By: Leanne Ely
Because the weather is still cold, kitchens across North America (at least in the northern part of the continent!) are staying heated up with warm, comforting and familiar dishes.
For me, nothing quite fits the comfort food bill like beef.
Beef is full of protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc and magnesium. Beef makes our muscles strong, and keeps our hormone levels and our hearts healthy.
There is no such thing as a bad cut of beef, as far as I’m concerned. Whether it’s ground, cubed into stewing beef or cut into steaks, there’s no cut of beef that can’t be transformed into something delicious. And this time of year, it’s all about the comforting beef dishes for me.
The following are some of my favorite ways to warm up my family with beef:
Stew. Yummy beef stew is a bowl full of goodness. Making stew is a cinch. The slow cooker or dutch oven really does all the work. Start by browning your cubed beef (an optional step, but I love the extra layer of flavor browning brings to a dish), add veggies and seasonings, and cover in whatever liquid you like—I like bone broth, tomatoes and red wine. Stewing food means covering it in liquid and letting it simmer at low heat for a good long time. You can make it in the crock pot, on the stovetop or in the oven.
Soup. There are as many ways to make a pot of beef soup as there are spices in my pantry (trust me—there are dozens). Start with your beef broth (preferably your own homemade bone broth), and add ground beef, leftover roast beef, or whatever beef you want. Season it, and add your cubed veggies. Let it bubble away on the stove until you’re ready to devour.
Roasted. There’s something so comforting about a pot roast. The easiest way to prepare one is to let the crockpot do the work. Pop your roast and seasonings in there, along with your vegetables, and let it cook on low for 6–8 hours. Mmmm.
Chili. Ground beef cooked with onions, garlic, chili, cumin, salt, pepper (and whatever other spices you enjoy), beef broth, peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, and kidney beans (if you aren’t a Paleoista — Paleoistas can enjoy a fine pot of chili by simply skipping the beans), makes a delicious meal.
Cottage pie. If you have the right combination of leftovers in your refrigerator, you can put together a wonderful cottage pie. Cottage pie is the same thing as shepherd’s pie, except shepherd’s pie features lamb and cottage pie is made with beef. Fry your beef with some onions, garlic, ketchup, worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper and whatever other seasonings you love. When that’s all cooked, put it in the bottom of a casserole dish and layer with leftover diced veggies, and top the whole works with leftover whipped potatoes—either sweet potatoes or yellow. Bake until the top is golden brown. Yum yum.
I always choose local grass-fed beef and I recommend you do the same if you have the option!