My Sweet Marie

Posts Tagged ‘beef

Camping can be a lot of fun but not if you have to work all the time that you are there! In anticipation of this, I made our foil packs for one of our camping dinners! All we had to do is pop them on the Barbie for 45 minutes and ta-da, dinner was served! Here’s what I did:


  • 4-5 oz per person of meat (beef, chicken, pork, lamb etc)
  • 2 cups per person of  Veggies (carrot, onion, mushroom, peppers, zuch, brocc, cauliflower, etc)
  • potatoes if using,(mini are nice as you can portion easily)
  • seasonings
  • garlic
  • foil wrap
  • olive oil or Pam spray


  1. If you want to marinade the meat, go ahead and do that first. For beef I like to do soy sauce with italian dressing, set aside. Have your meat cut into bite sized portions. For chicken, I usually do garlic and lemon juice but again, you could do Italian dressing. I make my own Italian but any will do.
  2. Have your veggies washed and cut into the bite size you like. If it’s a veg that cooks faster then others, you may want to cut that into a larger size, like cauliflower.
  3. Divide your meat into the number of portions you are working on. Same for veggies.
  4. Take a sheet of foil or parchment, say 8×10 and grease with either olive oil or pam spray so there’ll be no sticking!
  5. Lay your meat on the foil and top with your veggies. At this point you can top the whole thing with a tsp of olive oil and your seasonings. You could do Cajun, Italian, Montreal steak spice or just about any at all.
  6. Seal the foil/parchment so that they are completely sealed. Now double up with another piece of foil.
  7. Now I go over and above and put each package in a large Ziploc and then I put them in the cooler or fridge till ready to use. I usually make these the day before going or the morning of and sometimes they will sit in the cooler (with lots of ice) for 2 days!
  8. Take them from cooler and toss on the Barbie when you get back from the beach all tired and exhausted!

Now that you have my steak spice mix done, here’s a recipe to use it on! This is a Weight Watcher friendly recipe to boot!


  • 1 lb boneless sirloin or striploin steak
  • 2-4 tsp of steak spice mix
  • 2 large red/orange peppers cut into large chunks
  • 2 red onion sliced thickly
  • 1/2 lemon, seeded
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. 4-6 hours before dinner, generously spice your steak, wrap and refrigerate.
  2. Now you can use the same seasoning on your veggies.
  3. Prepare your grill for cooking. We use COOKINA mats that require no spray or grease. They are amazing, look it up! We got ours at Canadian Tire but I’m sure Walmart or Costco would carry them too.
  4. Place your veggies on the mat and grill. and the lemon too.
  5. Cook the steak to your liking. Let stand on your sutting board for a few minutes, wrap with foil to keep warm.
  6. Once the veggies are cooked, squeeze the lemon over them, add in the parsley, toss and serve along the meat mmm.
  7. Slice the steak on a slant, across the grain.
  8. Enjoy!

Happy St. Paddy’s day folks! Here’s a recipe to celebrate the occasion, albeit a bit late! If you don’t care for lamb, feel free to sub with stew beef.


  • 1 lb of stew lamb or beef, cut into cubes
  • 1 lb of potatoes, washed and cubed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1-2 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 3 tbsp. of fresh chopped parsley, save 1 tbsp. for garnish
  • salt and pepper to your taste
  • 2 cups beef broth or stock (gluten-free of course)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Layer the lamb meat, onion, potatoes, carrot and celery in an oven proof pot or casserole dish. Season each layer with parsley, salt and pepper as you go. Pour in the beef stock and cover tightly.
  3. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the preheated oven, until vegetables and meat are very tender. Divide into bowls and garnish with additional parsley.
  4. I like to do mine in my clay pot, but pyrex or any other casserole will do!

Recently my dear hubby Denis and I were in Playa Del Carmen again.  When we go to Playa we usually rent a condo and do some of our own cooking but usually go out for dinner every night. We are on holidays after all! So, this year we heard of a place in town that serves up the best chicken and it was run by French/Parisienne people, called La Brocherie. This I had to check out. So one day while out on one of our adventures, we found it and stopped in.

We walked in and we were greeted with “Bonjour”, I thought it was a trick so I replied with “Bonjour, comment ca va?” Well, not only did they reply but we proceeded to have a French conversation! I could not believe my ears or eyes! What an amazing thing to be in another country of Spanish decent, but to find French speaking people! I loved that!

So we sat down and Arlette began to explain that their chicken is done in the French traditional way. They marinate it overnight in a certain way, then in the morning they stuff herbs under the skin and cook it slowly on the rotisserie. Let me just tell you, it is worth a flight to Mexico to have this chicken, it is so moist and tasty, truly delicious! I ordered the 1/2 chicken dinner so that I could take home leftovers, and that I did! The 1/2 chicken dinner was only 80 pesos which to me was very worth the dish, that translates to $8.00 Canadian! It came with rice and I think vegetables, to be honest I’ve lost track but I know for sure the rice was very tasty.

While eating our lunch, I read on their menu board that on Wednesdays they do beef bourgignone. I said to Denis, if their beef is half as good as this chicken, we need to come back on Wednesday! So we talked to Arlette about it and she explained the process of the dish and we booked a reservation for Wednesday.

