FOUR TO TRY: ALL ABOUT THAT BEEF WITH RECIPES FROM JAMIE, REE, MICHAEL, AND MING

I'm always running across interesting recipes from my favorite cooks, chefs, and blogs I want to try. Here are my recipe picks of the week from all around the web.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THAT BEEF. 'BOUT THAT BEEF...

Note: If you are unsure about what cut to buy at the store, (regions may label cuts differently)my friends at Certified Angus Beef have a helpful guide for buying beef on their website.

Ree Drummond's Braised Beef Short Ribs over Creamy Polenta PHOTO: Ree Drummond/ ThePioneerWoman.com

Ree Drummond's Braised Beef Short Ribs over Creamy Polenta PHOTO: Ree Drummond/ThePioneerWoman.com

BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIBS/REE DRUMMOND: Since she lives on a cattle farm and her husband is a cattle farmer, I figure Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, knows a lot about cooking beef. I make my beef short ribs in a similar way but don't always use red wine- I use beef stock because that's how my mom did it. And I rarely have a shallot so I use onion. And of course, I serve mine over creamy grits. Try her recipe-the photos are stunning; you can see the process step-by-step. Purchase bone-in short ribs if you can find them. The bone does really add so much to the flavor. Get the recipe... from ThePioneerWoman.com

Jamie Oliver's Perfect Roast Beef from JamieOliver.com PHOTO:  JamieOliver.com

Jamie Oliver's Perfect Roast Beef from JamieOliver.com PHOTO: JamieOliver.com

PERFECT ROAST BEEF/JAMIE OLIVER: The British are particularly good at Roast Beef. When I go over to England, my friend Gillie makes me her classic "roast dinner" with Yorkshire Pudding and all the trimmings! Roast was always one of my Mom's best dishes, too. Jamie's recipe is rustic with very few ingredients. He calls for "topside of beef" which I interpret to mean a rump roast or round cut which is off the backside of the cow. Homey, comfort food but special enough for Sunday dinner. Get the recipe... from JamieOliver.com

Chef Michael Symon's slow cooker recipe for his spin on a classic beef stew with root vegetables from an episode of ABC's The Chew.

Chef Michael Symon's slow cooker recipe for his spin on a classic beef stew with root vegetables from an episode of ABC's The Chew.

SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW WITH ROOT VEGETABLES/CHEF MICHAEL SYMON/THE CHEW:  While we're thawing out, most of the country is still frozen in. Nothing is cozier or more comforting than a good Beef Stew. Here's one for your slow cooker. Watch the video, Michael gives some great slow cooker tips on browning the meat first for the best flavor and reducing the amount of water if you're converting a recipe not created for a slow cooker. The root veggies are an interesting twist on the classic; Chef Symon uses parsnips, celery root, butternut squash, and carrots. Get the recipe... from ABC's The Chew. NOTE: I notice the recipe says you need to BAKE a bundle of thyme and rosemary. That should be MAKE.

Chef Ming Tsai's Beef and Broccoli beats take out any day. PHOTO: Ming.com

Chef Ming Tsai's Beef and Broccoli beats take out any day. PHOTO: Ming.com

BEEF AND BROCCOLI / CHEF MING TSAI: I don't live anywhere near a good Chinese restaurant and sometimes long for my days living in New York or Chicago where great Chinese was only a phone call away. I've made this recipe from Ming Tsai a couple of times and it is fast, easy, and delicious. In case you're not familiar with oyster sauce, you can buy it at the grocery, usually in the International aisle. Get the recipe... from Ming.com

My most popular beef recipe is my STEAKHOUSE STEAKS IN A CAST IRON SKILLET. If you haven't tried it, you're going to love it. Once you've tried steaks cooked this way, you'll only fire up the grill for a crowd.  

