If you are tired of beef cooked slowly in a pot…then move along. I haven’t tired of it yet, and love finding new recipes that riff on a classic.
I’ve made pierogi before, but it was back when K and I were first dating. They were the traditional type, and he helped me fold all of them. This time, I folded them all on my own and felt like the effort was not worth the end product. Ravioli are worth it to me, but not pierogi, or at least not this recipe. Before you decide to click away to another website or recipe, let me remind you that today’s post is a mixed bag. That means there was something good that came out of the pierogi. An easy cheeseburger pie! Nothing fancy, nothing crazy, but it was deemed tasty by all of us.
The recipe I am pulling this from said it was a barbecue beef, but I can’t say it really tasted that way to me. It definitely has some Chinese flavor, but not barbecue. Speaking of the flavor in it…we had a slight hitch. I had picked out this meal before I went grocery shopping, so I had on my list everything I needed…which was just the vegetables and beef. Well, it turns out we were missing another key ingredient: hoisin sauce! We normally have it on hand, so we aren’t sure what happened. There are two options: one is that we used it up previously and forgot to replace it (but that seems unlikely since we usually put things on our grocery list immediately, and I know it’s been awhile since we’ve used the sauce), or two, a recent visitor threw it out when she visited. This visitor tossed our soy sauce because she said it had gone bad (cue debate of soy sauce expiration here), so it is possible she felt the same way about our hoisin sauce. Either way, we had no idea where it was and I needed to start the recipe in the morning for it to have time to cook during the day. Obviously you can run to the grocery store, but since I had just gone the day before, and it was only for one ingredient…and the one ingredient I wouldn’t normally buy at a non-Asian grocery store (cheaper at the Asian stores, usually).
One of the side-effects of blogging with baby is that I don’t have as much time to make food. I am not the fastest person in the kitchen, and I think blogging helped speed me up a bit. I needed to be able to take pictures while cooking in a reasonable amount of time. Sure, my pictures were sometimes rushed or blurry, but I did okay. Usually, I could even take multiple pictures of a step and pick the best one. Well, nowadays I don’t always remember to even take a picture for a step, or there just isn’t time. Maybe we’re running late for dinner (not an issue with adults, but it is with a set dinner/bedtime routine for a toddler!), so I am rushing the food-making process, or my hands are dirty and I would need to stop, wash up, take a picture, dirty my hands again, wash up, etc. and I decide it isn’t worth it, or I just forget. Today’s recipe was more the dirty hand issue. Making dough recipes means flour gets everywhere. We had an ant outbreak this summer, and so I’ve been trying to be extra careful of where flour and other food particles end up in the kitchen. (Although, both sets of neighbors had ants really bad last year, and we didn’t have any, so I guess it might have just been our turn. Sigh.)
Today I am sharing something I made that turned out mostly well. Next time, I would use less liquid, and scale back the recipe a bit since I think I needed a 6 quart crockpot for the amounts given. But, it was still tasty, so I am sharing the main tips from it today…
I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve been working on using the slow cooker more frequently. This recipe is tasty and allows for some room to improvise. You could easily add different vegetables like parsnips/celery root/etc. to mix it up. I love carrots, and have been buying them by the bunches. It helps that they’ve been extra cheap this year, at least the organic ones. I’m not necessarily all about organic produce all the time, but the organic carrots at my store definitely taste better. They are fresher, and it’s fun when they have the rainbow ones.
Let’s say you’ve made my short rib recipe and are looking for something else to do with it. You know about having it as a taco salad. You have tried it just with rice or other dishes, but you were intrigued by the idea that I talked about having it with noodles. Well, I went and did it!