Cookbook Cover for BEEF IT UP!: 50 Mouthwatering Recipes for Ground Beef, Steaks, Stews, Roasts, Ribs, and More by Jessica Formicola

BEEF IT UP!: 50 Mouthwatering Recipes for Ground Beef, Steaks, Stews, Roasts, Ribs, and More

Jessica Formicola Dominic Perri

Storey Publishing
May 24, 2022
ISBN-13: 978-1635864533

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Beef It Up! Author Jessica Formicola headshotJessica Formicola is the creator of Savory Experiments, a trusted food and lifestyle blog. She appears regularly on national networks providing cooking demonstrations and entertaining ideas. She has contributed to Parade, The Daily Meal, Mashed, and Better Homes & Gardens, and has partnered with over 100 national food brands on product releases and cooking tutorials. Formicola lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband and children.

Where’s the beef? It’s on the dinner table tonight! In Beef It Up!: 50 Mouthwatering Recipes for Ground Beef, Steaks, Stews, Roasts, Ribs, and More by Jessica Formicola, this focused collection of recipes offers 50 tasty ways to serve up protein-rich beef meals without a lot of fuss. Flavorful beef suppers (Cheeseburger Soup, Shepherd’s Pie Mac & Cheese) are featured along with new classics (Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas, 20-Minute Mongolian-style Beef ), salads (Southwest Steak Salad w/ Chipotle Ranch and Steakhouse Salad w/ Blue Cheese), quick hits (Empanada Hand Pies and Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce), and the tried-and-true burgers, steaks, and chili. Juicy photos provide the inspiration and confidence cooks of all levels need to deliver on the promise of a great meal every time.

Peanut-Beef Pad Thai

Prep Time: 15 minutes           Cook Time: 15 minutes           Serves 4

Peanut-Beef Pad Thai Beef It Up! By Jessica Formicola

 When I tell you that you may never order pad Thai at a restaurant again, I am not kidding. This recipe is that good and can be made with any protein, but obviously beef is my favorite. (Shrimp is a close second.) Many pad Thai recipes call for tamarind paste, a slightly acidic and sweet ingredient that I don’t keep on hand because I don’t use it in any other recipes. My version skips the tamarind paste but provides just as much flavor.

  • 1/3 cup lo w-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 heaping tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 (14-ounce) package stir-fry rice noodles
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ pounds top sirloin, cut against the grain into thin 2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh sugar snap peas
  • ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 4 scallions, whites only, chopped
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Whisk together the broth, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, and lime juice in a bowl until smooth. Set aside.

Cook the noodles according to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Toss with 1 teaspoon of the oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.

Season the beef with the salt. Heat another 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the beef on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate. Pour off any liquid and wipe the skillet with a paper towel.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the sugar snap peas and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and carrots, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Move the vegetables to one side of the skillet and crack the egg in the empty side. Using a spatula, scramble the egg right in the skillet until cooked, then mix it in with the vegetables. Return the beef to the skillet and pour the peanut sauce over the top. Toss in the rice noodles, coating all the ingredients well, and let everything heat through.

Divide the pad Thai among four serving bowls and top with the cilantro, peanuts, and scallions. Serve with lime wedges.

Cook’s Note | Fish sauce adds a deep umami flavor to many dishes. If you don’t have any in your pantry, you can use a little extra soy sauce instead.

Beef Wellington Tartlets

 Prep Time: 15 minutes           Cook Time: 30 minutes           Makes 18 tartlets

Beef Wellington Tartlets Beef It Up! By Jessica Formicola

Traditional beef Wellington is a tenderloin of beef covered in duxelles (mushroom and shallot paste) and usually a layer of bacon or prosciutto, all encased in puff pastry. I am still mastering the challenge, so I developed a recipe that is just as tasty but so easy that my 3-year-old daughter helps me make it.

These tartlets are manageable, and there’s a better pastry-meat-duxelles ratio in a smaller serving.

The cream cheese adds a rich, homey texture. You can make beef especially for this appetizer or use leftovers. I’ve substituted New York strip and even sirloin. As long as the cooked beef is tender, the tartlets will be a success.

  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup roughly chopped white mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff ­pastry, thawed
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked beef, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Coat two muffin tins with cooking spray.

In a small food processor, combine the shallot, mushrooms, and garlic. Pulse until a coarse paste forms.

Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the mushroom paste and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is dry and fragrant, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme and mustard.

Unroll the thawed puff pastry and cut each sheet into nine squares. Press a square into each muffin cup, letting the corners flop over the sides. Equally divide the cream cheese between each cup, about 1 heaping teaspoon. Repeat with the mushroom mixture and then the beef.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the pastry is puffy and lightly browned on the edges. Serve hot.


Cook’s Note |  If you like, you can cook filet mignon to use in these tartlets. Before cooking, tie the individual steaks with cooking twine around the “waist” (see page 123). Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, then sear in a skillet over medium-high heat until medium rare (135°F/57°C), approximately 4 minutes on each side. The meat will continue to cook in the oven, so even if you prefer your beef to be well done, it needs to be a little undercooked to start.

Allow to cool before cutting into smaller pieces. Filet mignon is a tender enough cut that even if you like yours black and blue (nearly raw), a medium cook will still give you butter-smooth bites.

Excerpted from Beef It Up! © by Jessica Formicola. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

Contact: Emma Sector