When I cook dinner for a man, I figure it better include one key ingredient: meat.
To meet the meat requirement, the recipe below, Blue Cheese-Stuffed Hamburger Steaks with Red Wine Sauce, is fantastic. I tore it out of the Herald’s Real Life section a few years ago and have made it a few times, including for a dinner last week.
I should note that, instead of blue cheese, I used herbed goat cheese. Upon biting into a burger, my dinner guest said it was like an “explosion of goat cheese in your mouth.” If that’s not the best selling point for a recipe, I don’t know what is.
To accompany the meat, I made Wild Mushroom and Tomato Ragout with Polenta. This is one of my favourite side dish recipes. It’s healthy, too — I found it in Shape magazine. (Which might lessen the guilt over the “explosion of goat cheese.”)
The dinner was a success, and my leftovers were just as tasty:
Blue Cheese-Stuffed Hamburger Steaks with Red Wine Sauce
- 1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 lb. (100 g) blue cheese, cut into small slices *I use goat cheese with herbs, but you could also use feta
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock mixed with 2 tbsp flour
Drain the excess fat from the skillet. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the stock-flour mixture and bring to simmer. Simmer until a lightly thickened sauce forms, about 3 to 4 minutes. Divide the hamburger stakes among plates; serve the sauce alongside for spooning on top.
Wild Mushroom and Tomato Ragout with Polenta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 2 cups sliced assorted mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake and oyster)
- 3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
- 2/3 cup quick-cooking polenta
- 2 tbsp shaved Parmesan
Bring 3 cups of broth, rosemary and sage to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly pour in polenta. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes until mixture thickens.
Spoon polenta into four bowls and top each with a portion of ragout and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
Both recipes serve 4. But, for our purposes, they’ll serve just you and a hungry man.