5 New Ways to Cook Beef for Dinner

As the weather cools off, turn to warm, comforting dishes that are perfect for chilly nights. And if those dishes feature hearty beef as a key ingredient, even better.

Here are five cool-weather beef recipes to try.

1. Autumn Harvest Burger with Caramelized Onion and Apple

burgers on grill

Cooking burgers | iStock.com

Sweet caramelized onions and apples turn an otherwise ordinary burger into the perfect meal. The addition of sharp blue cheese balances the sweetness of the apples and onions in this recipe from the Food Network.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 Vidalia onions, sliced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, diced
  • 2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 4 large crusty rolls, split
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 cup blue cheese

Directions: Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions to hot pan, and begin caramelizing, stirring occasionally. After 4 minutes or so, add apples to the onions, and continue to cook until onions are golden brown, about 6 more minutes. Remove from heat when done.

While onions and apples are cooking, blend together in a large bowl the ground beef, salt, pepper, thyme, Dijon, egg, and bread crumbs. Be sure ingredients are well incorporated, but don’t over work. Form mixture into 4 good-sized patties.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Place burgers on grill and cook about 10 minutes per side, or until cooked through. As burgers are finishing (after the first flip), spread mayonnaise on both cut sides of each split roll. Place rolls on grill, mayonnaise side down, to toast for about 1 minute, or until golden.

Place each burger on the bottom half of a toasted roll. Top with about ¼ cup of blue cheese, then with a generous scoop of the caramelized onion and apple mixture. Cover with the roll and serve.

2. Natural Beef Brisket Braised with Spices and Dried Stone Fruits

apricots

Dried apricots | iStock.com

Slow-cooked brisket is seasoned with cocoa, cloves, and cinnamon and served with apricots and prunes for a meal that should taste as good as it smells. For best results, you’ll want to start cooking your brisket the night before you plan to serve it. This recipe is from The Seattle Times.

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds beef (top flat) trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 cup zinfandel or other red wine
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 small head garlic, cut in half
  • ½ bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 10 ounces (about 2 cups packed) dried apricots, divided
  • 10 ounces (about 2 cups packed) dried pitted prunes, divided

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. With the tip of a sharp knife, score the fatty side of the brisket, creating a pattern of diamond shapes about a half inch across. Combine the cocoa, flour, and salt, then dredge the brisket in the seasoned flour.

Put a roasting pan on the stove top over medium-high heat with 3 tablespoons of the oil, and sear the brisket, fatty side down, until it is well browned, about 7 minutes. Turn the brisket over, and brown the other side.

Lift the beef out of the pan, pour in the zinfandel, and scrape up any bits that have caramelized to the bottom. Stir in the beef broth, the herbs and spices, and half of the apricots and prunes. (Save half the dried fruit for later.) Nestle the brisket back into the roasting pan among the fruit. Lightly oil the parchment with the remaining canola and lay it, oiled side down, over the brisket, tucking the edges of the parchment into the pan.

Bake until the point of a knife enters easily into the meat, about 3½ hours. Lift the roast out of the pan and strain the braising liquor through a fine sieve into a large measuring cup or a small mixing bowl, and chill. The brisket should be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for a day before serving. Discard any fat that rises to the surface of the chilled braising liquid.

The next day, cut the cold meat across the grain into ¼-inch slices, and lay the slices in a shingled fashion in a baking dish. Place the remaining dried fruits and the defatted sauce into a saucepan, and heat gently over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Once the sauce is heated and the fruit has plumped, spoon the fruit and about half of the liquid over the meat. Cover the meat and fruit with parchment once again, and heat in a 275-degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes. Serve hot with the extra braising liquid warmed and passed separately.

