Beetroot & Beef Hamburger with Quick Garic-Lemon Aïoli

Last weekend, I went to Chef du Jour’s Final Challenge at Fenn’s Quay where Sarah O’Riordan’s menu had Beef & Beetroot Slider as the amuse bouche. I love beetroot so this was a match made in heaven. A couple weeks later, I try to make it in my kitchen. It worked out well!

The most important thing to remember when making these is to use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the burgers because they will be pink from the beetroot so sight is not a good indicator of cookedness.


Beetroot & Beef Hamburger with Quick Garic-Lemon Aïoli

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Dash of salt and pepper, to taste

1 pound of low-fat ground beef
1/2 pound of roast beetroot, shredded (no vinegar)
Dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Olive oil

1.  In a container with a lid, stir together the Aïoli ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for up to four days. It is ready to use straight from the container (use a clean spoon).

2. In a grill pan over medium heat, warm olive oil. Wash hands before handling the meat. In a bowl, mix the ground beef with the shredded roast beetroot, salt and pepper. Form into burgers patties, about ¾ inch thick. Wash hands after handling the meat. Transfer the burgers using a spatula to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Check each burger with a meat thermometer after 10-15 minutes, turning the patties as needed. When each hamburger’s internal temperature reaches 160F/71C, it is done. Clean the thermometer between uses with hot, soapy water.

3. Once cooked to 160F, place the burgers on ciabatta buns and top with homemade Aïoli as well as a dollop of shredded roast beetroot. Or you can skip the buns and serve it on a drizzle of the Aïoli mayonnaise.


Classic Beef Stew for a Rainy Day

Anyone who has been out in blustery weather can understand that upon opening my eyes on Saturday morning with the wind and rain slapping my window, I was determined to make a large pot of beef stew. I donned my layers, including my bright yellow raincoat, and ventured to the English Market against the wind, with raindrops spitting like the spray of ocean waves. The Market was bustling with Saturday morning shoppers, but it only took a short time to fetch all my ingredients then I was back home in my apron preparing the stew.

Homemade Beef Stew

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Homemade Lasagna

Yesterday, I was craving lasagna. It was a Garfield moment and all I wanted was that big cartoon baking dish filled with some of the best Italian comfort food ever. Now, I had not made lasagna in a long time so I looked up the ingredients and went to the store, fueled by my craving. Finally, after a couple hours the lasagna emerged and it was worth every bit of effort – especially since this recipe produces eight servings so you’re all set for a family dinner AND leftovers! Mmm, Garfield likes leftover lasagna, right?

Homemade Lasagna

2 kilos ground beef/steak
1 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
24-30 ounces of chopped tomatoes
500g ricotta cheese
1 egg
500g shredded or sliced mozzarella
300g grated parmesan
olive oil
a bunch of fresh basil, chopped (it was actually fresh this summer then frozen in a Ziplock)
Lasagna pasta
1. Sautee onion in a little olive oil then add beef and brown beef in pan. When almost fully cooked, stir in garlic, chopped tomatoes, and half the chopped basil. Let simmer. Meanwhile, cook the lasagna pasta sheets. You can approximate the number needed based on the size of your dish and expected number of layers.
2. In a small bowl, blend the remaining half the chopped basil, one egg, and all the ricotta cheese.
3. Spoon a portion of the meat sauce into the bottom of your lasagna dish (I use a round silicone baking dish, but you want anything that is fairly deep and large enough – rectangular is easier). Then place one layer of pasta sheets on followed by a layer of the ricotta mixer then a layer of the shredded cheeses (first mozzarella then parmesan). Repeat: Meat, Pasta, Ricotta, Cheeses. End on the Cheese layer and cover with foil to bake.
4. Bake for 30 minutes at 300F then remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes before serving.


