Tuesday, October 8, 2013

where's the beef

one of my very favorite soups....mmm...
Growing up, I didn't think twice about beef. 
I didn't love it, I didn't hate it.....I just ate it. 
Oh--except meatloaf. I never ever liked meatloaf (still can't do it).
Robby and I got married young (I was 19, child bride.....remember?) and literally couldn't afford to buy beef. Maybe every now and then for a special Sunday dinner.....of Hamburger Helper.
A few years later and I just didn't like it. Not because of ethical reasons, not because of health reasons....I just didn't like beef. I'd make chili every now and then with hamburger, and that was about it. 
Not even burgers (crazy, right?)
And then I started learning more and more about the meat industry and how so much of our country's beef is......raised? Or should I say, CREATED.
I feel like some of those places treat cows so poorly they are hardly even animals anymore.
And then I REALLY didn't want to eat beef....it just seemed gross to me.
But then sometime in that phase of my life, I decided I really loved a good hamburger....
.....so I educated myself about other options. 
You know, like real cows. 
I grew up in Montana--more cows than people. I could look in any direction from my house and see cows. Happy, hay-eating cows that would someday make a fantastic burger.
I researched and found places where WE live that sold local beef and bought it here and there when we could.
And then this spring we found a local farmer selling his meat in bulk.....and we went for it.
My freezer is now fully stocked with 1/4 of a cow.
You guys.....that is SO much meat.
hamburger, steaks, roasts, ribs.
all of it.
It was so much cheaper to buy it in bulk, and I love that I know exactly where it came from.
It lived outside, under the blue sky and grew up a real, live, mooing cow.
That being said, I do love a good burger and if we are out for dinner after a long day on the trail I don't question where the meat came from. I realize not everyone is using local beef, and that's ok (remember THIS post? Don't stress).
We eat local when we can, if if we can't oh well.
If you don't eat red meat, great! If you eat whatever meat you can find, that's great too.
I just encourage you to seek out what you feel is best for you and your family, forget what others are doing.
This is one of my absolute favorite soups to make ( I posted it last winter HERE ....also one of my favorite blog posts)
My family devours it every time, and it's a great way to use up some of that beef in my freezer.

Beef and Butternut Stew
original recipe by Giada
I changed:
2lbs of beef down to 1lb......2 was just way more beef than we eat. 
-Added some diced potatoes in place of the 1lb of beef.
-swapped out the Marsala. 
-added a bit more garlic and sundried tomatoes (because why not?)
this makes aLOT of stew, and will feed my family twice when we eat it with salad and bread.

3 TBS olive oil 
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 
1 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch cubes 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1 cup Marsala wine (we don't drink wine so I don't have any Marsala on hand. I used 1/2 cup good quality grape juice + 1TBS red wine vinegar)
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 
3 medium sized potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes 
3 to 4 cups beef broth 

In a large soup pot heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and saute until the onions are tender, about 2 minutes. Toss the beef cubes in salt and pepper and flour. Turn up the heat to med-high and add the beef to the pot. Cook until the beef is browned and golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the Marsala wine (or grape juice+vinegar if you are like me:). Using a wooden spoon, gently stir up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the butternut squash, potatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add enough beef broth to just cover the beef, potatoes, and squash. Bring the stew to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for at least 1 hour-I simmered it for about 3. Season the stew with additional salt and pepper to taste. 
Serve with toasted bread and enjoy!

Also, if you would like to become more educated about the meat industry, I encourage you to watch Food Inc. There are so many other films and books available for further learning, but I feel like Food Inc is very well done and covers all the basics without exaggerating the truth. 

