Beef Fajita Dip

Back when I first started watching the Food Network, no matter who the cook was, they would always tell the audience to “ask your butcher”.  I’d sit in my living room and wonder what those of us who didn’t have a butcher to call their own did.  Then, I discovered Mary Anne and fell in love.   So now, I get to join those people who have people; people in their life who are just really good at things we aren’t.  One of the things I love about going to the same people every week for my meat is that they know me.  They know how I like my ground beef packaged and how I get the sirloin sliced for stroganoff.  They get why I love to cook and they always know just the right cut of meat for my recipe.  Another benefit is that the other people who are standing on my side of the counter are always friendly; we ask what they are making and swap ideas.  This recipe is the result of just that.  Saturday, I was ordering all the meat for 10 pounds of sloppy joes for Liam’s birthday party and the meat for our weekly menu when I started listening to what the lady next to me was going to do with her steak.  Her idea sounded so good, I got one too and made my own version of the meal had planned.  This meal fed us well.  It’s been 2 hours since I ate and I’m not even peckish.  Half of the meat went into the dip and the rest went into baked fajitas which I froze.  There’s a tiny bit of the dip left over… I hid it in the fridge; I can share at meals, but have no desire to share for a snack!
Beef Fajita Dip:
  • 2 1/2 pounds of sirloin steak
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 red and 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 Tbsp. Adobo paste
  • 1/2 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Tortilla chips
I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper and the cooked it on high in my crock pot for 4 hours.  The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender without heating up the kitchen all day.  Once the meat about done, I sliced up my onions and peppers and sauteed them in oil until tender.  Then, I added in the adobo paste, paprika and a touch of salt and pepper.  I shredded the beef up and added in enough to balance out the peppers and onions so everything was about even.  Then, I layered the refried beans on the bottom of a small casserole dish (I use canned beads still because I cannot make them myself to my taste just yet.), corn and meat/onion/pepper mix.  Finally, I topped the dish with the cheese, making sure that everything inch was covered.  I then put the dish in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese had melted was starting to brown (I personally would have left it in longer, but when toddlers are hungry, they are hungry and they don’t understand the aesthetic aspects of cheese melting.), about 15 minutes.  I did top the dip with a little bit of sour cream and sliced olives.  It was excellent dipped onto blue corn tortilla chips.

This dish could be used as either an appetizer or a main meal.  It could be served as a dip or rolled into tortillas and baked.  No matter how you serve it, it’s a winner!

Grandma’s Beef Stroganoff

As far as I am concerned, Beef Stroganoff is the ultiamate comfort food.  I never get tired of it and am currently drooling as I think of the rich, velvety sauce that accompanies this dish.  To be quite honest, I do not care what cut of meat you choose to use in your dish, I am here for the sauce.  Rich and fattening, I like it best smothering a bed of egg noodles.  

My grandmother made this dish regularly when I was growing up, but when my parents became vegetarians in the 90s, my father altered the recipe to contain only the mushrooms so that we could still use it as a staple dish in our home.  Grandma served it over buttered egg noodles, Dad over brown rice.  I always considered this dish something that was out of my reach until I tasted the aberration that Hamburger helper considers “stroganoff”.  I’ve made my own ever since.  I’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe, but those are only to taste.  No matter how much I love what comes out of my kitchen, it will never hold a candle to that dish served by Grandma!

Beef Stroganoff:

– 2 Tbsp. flour

– 1 tsp. salt

– 2 lbs. beef sirloin cut into 1/4 inch wide strips

– 4 Tbsp. butter

– 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (optional)

– 1 cup sliced onion

– 2 cloves garlic, minced– 4 Tbsp. butter

– 6 Tbs. flour

– 1 tsp. oregano

– 1 tsp. thyme

– 1 Tbsp. paprika

– 2 Tbsp. tomato paste

– 2 cans beef broth

– 2 cups sour cream

– 4 Tbsp. Port wine

Combine flour and salt. Dredge meat in the flour mixture. Heat the skillet, add the butter and melt it. Add in the meat and brown on all sides. Add in the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are tender. When they are soft, remove the contents of the pan to a plate and start the sauce. Add in the next 4 Tbsp of butter, melt and then blend in the flour and herbs. Add in the tomato paste. The sauce will be a coppery gold, thick and bubbly. Slowly stream in the broth and cook slowly until the sauce thickens again. Return the meat mixture to the sauce. Stir in the sour cream and sherry and heat through. Serve over egg noodles or rice. Serves 8 to 10 people.