Kats’ Kitchen

Herb Loaf & Beef Stew March 23, 2017

Filed under: Bread,Main Dishes,soup — stacielk @ 2:00 pm
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Beef Stew

I have to be honest, there are many recipes on this site that I have made one time and have not made again.  The main reason is because there are SO many recipes out there that I want to try and if I continue making the same ones, I will never get around to all of them!  Don’t get me wrong, there are many on here that I do make regularly.

buttery-herb-loafThis is one of those recipes.  I made exactly 3 years ago to the month.  Butterflake Herb Loaf.  I remember it being really good.  Peeling it apart and enjoying every buttery flavorful bite.  The ends were crusted with butter that oozed out the sides.  I served this herb loaf this time with ribs.  With leftovers I made Steak Pizzaiolas using this as the bottom ‘bread’ part.  Still make those Pizzaiolas regularly!!!  It’s one of my husbands and my favorites!

And now for the beef stew.  I have not been a meal planner lately.  When I attempt to meal plan, I find myself changing meals throughout the week, swapping, not making them etc.  I saw this Beef Stew recipe from a blog called Pinch of Yum I ran down to my freezer to make sure I had a chuck roast so I could make it for dinner the next day.  I loved it.  It was flavorful, comforting and the meat was so tender.  I  served it with Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.  Head over to Pinch of Yum for some beautiful pictures that made me make this stew!

Beef Stew

2 lbs beef, chuck roast, fat trimmed, cut into 1-2-inch chunks

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally in thick pieces

6 carrots, sliced diagonally in thick pieces

2 tablespoons tapioca (omitted – as thickener, I coated my beef in flour and saute as described below)

1/2 cup tomato juice (I used 3/4 of a small can of tomato paste with 1/2 can water)

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Traditional Oven Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If using oven, mix meet with flour and saute in some oil in a skillet.  Place all ingredients in a large Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 4 hours.

Life Changing Instant Pot Instructions: (I first mixed my beef pieces in flour and saute them in Instant Pot on ‘saute’ setting for 3-5 min)  Place everything in the Instant Pot and select the stew/meat setting (about 35 minutes). After it’s done, let everything mellow out for about 10 minutes before releasing the steam.

Whether you make this in the oven or in the Instant Pot, I recommend finishing by giving it about 10-20 minutes in a hot oven (about 350-400 degrees), uncovered, before serving. It gets the meat nice and caramelized on top and helps the gravy thicken up.  (Definitely if you have time do this last step, but still good without caramelizing)


I usually add a little water to the gravy if it starts to thicken too much as it cools. Personally, I prefer it this to be less like a soup and more like a really saucy beef stew. We serve it on plates with hot, crusty, buttery bread. For my salad, all I had on hand was baby spinach, so I just tossed it with a quick 5 minute shake-in-a-jar dressing: olive oil, grainy mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper.

Recipe from Pinch of Yum (my changes in italics)


Steaks on the Grill August 2, 2010

Filed under: Main Dishes — stacielk @ 1:42 am

I want to thank my guest bloggers, Justin (my husband) and Darin (my cousin-in-law) for helping me with this post.

We had the opportunity to spend the weekend in Michigan at our cousin Jodi and Darin’s home.  The reason why we were in Michigan was because I was standing up in my friend’s wedding, but it was also a good excuse to finally see Jodi and Darin’s home and spend time with them and their son Brayden.  Justin and I knew they enjoy their steaks just as much as we do,  so we decided to bring some up to grill for Sunday dinner.  Darin offered to marinate them, which I was all about.  Justin kept with his normal, seasoning his steak with Lawry’s.

This was the first time I had a marinated New York Strip, as far as I can remember, and it was delicious!  So flavorful and tasty!  Unfortunately we don’t have an exact recipe, Darin throws a little bit of this and a dab of that  into the marinade (you can find the ingredients below), so, sorry no measurements…you’ll have to experiment yourself with the ingredients.  Trust me, it will be worth it, my mouth is watering just thinking about those steaks.

Also below are some grilling tips from Justin.

If you use any of these tips or try the marinade, please come back and tell me what you thought!  Hopefully your steaks turned out just as tasty and tender as ours did!

Steak Tips from Justin:

1. Stable grilling temperature –  You want to keep that temperature very
stable – typically 400-450 degrees.  Spend the time getting your grill
brought up to the correct temperature.

