Steak with Jack

It’s always fun to find new ways to make steak, and it’s even more fun when it involved a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey.  I found this recipe (where else?) in the Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook.  Since she has to make food for cowboys, she tends to cook a lot of steak and potatoes.  This recipe is a new favorite, and I think if you try it, you’ll love it too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 of your favorite cuts of steak
  • 5 tbsp of butter, divided
  • Half a large onion, or one small onion
  • 1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s Whiskey (you can also use your favorite brand of whiskey)
  • 1/4 cup beef stock or broth
  • 1/4 cup cream (I used half & half)
  • Salt and Pepper

Start by melting 2 tbsp of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.


Finely chop your onion and add it to the skillet.


Cook on medium heat until your onions start to turn brown (caramelize).


Next comes the main ingredient, Jack Daniel’s Whiskey!  Made in Lynchburg, TN, which just so happens to be a dry county.  Isn’t that ironic?  Steve and I went with his parents last year to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery and took a tour of the grounds and the whiskey making process.  You definitely need a strong stomach to go on that tour, because there is a very strong odor when you’re walking through the distillery where they have huge vats of brewing whiskey.


When your onions have caramelized a bit, it’s time to add the whiskey.  If you have a gas stove, I would recommend turning off your burners while you’re pouring the whiskey.  You don’t want your kitchen to catch on fire.


You’re pretty much going to let all of the whiskey evaporate so that only the flavor of whiskey is left.  And yes, you can serve this dish to children.  All the alcohol is cooked out of the whiskey.


Next, add the chicken stock.


Season with salt and pepper.


Add another tablespoon of butter to the sauce and stir it around until it melts.  Everything is better with butter.  Just keep telling yourself that.


Next it’s time to add the cream.  It makes the sauce……er……creamy.  My other name is Captain Obvious in case you were wondering.


Bring the sauce to a bubble and then turn the heat down to low and let simmer while you prepare the steaks.  Give it a little stir occasionally.


Melt your last 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium high heat.


Generously season your steaks with salt and pepper and add them to the hot skillet.  We like our steaks cooked medium, so I cooked them for about 4 minutes on each side.


Once your steaks are cooked how you like them, transfer to a plate and generously spoon the whiskey cream sauce over the steaks.



Doesn’t that look gorgeous?  And let me tell you, it’s really tasty too!  This would be wonderful with some mashed potatoes.  I was trying to add a little bit of healthiness to my dinner, so I cooked some zucchini (in butter) to go along with my steak.


This recipe makes 2 servings of sauce, unless you don’t spoon as much sauce on your steaks.  If that’s the case, you could probably stretch it into 4 servings.  I hope you enjoy!  I know we certainly did.

Beef Enchiladas

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of The Pioneer Woman, and I love trying new recipes from her blog and cookbook.

Last night I decided to try my hand at making her enchiladas.  I was a little surprised when I realized that I had never made enchiladas before.  Of course, my mom made them a few times when I was growing up, and I’ve had them at restaurants before, but I had never made them myself.  This recipe looks complicated, but it’s really pretty easy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil (plus more for frying)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (28oz) of enchilada or Mexican red sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cans (4 oz) diced green chilies
  • corn tortillas
  • 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 can of re-fried beans (optional)

Start with a tablespoon of canola oil in a sauce pan, along with 2 tablespoons of flour over medium-high heat.  Don’t make the mistake I did and use a sauce pan that is too small.  You’re going to need one that is big enough to hold a 28 oz can of enchilada sauce, plus 2 cups of chicken broth, so plan accordingly.

Whisk oil and flour together and let bubble for one minute.

This was the enchilada sauce I used….because it was the only enchilada sauce I could find in my grocery store.  If you have another brand you like, go for it!

Pour sauce into flour and oil mixture and stir.  After I poured this in and looked over at the 2 cups of chicken stock waiting for me, I realized I needed a bigger pot.

So I transferred the sauce in to a much more appropriate pot, and proceeded to add the chicken stock (or broth if that’s what you have).

Season with salt and pepper and give it a stir.  Bring the sauce up to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer while you prepare the rest of the food.

Chop up some onion and add it, along with the ground beef, to a large skillet, and cook until browned.

When your meat is browned, drain the fat, then add the green chilies.  The recipe calls for 2 cans, but I only used one since I didn’t know how we would like it.  Give the chilies and meat a stir until it’s well combined.  Then, turn off the heat and set aside.

