Tag Archives: beef

Flat Iron steak

Flat iron steak is a newish cut in America that has become popular at posh restaurants.  There are only 4 flat iron steaks per cow, so it’s not a cut that you can often find at supermarkets (though Safeway sell them pre-packaged).  They were on sale for $4 lb at Lucky’s this week so I bought some for dinner.  Mika loved them.  Though they had a thick piece of connecting tissue in the middle, the steaks themselves are very tender.  They are not terribly flavorful, however, though a good sauce can take care of that.  At $4 lb, they are a great alternative to filet mignon.

I grilled them on the BBQ grill outside and they are quick and easy to prepare: pre-heat the grill on medium-high, salt & pepper the steaks, brush with olive oil, grill on each side for 4 minutes for medium rare, let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

I’ll definitely buy this cut again when it’s available at this price.

Hart Orange Beef – Review

Orange Beef is the latest product from Hart Food Products, a small mom & pop frozen food company that seems to mostly distribute through Grocery Outlet.  I had tried their Orange Chicken before and I had been less that impressed, but it was another kidless night when I didn’t want to cook and, if nothing else, the Hart Orange Beef ($4 for the 2+lb package) seemed like a good value.  So I decided to give it a try.

Like the chicken, this product consists of small pieces of beef heavily battered.  You sauté them on some oil for about 12 minutes, stirring often, heat up the orange sauce in a different sauce pan, and then mix it in with the beef.  It’s not too complicated, but it does use up two cooking pots (not good for those of us without dishwashers).

The results are mediocre. The beef has way too much breading and it was too oily (I’d recommend using a non-stick pan and only minimal oil when cooking them), the sauce wasn’t painfully sweet but I grew sick of it quickly. In all I think I’ll steer clear of Hart products.

Steak w/ cognac sauce

I made this recipe a few days ago to go with some leftover top sirloin I had. While I’m usually the type of person who does not like sauces with my red meat – I’d never dream of using anything besides salt with a NY steak or a ribeye – I don’t find top sirloin to be that tasty by itself. This sauce was quick to make and delicious. As usual, I got the recipe at epicurious.com

My main adaptation was using “Better than Bouillon” bases and reducing the amount of water. You can use broth cubes/granules in the same proportions. This sauce is enough for two steaks plus whatever starch you are serving with them.

    -2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
    -2 shallots, chopped
    -1 tsp. brown sugar
    -3/4 cup water
    -1 tsp. Chicken broth base
    -1/2 tsp. Beef broth base
    -1/2 cup Cognac or Brandy
    -1/4 cup whipping cream
    -2 steaks
    -salt & pepper

Sauté shallots until tender on 1 Tbsp of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar and cook for 1 minute. Add the broths, the broth bases and the cognac. Mix well and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Mix in the whipping cream and set aside.

Sprinkle steaks with salt. Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter on a heavy skillet or frying pan. Add the steaks and cook over medium-heat, about 4 minutes per side. Remove. Add the sauce to the skillet and warm up, scrapping any browned bits. Season with salt and pepper.

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Beef Stroganoff – recipe

I had some steak and sour cream I had to use up, so I decided to make beef stroganoff based on this epicurious.com recipe. I made a few substitutions, most importantly sour cream for the whipped cream, and the results were excellent. Mika, however, did not like how sour it was, so if I make it again, I’d use whipped cream.

Beef Stroganoff is usually served on egg noodles, I used whatever pasta shape I had around.

July 2011 Update I just made this dish again, this time using whipped cream and doubling the ingredients of the sauce.  That was a good idea, as otherwise there wouldn’t be enough cream. The results were wonderful again, less sour than before. I’ll make it again (doubling the sauce from the recipe below)

Beef Stroganoff

  • 2 lbs steak
  • salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 onion or 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp. cognac or brandy
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • sprinkle of dried dill


Pat dry the meat and cut into thin, short strips. Sprinkle with salt.

Heat the oil over high heat in a deep frying pan. Working in batches, add a layer of beef and cook on both sides until medium rare, about 1 minute per side. Remove beef and repeat with leftover beef. Remove beef, place in a plate, cover and set aside.

Turn heat to medium-high and add 2 Tbsp. butter. Wait until it melts and add the chopped onion. Cook until tender.

Add the mushroom slices, and sauté until the mushrooms are soft and the liquid evaporates, around 12 minutes.

Add the beef broth and stir. Add the brandy, stir and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer uncovered until the liquid thickens and coats the mushrooms – 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cream and mustard.

Return the meat to the frying pan, as well as any liquid that accumulated on the plate. Mix and simmer over medium-low heat until the meat is warm, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle with dill and serve over pasta.

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