Weekend Bytes | Mexican Cuisine

This weekend, I am going to a Mexican pot luck fiesta here in Ireland and was asked to bring a beef main course and a green salad. As I go through recipes online, I can’t pass by them without sharing some of these links with you – even those that are not related to beef or green salads. Of course, I also have a couple CPQ posts about Mexican and Spanish dishes which I will link to here:

South of the Border Cuisine for Cinco de Mayo from CPQ

Quick Guacamole & Gazpacho from CPQ

Here are some of the bytes that are making the decision so deliciously inspiring:


Mexican-style Marinated Beef (Carne Asada) from Cook AZ

Shredded Beef Brisket with Tomato Chile Mole Poblano from Pine Ridge Vineyards

Beef Mole from Blog Well Done

Taco Cups from Try It Tuesday

Slow Cooker Beef Tacos from Plain Chicken

Chipotle Beef Roast from Chelsie’s Mexican Food blog

Taco Cups from Try It Tuesday

Mexican Braised Beef from LoveToKnow


Mexican Rice from Plain Chicken

Mexican Vinaigrette from Chicago Sun-Times


chicken tacos + salsa fresca from smitten kitchen

Pozolé Rojo inspired by The School of Essential Ingredients from girlichef

Tequila-Lime Chicken from Plain Chicken

Mole Coloradito from De La Tierra cooking school Mexican food blog


Fish Tacos with Creamy Chipotle Sauce from Mexican Food Lovers


Classic Flan from Kathy of Las Vegas Food Adventures

Crock Pot Flan Recipe from

Southern Barbecue-style Sauce with Slow-cooked Brisket

Following my first and latest Weekend Bytes post (Southern Barbecue-style Beef, Aug. 6, 2010) , I went to the English Market in search of beef brisket. I read up on beef cuts thanks to’s All About Beef page to make sure I should ask for a ‘brisket cut’. My usual butcher did not have any unsalted (ie, not corned beef brisket) and we didn’t see any displayed at a couple of the other butchers we passed then we stared into the display at Bresnan’s just long enough to be asked ‘Are you ok?’ and we asked if they had unsalted beef brisket. Sure enough they just had gotten some in and were cutting it so we bought a nice serving for €11.

I ended up taking the advice of two recipe bloggers (Diana Rattray and Hog Wild BBQ) to create my brisket recipe. The outcome is a tender beef that shreds itself. The sauce is amazing and doesn’t overpower the flavor of the beef itself. I served it in a crusty French bread with the reserved sauce alongside sweet corn and little gem salad with ranch dressing. All that was missing was authentic ‘sweet tea’ and a pecan or sweet potato pie for dessert. This recipe serves four people.

If you want the sauce only (like for chicken or roast beef sandwiches), simply omit the beef brisket from the ingredients and skip all recipe steps but #4.

American Barbecue-style Beef Brisket

3.5 pounds beef brisket (Bresnan’s in the English Market has it unsalted for €6/kilo)

2 ½ cups ketchup (St. Bernard brand is almost 500g for under a quid)

½ cup regular Coca-Cola soda (it’s ok if it’s flat, but don’t use diet)

1 cup water

3 ½ tablespoons worcestershire sauce

¼ cup apple cider vinegar (Kelkin from Dunnes, €1.75)

½ teaspoon crude black molasses

1 teaspoon Spicy Season-All (Schwartz brand ‘Perfect Shake’ from Dunnes for about €2-something)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 ½ teaspoon yellow mustard

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1. Mix all ingredients except the beef into a large bowl or slow cooker crock. Once blended completely, set aside 1 1/2 cups of sauce and refrigerate for now (step 4. details finalizing the sauce).

2. Add the beef to the remaining sauce, coating it completely. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours then remove when ready to cook.

3. Place slow cooker crock into machine and remain covered. Let rest for 30 minutes before turning on to low heat. Let cook for 12-24 hours. I cooked mine for 28 hours, but taste tested at hour-20 and it was divine!

4. Take the reserved sauce from the fridge and warm it over low heat in a saucepan. It will thicken and darken slightly. It can be served hot or you can let it cool and put it in a covered container until time to serve.

5. To serve: Remove from heat and slice or shred (it is likely to do this on its own) and let rest for five minutes before placing on toasted rolls or straight for a nice meal. Excellent served with cole slaw, potato salad, green salad with lime-ranch dressing, hush puppies, or corn on-the-cob.


30-hour Slow Cooked Brisket