Archive for beef

Instant Pot Bolognese Sauce

I love this recipe because it’s a time saver. Traditional Bolognese sauce takes HOURS to make on the stove but with the Instant Pot, it’s ready under a hour.

It’s also my understanding that traditionally Bolognese Sauce is made with half beef and half pork. Feel free to substitute with whatever you feel like using or going with one type than using both. For this recipe, I used ground beef and ground pork.

Whenever I make this, we use half of the sauce for dinner then freeze rest in pints. They freeze well for future use.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 (28-oz) can whole San Marzano tomatoes with their liquid (I personally use the Cento brand)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (or cooking red wine)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (which is roughly half a can of tomato paste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Select Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the olive oil.
  2. Add in onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and salt and sauté for approximately 5 minutes or until the onion has softened and is translucent.
  3. Add in ground beef and ground pork. Break it all up with a spoon. Cook it for approximately 10 minutes or until cooked through and no traces of pink remain.
  4. Add in tomatoes and their liquid. Crush the tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the Instant Pot.
  5. Stir in the red wine, tomato paste, bay leaves and ground black pepper.
  6. Secure the lid. Select Meat/Stew setting and set it for 35 minutes at high pressure. Make sure your valve is set to sealing.
  7. When the timer goes off, you have two choices. You can either switch the valve to venting or you can leave it on sealing and let it pressure release naturally.

I serve it over pasta and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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Triple Cheese Meatloaf


In my house, anything stuffed with cheese is a hit. I’m a major “cheeseaholic” who could probably never live without cheese. What’s great about this recipe is that it is very easy to make! You could also substitute one cheese type for another.

Ingredients:

FOR THE MEATLOAF MIX:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground sausage (if you cannot find ground sausage, use 1 lb sweet Italian sausage and remove casings)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

OTHERS:

  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 firm medium tomato, sliced
  • 1 scallion (green onions), sliced
  • a dash of ground black pepper
  • several teaspoons worth of grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all the ingredients from the Meatloaf Mix list. Mix well. Divide this mix into two pieces.
  3. You will need either a round baking dish or a 8″ square baking dish pan. Spray this with some olive oil. Place 1/2 of the meatloaf mix in the pan and flatten it out.
  4. Add the three different types of cheese. Make sure you leave at least 1″ border around the dish so the cheese doesn’t ooze out that much when it’s in the oven.
  5. Sprinkle the sliced scallions on top of the cheese.
  6. Then add the other half of the meatloaf mix on top. Make sure this top layer covers EVERYTHING (cover the cheese, scallions, et cetera).
  7. Bake in the 350 degrees oven for 50 minutes.
  8. Add sliced tomatoes on top of meatloaf after it’s out of the oven.
  9. Sprinkle some ground black pepper and parmesan cheese on top of tomatoes and bake again for another 10 minutes.

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Baked Spaghetti Squash with Beef and Vegetables Casserole 

This is a very delicious healthy casserole! The spaghetti squash is the star in this recipe. 


Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 pound ground beef (I always go for the most lean kind)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano in it (I use the Tuttorosso brand) – drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Place squash on a baking dish with the cut half side up. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool. When cool, shred the pulp with a fork. 
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. 
  4. In a skillet on medium-high heat, brown ground beef until evenly browned. Add diced peppers and minced garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender. 
  5. Add in shredded spaghetti squash and drained diced tomatoes. Cook until heated through. 
  6. Add in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and make sure it’s melted before you remove it from the heat. 
  7. Grease a 13″ x 9″ glass baking dish. Pour contents in this dish. 
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. Then take it out. 
  9. Add 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, bake again for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

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Unstuffed Cabbage

We love eating stuffed cabbage in our house. Sometimes we just don’t have the time to make it. This is the “lazy” version or what we called the “unstuffed” cabbage. This is a quick and easy main dish that’s inexpensive to make. 


Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large (or 2 small) onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small cabbage, chopped
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper 

Directions:

  1. Brown the ground beef with diced onions in a large pot. Break the ground beef down into pieces. 
  2. When the beef is browned, add in minced garlic. Mix well and let it cook for one minute. 
  3. Add chopped cabbage, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water, salt and pepper to the pot. Mix well. Cook on high heat. 
  4. Bring to boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for between 20-30 minutes or until cabbage is tender. 

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Russian Porcupine Meatballs

This is one of my favorite comfort foods. The sauce that goes with this is to die for. They’re called porcupine meatballs (тетфтели ежики – tefteli ezhiki) because of the rice that is in them. They stick out like quills sometimes.

We tend to have the meatballs and the sauce over macaroni. My family soaks up the remaining sauce on the plate with a piece of bread because it is that scrumptious!

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Easy Beef Empanadas

My family loves these and this recipe is foolproof. You can even add in other things to the filling like beans or diced cooked potatoes. This recipe will yield 16 beef empanadas.


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Santa Fe Soup

Here’s one of my family’s favorites to make in the wintertime. It’s hearty and healthy! The best part? It’s easy to make too! I got this recipe from a friend and adapted it to my liking.

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