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Roast Tenderloin of Beef (Filet Mignon) with Port Wine Reduction Sauce

In Beef, Meat, Recipes on December 28, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Filet Mignon with Port Wine Reduction Sauce

Filet Mignon with Port Wine Reduction Sauce


1 Tenderloin of Beef Roast (Filet Mignon), 3.5 to 4 lbs. (preferably trimmed and tied)
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 and ½ cups of Port Wine Reduction Sauce
1 digital instant-read meat thermometer


1. One hour before cooking, remove the roast from the refrigerator, pat dry with paper towels; rub the roast with the olive oil, Kosher salt and black pepper and bring to room temperature for the hour.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Heat a roasting pan on the cook top on medium high for 1 minute, than add the roast.
4. Sear the meat on all sides for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan, place a rack in the pan and lay the meat on the rack.
5. Lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees and place the roasting pan on the top shelf of the oven. The lower roasting temperature should help to ensure even cooking throughout the roast.
6. Roast the tenderloin for approximately 40 to 50 minutes, checking the internal temperature after 30 minutes with a digital instant-read meat thermometer. Keep checking every 5 minutes or so, until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 120 degrees. The total roasting time will vary depending upon the thickness of the roast, as well as for how long it has been seared.
7. Once the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees, remove the roast from the oven and keep warm by loosely covering it with aluminum foil. The roast will continue to cook internally as the juices settle. For RARE let sit for about 5 to 8 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees. After sitting for 15 minutes, the internal temperature will probably rise to 130 to 135 degrees – perfect for MEDIUM RARE.
8. While the roast is sitting, re-heat the Port Wine Reduction Sauce on a low flame. Slice the roast into one-inch thick pieces, cut and remove the strings and pour the sauce over the sliced beef, or alternatively, serve the meat on a platter and serve the sauce in a gravy boat on the side. Serve immediately.

Guinness Braised Boneless Short Ribs

In Beef, Meat, Recipes, Stews on February 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Guinness Braised Short Ri

Guinness Braised Boneless Short Ribs

(Active Preparation Time – 1 hour, Marinate Overnight, Cooking Time- 3 hours; Serves 4 to 6)

Recently, we invited  my good friend John, and his brother Pat and sister-in-law Kathleen who were visiting the U.S. from Grange, County Sligo, to dinner.  Pat & Kathleen had hosted us several times on our trips to Ireland and this was a perfect time to reciprocate their hospitality.  In their honor, we prepared these short ribs, in a manner appropriate for the occasion. Happily it was enjoyed by all. The Guinness imparted an earthy flavor to the meaty ribs, and the gravy from the marinade proved to be a perfect dressing for the noodles. Sláinte!


3 lbs. Boneless Short Ribs, cut into 1 & 1/2 inch pieces
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
2 cans of Draft Guinness
½ cup flour
2 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large onion chopped
7 cloves of garlic chopped
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
2 cups of low-sodium beef broth
1 lb. package of baby carrots
1 lb. broad noodles
Chopped parsley for garnish


1. Sprinkle ribs with salt & pepper, place in a shallow non-reactive bowl, pour in the Guinness, cover with plastic wrap and marinate refrigerated over night. In the morning turn the pieces and return to the refrigerator.
2. About 4 hours before you plan to eat, pour the marinade into a large pot and reduce by ½.
3. Toss the ribs with the flour in a 1-gallon plastic storage bag. Divide into two equal-sized batches.
4. Heat the olive in a large sauté pan and brown each batch of ribs well.
5. Remove the browned ribs to a bowl and set aside.
6. Deglaze the sauté pan with the onions and garlic.
7. When the marinade is reduced by ½, add the browned ribs, onions and garlic and any scrapings from the sauté pan to the reduced marinade.
8. Add the beef broth and thyme sprigs, cover and bring to a boil.
9. When boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 2 & ½ hours. Stir the meat periodically and check to make sure the liquid does not burn off.
10. Test the meat for doneness, it should separate easily with a fork, add the carrots and cook an additional 30 minutes.
11. Cook the noodles separately.
12. Pick over the meat to remove the thyme sprigs and serve as in the picture above.



