Chicken-fried steak, at its worst, is an overcooked slab of tough beef coated in a greasy deep-fried coating made soggy by a gluey bland gravy. At its best, it's juicy and tender, rich with beef flavor, and coated in a crispy, crunchy shell that retains its bite even when doused with a flavorful, black pepper-spiked sauce. This recipe will get you the better of those two results.
'beef' on Serious Eats
If you were to pick a president and el tigre numero uno of the ragù world, it'd be ragù Napoletano, a meaty stew with big chunks of beef, pork, and sausages simmered until fall-apart tender in a rich tomato sauce flavored with wine, onions, garlic, basil, and plenty of good Southern Italian olive oil. It's the precursor to Italian-American Sunday gravy: just add some meatballs, serve it with spaghetti, and you're there. It's also the perfect dish for a lazy Sunday with family or friends at home.
Tamale pie is a dish that screams for an update. I mean, it's cornbread and chili all rolled into one! This version uses tender, slow-cooked, shredded skirt steak flavored with layers and layers of aromatics and vegetables for a rich, complex, chili-based stew topped with corn bread flavored with browned butter.
Tamale pie is a dish that screams for an update. I mean, it's cornbread and chili all rolled into one! Just imagine how great it could be if we took the time to make a real, deeply flavored, meaty chili from scratch, eschewing the dump-and-stir approach and instead building up layers of spices and aromatics. Now imagine that chili topped with tender, moist, crisp-edged, buttery cornbread with those chili juices seeping up into it as it bakes in the oven. That's the kind of meal I'd love to come home to after a long day out in the cold. Wouldn't you?
Real Texas chile con carne is all about the beef and the chilies. In this version, we start with toasted whole dried chilies and puree them with broth and spices before adding beef chuck and cooking the whole thing down in a pressure cooker. 30 minutes later, you've got spoon tender chunks of beef in a rich, complex chili-based stew.
Beef shanks are braised in an ample amount of red wine with carrots and onions until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. The braising liquid and aromatic vegetables are then blended into a rich sauce.
Tender Italian-American meatballs made with beef and pork and flavored with garlic, buttermilk, and Parmesan cheese in a meaty, slow-cooked sauce. Your slow-cooker takes care of the tomato sauce, reducing it into a rich, meaty gravy.
What is the perfect meatball? For me, it's a plump, juicy ball of highly seasoned meat that's so tender a spoon can pass right through it with almost no resistance. Here's how I make that a reality.
Beef stroganoff is a dish of quick-cooked beef in a creamy sauce made flavored with mushrooms, onions, paprika, and sour cream. In our upgraded version, the beef is cooked as a whole steak to maintain a more tender, medium-rare center, while the sauce is carefully layered and constructed to optimize its rich, comforting, savory flavor.
A beef roast worthy of a holiday centerpiece, this flavorful and moist brisket point is simmer in a barbecue-inspired sauce that's given a seasonally fruity touch by way of apricots and cranberries.
Whole-roasted beef tenderloin is a once-a-year celebratory dish that can be fantastic if done properly. The problem is, its extra-lean meat dries out and overcooks very easily. Our slow-roasting reverse-sear method ensures perfectly medium-rare meat from edge to center with a nicely browned, flavorful crust.
The combination of chewy meat, crunchy pickles, and shredded horseradish give this smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwich) an irresistible blend of textures. To keep things simple, this recipe calls for prepared roast beef and bottled horseradish.
When it comes to meat sauces, ragù Bolognese is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. To arrive at this version, I started with Barbara Lynch's great recipe, adding a few tweaks here and there to enhance meatiness and texture (hello pancetta, gelatin, and fish sauce!), and employing a unique oven-based cooking technique that develops rich browned flavors all while maintaining the tender, silky texture that the best sauces have. This is the kind of sauce that will leave you and your loved ones weak in the knees.
Swedish meatballs, stars of 1960s-era cocktail parties and IKEA shopping trips, are, on the surface, pretty simple: a mix of pork and beef that's lightly spiced and served with a rich gravy. Getting them just right, though, requires some fine-tuned tinkering. Here's our ultimate version, as good on a plate with buttery potatoes and lingonberry jam as speared on a toothpick.
Congee is nothing more than a simple rice porridge, but man can it be comforting! It's an Asian breakfast staple, a dim sum classic, and a blank canvas to add your own flavors. Traditionally white rice is used, but sometimes I like to use brown rice for a heartier, healthier porridge with a subtle nutty flavor. Heartier vegetables such as kale, escarole, shiitakes, leeks, and even Brussels sprouts are perfect in it. One of my favorite combos is this recipe: marinated strips of beef, dried shiitake mushrooms, and garlic chips.
Grilled Hamburger With Cheddar Cheese on Toasted English Muffin With Parsley-Shallot Butter From 'Prune'
Gabrielle Hamilton's burger from her new cookbook, Prune, is obscenely good and feels quite fancy, despite being so simple. The name really discloses the whole recipe: chubby beef and lamb patties are topped with white cheddar and sandwiched in a Thomas's English muffin, dressed only with the parsley-and-shallot compound butter. The cheese oozes down the sides of the salty, fatty burger, and the bright and potent butter, slathered on the top and bottom of the English muffin, seeps into every 'nook and cranny' of the burger and bun.
This salad combines the classic flavors of Northeastern Thailand with ingredients readily available in the average supermarket. Sliced steak, onions, and tomatoes are tossed in a fiery dressing made with pounded garlic and chilies flavored with lime juice and fish sauce. Fried lemongrass adds crunch and lemongrass flavor without the fibrous strands raw lemongrass leaves behind.
Who can say no to tender, braised meat in a rich sauce flavored with wine and vegetables, not to mention that ultra-flavorful and tender marrow inside a shank? The slow cooker makes the whole thing pretty darned easy, while beef shanks make it a heck of a lot cheaper than veal.
It's important to build the flavors for this slow-cooked, Moroccan-inspired beef pot roast: we use a tomato braising liquid that's spiked with a lemony mint puree and ras-el-hanout, a Moroccan spice mixture. It's served with tart, dried cherry-specked Israeli couscous that's brightened with a touch of lemon zest and fresh parsley.
This shepherd's pie-inspired meatloaf is stuffed with a mixture of carrots and peas. Then it's slathered with Parmesan potatoes, dotted with butter and baked in the oven until browned. Meanwhile, a quick Stilton cheese sauce simmers on the stove, waiting to be served alongside.