Tag Archives: beef

Recipe: Quick Korean Beef

16 Sep

It’s so easy to pick up the phone and order takeout from the Asian place around the corner. Mr. Bacon and I used to do it all the time before we moved out to the country. The restaurant was literally around the corner so it would take about 15 minutes from the time we made the call till the time the delivery guy was knocking on our door.

While it might be a simple way to put dinner on the table, it’s not really cost effective and you’re more likely to cave and get something deep fried. Instead, try this recipe out. It packs a spicy, sweet and savoury punch, takes about 10 minutes and is crazy cheap.

Thanks to Lizzy Writes for the recipe.

Quick Korean Beef

Quick Korean Beef | baconavecbacon.com

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
fresh ground pepper
3 green onions, sliced

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and garlic in the sesame oil. Drain most of the fat and add the remaining ingredients except for the green onion. To make it really quick, use pre-minced garlic and ginger in a jar. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavours to marry.

Serve on a bed of rice topped with the green onions.

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Recipe: Homestyle Lasagna

27 Jan

This is probably Mr. Bacon’s #1 favourite meal. In fact, I believe after his first bite of this one he said lovingly (to the lasagna, not me), “Oh my god! Why are you so good????”

Yes, lasagna requires a fair amount of prep but my secret is that I split this recipe into three ‘just enough for two people’ mini loaf pans which means zero effort aside from defrosting and heating for subsequent meals. You could easily make this as a family size lasagna in a single 9×13 pan or you could double the batch and make six at once. They freeze wonderfully and in fact, I think they’re better once they’ve had a chance to sit.

Homestyle Lasagna

Homestyle Lasagna | baconavecbacon.com

1 package of FRESH lasagna noodles
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound mild or hot Italian sausage
5-6 cups pasta sauce (use your own or bottled)
1 tub ricotta cheese
1 block chopped frozen spinach, defrosted & drained
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
2 tsp chopped garlic
salt & pepper
dried parsley

In order to make this as painless as possible, do like the chefs do and get your ‘mise en place‘ ready. That means preparing all of the elements and placing them within reach.

First I brown the ground beef with the oregano, basil, garlic and a bit of salt & pepper. I drain it and set it out on a plate covered in paper towel to drain further.

Then I brown the sausage breaking it up as much as possible. If your sausage comes in a casing vs. loose, remove it from the casing before cooking. When it’s brown, I usually whiz it with the food processor a bit so that the consistency is closer to that of the ground beef. Set it on a plate with paper towel like the beef.

Then defrost the spinach in a medium size bowl in the microwave. Drain as much water as you can from it by pushing on it with a paper towel and allowing the excess water to drip out of the bowl. Add the tub of ricotta, a pinch of salt and pepper and 3-4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Mix until thoroughly combined and set aside.

Open your pasta sauce, grate your mozzarella and get your pan or pans out. Open the package of pasta and use a very sharp knife to cut through all layers of pasta in three evenly sized portions.

Your kitchen counter should look like this:

Homestyle Lasagna | baconavecbacon.com

Now you can begin building your lasagna one layer at a time. When I’m splitting lasagnas into three pans, I do one layer at a time over all three pans. Here is how to assemble it:

  • 1/4 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of the pan
  • 1 sheet of pasta
  • 1/6th of the ground beef
  • 1/4 cup of pasta sauce
  • 1 sheet of pasta
  • 1/6th of the sausage
  • 1/4 cup of pasta sauce
  • 1 sheet of pasta
  • 1/3 of the ricotta mixture
  • 1 sheet of pasta
  • 1/6th of the sausage
  • 1/4 cup of pasta sauce
  • 1 sheet of pasta
  • 1/6th of the ground beef
  • 1/4 cup of pasta sauce
  • 1 sheet of pasta
  • 1/4 cup of pasta sauce
  • 1 cup (or more if you desire) mozzarella cheese
  • sprinkle of parmesan
  • sprinkle of dried parsley flakes

Homestyle lasagna | baconavecbacon.com

I like to have a dryer lasagna with defined layers but if you prefer yours more sauce-y, add more sauce at each layer. It’s OK if some of the ingredients fall off of the layers and into the edges of the pan. You won’t be able to tell once it’s been cooked.

When you have all three lasagnas assembled, place the mini loaf pans onto a cookie sheet and place in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. The lasagnas should be bubbling and the cheese should be nicely browned.

Let the lasagna sit for about 10 minutes before cutting.

For the ones you’re going to freeze, let them cool on the counter while you stuff your face. Then place each lasagna, pan and all into a 1 gallon ziplock freezer bag. Use a straw to suck out any air and seal tightly before popping in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat a frozen one, let it defrost in the fridge overnight or over a couple of days. Then cut into four slices, place onto a plate and heat in the microwave until hot. Trust me, it works better than the oven!

