It was starting to look like spring around here. Most of the snow had melted and the weather was warm enough that I put away my heavy winter jacket in favour of a lighter spring jacket. Then, without warning, winter returned… Temperatures dropped back down to -9 degrees Celsius! And it snowed again.
With the return of colder weather, I decided to make some comfort food. So, I picked up some beef brisket and made sliders!
This was more than enough for the two of us. So, the next day, we served the leftovers to some friends that stopped by around dinner time. They reheated nicely in the oven and were just as delicious the next day!
Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket Sliders
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil – approximate cost $0.05
- 2 onions, sliced – approximate cost $0.80
- 5 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.50
- 2 pounds of beef brisket – approximate cost $10.00
- 1 bottle of light beer (we used Bud Light Lime) – approximate cost $1.25
- 1 teaspoon paprika – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 teaspoon chili powder – approximate cost $0.10
- ½ teaspoon cumin – approximate cost $0.05
- 3 dashes natural hickory liquid smoke – approximate cost $0.10
- 2 teaspoons beef bouillon – approximate cost $0.10
- 2 bay leaves – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.05
- ½ cup Carolina-style barbecue sauce – approximate cost $1.30
- 12 slider hamburger buns – approximate cost $2.50
- Preheat a frying pan and the grapeseed oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion slices when the oil is hot.
- Cook the onion for about 7 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the garlic to the onions and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the cooked onions and garlic and beef brisket to the slow cooker.
- Combine the beer, paprika, chili, cumin, liquid smoke, bay leaves, and beef bouillon in a large measuring cup.
- Mix well.
- Pour the beer and spice mixture over the beef brisket.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until beef is cooked through and tender.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the brisket and onions from the slow cooker.
- Shred the brisket into thin pieces.
- Place the shredded brisket and onions into a large baking dish.
- Cover with Carolina-style barbecue sauce.
- Mix well until the meat is thoroughly coated with the sauce.
- Bake for about 15 minutes so the sauce is warm and there are a few crusty pieces.
- Place the brisket on slider hamburger buns.
- Serve and enjoy!
Makes about 12 sliders or 6 large sandwiches (approximate cost $1.42 per slider or $2.84 per sandwich).
Wednesday Link Parties
Posted by Amber on March 27, 2013
Things have been crazy busy since I returned to school. Between readings, projects, group meetings, scholarship applications, and whatnot, I feel like I’ve barely had time to cook. To address this, I make big meals on Sunday evening and pack it up into portions that we enjoy throughout the week for lunch and dinner.
One of my go-to favourites is chili. I love chili because it’s hearty, because it’s so versatile, and because I can put it in the slow cooker and come home to a delicious warm meal. I can add just about everything in my pantry and it will still be a yummy chili. Last winter, I made what Bryan calls Texas-style chili. To me, it’s just chili. For the Improv Challenge in August, I made a soup with tomatoes and Anaheim chile peppers, this is more along the lines of what Bryan thinks of as chile. Despite our differing definitions, we both very much enjoy chili (despite that I always slip some chickpeas into the mix, one of Bryan’s least favourite foods, he never complains, what a great guy.).
I went a bit overboard when making chili the other week. I had forgotten just how many servings it makes and added wayyy more herbs and spices than usual. I wanted something different from my usual chili. Unfortunately, our freezer is very full, so there was no rooms to save the leftovers for later. So we ate chili, at least once per day, for nearly a week. Next time, I’ll cut this recipe in half. Or make sure I have plenty of freezer space to save some for another time.
What’s your favourite meal to make in the slow-cooker during the fall months?
Spicy, Slow-Cooked Beef Chili
- 1 1/2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1/2 inch cubes – approximate cost $8.00
- 2 cups beef stock – approximate cost $1.50
- 1 12 ounce can of tomato paste – approximate cost $1.25
- 1 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, diced and liquid reserved – approximate cost $1.25
- 1 cup dried red kidney beans – approximate cost $0.50
- 1 cup dried white kidney beans – approximate cost $0.50
- 1 cup dried chickpeas beans – approximate cost $0.50
- 1 large Spanish onion, diced – approximate cost $0.75
- 400 grams crimini mushrooms, chopped – approximate cost $2.00
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.40
- 2 tablespoons chili powder – approximate cost $0.40
- 1 tablespoon cumin – approximate cost $0.20
- 1 tablespoon paprika – approximate cost $0.20
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (less if you want to tone down the spiciness) – approximate cost $0.20
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning – approximate cost $0.20
- 1 tablespoon dried cilantro – approximate cost $0.20
- 1 tablespoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 tablespoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.20
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (about 1/4 cup to top each serving) – approximate cost $1.50
- Baguette (for serving) – approximate cost $2.00
- Soak the dried beans.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add dried beans.
