Archive for the 'beef' Category

Braised Beef – Beef Shanks, Chuck Steak, Short Ribs

I’m pretty sure this will work with any “low and slow” cut of beef. I’m a fan because these cuts are often not very expensive and they’re super flavorful. They do require low and slow cooking though, otherwise they’ll be tough and chewy. I normally do low and slow in the crock pot, but I recently got a dutch oven and I’m obsessed with it.

There is a lot of leeway with this recipe, as you can see, so you can play around with it a lot.

Braised Beef
1-4 beef shanks, chuck steaks, short ribs (as much as you want to cook, basically)
1-2 Tbsp oil
1 bag frozen peppers and onions (or use fresh, of course.)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup chopped carrot (I just threw a few handfuls of baby carrots right in, whole)
1-2 cups chicken stock/broth (depending how much meat you’re cooking)
2 cups of tomato sauce or a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
1 Tbsp parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 325. Heat the oil in a dutch oven, liberally salt and pepper the beef and sear it on all sides. Remove the seared beef and set aside. Add the peppers and onions, garlic, and carrots and saute until they start to get translucent (if you’re using frozen like me I just saute until most of the water is cooked off). Add the beef back in along with the rest of the ingredients and stir. Cover the dutch oven and place in the oven for 2 hours.

I made this over the weekend and cut the chuck steak with a spoon. Delicious!



I make chili kind of a lot and I was feeling in a bit of a rut with my recipe. I Googled around and took ideas from other recipes and settled on this – it came out fantastic. My new favorite chili! I made this for Superbowl Sunday and snuck a couple of servings in the freezer for safe keeping!


2 lbs grass fed ground beef
1 can kidney beans (omit for Paleo – I usually do one pot with beans for Patrick and one without for me)
1 Tbs fat for sauteing
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1- 14oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup good chili powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp cocoa powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken broth OR beef broth OR beer

Heat the fat and saute the onions and garlic. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off excess fat is there’s a lot. Add the spices and let them cook a couple of minutes. Add the beans, if using, then all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 2 hours.

Pastelón (Puerto Rican Lasagna with Plantains)

This is one of those recipes where I can take zero credit other than for my awesomeness for alerting you to its existence. I did make a few little adjustments based on what I had in the house although not enough to consider it an adaptation but I’ll note them below anyway. I got this from the site This Is So Good here. It really is SO GOOD.

Check out that site for lots of good stuff!

Pastelón (Puerto Rican Lasagna with Plantains)
From This Is So Good

  • Coconut oil for sauteing and frying
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds of grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • 12 olives, sliced
  • 6 ripe plantains
  • 8 eggs

*AMYELLA’s NOTES: I halved the recipe because I wanted to try it out before making a ton of it. I wish I had made a full batch! Also, I used a green bell pepper, added a zucchini for extra veg, omitted the cilantro, omitted the raisins, omitted the olives because I didn’t have any. I also layered differently: plantains, half the meat mixture, plantains, rest of the meat mixture. I just poured the eggs over the meat layer and it was really delicious this way too.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, melt a Tablespoon or two of coconut oil over medium heat.  Add in the onion, bell pepper, and garlic.  Saute for 4-5 minutes or until slightly softened.  Add in the ground beef and break it up with a spoon or spatula.  Add in your spices (sea salt through crushed red pepper flakes) and mix well.  Continue cooking until the beef is browned, about 9-10 minutes.

Add the bay leaves, stock, and tomato paste, mixing well.  Simmer uncovered over medium low heat until the liquid is absorbed.  Stir occasionally.

While the beef mixture is simmering, prep your plantains.  Peel them (see here for demo), cut them in half widthwise, and then cut each half into four slices lengthwise.

In a large frying pan, melt several Tablespoons of coconut oil.  Lay the slices of plantain in the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned.  You will probably have to do this in batches.

In a 9 x 13  baking dish, layer half of the plantains in a single layer.

Whisk 4 eggs with a dash of salt and pepper and then pour them over the plantain layer.  Remove the bay leaves from the beef mixture and stir in the cilantro.  Carefully spread the beef over the plantains.  Pack it down a little, it will help the Pastelón hold together better when you slice it.  Next layer the rest of the plantains on top of the beef in a single layer.  Whisk the remaining four eggs with a dash of salt and pepper and pour it over the top.  Spread the eggs so they cover all of the plantains and seep into the beef a bit.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the eggs are set and the top is a golden brown color.  I highly recommend letting the Pastelón sit for 5-10 minutes to help it firm up for cutting.


Meatballs and Gravy

I can’t believe I don’t have meatballs and gravy posted here already, but I went looking through and realized that, 1) my consistency in categorizing recipes kind of sucks and 2) I don’t have the recipe posted. So, let’s fix that. Also, I really need to make some meatballs now.