3. Stuffing Meat Loaf with Marmalade Glaze

marmalade

Marmalade for a glaze | iStock.com

You can use Thanksgiving leftovers in this dish, or make a special batch just for this recipe. Either way, the result is a delicious, filling meal. Recipe from Real Simple.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds ground beef (preferably chuck)
  • 2 cups cooked stuffing, roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup orange marmalade
  • ¼ cup whole-grain mustard
  • 10 ounces (about 6 cups) baby arugula
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, stuffing, egg, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Transfer the mixture to a rimmed baking sheet, and form it into a 9-inch loaf (about 2½ inches thick). Bake for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the marmalade and mustard. Spread on the meatloaf, and continue to bake until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Divide the arugula among plates. Drizzle with the oil and vinegar. Serve with the meatloaf.

4. Slow Cooker Chinese 5-Spice Beef Stew

beef cubes, stew

Beef for stew | iStock.com

This spicy beef stew will warm you up on chilly evenings. Given the long cooking time, it’s a perfect weekend meal – just add the ingredients to your slow cooker in the morning, and you’ll have a hot meal waiting for you after an afternoon of lounging by the fire. Recipe from Healthy Seasonal Recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound beef stew meat (cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or avocado oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms, such as shiitake or white
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • ½ cup dry sherry or shao hsing wine
  • 1 (32-ounce) box chicken broth
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into chunks
  • 1 large russet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or pure dark maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • Toasted sesame seed, chopped scallions, or mung bean sprouts for garnish (optional)

Directions: Use paper towels to pat the meat dry, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Place the meat in a single layer in the pan, and cook without turning for 4 to 6 minutes (until the meat is brown on the bottom). Using tongs, turn the chunks of beef and continue searing on the other side for about 4 minutes. Stir the meat, and continue to cook for another 2 to 4 minutes, until the beef is mostly brown. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker, and return the pan to the heat.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, and swirl to coat. Add the onion, mushrooms, and ½ teaspoon salt to the pan, and cook until the vegetables begin to brown and soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the 5-spice powder, and stir until the mushrooms and onions are coated. Add the sherry or shao hsing, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet after you add the liquid to the pan. Pour in the chicken broth. Turn the heat to high, and bring the liquid to a simmer. Turn off heat, and add the mushroom-onion mixture to the slow cooker.

Add the carrots, celery, potato, coconut sugar, and crushed red pepper to the other ingredients in the slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, stir together ¼ cup of cold water and 1 tablespoon of arrowroot in a small bowl. Add to the mixture in the slow cooker, stirring constantly. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes.

Spoon into bowls, garnish with scallions, bean sprouts, or toasted sesame seeds, and serve.

5. Chargrilled Sirloin with Mash and Salsa Verde

Steak, grilled

Steak on the grill | iStock.com

A side of mashed potatoes with a chargrilled steak makes this dish comfortingly familiar, while the addition of salsa verde adds some fresh flavor and keeps things from getting boring. Recipe from Epicurious (originally published in Australian Food: In Celebration of the New Australian Cuisine).

Ingredients:

  • 6 potatoes, peeled
  • Salt
  • 1½ ounces butter
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup light cream, hot
  • 4 thick sirloin steaks, 8 ounces each
  • Olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons demi-glace, heated

Salsa verde

  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 10 anchovies
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 slices bread, crusts removed, soaked in milk and gently squeezed dry
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1½ ounces parmesan cheese
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 5 lemons
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Put the potatoes in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Add salt, if desired and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender. Drain and return the potatoes to the saucepan. Put the saucepan back over low heat, and let the pan and the potato dry for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the butter and pepper. Return to low heat. Stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, gradually add the hot cream (or as much as necessary) until the mixture is light and fluffy.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the salsa verde. Mix together all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a paste.

Chargrill the sirloin steak. Make sure the fire has burnt down to very hot embers, or turn on the gas barbecue. Rub olive oil and pepper over the steaks. Place on a grill over the fire, and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes on both sides, for a rare steak. Remove to a warm place, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

To serve, place the steaks on warm plates, and spoon the hot mashed potatoes next to the steaks. Pour the heated demi-glace over the steaks, and top with the salsa verde.