Archive for the ‘Chuck Steak’ Category

The Ultimate Burger (Gordon Ramsay)

November 15, 2016


Beef and Beer Stew (Dorie Greenspan)

February 24, 2016

1/4 cup flour

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

21/2 pounds chuck or other stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes, patted dry

3 tablespoons flavorless oil, such as canola, or more as needed

6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic (green germ removed), finely chopped

One 12-ounce bottle Belgian, abbey or brown ale or beer, such as Chimay

11/2 cups no-salt-added beef broth

21/2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon tomato paste or concentrate

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Pinch ground cloves

4 sprigs thyme

3 bay leaves

2 cups cubed, roasted vegetables, or as much as you like (optional)

1/4 cup chopped parsley, dill, chives, tarragon or mixed herbs, for serving

Put the flour in a mixing bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and drop in the beef; toss to coat.

Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into a 4-to-5-quart Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add as many beef cubes as you can without crowding them, first shaking off excess flour. The beef will steam, not brown, if the pan is too full; cook, seasoning each batch with salt and pepper, until browned on all sides. The pieces should release easily from the bottom of the pot. As the meat is browned, transfer it to a separate bowl. If you need more oil to finish browning the batches, add it as needed. Reserve any leftover flour. If the oil in the pot has burned, wipe out the pot, leaving whatever solids (browned bits) have stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Toss the bacon into the pot and cook, stirring, until it has browned and its fat has rendered; transfer to the bowl with the beef.

Add the butter to the pot along with the onions and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper; reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramel-colored. Be patient; this can take at least 30 minutes. If you had leftover flour, stir it into the caramelized onions and cook for 2 minutes, until it browns and loses its raw-flour taste.

While the onions are caramelizing, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Spoon the meat, bacon and whatever juices may have accumulated in the bowl back into the Dutch oven. Add the ale or beer, the broth, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, allspice, cloves, thyme and bay leaves; increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Taste for salt and pepper, adding more as needed. Cover the pot tightly with aluminum foil, then with its lid, and slide it into the oven. Cook (middle rack) for 21/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

When you’re ready to serve, stir in the roasted vegetables, if using, then sprinkle the stew with the chopped herbs.

Perfect Goulash (Felicity Cloake)

April 3, 2014

(serves 4)
600g shin of beef (or chuck steak if unavailable)
3 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp lard
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, cut into rounds
Juice of 1 lemon
150ml sour cream (optional)
Chives (optional)

Cut the beef into large chunks. Mix the paprika, flour, salt and caraway seeds together in a bowl then add the beef and toss to coat. Heat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1.

Melt the lard in a heavy-based casserole dish over a medium-high heat, and then brown the meat in batches, being very careful not to crowd the pan. Remove when golden and crusted, and set aside.

Scrape the bottom of the pan and add the onions and pepper, adding a little more fat if necessary. Cook until soft and starting to brown, then pick out the peppers and set aside. Stir the remaining flour and spice mixture into the onions and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Return the beef to the pan and add water just to cover. Scrape the bottom of the pan again, then put in the oven for 2.5 hours.

Stir the peppers and lemon juice into the goulash and cook for another half hour, or until the meat is very tender – you can remove the lid to let the sauce reduce if you like. Check the seasoning, then dollop the sour cream, if using, on top of the goulash and snip the chives over it all before serving with crushed boiled potatoes or egg noodles.

Carbonnade of Beef (Prue Leith)

February 12, 2013

Carbonnade of Beef (Prue Leith)

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce

November 25, 2011

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce

Makes 2 heaping cups sauce; 4 to 6 servings

– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

– 4 tablespoons butter, divided

– ½ cup chopped onion

– 2/3 cup chopped celery

– 2/3 cup chopped carrot

– ¾ pound ground beef chuck

– Salt

– Fresh ground black pepper

– 1 cup whole milk

– Whole nutmeg- 1 cup dry white wine

– 1-½ cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, torn into pieces, with juice

– 1-¼ to 1-½ pounds pasta (preferably spaghetti), cooked and drained

– Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table

1. Put oil, 3 tablespoons butter and chopped onion in a heavy 3-½-quart pot and turn heat to medium. Cook and stir onion until it has become translucent, then add chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat well.

2. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble meat with a fork, stir well and cook until beef has lost its raw, red color.

3. Add milk and let simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. Add a tiny grating, about 1/8 teaspoon, fresh nutmeg and stir.