- Let cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn the stove off.
- Put a lid on the pot.
- Remove pot from the burner.
- Allow the beans soak for at least 1 hour.
- Prepare the beef, garlic, and onion.
- Heat the grapeseed oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Sautee the minced garlic for 1 minute.
- Add the onion to the frying pan and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. or until the onion softens.
- Add the stewing beef and cook until browned.
- Putting it all together in the slow cooker.
- Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes (and liquid), chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, Italian Seasoning, cilantro, sea salt, black pepper to the slow cooker first.
- Stir well so the flavours mix well with the liquid.
- Add the browned stewing beef mixture, soaked beans, crimini mushrooms.
- Mix again.
- There should be enough liquid to cover the chili. If not, add more beef stock.
- Cook at low temperature for about 6 hours (or high temperature for about 4 hours).
- Serve topped with shredded cheese and baguette on the side.
Makes about 12 servings (approximate cost: $1.83 per serving).
Monday Link Parties
Posted by Amber on November 5, 2012
I really wanted to try the chorizo sausages from work the other day, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. I was told they are a bit spicy to serve as a sausage on a bun and that they were commonly served in Mexican dishes. This is enough to deter me, I like spicy foods, but can rarely handle the spice in large doses. I decided to make an experimental stir fry of sorts with the food I already had in my fridge and the cupboards. Things I had around for a while and wanted to use up. Things I hoped would pair well with the sausages. I hoped mixing in the grains and vegetables would tone down the spiciness of the sausages. Added a few more spices for some added flavour.
The result? It doesn’t look like much, a bit boring actually. But this stir fry is packed with flavour. (Add some cayenne pepper if you like yours a bit more spicy!) It was better the second day after the flavours absorbed into the cous cous. On top of that, it’s very affordable! We will be making this (or a variation) again!
Chorizo and Cous Cous Stir Fry
- 4 chorizo sausages – approximate cost $3.50
- 2 cups cous cous, cooked according to the package – approximate cost $2.00
- 1 can (about 1 1/2 cups) lentils – approximate cost $1.50
- 1 bunch swiss chard, (about 2 cups) roughly chopped – approximate cost $2.50
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika – approximate cost $0.15
- 1 teaspoon cumin – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
- 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.10
- Cook the chorizo in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Remove from frying pan and set aside to cool.
- Prepare cous cous according to the package.
- Add the lentils to the cous cous (immediately after adding cous cous to boiling water).
- Mix well and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Blanch the swiss chard pieces.
- Slice the chorizo into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the chorizo, smoked paprika, cumin, sea salt, black pepper and swiss chard to a frying pan.
- Stir until well-combined and warmed.
- Add the chorizo and swiss chard mixture to the cous cous and lentils mixture.
- Mix well so the spices are thoroughly blended into the cous cous.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
Makes 6 servings (approximate cost: $1.65 per serving).
What’s Cooking Wednesday is a weekly blog hop/link party hosted by The King’s Court IV, Turning The Clock Back, and Confessions of an Overworked Mom.
Posted by Amber on August 1, 2012
I had trouble choosing just one favourite. Here are a selection of dried spices from my cupboard:
Top row: paprika, Adobo all purpose seasoning, seasoned salt, sage leaves, rosemary leaves, Italian seasoning
Bottom row: white pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, thyme, red chilis, chives
Posted by Amber on March 26, 2012
I’m going to derive from my original plan to post about Thai food today. Sorry if you were looking forward to it, but I couldn’t help myself. I’m excited and inspired to write about the Texas-style chili I made over the weekend.
Why is it so exciting? Because this is one of my blogging “firsts.” This is the first time that a reader has asked me to post a specific recipe!
Over the weekend I posted a tweet about the chili:
Texas-style chili in the slowcooker for
#dinner it seems wrong to have planned comfort food on a beautiful day! #sunny #warm #SundaySupper
One of my Twitter followers responded asking for the recipe!