RECIPE: SLOW-ROASTED CHIPOTLE PORK

This Slow-Roasted Pork recipe is one of my favorite recipes for entertaining because you can do so much with it. You can serve it over creamy, cheesy grits or put it into tortillas with a squeeze of lime to make street tacos. Best of all, you can make it ahead and it is super inexpensive to feed a big crowd. Get my party plan for a DIY Taco Bar where guests have a variety of condiments and serve themselves. Set it and forget it... nothing easier for game day, tailgating, a Super Bowl party, or New Year's Day.

My Slow-Roasted Chipotle Pork is one of the most delicious and easiest recipes I have to feed a big crowd. You can also cook it in your slow cooker but I usually put mine in my cast-iron Dutch oven. (Photos by Arden Photography)

PREP TIME: 1 hour     COOK TIME: 3 1/2-4 hours depending on size

SLOW-ROASTED CHIPOTLE PORK

INGREDIENTS

 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt

1 ½  tablespoons chipotle powder  **

1 pork shoulder roast (Boston Butt) about 3-1/2 -4 pounds

2 dozen small corn tortillas***

2 limes, cut into wedges

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, optional

DIRECTIONS:

Before you plan to cook the pork, take it out of the refrigerator for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together kosher salt and chipotle powder and rub in into the pork, being sure to cover the entire surface of the meat with the mixture. Put the pork in heavy covered cooker, Dutch oven, or roasting pan. Allow it to sit for one hour before you put it in the oven.  

 Place in the oven. Turn the heat to 275 degrees.  Cook until the port falls apart when you press it with the back of a fork—approximately 3-1/2 to 4 hours or about an hour per pound.  Remove it from the oven and let it rest covered for 15 minutes. (Of course, you can also cook this in your Crock-Pot or slow cooker,)

For the tortillas: Heat the tortillas on a medium-hot griddle, turning them frequently, until they are warmed through and soft (or heat them in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel).  Wrap them in a towel and place in a basket.  Transfer the pork to a large serving platter and use tongs or two forks to shred into chunks.  Add the lime wedges to the platter, place the cilantro in a small serving bowl and serve immediately, with the warm tortillas on the side.

To fill the tortillas, double them up so they don’t tear apart; place one on top of another on a plate, spoon some of the pork on top, squeeze a little lime juice over the pork, sprinkle some cilantro on top and fold in half.

 ** McCormick brand chipotle powder is what I use.  If you can’t find the powder, look for the whole dried chilies and grind them.  If you can’t find that, use the canned chipotles in adobo sauce and puree them in a blender.

 *** Tip: Get fresh, homemade tortillas at a favorite restaurant! Cheaper and better!

GET MY PARTY PLAN FOR A DIY TACO BAR!

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RECIPE: MARTIE'S FIRE ROASTED CHIPOTLE CHILI

This deliciously smoky chili is simple to make for a huge crowd and your slow cooker does all of the work for you. Make this for your first tailgate party and your friends will want you to make it every game day!

MARTIE'S FIRE ROASTED CHIPOTLE CHILI

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: 4 up to 8 hours

INGREDIENTS

 2 pounds ground beef

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 bottle of your favorite beer

2-28 ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed (or whir canned whole tomatoes in the food processor for a few seconds)

2-15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 small can sliced Jalapeno peppers, drained and diced very fine (be careful to wash your hands!)

2 cups fresh tomato salsa (find it at most stores or make your own recipe)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chipotle powder (find it in the spice aisle; add a bit more if you like that smoky heat)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon kosher salt 

DIRECTIONS:

Brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet (or use your slow cooker if you have one that browns) until the beef is quite brown and the onions are softened. Drain off the liquid. Return to the heat and pour the beer over the mixture to deglaze the pan. Pour that mixture into your crock-pot. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on your lowest setting for 4 hours for the flavors to develop. Check the salt and seasonings before serving.

Serve with condiments: Sour cream, grated cheese, sliced jalapenos, green onion, hot sauce, or any of your favorite chili toppings.

Yield: 18-(6 ounce) servings or almost 1 gallon of chili

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