4. Add wine and let it simmer until it has evaporated. Add tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well. When tomatoes begin to bubble, turn heat down so that sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through the surface.

5. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. While sauce is cooking, you are likely to find that it will begin to dry out and the fat will separate from the meat. To keep it from sticking, add ½ cup water as necessary. At the end of cooking, however, the water should be completely evaporated and the fat should separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.

6. Add remaining tablespoon butter to the hot pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan on the side.

Lasagne al forno (Angela Hartnett)

November 24, 2011

Lasagne al forno recipe

By Angela Hartnett

Serving instructions

  1. Serves 6 |
  2. Takes 2 3/4 hours to make and 50 minutes in the oven |
  3. Rating

When Italians make a lasagne they use chopped steak, not mince, says Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett. Try this authentic recipe and you’ll understand why

tried and tested

Lasagne al forno



  1. 750g rump or chuck steak
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 large carrot, finely diced
  4. 1 celery stick, finely diced
  5. 1 onion, finely diced
  6. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  7. 1 tbsp tomato purée
  8. 50g butter
  9. 50g plain flour
  10. 568ml full-fat milk
  11. 100g Parmesan, coarsely grated
  12. 9 dried plain lasagne sheets
  13. Good bunch basil leaves


  1. 1. Trim and discard any fat from the steak, then cut the meat into very small dice and set aside. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until coloured all over. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute. Add enough cold water (about 350ml) to just cover the meat and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 11/2 hours. Top up with water occasionally, if necessary. Uncover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until you have a rich sauce. (Angela Hartnett’s tip: If you have a bottle open, add a splash of red wine after the tomato purée.)
  2. 2. When the bolognese is nearly ready, make the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring until thickened. Stir in 2 tablespoons Parmesan, season and set aside.
  3. 3. If you are using lasagne sheets that don’t need pre-cooking, go to step 4. But it’s more traditional to use sheets that need blanching. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Drop a few sheets at a time into the water and cook for a few minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drop into iced water.
  4. 4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Layer the lasagne. Spread a little of the béchamel sauce in the base of a deep, 2.25-litre ovenproof dish. Add 3 lasagne sheets in 1 layer, cutting them to fit your dish, if necessary. Add a third of the béchamel sauce, then top with half the meat. Scatter with torn basil and a little Parmesan. Make another layer of 3 lasagne sheets, then spread with a third of the béchamel, the rest of the meat and a little more basil and Parmesan. Add a final layer of 3 lasagne sheets and spread the rest of the béchamel on top. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake for 8-10 minutes until deep golden. (Angela Hartnett’s tip: Don’t let the foil touch the Parmesan – it will stick and pull it away.)

Nutritional info

Per serving: 516kcals, 25g fat (12.9g saturated), 41.2g protein, 33.6g carbs, 7.6g sugar, 0.8g salt

Wine Recommendation

Wine note: Try a fruity Italian red, such as Barbera or Dolcetto, or a French Côtes-du-Rhône.

Perfect Lasagne and links

November 24, 2011

How to cook perfect lasagne

Just to be clear, that’s ‘lasagne’ as in a baked dish of flat pasta and bolognese sauce. Do you prefer the British, American or Italian style

Felicity's perfect lasagne

Felicity’s perfect lasagne. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

Ah, the homely lasagne: a dish which, if not exactly lost in translation has, in the grand British tradition, been considerably mangled. I was quite taken aback the first time I encountered the real thing – or a London delicatessen’s version of the real thing, which arrived in our mouldy student dwelling courtesy of a parent visiting from the Big Smoke. As a pasta dish which contained neither tuna nor sweetcorn, it was bound to be a marvel, but there were other reasons for falling upon this manna from heaven – or, at least, Highgate.

The most striking thing about the new arrival was its proud and noble bearing – it stood up straight, rather than oozing saucily outwards across the plate like the stuff which came out of the college kitchen. In fact, Giorgio Locatelli describes lasagne in Made in Italy: Food and Stories as a “sturdy, quite dry pasta dish” which would come as news to fans of even the poshest of supermarket versions. “What I see is not lasagne,” he scolds, “but a version of shepherd’s pie, only made with pasta instead of potato.” All credit to us for our inspired fusion cooking – sometimes a gloopy, cheese feast just hits the spot – but I sense that a perfect lasagne will need to be truer to the original spirit of the dish to really cut the mostarda.