Traditional Meatballs

1 lb ground beef (I like 85/15 or 90/10)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano or romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Paleo Meatballs

1 lb ground beef (I like 85/15 or 90/10)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 egg
1 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste
(can add 1/4 cup almond flour if the mixture needs binding, but I usually don’t have a problem without it)

Primal Meatballs (how I usually make them)

1 lb ground beef (I like 85/15 or 90/10)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 egg
1/4 cup grated parmigianno reggiano cheese
1 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix all the ingredients, form into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake for 12-15 minutes. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t cooked through, they’re going to simmer in the gravy.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb Italian sausages (optional)
1 lb spareribs (optional)
1/2 onion diced
1 clove minced garlic
2-3  28oz cans crushed tomato or tomato puree (use 3 if you’re using all the meat, 2 for just meatballs)
Parsley, basil, salt and pepper to taste

Place olive oil in a large pot. If using sausages and/or spareribs add the meat in batches (not overlapping) so that it’s browned on all sides. Remove and set on a plate. Drain off excess fat (leave a little or add more olive oil) and saute the onions and garlic until soft but not browned. Add the tomatoes and seasonings and bring to a boil, stirring consistently. Add the meatballs (and other meat, if using), cover and turn heat to lowest setting to simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve over pasta or as desired.

Paleo Crockpot Spicy Beef Stew

I love using the crockpot year round but especially in the fall when I’m craving warm bowls of food. In fact this time of year I have to remind myself to eat salad because all I usually want is some sort of one pot meal of warmth. This recipe is inspired from a few different recipes I looked at online and then tweaked to my taste. I’ve made this beef stew twice now and I love the hint of heat from the cayenne. I’ve made it once with sweet potatoes and once with parsnips. Either is good, although you could certainly add both. The potato starch isn’t technically paleo but many people, including me, who follow a paleo or primal diet can handle a small amount with no ill effects. If it’s not your thing, leave it out. I just like the thickness it gives the sauce.

Crockpot Spicy Beef Stew

1 1/2 – 2 lbs stew beef
2 sweet potatoes (or 5 parsnips), peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 medium white onion, sliced
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 of the tomato can filled with water
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp potato starch (optional)

Put everything except the potato starch (if using)  in your crock pot, cook on low for 8 hours. Before serving stir in the potato starch and let sit for 10-15 minutes to thicken. Serve and eat!

Bolognese (Paleo)

I was watching the Food Network and someone was making a bolognese sauce and I decided I needed to do that, immediately! I like my bolognese really thick so it’s a meal in itself since I don’t serve it over pasta. I mean, you COULD serve it over pasta, but I chose not to. I chose to serve mine over chicken instead. Haha! Meat sauce on meat!


2 strips bacon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb grass fed ground beef
6-10 oz tomato paste
1 cup water (or more, based on need)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 Tbsp parsley
salt, pepper, red pepper flake to taste
4 chicken legs (optional)

Render the bacon in a large pan. Set aside and add a little olive oil then saute all the veggies. Once tender but not browned add the ground beef and cook through. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil then lower heat. Add more water if it gets too thick. Simmer for 10 minutes then add the chicken legs and cover. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, then remove the chicken legs, shred the meat and add to the sauce (or to the bottom of your bowl and spoon the sauce on top). Chop the bacon and add to the sauce.

Serve in a bowl as is or with pasta or rice.


Shepherd’s Pie (Paleo)

A couple of weeks ago we went to an Irish restaurant and Patrick couldn’t decide between the shepherd’s pie and another entree. He decided on the other saying, “I’m sure you can make a shepherd’s pie that’s even more delicious.” I told him that of course I could!

I’ve never made shepherd’s pie before. So I made up this recipe and it came out so good he came up with an empty plate and told me it was one of his favorite meals I’ve ever cooked and it now must go into regular rotation. I’d say that’s a pretty good review!

Shepherd’s Pie

4 medium potatoes (or sweet potatoes)
~ 1 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp coconut oil
3 medium carrots, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen green beans, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 lbs ground beef (grass fed preferred)
1-2 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp potato starch (or thickener or choice)

Preheat oven to 375.

Peel and dice the potatoes and place in pot. Cover with cold water and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender. Drain potatoes and add butter and chicken stock and mash until desired consistency (I like fluffy but with texture, not whipped). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan and saute carrots, green beans, onion, and garlic (season your veggies) until onions are translucent and vegetables are tender but not cooked through. Add the beef (season with salt and pepper) and cook breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until no longer pink. Remove beef and veggies with a slotted spoon and add to a 2 qt casserole dish.

Drain some fat leaving a 2-3 Tbs. Add potato starch (or thickener) and whisk briskly to break up. Add beef broth, season with salt and pepper and stir constantly until you get a gravy. Pour the gravy over the meat and veggie mixture. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the meat and veggies and bake in the oven for 20 minutes (painting an egg wash over the potatoes will allow them to brown nicely. It will look prettier but it’s not necessary.)

Eat and enjoy!

Personal Blog

Hi All!
I hope you enjoy the recipes! If you want to read about my random musings you can find me at
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