Nutrient-rich and full of iron, beef is a versatile meat that cooks quickly and is just as delicious in a winter stew as it is grilled outdoors in the summer. When purchasing, look for grass-fed beef, which means that the cows are pasture-fed and forage for grass. Grass-fed beef is arguably more nutritious than grain-fed beef and contains fewer calories, more omega-3 fats, vitamins, and antioxidants, but is often much more expensive. Try out these 11 recipes for a delicious beef dinner that won’t take long to get on the table and with more than enough protein to keep you full for the rest of the evening.
1. Beef Stew
CHOW’S recipe for easy beef stew keeps the beef from getting mushy by first searing the cubed boneless chuck roast in hot oil and then braising the beef with red wine, broth, and onions until a luscious gravy forms. Serve as a traditional stew with a crusty loaf of bread, or over rice or wide egg noodles. Get our Easy Beef Stew recipe here.
2. Beef Stroganoff
Chuck roast cut into two-inch cubes forms the basis of this classic winter dish. Beef stock, Cognac, and a pound of mushrooms simmered together, with the addition of sour cream, Dijon mustard, and fresh thyme, makes a well-balanced dish that is delicious served on top of buttered egg noodles (or brown rice, if you’re trying to make it a little healthier). Get the recipe here.
3. Balsamic Roast Beef
This recipe is insanely easy to make in a slow cooker—all you have to do is add the ingredients and turn it on, no browning the beef ahead of time or any tricky steps. Combine beef broth, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, and four cloves of garlic with the three- to four-pound boneless chuck roast and then break apart gently with two forks after cooking. Get the recipe here.
4. Beef Meatballs
These beef meatballs, adapted from New York City’s Meatball Shop, use 80 percent lean ground beef and a series of seasonings: salt, chili flakes, fennel seed, parsley, and oregano. Very simple and very satisfying. Make these as a passed appetizer or serve them with spaghetti and marinara sauce (or even in a meatball sub). They’re great to make in a big batch, and freeze well if you want to make them in advance. Get the recipe here.
5. Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas
Fajitas are an easy crowd-pleaser. Marinate the skirt steak in a combination of soy sauce, canola oil, brown sugar, cumin, black pepper, chili powder, and garlic and let the flavors meld for at least three hours (the longer the better)—but reserve a half cup of the marinade first! Use this marinade to flavor strips of red, yellow, and green bell peppers and onion slices. Grill the steak to your desired doneness and slice thin; serve with pico de gallo and hot tortillas for a perfect meal. Get the recipe here.
6. Beef, Barley, and Mushroom Soup
Boneless beef short ribs are a luscious addition to this barley and mushroom soup. Dried porcini and shiitake mushrooms along with mushroom broth provide intense flavor, and the splash of red wine makes for a rich soup base. If you’re saving and reheating the soup, add a little bit more water because the barley will absorb the broth once you refrigerate it. Get the recipe here.
7. Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry
It’s finally time to learn how to make your favorite Chinese takeout dish, beef with broccoli. The beef marinade combines soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, cornstarch, and black pepper, while the sauce is a tasty combo of oyster sauce, Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, and chicken broth. Blanch the broccoli briefly but make sure not to overcook it or it will be soggy. Get the recipe here.
8. Meat and Potato Gratin Skillet
Melissa Clark describes this hybrid as a cross between shepherd’s pie and a potato gratin. A hearty layer of ground beef flavored with onions, sage, and spinach is topped with a cheese-and-cream-covered layer of root vegetables that crisp up in the oven. It’s an entire meal in a skillet. Use whatever fresh herbs you have and feel free to substitute any cheese you like for the Gruyere. This is a filling winter dinner and pairs well with a big glass of red wine. Get the recipe here.
9. Oven-Roasted Brisket
Oven-roasted beef brisket is one of life’s great pleasures. This recipe has a sticky sweet glaze made up of brown sugar, chipotle chile powder, black pepper, sugar, smoked paprika, onion powder, powdered mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Start with a dry rub, then add the Worcestershire sauce and spread liberally. After about four hours in the oven, the brisket will be tender with a caramelized sugar glaze. It doesn’t get much better than that. Get the recipe here.
10. Beef Wellington
Although this isn’t a simple dish, CHOW’s recipe for beef wellington is a classic. The center-cut beef tenderloin roast serves as the center of this delightful pastry package. Layers of pâté, mushroom duxelles, thinly sliced prosciutto, and puff pastry are a rich and tempting combination fit for a special occasion. Be sure not to overcook the meat, and serve in one-inch slices for an elegant ode to excess. Get our Beef Wellington recipe here.
11. Frito Pie
This Frito pie adapted from The Homesick Texan cookbook is a winner. Two pounds of ground beef, along with seasonings including cumin, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, and lime juice, make for a classic beef chili that is absolutely fantastic served on a bed of crunchy Fritos. Topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped pickled jalapeño, and fresh diced tomatoes, this dish tastes just as good served in individual Frito bags for bowls as it does on a real plate. Get the recipe here.
Header photo and Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe from CHOW.
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.