While we’re beating ourselves with the authenticity stick, even the name’s misleading: strictly, lasagne refers to flat, thin sheets of pasta – the same ones used in what is correctly referred to as lasagne al forno – baked lasagne, which, in the UK at least, tends to mean lasagne alla bolognese, or lasagne with a meaty, tomatoey sauce. It’s a bit like referring to steak and ale pie as simply “pie” – you’ve got a rough idea of what you’re going to get, but the all-important specifics are missing. So, for the avoidance of doubt, this article refers to a baked dish of lasagne and bolognese sauce – those in search of the perfect sausage and garlic, or chicken tikka versions must continue their quest elsewhere. Sorry.


Although we’re not aiming for “sheets of pasta floating in minced beef”, as Locatelli has it, as the principle flavour of any such lasagne, the meat aspect still deserves careful consideration. At Locanda Locatelli, they make it with their standard ragù alla bolognese, which, having tried and found wanting, I’m substituting for my own perfect bolognese sauce, which gently fries a mixture of coarsely minced beef, streaky bacon and finely chopped chicken livers with onion, carrot and celery, then slow-cooks the lot with milk, white wine and chopped tomatoes.

Layered, in the Locatelli fashion, with béchamel sauce and fresh egg pasta, and topped with “lots of grated parmesan that will crisp up in the oven”, I’m pretty pleased with this first attempt – the lasagne has plenty of structural integrity, and a rich meaty flavour that works as well here as the spaghetti it was originally designed to complement.

It’s an undeniably lengthy process, however, and I’m seduced by the recipe in The Silver Spoon, which simmers its minced beef sauce for just 30 minutes before assembling the lasagne. Despite similar ingredients, I’m disappointed by the results – in the grand scheme of things, this is a decent dish, but the robustly savoury slow-cooked version is a hard act to follow.

Angela Hartnett compromises on a two-hour simmer for her sauce, but with the important distinction of using finely diced chuck or rump steak instead of minced beef – more Italian, apparently. Trimming and chopping 750g of chuck doesn’t immediately endear me to her recipe, but I’m surprised at how much we all enjoy the finished dish – I found steak too chewy with spaghetti, but it seems to work much better with the softer, oven-baked pasta and the creamy béchamel sauce, making the whole thing meatier and more robust. I’d prefer a little more liquid though: although well-flavoured, without the tomatoes and wine of the other recipes it’s drier than surely even Locatelli could intend. Tasty, but not quite perfect. Not yet.

Gennaro Contaldo recipe gran lasagneGennaro Contaldo recipe gran lasagne. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

Gennaro Contaldo has an even more unusual take – a Gran Lasagne, which is a traditional pre-Lenten dish in Naples, rather like our own pancakes, except much, much fancier. Instead of a meaty ragù, it uses walnut-sized meatballs of beef and pork (yes, more meatballs), fried until golden, and then added to a simple tomato and onion sauce. The lasagne looks impressive, with its topping of grilled meatballs and vivid yellow egg yolks (of which more later) but as soon as I cut into my lumpy slab, the meatballs fall out. Not ideal.

I decide to opt for Angela’s chopped steak, slow-cooked with a couple of chicken livers for richness. Simon Hopkinson and Lindsay Bareham use 200g of livers to 500g minced beef in the Prawn Cocktail Years recipe, but I find the flavour a bit overpowering: 50g gives the sauce a more subtle richness.


Prawn Cocktail Years recipe lasagnePrawn Cocktail Years recipe lasagne. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

Locatelli specifies fresh egg pasta, rolled very thinly and blanched before baking – I make a batch, and lovingly send it twice through my pasta roller’s thinnest setting (hey, I’m no nonna), but I can’t see that it’s worth the effort: after 40 minutes in the oven, it’s too soft for my taste. Even worse, the Prawn Cocktail Years version, cooked until tender before baking, almost melts in the mouth.

Angela Hartnett uses blanched dried pasta, which is both much quicker to prepare, and far more robust: even after baking, it holds its shape beautifully. You can get away without pre-cooking, but you’ll end up with a crisper, drier result, as the pasta will soak up much of the sauce as it cooks.

I prefer to use dried egg pasta, as in Simon and Lindsey’s recipe, rather than the flour and water variety, because the richer flavour is more of a match for the ragù and béchamel – as the dish’s most important ingredient it would be a shame to let the pasta fade into the background.

