Tag Archives: beef

Beef and Lamb Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Boy, oh boy, do I have a recipe for you! This one really might just knock your socks off. Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs                          The Whole Foods in Venice was having a fantastic sale on boneless short ribs, so Travis and I knew we couldn’t go home without them. I thought they would be perfect to throw into the slow cooker on Sunday morning and leave to cook all day long. Since summer is in the air, I wanted to give these a BBQ flair as opposed to your typical winter beef slow cooker recipes.

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Aside from the short ribs, I had all the remaining ingredients in my fridge and pantry, so hopefully you do, too! After seven hours of cooking at a low temperature, these short ribs melt in your mouth and are packed with incredible BBQ flavor. I regretted not buying double the beef because I know we would have enjoyed eating these again and again.

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs

I served these BBQ Beef Short Ribs with spiced sweet potato fries. It was the perfect Sunday night dinner!


Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 2lbs boneless beef short ribs, fat trimmed, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2-3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  1. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add one Tablespoon of the canola oil. When the oil is hot, add half of the short ribs to the pan. Brown on all sides (do not cook fully). Once browned, transfer to a plate. Add another Tablespoon of oil to the pan and repeat until all short ribs are browned.
  2. Transfer the short ribs to a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix all remaining ingredients (ketchup through mustard). Add the ketchup mixture to the slow cooker with the ribs, making sure to coat all the pieces. Set the slow cooker to low for 7 hours. After 7 hours the ribs will be incredibly tender. Serve with extra sauce from the slow cooker.

Beef and Lamb Main Meal

Pita Pizza with Ground Sirloin and Hummus

I decided to take a break from my slow cooker this week. Don’t get me wrong, it took serious effort to pull myself away. I am just so in love with the concept of prepping everything ahead of time and coming home from work and not having to do a darn thing!

Travis and I have made these pita pizzas twice now. The first time we followed a recipe from Cooking Light, but this time we adapted it to make our own, changing the flavors and cooking technique slightly.


We used Whole Wheat pita, lean ground sirloin, avocado hummus and fresh cilantro.

Pita Pizza with Ground Sirloin and Hummus

The flavors are amazing, but the mix of textures on this pizza is really what does it for me. We used a very doughy pita, so when you combine that with smooth hummus and good quality sirloin, it all just melts in your mouth.

Pita Pizza with Ground Sirloin and Hummus

This pizza comes together in under 30 minutes, so I think it is perfect for a weeknight meal.

I brought leftovers for work the next day. I just packed the pita, hummus, and sirloin mixture all separately and then ate it all as a sandwich instead – also a delicious way to do it!


Pita Pizza with Ground Sirloin and Hummus
Prep time
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Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1lb ground sirloin
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium tomato (chopped) OR ½ cup jarred tomato sauce
  • 4 Whole Wheat Pita Rounds
  • Hummus (any kind will do - I used Avocado Hummus)
  • Fresh Cilantro
  1. Heat a nonstick skillet to medium high. Add the ground sirloin to the pan, cook for 3 minutes until browned, stirring often to crumble the meat. Remove the sirloin from the pan.
  2. Add the olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and bell pepper, and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, oregano and salt. Saute for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato or tomato sauce. Cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the tomatoes soften. Stir in the cooked sirloin.
  3. Preheat broiler to high. Place pita rounds on a baking sheet and broil for 1-2 minutes on each side until crisp. Be sure to watch them as to not let them burn.
  4. Spread about 2 Tablespoons of hummus on each pita. Top each pita with about ½ cup of the sirloin mixture. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.


Beef and Lamb Gluten-Free Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I think it is safe to say I am slow cooker obsessed.

Let me preface all of this by saying, yes, I know I am WAAAAAY late to the slow cooker game. For a while now, everyone  has been telling me that I needed to get one. Given my busy work schedule and limited time in the evenings, I always acknowledged it would be a very helpful appliance to have in my kitchen. I loved the idea of coming home from a long day of work and having dinner already made and ready to eat!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

When I arrived back to LA last week from my trip to Boston, there was a GIGANTIC package sitting on my porch. I was ecstatic when I opened it up to find a new shiny slow cooker from my brother and sister-in-law for the holidays! Seriously. Perfect. Gift. Remember when I told you Dave is the #1 gift giver? Well, he and Morgan nailed it again.

I broke in my slow cooker this weekend by making a delicious beef stew.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Travis and I prepped everything after breakfast on Sunday morning and then threw it all into the slow cooker for 7 hours.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

I have made beef stews in my dutch-oven before, but despite long cooking times in an oven on very low heat, I still always found the beef was never as tender as I would have liked. I was excited to see what would happen to the beef this time by using the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Holy Moly, was this beef tender! It was falling apart just by the slightest touch from my fork — just the way I like it.

The best part was that when the evening rolled around (Sunday evening always seems to come too soon, doesn’t it?), I didn’t have to do anything! I just stirred in a few final ingredients and the stew was warm and ready to eat!

This was the most delicious beef stew I have ever had. The addition of the brown ale really amps up the flavor in the broth and after slow cooking all day, the beef, carrots, and potatoes were so tender and soaked with rich flavor through and through.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Travis and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was one of those meals where we both sat there not talking to each other, just saying “Mmmmm” with every bite we took.

Yup, I am so hooked on slow cooking. I am honestly sorry I waited this long to try it! If any of you guys have great slow cooker recipes, please pass them my way. I am ready to try everything!


Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5-6
  • 2 lbs trimmed boneless chuck roast, cut into 2 inch pieces (I recommend buying 2.5lbs because once you trim the excess fat it will be about 2 lbs)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced in half and cut into ½ inch thick slices
  • 12oz Nut Brown Ale (I used Samuel Smiths Nut Brown Ale)
  • 1¼ cups unsalted beef stock, divided* (I used Stock Options Classic Beef Stock)
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Parsley for serving
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Add about a teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add half of the beef to the pan, cook for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan and place in a heat-proof bowl. Repeat by adding another teaspoon of oil and the remaining beef. Remove the beef and any leftover juices from the pan.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the garlic and onions and saute for about 4 minutes. Add the ale to the pan, scraping down to loosen any bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of stock and the remaining 1¼ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper (*NOTE: If you could only find salted beef stock omit the added salt at this point, but add the pepper). Bring to a simmer.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Add the beef, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves and thyme. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.
  4. Combine the remaining ¼ cup stock and flour, stirring with a whisk. Stir the flour mixture into the stew and cook for 13-15 minutes until thickened. Stir in the red wine vinegar and dijon. Discard the bay leaves. Serve with fresh parsley.
**Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

This Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe is a delicious and cozy meal to come home to on a winter evening. Brown ale gives the broth a delicious, rich flavor! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Beef and Lamb Grilling

Grilled Ground Beef Kebabs (Kofta)

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day weekend. I can’t decide what is better – having that extra day to relax OR having a short work week. What do you think?

Juicy Grilled Ground Beef Kebabs (Kofta) ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Did you grill this weekend? Ever since we got our new Weber Grill two weeks ago, we have grilled almost every night. We can’t get enough of it!

Juicy Grilled Ground Beef Kebabs (Kofta) ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Up until now we haven’t had room for a grill, so we always used our favorite Lodge cast-iron grill pan. I love the grill pan and it does have it’s advantages (e.g. it is much faster to heat up than the charcoal grill). But, given the opportunity (and provided I have enough patience that evening to let the grill heat up) I think going forward we will always opt for the grill. That yummy charcoal flavor on beef, steak, shrimp, corn is really incomparable.

Juicy Grilled Ground Beef Kebabs (Kofta) ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These grilled ground beef kebabs were a last minute creation. I was really not in the mood for a burger (I had In ‘N Out the day before – and let’s be real people, you just can’t outdo In-N-Out), so we decided to use our ground beef to make something different.

I honestly did not know what to expect – but, HOLY SMOKES, these were out of this world. They were even better than the beef kebabs I had on my birthday dinner (and we went to a very authentic Mediterranean restaurant)!

The ingredients are very simple, and I will bet you already have most of them. It is the combination of spices and the delicious grilled char that really makes these special.

Juicy Grilled Ground Beef Kebabs (Kofta) ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

They grill up quickly, so be sure to watch them to make sure they do not overcook.

Juicy Grilled Ground Beef Kebabs (Kofta) ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We ate ground beef kebabs with grilled onion and bell pepper, grilled corn on the cob, and roasted red pepper hummus for dipping. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!


Grilled Ground Beef Kebabs (Kofta)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (we used 93/7 from Whole Foods)
  • ¼ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped onion
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • pinch teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5-6 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  1. Combine all ingredients (ground beef through ground black pepper) in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Separate the mixture into 5-6 balls. Roll each into a log about 1.5 inches thick and 5-6 inches long. Insert a skewer through each log. Place on a baking sheet or cutting board and refrigerate for 30 minutes (this part is important to ensure the meat holds together when they are grilled).
  3. Heat a charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Grill the kebabs for 3-4 minutes on first side and then flip and grill for an additional 3 minutes, making sure to watch them as to not overcook. Remove from grill and serve immediately with hummus and/or tzatiki.

Beef and Lamb Main Meal Pasta

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Travis and I had been eating chicken all week and I was so tired of it. Chicken Parmesan, grilled chicken, chicken stir fry, chicken quesadillas, chicken this, chicken that.

ENOUGH chicken. No more chicken!

We were both ready for a change. I had been craving spaghetti all week and neither of us had ever made meatballs before, so we decided it would be a perfect time to try. And let me tell you, they were delicious.

Spaghetti and Meatballs RecipeSpaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

The recipe is our own – we basically threw in whatever we thought would taste good. I encourage you to do the same: add more red pepper flakes for more spice, more garlic, less onion, some ketchup, etc. Have fun with it – I’m sure the outcome will be delicious.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

What makes these meatballs so delicious is that you simmer them in the sauce so that they absorb each other’s flavors.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

After simmering, scoop up a few meatballs and some of this delicious sauce and pour it over cooked spaghetti. Finish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan and you will have yourself a delicious dinner and even better leftovers for lunch the next day.


Spaghetti and Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
Meatball Ingredients:
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small onion diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like the extra spice)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesean Cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • vegetable oil
  • olive oil
Sauce Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 can (24-28 oz) crushed tomatoes (slightly drained)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the meatballs:
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and combine lightly with a fork. Using your hands, form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. I ended up with about 14 meatballs.
  2. Heat equal amounts of the vegetable oil and olive oil in a 12-inch skillet. In small batches (about 4 at a time) place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium, low heat. Turn the meatballs carefully with a spatula (try your best to make sure they do not break apart). Place browned meatballs on a plate lined with paper towels. Each batch should take about 10 minutes.
For the sauce:
  1. After all the meatballs are cooked, discard the oil from the pan, but do not clean in.
  2. Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook for one more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue until all of the liquid evaporates (this should take 3-4 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  3. Carefully, place the cooked meatballs into the sauce, cover and simmer on very low heat for at least 25 minutes. (In my opinion, the longer the better).
  4. Serve the meatballs and sauce over spaghetti of your choice (I used whole wheat) with freshly grated Parmesan.