Bruschetta del Macellaio (Butcher's Bruschetta)
If you are, like me, always on the lookout for easy, yummy uses of ground beef (which we so kindly put in your beef club shipment), look no further. Local baker and chef Ciro Pasciuto made this delicious bruschetta with our beef at a local winery pickup party. Key to this recipe is the use of his bread: a dense, rustic loaf that is sturdy enough to soak up juice and provide a platform for the beef. His bakery, called Skipping Stone, is located in Paso Robles, and his bread is available at Nature's Touch in Templeton and Atascadero, Di Raimondo's Cheese Shop in Paso (Tuesdays and Fridays) and Cal Poly Organic Farm (Thursdays). The loaves sell out quickly! And the bread is yummy. It is one of my college son's regular requests on his visits home.
- 1 loaf Skipping Stone bread
- 1 pound of ground beef (each pound covers about 5-6 slices of bread)
- olive oil flavored with rosemary, garlic, mint and jalapenos (or any combination you have on hand)
- salt and pepper
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Toast the bread on both sides, lightly, and cool. (Or, slice the bread earlier in the day, and lay out on a cooking tray until ready to use.)
3. Spread the meat thinly on the bread (about 1 pound of beef for 5-6 slices) and be sure to go all the way to the edges, kind of sealing over the edge.
4. Broil for 2-4 minutes until the tops are colored but not crispy. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with flavored olive oil. Return to the broiler until done, about one more minute. Salt and pepper to taste.
We have served this as an appetizer (we slice the pieces of bread in twos or threes); it's also an excellent accompaniment to a vegetable soup dinner. Thanks Ciro!
This recipe is adapted from Tom Colicchio (of Kraft restaurants and Top Chef); the original was published in Food and Wine. We've made this several times and although time consuming, it's not difficult and it is delicious. We have served these short ribs over mashed potatoes and buttered noodles (not at the same time, of course!) My kids prefer them with mashed potatoes. A good crusty bread for sopping up juices is essential.
Ancho chile powder and canned chipotle in adobo sauce are the two chiles in this dish. It has a warm smoky heat and tastes even better the next day. I usually make this for a crowd, doubling the recipe below.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2-2 1/2 pound chuck roast or o-bone roast, fat trimmed and beef cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tablespoon ancho chile powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 Tablespoon minced canned chipotle in adobo
- 1-1/2 teaspoons fine cornmeal or masa harina
- 1 14-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- Shredded cheese and sour cream for serving
1. In large Dutch oven, heat olive oil. Season Beef with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until browned, about 7 minutes. Stir occasionally.
2. Add onion, garlic, ancho chile powder and cumin and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Add beef stock and chipotle and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Stir the cornmeal into the chili and simmer until just thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans and cook until heated through. Stir in cilantro and serve with cheese and sour cream.
Cooking time: 2 hours
Zinfandel-Braised Beef Brisket
This is a yummy winter dish that combines three of my favorite things: beef, potatoes and Zinfandel! Brisket could be substituted with an obone or chuck roast. Although the cooking time is long, the preparation isn't difficult. Most of the time is for braising in the oven. Your entire house will smell divine!
- 2 cups Rangeland Zinfandel or other fruity dry red wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 (2 1/2-pound) beef brisket, trimmed
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large sliced Walla Walla or other sweet onions
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, mashed
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, cut into quarters
- 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red peppers
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Combine wine, broth and tomato paste, stirring with a whisk. Set aside.
3. Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Sprinkle beef with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (I usually use more seasoning). Add beef to pan; cook for 8 minutes, browning both sides. Remove beef from pan, cover and set aside.
4. Add sliced onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, sugar, and 1 teaspoon thyme to pan. Cook 20 minutes over medium-medium low heat until onions are tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, carrots, and celery, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place beef on top of onion mixture; pour wine mixture over beef. Cover and place in oven.
5. Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours.
6. While beef cooks, place quartered potatoes in large bowl. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, 2-3 teaspoons olive oil, oregano and red pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on jelly-roll baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
7. After 1 1/2 hours, remove beef from oven and turn beef over. Place potatoes on lower rack in oven. Cover beef again and return to oven. Bake for another 45 minutes until beef is tender. Remove beef from oven and keep covered and warm. Increase oven temperature to 425. Place potatoes on middle rack and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are crisp and edges are browned.
8. Remove beef from pan; cut across grain into thin slices. Serve with onion mixture and roasted potatoes. Sprinkle with parsley.
Total cooking time: 3 hours