Other elements

I’m surprised to learn that béchamel sauce is not a tradition that has been honoured in the Italian-American community – in fact, I found one poster on an American food forum lamenting that their husband “loves lasagna. Unfortunately I don’t like ricotta. It’s a texture thing. Would love to see if someone has a really good recipe that would satisfy both our taste buds.”

Lidia Bastianich recipe lasagneLidia Bastianich recipe lasagne. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

This intrigues me – I’ve never thought of putting anything other than parmesan into a beef lasagne before (well, OK, my sister’s mother-in-law makes a fabulous lasagne topped with lots of lovely Scottish cheddar, but apart from that), so I do some research on Italian-American lasagne, and one name keeps recurring: Lidia Bastianich, a chef born in Istria, who emigrated to the States in the late 1950s.

Her recipe calls for layers of meat sauce, a ricotta and egg mixture, pasta and sliced mozzarella – it’s incredibly rich, and quite a different dish to the simple flavours of the Angela Hartnett recipe. Even the tester who claims that a lasagne can “never have too much cheese” is put off by the grainy texture of the ricotta.

Gennaro Contaldo also uses layers of ricotta, mozzarella and egg, although in the case of his lasagne di carnevale, the last is in hard-boiled form, which makes things even weirder – and distinctly more rubbery. Unless you need to use up a few eggs, I’d advise confining them to the pasta here.

In keeping with the generous amount of chicken liver in their recipe, Simon Hopkinson and Lindsay Bareham suggest a rich take on the classic béchamel, infusing the milk with onion and cloves, in the manner of a bread sauce, and then thinning the result with double cream. As well as sacrificing the velvety texture of the original, it makes the dish a bit sickly for my taste – I like the blandness of the sauce as a foil to the intense savouriness of the ragù. The Silver Spoon’s chopped butter between the layers, meanwhile just makes the dish a bit greasy.

Silver Spoon recipe lasagneSilver Spoon recipe lasagne. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

I don’t like the simple tomato and onion sauce in Gennaro’s southern meatball lasagne – a meaty bolognese ragù packs a lot more punch. Locatelli’s red wine seems to work better with Angela’s chopped steak than my original white, although I’m keeping the nutmeg and the tomatoes. I also like his idea of a cheese-free white sauce, but instead of confining the grated parmesan to the top of the lasagne, where it will toast to a golden brown, I’m stealing an idea from the Silver Spoon, and adding it in layers in the dish itself.

Perfect lasagne alla bolognese

Felicity's perfect lasagneFelicity’s perfect lasagne. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

As with so many classic Italian dishes, lasagne alla bolognese should be kept simple – a robustly savoury meat sauce, creamy bèchamel, and just a hint of cheese, all deferring to the real star of the show, the pasta. It may take a little more time to make than you’re used to, but I promise you, it’s worth it.

Serves 6

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to cook the pasta
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
500g chuck steak, cut into small dice
50g chicken livers, trimmed and finely chopped
100ml red wine
400ml passata
Grated nutmeg
50g butter
50g plain flour
600ml whole milk
About 9 sheets dried egg lasagne (depending on the size of the sheets and your dish – you’ll need 3 layers of pasta)
100g grated parmesan

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan and gently fry the onion until softened. Add the carrot and continue to cook for 5 minutes, then add the celery and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn up the heat, add the chopped beef and cook until browned all over, then stir in the chopped livers and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Pour in the wine and passata, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of grated nutmeg, then bring to a simmer. Cover partially, turn the heat down, and leave to simmer gently for 2 hours. Uncover, and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the sauce is well flavoured and almost dry.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a medium pan, and then whisk in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring, then gradually whisk in the milk, and bring to the boil, still stirring. Season and simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened.

4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add a couple of drops of olive oil. Blanch the pasta, in batches to stop it clumping together, for 1 minute, then drain, separate and leave to dry on a tea towel or greased plate or board.

5. To assemble the lasagne, take a deep, wide dish and coat the bottom with a third of the meat sauce, topped with a quarter of the béchamel, and a sprinkling of parmesan, and finally a layer of blanched pasta. Repeat two more layers, and then top the last layer of pasta with the rest of the béchamel, and the remaining parmesan. Grate a little nutmeg over the top, and cook for 40 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

6. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving – lasagne is better warm than hot, and even better the next day.