender and falling off the bone.
Remove meats from the pot and let stand until cool enough to handle.  Cut the meat from bones and chop.  (Save the  skin and bones for stock!).  Return the meat to the broth mixture, then add onions, lima beans, corn, okra, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, hot pepper sauce and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add water, if necessary, and stir from the bottom to prevent scorching.  Add salt to taste towards the end of the 30 minutes.
If you are not using okra, combine 1/2 C cold water with the flour and stir until the flour is fully dissolved, then mix this slurry into the burgoo.  Cook and stir into the mixture until it thickens slightly.  Okra acts as a natural thickener, and I have not found any need to add flour when using okra.  Remove bay leaves and serve.

Cinco de Mayo Savory Pie

This pie is very easy to make, but bursting with Mexican flavor.  It is a wonderful entree, but can also be served as an appetizer at room temperature with Margaritas at a Cinco de Mayo bash.  The chorizo and cheese are optional for those looking to avoid pork or extra fat and anyone looking for a spicy treat can leave in the jalapeno seeds and/or double the chili powder.


  • 1 LB       Ground Beef (ground poultry, particularly Turkey, will work as well)
  • 2 TB      Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 C     Red Onion, chopped
  • 3             Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 LB  Chorizo (optional)
  • 1/2 C     fresh Mushrooms (Shiitake, wild or Cremini, optional)
  • 2             Poblano peppers, chopped
  • 3             Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp      fresh Thyme
  • 2 tsp      fresh Oregano (dried will work as well)
  • 2 tsp      Chili Powder
  • 3/4 tsp  Salt
  • 1/8 tsp  Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp  Hot Sauce
  • 1 C         Lucini Spicy Tuscan Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 C     Cheddar, grated
  • 1/4 C     Queso Fresco, grated
  • 1             Pie Shell
  • Lucini Fiery Chili Infuse Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brown pie shell in oven until just golden – about 8 minutes.

Over medium heat, saute onions, beef, garlic, bay leaves and mushrooms and chorizo (if used) until beef is brown.  Drain any excess oil.  Add salt, spices, hot sauce and peppers; mix for 1 minute.  Add tomato sauce and cook for 5 more minutes.

Spoon mixture into pie shell and bake for 25 minutes.  Top with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes until cheese is fully melted.   Allow pie to cool 10-15 minutes before serving. For a decadent finish, top each piece with a splash of Lucini Fiery Chili Olive Oil.

Beef Brisket


I love serving this brisket dish for Rosh Hashanah and other holiday meals and it goes great with this salad and braised red cabbage or these green beans.  None of the steps are complicated and the low and slow roast allows time to socialize with your guests.  Do keep an eye on the brisket as overcooking eventually leads to dried out meat.

The recipe was inspired by one found in Art Smith’s Back to the Table, which I first followed for Thanksgiving 2001.  There are many great recipes in this book and I cannot recommend it (and his other books) more highly – I refer to some of the recipes so often it has started falling apart!  His love of food and recognition of the important place it holds in all of our lives is inspirational.

A splash of Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic or Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic and a 1/2 cup of dried fruit added just before serving brings  a brightness that balances well with the robust umami of the beef and the red wine.


  • 3-4   lb     Beef Brisket
  • 1       Tb     Salt
  • 1       tsp    Pepper
  • 2       tsp    Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2  tsp    Brown Sugar
  • 1       tsp    Chili powder
  • 2       Tb    Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1                 large Onion, large dice
  • 1                 Carrot, thick slices
  • 1                 Celery stalk, thick slices
  • 5                Garlic cloves
  • 1/2  C       dry Red wine
  • 2       C       Stock (Beef is best, but chicken and mushroom work well; homemade HIGHLY recommended)
  • 3                 Bay leaves
  • 1/2  C       Shittake Mushrooms (large chop, stems removed)
  • 4       tsp   Arrowroot dissolved in water (about 1 Tb)
  • Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic or Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic (optional)



Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Combine salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder.   Season the brisket evenly with this mixture and allow to sit for 30 minutes (I do 15 minutes refrigerated, then 15 minutes at room temperature out of the reach of meat-loving children or pets).

Heat a large, non-stick, oven-safe cooking vessel over medium-high heat.   Add olive oil and brown the brisket on both sides (about 3 minutes per side, but definitely browned, not gray).  Remove brisket to a plate.  Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute until the onions become translucent and the carrots begin to soften.

Add red wine and deglaze the pan – dissolving all the browned beef and veggie tastiness off the bottom of the pan and into the wine (about 5 minutes).  Add bay leaves and stock and bring to boil.  Place your browned brisket on top of the vegetables; cover and place in oven.

Bake for about 2 hours at 300F – remove when the meat is tender when prodded with a fork.   Allow the brisket and to rest for 10-15 minutes.  Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside.

While the meat rests, add the mushrooms to the liquid in the pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce for 5 minutes.  Turn temperature down to low and add arrowroot slurry.  Stir immediately and thoroughly until you achieve gravy consistency.

Carve the brisket across the grain.  I serve this with the gravy, vegetables from the pan, mashed potatoes and braised red cabbage.  For an added dimension of flavor, add a splash of  Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic or Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic on top of the brisket just before serving.