In Beef, Meat, Recipes on November 2, 2012 at 3:29 PM


(Active preparation-45 minutes; inactive preparation-4 days; cooking time 5 hours)


4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 6.5 lb. Bottom Round Roast
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. Kosher salt

For the marinade:

2 cups of water
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 cups cider vinegar
2 large carrots peeled and sliced
2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
2 tsps. yellow mustard seeds
24 juniper berries
12 cloves
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns

For cooking and finishing:

½ cup of sugar
3 dozen Gingersnap Cookies, crushed


Marinate the Roast:

1.    Pat dry the roast with paper toweling and sprinkle with Kosher salt and ground black pepper.
2.    In a 5 quart or larger pot, melt the butter, add the seasoned roast, fat side down, and brown on all sides for about 10 or 12 minutes in total.
3.    When fully browned, remove the roast and set aside in an enameled Dutch Oven, or large non-reactive bowl, preferably one with a cover.
4.   Next, prepare the marinade: add the 11 ingredients to the pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
5.    When the marinade has cooled, pour it over the roast, cover and refrigerate for 4 to 5 days, turning it once each day.

Cook the Roast:

6.    When ready to cook the roast, remove from the refrigerator and pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Alternatively, cook on stove top.
7.    Add sugar to marinade and stir well, place Dutch Oven on middle rack of oven and slow cook, covered for 5 hours until roast is fork-tender. If using stove top, bring to a boil, reduce heat so liquid is just bubbling, cover and cook 5 hours.
8.    With either cooking method, if roast is not completely covered by the liquid, turn it once or twice during the 5 hours.
9.    When done, shut the oven, or heat, remove the meat to a platter and keep warm.
10.    Strain the solids from the marinade and discard them. Wipe clean the Dutch Oven, and remove and discard any solids still attached to the roast.
11.    Add the strained marinade back to the Dutch Oven, place it on the stove top, bring to a boil and whisk in the crushed gingersnap cookies.
12.    Add back the roast and keep warm on a low flame until ready to serve.
13.    Slice the roast and pour the gravy over the slices. Serve at once with sides of red cabbage and mashed potatoes.

Please see Where Have All the Germans Gone?

Dorothea’s Homemade Italian Sauce

In Beef, Meat, Pork, Recipes, Sauces on March 10, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Dorothea’s Homemade Italian Sauce served Over Penne

By Grammy Betty


3 35 oz. cans of San Marzano Tomatoes, mashed
3 small cans (8 oz.), of Del Monte Tomato Sauce
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp. sugar
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
16 Grammy’s Meatballs – 2 lbs. prime (90% lean beef) chopped meat, 1 ½ lbs. used for Grammy’s Meatballs and the remainder reserved for adding to the sauce.)
2 small cans (6 oz.) of Contadina Tomato Paste


1.    Add the mashed tomatoes and their juice to a large (8 qt.) pot.
2.    Add the garlic, sugar and Del Monte tomato sauce.
3.    Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer.
4.    In the meantime, add the sausage to a skillet, pierce them with a fork, and cook over medium heat until done.
5.    Remove cooked sausage and add to the sauce, and remove all but 2 tbsps. of rendered fat and add to sauce.
6.    Add chopped onion to the scrapings and remaining fat  from the sausage, brown and deglaze the pan, add to the sauce.
7.    Make the 16 meatballs (see Grammy’s Meatballs for recipe) and add to the sauce.
8.    Brown the remaining ½ lb. of chopped meat, add in the tomato paste, stir and cook for 5 minutes or so, over medium heat, remove and add to the sauce.
9.    Simmer sauce uncovered, on a low flame, for approximately 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.

Due to the thickness of the sauce, it is best served over a pasta shape that will trap and hold the sauce, such as Penne, Ziti, Rigatoni or Shells (conchiglie). Add some chopped fresh basil to each bowl, and serve with grated imported Italian Cheese, and Dorothea’s Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce, on the side.