2. Steak Choice & Preparation –  Personally we only buy steaks when we are
going to grill and eat them within a few days.   Trying to thaw them seems
to impact the flavor and quality.  Also about 30-45 minutes prior to
grilling, go ahead and pull them out and bring them to room temperature and
season as you prefer (I love just Lawry’s).   This will prevent any
shocking that would occur if you threw them on at a cooler temperature.

3.  Flare-Up Prevention Tip –  Hate those flare-ups?   Notice the picture
above where the steaks are on their sides, do this when you first put them
on the grill, just for 2-3 minutes tops, this will help seal up the steak
and prevent fat related juices from dropping and causing flare-ups.   (Not
all cuts will stand nicely so it may not work for every steak).

4.  Grill Time –  Depending on how you like your steak – I like mine at
medium or so, and typically at 450 degrees that is about 4 minutes a side.
Plan for more/less depending on how you like your steak prepared.

5.  Verifying doneness –  The good ‘ole way of checking how the steaks were
doing was just to cut into them and take a look, or maybe even cut them in
half. That should be illegal  :)  No offense, but when you cut into it you
let the juice and flavor spill out.   The proper way to determining
doneness is in “feeling” the steak.    Typically we’ll take our grilling
utensil and I’ll just lightly press on the steak in 1 or 2 spots.    A
steak that is really really soft (kind of like when you take it out of the
packaging) is rare to medium rare.   Semi-soft is about medium or so, and
firm to pretty firm is medium well to well done.  It takes some time and
experience to figure it out, but you’ll get good pretty quick.

6. Pull your steaks off when they are too your liking and let them sit for
about 5 minutes, it will ensure that the juices redistribute and provide
for an excellent taste!!!


Darin’s Steak Marinade:

Soy Sauce

Sherry Wine


Olive Oil

Worcestershire Sauce

Montreal Steak Seasonsing

Blacking Seasoning


Steak Pizzaiola Burgers January 13, 2009

Filed under: Main Dishes — stacielk @ 10:35 am
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One of the cookbooks I got for Christmas this year was Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book.  As I was going through it to decide which recipe I would make first, I saw the photo for the Steak Pizzaiola Burgers and knew instantly my husband and I would love it.  Rachael explains that she came up with this recipe for Donald Trump who enjoys a nice steak and appreciates good pizza (sounds like my husband).  I’ve made this two times now and we both love it.  As far as the preperation goes, I’ve made a few changes .  Who wants to get three pans dirty all at once to make any meal!?!?  Not me! 

So here is the recipe with a few changes in the ingredients I used and my prep.  If you want to see how Racheal preps it, check here

(I really wish I took a picture of it after being cut open, but after that first bite…it wasn’t going to happen.)

Steak Pizzaiola Burgers

(Recipe adopted from:  Rachael Ray)

3 Tbsp canola oil

2 large onions, thinly sliced

salt & pepper

3 Tbsp tomato paste

3/4 cup beef/chicken broth (dry red wine)

2 lbs ground beef

1/2 cup pepperoni, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2-3 Tbsp garlic olive oil

4 slices bread (I use Jewels homemade wheat but want to try sesame semolina sometime), 1 inch thick

1/2-3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

8 slices provolone


1.  (This can be done up to a day in advance) Mix together ground beef, pepperoni, parsley, oregano and red pepper flakes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Divide in 4 parts (5-6 oz each) and form patties using a burger press to make them even, or your hands. 

2.  Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Chop onions, add to the pan and season with salt and pepper.  Cook unions until they soften8-10 minutes. 

3.  Add tomato paste to onions and cook, stirring occasionally until they start to caramelize (2-3 minutes).  Add wine/broth and cook until it pretty much evaporates.  Remove onion mixture into small dish and cover with foil.

4.  Place the bread slices on baking sheet and broil them until toasted on both sides. 

5.  Heat dirty pan with remaining oil and cook patties for 3-4 minutes on both side for medium doneness (the time may be different depending on thickness and heat level).  As they are cooking, remove toasted bread and brush with garlic olive oil on one side and  sprinkle with grated parm-reg cheese. 

6.  Top bread slices with cooked burgers, divide the onion mixture among the burgers and top with 1-2 slices of cheese.  Place burgers under broil until cheese melts (2-3 minutes).

7.  Serve with knife and fork.