Recipe: The (Spaghetti) Sauce

28 Nov

Once upon a time, there was a man who would only eat regular Prego brand tomato sauce. You know, that stuff that tastes like ketchup with a few flakes of oregano and basil? Yeah, I don’t get it either, but he loved the stuff. So much so that when I was making this beautiful from scratch meat sauce, he requested that I pick up a jar of Prego for his pasta. Well, there was none to be had at the grocery store so he deigned to try ‘The Sauce’ and his life was forever changed for the better.

That story is mostly true (hi Chad) and while this sauce might not change your life forever, it’s got depth of flavour that the canned stuff can’t touch and if you make a double or triple batch and freeze it in portions, it’s just as easy.

The Sauce

1 pound of ground beef
3 Italian sausages, casings removed
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
3 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
3 teaspoons oregano
3 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sugar

In a large pot, heat the oil and add the onions, red pepper, salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and sweat it until it becomes fragrant. Add the ground beef and sausage and cook until brown. Add the remaining ingredients except for the sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for for an hour.

At this point those who prefer a smooth (vs. super chunky) sauce should break out their immersion blenders. Remove the bay leaf and whizz just enough to remove some of the large pieces. It should not be pureed.  Take this opportunity to taste the sauce and adjust the salt and add the sugar. You may need a bit more or less depending on how acidic the tomatoes are. Put the bay leaf back in.

Simmer at least another half hour but an additional hour and a half to two hours is ideal.

The sauce can be cooled and frozen for 6 months or more and reheated in the microwave. It also keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Recipe: Homestyle Chili

27 Aug

Even though it’s still summer, at this time of year I start looking forward to the great things about fall: cozy sweaters, falling leaves and hearty meals bubbling in a cast iron pot. And when you’ve got 2 pounds of ground beef hanging around in the freezer looking to be used, it’s hard not to think of chili.

Growing up, my parents had dueling chili recipes. Both had their merits but I think I have to give the upper hand to dad (sorry mom!) This one differs a bit from dad’s in that it’s missing a can of tinned sliced mushrooms (Mr. Bacon is not a fan) but it’s very similar. Enjoy it by itself or even better, on top of a hot dog. MMM.

Homestyle Chili


2 pounds lean ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 cans red kidney beans
1 medium onion, diced finely
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 heaping tablespoons chili powder
2 heaping tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons oregano
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
salt, pepper & sugar to taste
1 bay leaf
olive or vegetable oil

Get yourself a big heavy bottomed pot (like this cast iron one). On medium high heat, soften the onion and bell pepper with a couple of tablespoons of oil and some salt and pepper. The salt helps the water cook out of the vegetables. When the onions are almost translucent, add the garlic and cook for a minute or two until it gets fragrant.

Add the ground beef and cook it until it’s brown. You might want to drain some of the oil off at this point, but if you use lean beef it may not be necessary.

Throw in the spices, stir and cook for another minute or two to release the flavours. Then add the tomatoes, paste, and beans and stir being careful not to break up the beans too much. Throw in the bay leaf.

Turn the heat down to low and let simmer for at least an hour but two or slightly more is preferable. Most of the way through, give it a taste and adjust the seasoning, including adding a tablespoon of sugar or so to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Alternatively, you can brown everything in a frying pan and add the rest into a slow cooker to bubble away on low for about 8 hours.

Top with some sour cream or shredded cheese (or both) and a side of crusty bread or toast.

Recipe: Cheesy Taco Pasta

29 Jul

Mr. Bacon is decidedly against two types of foods: casseroles and Mexican flavours on pasta. I’m a decidedly huge fan of both of these things. I used to make these kinds of dishes only when he was away from home but sometimes, you just have a craving for some comfort food that needs to be satisfied immediately!

For this very reason, and also because 90% of grocery store frozen meals are gross, I make up these kinds of dishes and portion them out into glass dishes to take for lunches.

This is one of my favourite things to make. It’s simple but packs a lot of flavour and reheats really nicely. It’s also a thousand times better than the ‘Beef-Type-Substance Helper’ version. It’s equally good fresh from the oven on a weeknight if your family is willing to help you eat it!

Cheesy Taco Pasta


1/2 large bag of Scoobi-doo or rotini pasta
1 pound ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
1 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sour cream
3 cups shredded marble cheese

Start the water boiling for the pasta. Then in a separate large pot start browning the ground beef. When it’s done, add the taco seasoning, water, sour cream and salsa. Stir and let simmer while the pasta cooks. (Remember to salt the water well!) When the pasta is done, drain and then add to the sauce mixture. Let cook for another 3 minutes, stirring while the sauce is absorbed. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the mixture. Stir.

If you’re eating it immediately, or want a family sized version in the freezer, place the pasta and meat mixture into a large baking dish. If not, portion it out into 4 or 5 microwavable containers. Top both versions with the remaining cheese. If you’re eating it immediately throw it under the boiler for a few minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. The other version will be ready after a 5 minute stint on high in the microwave.

MMM. It’s like a spicy hug.