We were greeted by Fabian who sat us at our reserved table and served us a lovely beverage! When the dish came, you could smell it coming, I kid you not. There was a big piece of beef in the middle of the plate, with a few potatoes and carrots, all sitting in this delicious beef gravy/sauce. I’m telling you, it was scrumptious! I cannot think of a word big enough to explain how delicious it was, tender, smooth beef in a perfectly flavored sauce. There was a hint of wine in it, very little salt, perhaps a bit of pepper and likely garlic, absolutely prize winning beef bourgignone. You don’t need to go to Paris for this dish, simply get yourself to Playa Del Carmen!

Let me just tell you that Fabian, the owner/chef is incredibly gifted in the kitchen! The Beef Bourgignon was far superior to any I have ever had. I have made this dish myself countless times but never did it taste like this.

While we were dining, Denis and I were chatting away and I said, Denis listen to our ‘neighbors’, we were surrounded by people speaking French! It was incredible, here we are in Mexico and the language I was hearing was French! Apparently word is out in the French Canadian community that Le Brocherie is the place to go on Wednesday nights! And why wouldn’t it, for $12 you get a top notch dinner and the friendliest service in town!

For the record, Fabian and his wife are the owners of the establishment, Fabian being the master chef with his delicious menu dishes and great recipes. Arlette is Fabian’s mother and is the hostess with a very bubbly personality and warmest of  greetings. She had never met us before, yet spent time talking with us and giving us great tips on what to do and see in Paris for our next holiday.

Fabian and Arlette, I wish you much luck in the future in Playa, I know you’ve only been open less then a year but we’d never know it by your dishes. Keep up the good service, the delicious food and the very reasonable prices and people will continue to come and frequent your establishment!

My dear readers, if you find yourself anywhere close to Playa Del Carmen, you need to head over to La Brocherie on 15th Avenue between 4th and 6th streets.

sweetest greetings,

Sweet Marie

I like to make my own chicken broth for a few reasons, first, it’s healthier and second I know what is going in it! I like to take short cuts and because it cooks while I am sleeping or at work, it feels like a short cut! It can be changed to beef or turkey broth just as easily too! Here’s how:


  • 3 or 4 lbs of chicken bones (beef,pork or turkey will work too)
  • 12-15 cups water and/or 2 cups wine
  • 1 onion, washed and roughly chopped, don’t peel!
  • 2 stalks of celery, washed and roughly chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic,, washed and roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, washed but don’t peel, chop roughly also
  • thyme, salt and pepper
  • any other veggie you want, greens(kale, spinach) would good too!


  1. It is not important to chop the veggies all pretty as you will not likely be using them in the soup,they are there for taste and colour, that’s it!
  2. Put your bones in the bottom of crock pot, add all your veggies and spices.
  3. cover with water, you could use some wine here if you’d like (white for chicken, red for beef)
  4. Put on high and let cook overnight.
  5. In the morning, strain out all the veggies and bones. Chill it.
  6. Now, you can puree the veggies if you’d like so as not to waste and add it to your soup or if you have a dog, it’s a healthy meal for them!
  7. Use this broth in any recipe calling for broth. I usually bag it into freezer bags (2 cups) once it’s cooled and store in the freezer and use up as I need it.
  8. ** I buy my chicken bones and beef bones at the Asian market, cheap! they bone whole chickens and save the bones, works for me! You can also use carcasses from chickens, turkeys, chicken legs, thighs, etc or even the meat itself, doesn’t have to be just bones. If you want to use a pkg of chicken, go for it, it’ll be tasty for sure!

This is probably Denis’ favourite soup. He loves a hearty, chunky soup and this one fits the bill! On a cold fall night this is just what you need! Here’s how to do it, it’s easy, anyone can make soup!


  • 10 cups beef broth ***
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 cup green beans, cut  (fresh, frozen or canned)
  • 1 cup corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
  • 1 cup spinach chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms (fresh or canned)
  • 1 can white kidney beans(canelli) rinsed and drained
  • 1 28 oz canned tomatoes, diced
  • 1-2 cups diced roast beef cooked
  • thyme, salt and pepper to taste


  1. I use a crock pot, but it can be done on the stove. Place all of your ingredients in a large crock pot. cook on high for 1 hour then lower to low for 4-5 hours. it will be thick, if you like it less filling, add more broth or water. Season to taste.
  2. Serve with a nice crusty bun for lunch or dinner! enjoy!

** For the broth, you can buy a beef broth that is gluten free or you can make your own. I boil a huge pot of water with beef ones in it, carrots, onions and any other vegetable in my fridge! don’t bother peeling or chopping, just throw it all in the large boil and let boil like crazy! Once you feel your broth is tasty and has good color, drain/strain out all the veggies and use as needed. I freeze mine so that I have it on hand!


Let me start by saying I am not Lebanese so I don’t profess to be an expert on Lebanese food. But I can tell you that I do love the cooking! Today I was feeling like Kofta Kebobs so away I go. I have this recipe posted already but to make it easier for you, I am re-posting. It is:


  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp. sea salt
  • 3 tbsp. grated white onion
  • handful fresh parsley chopped
  • 2-3 tsp of Lebanese spice mix


  1. Shape onto kebab sticks in shape of a sausage . These may be made and refrigerated overnight till ready to cook. BBQ till cooked through.

Lebanese spice mix:

  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. allspice
  • 1 tbsp. cumin or cinnamon for a different flavor!
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger

Mix and store in a tightly sealed jar for future use!