A good bottle of Italian red wine, such as a Rosso di Montalcino, the less expensive cousin of Brunello, makes this pasta dish just perfect!

Please see: The Secret’s Out!

Note: The unused sauce can be frozen in meal sized batches. Often it thickens after taken from the freezer. When this happens, simply add some water to thin the sauce to your liking.

Grammy’s Meatballs

In Beef, For Moms on the Go, Meat, Pasta, Recipes, Sauces on March 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Grammy’s Meatballs

By Grammy Betty

Our granddaughter, May, defines the term fussy eater. So imagine how thrilled The Literate Chef and I were when she devoured my meatballs during a recent visit. With the love of our granddaughter in mind, I share my recipe for Grammy’s Meatballs.


1 ½  lbs. prime (90% lean beef) chopped meat
2 eggs
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Locatelli-Romano
½ cup whole milk
½ cup Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil for browning the meatballs


1.    Place all of the above ingredients, except the olive oil, in a large bowl, and kneed them together until well mixed and spongy.
2.    Form into 16 medium size (about 2 inches in diameter) meatballs.
3.    Heat the olive oil in a skillet over a medium-high flame.

Browning the Meatballs

4.    Add the meatballs and brown on all sides for approximately 5 minutes.
5.    Reduce flame to medium and continue cooking, turning frequently, for an additional 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

(Note: If adding the meatballs to Dorothea’s Homemade Italian Sauce, skip the last step and add the browned meatballs directly to the sauce, where they will continue to cook.)

Please see: The Secret’s Out!

Papa’s Hearty Beef Stew a la Burgundy

In Beef, For Moms on the Go, Meat, Recipes, Stews on October 27, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Ready to Eat

Makes about 5 quarts-preparation time including stove-top browning is 1½hour. Total oven cooking time is 2½ hours. Please refer to A Hearty Stew for Those Chilly Autumn and Winter Nights for some preparation tips.


1 cup of flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
5-6 lb. roast (bottom round is an excellent choice) cut into cubes of about 1¼ – 1½ inches
½ cup of canola oil
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
5 cups of Pinot Noir or red Burgundy wine
1 quart of beef stock
2 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed to 1½ inches
24 pearl onions (about 1 lb.) outer skin peeled (see step 1 below)
1 16 oz, package of baby carrots
¼ cup of each of coarsely chopped fresh sage and fresh thyme
1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns, crushed
1¼ lbs. cremini mushrooms, stems removed, large caps halved or quartered
1 small (6 oz.) can tomato paste


1.    Prepare the onions – bring small pot of water to boil, blanch onions for 30 seconds, rinse and cool, cut off root end and peel outer skin layer.
2.    In the meantime, peel and cube the potatoes, prepare the mushrooms and chop the herbs and garlic.
3.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4.    Add flour, salt and pepper to a gallon size Ziploc® bag.
5.    Add beef, about 10 pieces at a time, to bag and shake well to coat with flour.
6.    Heat canola oil in a large casserole, preferably enamel coated cast iron French or Dutch Oven.
7.    Add the floured beef cubes to the casserole and brown them in one layer without crowding, for 8 or so minutes on high heat, turning the cubes several times.

Browning the Beef

Fully Browned Beef

8.    Remove browned beef and set aside, add more beef cubes and continuing browning until all the beef is done. If beef sticks to the casserole, or the flour base begins to burn, add a bit more oil.
9.    Add the garlic and lightly brown in the remaining oil and fat.
10.    Add one cup of wine and with a spatula, deglaze the pot. Add a second cup of wine and continue deglazing.
11.    When the second cup of wine has boiled down for about 1 minute, return all of the meat to the casserole to coat it well. Reduce heat to medium.
12.    Add beef broth and stir well, cover and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, stir well, cover and place in the pre-heated oven for ½ hour.
13.    Add the remaining three cups of wine and the onions, stir well and return to oven covered for another ½ hour.
14.    Add the carrots, herbs and black pepper, stir well and return covered to the oven, for a third ½ hour.
15.    Add the mushrooms and return covered to the oven an additional ½ hour.
16.    Add the tomato paste and return to oven uncovered for a final half hour ½ hour.