I served this chili to a group of friends. It went over well for the most part. Unfortunately, one friend turned it down, I didn’t realize he dislikes kidney beans. I felt bad that everyone else enjoyed the chili and he resorted to snacks for dinner. I’ll remember next time. And hopefully I’ll learn to ask about people’s likes/dislikes before showing up with food.
My Texas-Style Chili recipe is constantly changing. It’s adapted from my parent’s recipe and reading a bunch of Southwest-inspired cookbooks.
I’ve divided this recipe into indicate the usual and optional ingredients. I’m including approximate pricing for the items I included in the chili I prepared this weekend.
I hope you enjoy it!
Slow Cooked Texas-Style Chili
- 1 pound of lean ground beef – approximate cost $4.00
- 3 cups of dried, mixed beans (at least 2/3 of which are generally red kidney beans with a mixture of garbanzo, white kidney/cannellini, navy, and fava beans) – approximate cost $3.00
- Alternately, if you can use canned beans (2 cans of red kidney beans and 1 can of bean medley)
- 1 bottle of beer (alcoholic or non-alcoholic, I used a honey brown this time) – approximate cost $1.50
- 1 can of diced tomatoes – approximate cost $1.00
- 1 can of tomato paste – approximate cost $0.75
- 4 garlic cloves, minced – approximate cost $0.25
- 4 tablespoons of chili powder – approximate cost $0.15
- 1 tablespoon of cumin – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 tablespoon of salt (or to taste) – approximate cost $0.05
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil – approximate cost $0.05
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried cilantro – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 3/4 cup of frozen corn (or 1 can)
- 3/4 cup of frozen green beans (or 1 can)
Optional toppings and sides
- 2 cups of shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, and/or colby)
- Toast (for serving)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add mixture of dried beans, turn the stove off, put a lid on the pot, and let the beans soak for at least 1 hour (skip this step if you’re using canned beans).
- Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Sautee the minced garlic for 1 minute.
- If you’re adding onion, add it to the frying pan at this point and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
- Add the chili powder and cumin, cook for about 1 minutes (or until the spices become fragrant).
- Add the beer and bring to a boil then cook for about 5 minutes (the liquid should be about half evaporated).
- Add the tomato paste and stir into the mixture.
- In a large crock pot, combine the meat and spice mixture, beans, diced tomatoes (don’t drain the liquid), salt (to taste), water, and any additional ingredients.
- Cook at low temperature for 5-6 hours (or high temperature for 3-4 hours).
- Serve as is or with any additional sides and toppings.
Makes about 8 servings (approximate cost: $1.36 per serving + any additional ingredients).
Posted by Amber on March 14, 2012
When I purchaned Jennifer McLagan’s book Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal the other week, I could hardly wait to sift through it and try out a few recipes. I rarely buy brand new cook books. I like browsing the used book store for cook books that look like they’ve been loved by their previous owner, hoping to find some fantastic recipes. I made an exception in this case because B and I often enjoy what McLagan refers to as the “odd bits.” The prices are reasonable, they are tasty, and they tend to be easy to cook. While I frequently prepare these cuts of meat, I looked to McLagan’s book as a way of making the odd bits interesting to cook because of often rely on cooking methods I know we’ve enjoyed in the past.
This book is fantastic! McLagan not only provides delicious looking recipes, but prefaces each section with stories and interesting facts describing the various foods about which she writes. My favourite anecdote is about food trade between China and the United States. McLagan write “Well, China has now threatened the United State with chicken feet.” When I first read this statement, I imagined Chinese and American Soldiers on a battlefield, with the Chinese soldiers waving chicken feet and shouting angrily. A bizarre image indeed! You’ll need to read the book for yourself to know the actual context of this statement (or don’t and continue to imagine soldiers angrily waving chicken feet).
I’ve read through the book a couple of times now and decided the first dish I would try to prepare was the Sautéed Liver with Indian Spices. Why did I choose this particular recipe? Because I had a package of liver in the freezer and this particular recipe seemed interesting. I had to make quite a few modifications because, as I was cooking, I found that I was out of or didn’t own some of the spices called for in the original recipe. I remember buying turmeric recently and putting it in a jar… but where did I put that jar, because it’s not in my spice cupboard!