Here’s what the can looked like in case you’ve never bought green chilies before.  I hadn’t.

Here comes the fun part, frying the tortillas!  Coat the bottom of your pan with canola oil.  I fill it so that it’s about a centimeter high.  Enough so that your tortilla can be thoroughly submerged.

You’ll know your oil is hot enough for frying when you stick the end of a wooden spoon in the oil and little bubbles form around it.

Fry your tortillas just long enough so that they are soft and bendable.  You don’t want them to be crispy like you’re making tacos.

When you’re done frying a tortilla, lay it on a paper towel-lined plate, and put another paper towel in between each tortilla.

Pour some sauce in your baking dish, enough to cover the bottom.

Dunk each tortilla in the sauce, then lay on a cookie sheet.

Fill tortillas with meat and cheese.  You can also add re-fried beans (like I did), olives, or green onions.  Whatever floats your boat.  Just don’t fill them too much or you won’t be able to close them.

Fold the tortilla closed, leaving the ends open.

Place seam side down into your baking dish.  It’s ok if they fall apart a little.  It’s going to be covered in sauce and cheese so no one will know!  It’ll be our little secret.

Add some chopped cilantro to the sauce, and stir.

Pour the sauce over the enchiladas so that they are completely covered.

Sprinkle a generous helping of cheese on top of the enchiladas.  Look at that yummy goodness!

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, or until nice and bubbly.

Sprinkle some cilantro over the top, and you’re ready to serve!

Don’t these look delicious!?  Add a little hot sauce and cheese to some re-fried beans and use as a side dish.

Go ahead, take a bite.  You know you want to!


Mexican Beef Stew

I don’t think there is a more easy meal to prepare than one that is cooked in a Crock Pot.  All you have to do is toss the ingredients in the pot, set the timer, and fahgettaboudit.  This Mexican Beef Stew was one such meal!  I love that I can have dinner waiting for us when we get home, instead of having to go through the ordeal of deciding what to make and making sure that I have all the ingredients I need.  Steve and I bought ingredients for a weeks worth of Crock Pot dinners.  Oh, and did I mention that since we had spent over $500 at Kroger last month, we got 60 cents off per gallon when we filled up the gas tank this morning!  We ended up paying only $2.75 per gallon!!!  Oh yes….that’s right!!!

Now, back to the stew.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs beef for stew, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, mostly drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can Campbell’s® Condensed Beef Consomme´
  • 1 cup chunky salsa (I used Pace® Chunky Salsa)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, minced

Start by cutting the beef into 1 inch cubes.  You can also buy stew meat that is already cubed if your grocery store provides that.

Thoroughly coat the meat in flour….no we’re not making chicken fried steak!

Throw the flour-coated meat into a skillet over medium-high heat, and cook until browned.

Chop up your onion.  I only used half an onion, but you can use a whole one if it would make you happier.  I’ve never been a real onion fan.  Unless of course it’s in the form of an onion ring!

Once your meat is browned, throw it into your Crock Pot (or slow cooker if you prefer).

Toss in the onion.

Next comes the beans!  I drained almost all of the liquid out of the can before dumping it in.

Drain the canned corn, and add it to the pot.  It looks like a lot, but once it all gets mixed around it will look more evenly distributed.

I had never cooked with Beef Consomme´ before this recipe, and didn’t really even know what it was.  It looks and smells like a very concentrated beef broth, in case you’re like me and have never cooked with it before.

Pour the beef consomme´ into the pot.

Next, pour a cup of chunky salsa into the pot.  I used Pace® Chunky Salsa, but you can use whatever brand you want.  I don’t know if fresh salsa would work well in this recipe, but if you want to try it out with fresh salsa, let me know how it turns out!

Finally, add the chili powder, ground cumin, and garlic powder (or minced garlic if you decided to use that).

Give it all a good stir, and set your temperature to low, and cook for 8-10 hours.  If you don’t have 8-10 hours to wait, you can also cook it on high for 4-5 hours.

Here’s what the stew will look like after 8 hours of cooking.  Yum! Yum!  I love that the house smells so good when we walk through the door after a long day at work.  So nice to come home and have dinner ready!

Pour several big ladle fulls of stew into your favorite bowl and enjoy!  I know this isn’t exactly a “summer” dinner, but crank that A/C up and you’ll be in the mood for hot stew in no time! 🙂