The Finished Product

When ready to serve the stew, serve it with a crust baguette and a good red wine, such as a Brunello de Montalcino.

Steak au Poivre

In Beef, Meat, Recipes on May 23, 2011 at 7:26 AM

(Adapted from the New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne)

This dish cooks very quickly, in less than 15 minutes and requires constant attention; therefore it makes sense to have all of the ingredients measured out and readily at hand before beginning to cook. DON’T FORGET THE MATCHES – PREFERABLY LONG FIREPLACE MATCHES.Use a heavy, cast iron frying pan for up to three steaks; cooking four will most likely require two pans, making it necessary to divide the other ingredients accordingly. This preparation also produces a lot of smoke so be forewarned.

Have Everything Ready


•    1 boneless shell steak per person, each about 1¼ inch thick, excess fat trimmed
•    Freshly ground black pepper
•    Kosher salt
•    1 pat of unsalted butter per steak + 1 extra pat for the sauce
•    Tabasco Sauce
•    Worcestershire Sauce
•    2 Tablespoons of ReaLemon juice per steak
•    ¼ cup of cognac (for 1 to 3 shell steaks; increase to 1/3 cup if preparing 4 steaks)
•    1/3 cup of heavy cream (for 1 to 3 shell steaks; increase to 1/2 cup if preparing 4 steaks)


The following instructions are for medium rare steaks. If the steaks are of a different thickness than 1¼ inches, or are to be served other than medium rare, cooking time should be adjusted accordingly.

1.    At least 30 minutes prior to cooking, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and pat them dry with paper towels to remove any moisture. Pepper them liberally with freshly ground black pepper.  Softly press the pepper into the steaks with a wooden mallet or spoon and let them sit at room temperature until ready to cook.
2.    Heat the cast iron frying pan on high for 2 minutes.
3.    Lightly cover the bottom of the pan with kosher salt and heat for another full minute.
4.    Add the steaks to the pan and sear for 2 minutes on each side.


Searing the Steaks

5.    Lower heat to medium, continue cooking the steaks for an additional 6 minutes for medium rare (4 minutes for rare), turning them in approximate one-minute intervals.
6.    After the 10 minutes, (or 8 minutes for rare) place one pat of butter on each steak, spread the butter around with a fork in order to melt it into the steaks. After 30 seconds, turn the steaks and cook for another 30 seconds. By this point the steaks will have cooked for about 11 minutes (9 minutes for rare).
7.    Sprinkle each steak with 4 shakes each of Tabasco Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce turn the Steaks and repeat the process. Add 2 tablespoons of the ReaLemon juice per steak and continue cooking and turning the steaks for no more than 1 minute.
8.    Shut the heat, add the cognac and let sit for about 5 seconds; stand back and ignite the cognac with the fireplace match. (Note: This will produce a high blast of flame, so be sure that no curtains, towels, rags or other combustibles are nearby and if you have the vent fan on, shut it first). When the flame subsides, turn the heat to high again and turn the steaks once or twice to coat them well with the sauce, transfer the steaks to warmed plates and shut the heat. By this point the steaks will have been cooked for 13 minutes (for rare steaks, about 11 minutes).

Flambe with Cognac

9.    Add the cream to the pan, turn the heat to medium and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula. Add one pat of butter; continue stirring, scraping, and cooking the sauce until it bubbles and turns a medium to dark caramel color.

How the cream should look

10. When the sauce thickens to the point of coating the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat and pour equally over each steak.

The Finished Product

Serve at once. Great accompaniments include Broccoli Florets or Asparagus sautéed in garlic and oil, a loaf of crusty French bread to sop up the remaining sauce and a bottle of fine Bordeaux, such as a Saint-Emilion.

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