Beef Liver with Indian Spices
(adapted from Jennifer McLagan’s cookbook Odd Bits)
- 1 pound of beef liver – approximate cost $3.00
- 1 onion, chopped – approximate cost $0.75
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped – approximate cost $0.15
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger (I bought a prepared jar from the grocery store) – approximate cost $0.15
- 1 teaspoon cumin – approximate cost $0.10
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried chili flakes (more or less depending on the desired spiciness) – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 teaspoon curry powder – approximate cost $0.10
- 2 tablespoons butter – approximate cost $0.25
- 1 tablespoon of beef bouillon – approximate cost $0.25
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 tablespoon of dried cilantro – approximate cost $0.10
- Finely chop the onion and garlic.
- In a small bowl, stir together the onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, chili flakes, curry powder and 3 tablespoons of water until the mixture forms a paste-like consistency.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan or pot.
- Once the oil is hot, add the beef liver and cook until browned on each side.
- Melt the butter.
- Add the curry paste and cook, stirring constantly for a few minutes.
- Add the beef bouillon and water, then simmer until the liquid thickens to a sauce-like consistency and the liver slices are cooked through.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Sprinkle with the cilantro.
Serve over Basmati rice.
Makes 4 servings (approximate cost: $1.29 per serving).
Posted by Amber on January 4, 2012
As a child, I had neighbours who cooked wonderfully fragrant food from their homeland, Guyana. I remember indulging in many of these foods, trying most things at least once but picking out a few favourites that my brother and I would constantly request. Among our favourites then were freshly made pita bread (which we would dip in ketchup) and a deep-friend chickpea flour that we called peas dough (which is actually called bara).A few years ago (after being apart for many years and mostly forgetting about the wonderful food) we visited their new home and got to relive some of our favourite childhood foods. On the day we arrived, we got to eat bara. I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat anything else that day. Another thing that made the day memorable was watching my brother eat a huge teaspoon of homemade hot sauce (I recall this sauce making me cry as a child from the spiciness).A few days, we enjoyed a huge feast. There was barbecued chicken and lamb as well as a variety of curries ranging from mildly spicy to burn a hole in your stomach if you’re not used to it. That’s when I tried curried goat. I’m not sure if that was for the first time, or if I’d just forgotten. Either way, it was fantastic and I was itching to have it again when I returned home. Lucky for me, everything I needed was stocked at my local supermarket!I have adapted this recipe from the one found here (my variation is less spicy and cooks longer so the meat is more tender): http://www.guyanaoutpost.com/recipes/recipes-c.shtml#Curry%20%28Goat%29
, which was a great reference and starting point for s dish I’d never attempted to make at home before.
Adapted from Guyana Outpost
- Approximately 1 lb of stewing goat meat, cubed with the bone in (I buy it from Zehrs, where the meat comes diced and ready to cook) – approximate cost $7.00
- 3 heaping teaspoon mild curry – approximate cost $0.50 powder
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 large Spanish onion – approximate cost $0.75
- 4 medium-sized red potatoes, leave the skin on – approximate cost $1.00
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice – approximate cost $0.15
- 2 cups of water
- Salt to taste – approximate cost $0.05
- 2 cups uncooked Basmati rice – approximate cost $0.50
- Sprinkle meat with half of the curry powder and half of the cumin, then set aside.
- Dice onion and potatoes, set the potatoes aside.
- In a large pot, heat a small amount of oil then add the remaining half of the curry powder and half of the cumin. Stir rapidly for about 1 minute then add the onion.
- Cook onion for about 2-3 minutes then add the meat and cook for another 10-12 minutes (or until the meat looks cooked on the outside).
- Add enough water to just cover the mixture.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium.
- Continue to cook for about 2 ½ hours.
- Add the potatoes to the mixture. If the mixture is no longer covered by the sauce, add a bit more water so it is just covered.
- Time for a taste test! Taste your curry sauce. If it tastes watery, add 1 heaping tsp of curry powder and 1 level tsp of cumin. Mix well and taste it again. Repeat as needed, adding only a small amount of spice at a time to avoid adding too much.
- Continue to cook for about 30 more minutes then add the lemon juice and salt to the mixture and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. (Don’t let the sauce completely boil away)
- Cook Basmati rice according to package.
Note: Total cooking time is about 4 hours. Be patient, it’s worth the wait!
Serve the curry over a bed of Basmati rice. Makes about 6 servings (approximate cost: $1.68 per serving).
Posted by Amber on August 11, 2011