Now I have a question for YOU.....
What are some of your favorite recipes with beef?
We really have never eaten alot, and I don't have too many go-to recipes. 
Share with me your favorites!

oh hey! and speaking of beef.......
locals don't forget to come join Whitney and I tonight at Cubby's in Provo. 
We will NOT have books for sale this time (order online HERE), but we may do another signing next month with books available for purchase. 

noteworthy: Utah friends want to enjoy the BEST burger that does use local beef: check out Copper Onion!
blogged 1 year ago: strength to the body and soul (one of my favorite fall hikes)


whitneyingram said...

Another great burger is at Lucky 13 in SLC. It might have topped the Copper Onion burger.

Jackie Norris said...

We are very similar when it comes to beef! We hardly ever eat it, but I feel like I can splurge on really good meat when we do. I love a good chili and a burger.

One yummy beef recipe is Martha Stewart's beef stroganoff. I had been on a search for a recipe that didn't use cream of something soup and hers was really yummy with no weird ingredients.


Anonymous said...

We have been throughly enjoying the cookbook! Last night we tried the chili recipe and it was Awesome! We are entering it into my child's school chili competition this Friday! :)
On another note, I'm taking a 30 day internet break from my favorite blogs etc.. I feel the need to say that. I guess if I have to say good bye to my favorite blogs then I clearly need to take the break! :) Look forward to coming back and seeing all the beautiful pics and posts! Tina

summer said...

Mmmm!!! I need, need to try this soup. Amen to everything about beef! We finally got another freezer and 1/4 cow around Christmastime last year and it is insanely nice. Although I want to get more creative with the steaks and roasts. Fajitas, possibly? Love that I'll be able to put the stew meat to good use now! Some of our favorite recipes involving ground beef (not sure how many pounds you got ground) are...

Red thai curry, stuffed squash, burrito bowls, and the latest- a spin on beef stroganoff. Which is basically just following The Family Flavor's recipe for Braised Chicken with Mushrooms & Red Onion, only I swap out the chicken for beef, serve it over noodles, and add a spoonful of sour cream. SO good.

summer said...

ps. Last time we had the "stroganoff" I threw in some kale. It was amazing.

Romney Family said...

I love all kind of meat-beef included here is the link to my food blog.
I have a few beef recipes on there and they are so yummy. The ones I will mention are all on there Korean beef is one of our favorites, the Mongolian beef is good, beef and macaroni bake, spaghetti with meatballs or you can just brown the ground beef instead of meatball chunks, beef with barley soup, lasagna soup, beef tacos. Happy cooking with beef. I sure wish I had 1/4 of a local cow in my freezer

Sini said...

"I have 1/4 of a cow in my freezer" would be an epic way to start a conversation :D By the way, I would LOVE to have 1/4 of a cow in my freezer! Especially when I know how it's been raised. Raised, not produced. With passion and respect. I rather eat less meat than buy a cheaper one that's not ethically raised. I say this without judging people. It's just how I chose to live.

This stew seems to be perfect for a rainy fall day like today. Thanks for sharing it!

Jordan Michel said...

Hey there!I was never a fan of meatloaf growing up either. I make it now with the deer and elk meat my husband brings home from hunting, and it's pretty awesome. Ever made it with deer or elk? Also the meatloaf @ Ruth's diner up immigration canyon is delicious, and one of their famous meals.

Kasey said...

We have a freezer full of local beef, too. Besides being cheaper it also tastes noticeably better to us. We love it!

That said, we still don't eat very much beef, and so now it's become freezer burnt after 2 years. This recipe loos so yummy, so I'll thaw out some of that beef and try it.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I ended up winning the chili cook off at my child's school!! I only competited with 10 other chilis but I won nonetheless. So, yay for the recipe! I won an hour massage:) Tina

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious Sheena!

<3 Jessica F

Anonymous said...

Hi! I went on a bit of a cooking binge this weekend and made this beef stew, along with the italian sausage bean stew (from the cookbook) and the pumpkin cornbread. All three were a hit. Thanks! Nicola

krishna said...

Thanks for sharing useful info !! Please Also visit West End Butcher Shop
Grass Fed Beef Vancouver

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