5 Ways to Add Some Flair to Your Favorite Beefy Comfort Foods at Home
Maybe you’re having friends over for a barbecue and want to serve up some next-level sides. Or, perhaps you’ve been cooking at home more often and want to indulge in something new. Regardless of your culinary ambition, comfort foods like sandwiches, soups, pasta, and pizza are the perfect blank slate for food artistry. And now’s the perfect time for experimenting in the kitchen—from around-the-world flavors like Korean BBQ to emerging ingredients like green coffee extract, the possibilities for creating masterful eats are endless. In this blog, we’ll share some of the latest food and spice trends that can inspire you next time you need a new take on a classic comforting dish.
1. Burgers and Sandwiches: Go Sweet and Savory with Pears and Other Stone Fruits
Everyone loves a big, juicy burger, and there’s no shortage of options for toppings to bring out the memorable flavors of Black Angus beef. If you’re looking to switch up the classic American cheeseburger or roast beef sandwich, add a refined touch with pears, peach preserves, or plum jam. Combined with cheeses such as brie or bleu cheese, pears and other stone fruits create an elegant balance with the savory flavors of ground beef or flank steak.
For a flavorful sweet and savory burger, top cooked ground beef patties with thinly sliced pears and bleu cheese and top with candied walnuts. You can also try this recipe for Balsamic Flat Iron Steak Sandwiches with Grilled Peaches.
If you want a sweet and savory burger without the fruit, this Maple Bacon Beer Burger features sweet undertones while staying true to the reigning supreme bacon cheeseburger.
2. Mac and Cheese: Load It Up with Surf and Turf
Mac and cheese is a forever classic for a reason. Beyond its delicious cheesiness, the dish goes with everything from ground beef to beer. But, your mac and cheese doesn’t have to stop at a hamburger (though we certainly recommend it, and feel free to add green peppers, onions, and hash browns to the mix for the ultimate breakfast mac).
If you want to take your mac and cheese game up a notch, surf and turf mac is the way to do it. Cook your favorite mac and cheese recipe featuring your surf of choice—lobster, crab, or shrimp—and top it off with Black Angus flank steak cooked to your liking. You could also serve the steak on the side (we recommend bacon-wrapped Black Angus filet mignon), if you prefer.
Want to tap into your inner pit boss? Try Smoked BBQ Shrimp Mac and Cheese next time you make BBQ beef brisket. Featuring liquid smoke, smoked gouda cheese, and smoked salt, this dish is a perfect complement to Juicy Pulled Beef Sliders.
3. Comfort Soups: Stir in New Flavors and Trending Spices
A hearty bowl of chili or beef stew goes a long way on a winter day, and trendy spices like ginger or cardamom can add just the right balance of boldness and sweetness to these dishes. Featuring cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, Jamaican allspice berries, and cardamom, Cincinnati-style Chili, for example, is “mild and mellow with complex undertones.” Spiced Beef Stew with Parsnips and Beets combines ginger, garam masala, beef roast, and root vegetables for a bold, nutritious take on traditional beef stew.
Asian-inspired eats such as ginger beef stew over rice also make for excellent comfort dishes. This recipe for Slow Cooker Ginger Beef Stew combines beef roast with orange sauce, onions, ginger, bok choy, and scallions for a spicy, citrusy twist on a classic stew.
4. Side Dishes: Get “Swicy” with Kimchi, Black Peppercorn, and Hatch Chili
Like ‘sweet and savory’ and ‘sweet and salty’, ‘sweet and spicy’ (or “swicy”) has become all the rage. Naturally, swicy sides like kimchi are always ideal for Korean beef dishes (and you can also slow cook it with beef stew). Hatch Chili Sweet Corn is an excellent swicy accompaniment for Ground Beef Tacos with Spicy Lime Zest Crema. Spicy Thai Basil Slaw makes for a refreshing side to serve with Steak Bites with Cranberry Miso Sauce.
If you’re looking for heartier sweet and spicy side dishes, try combining mashed sweet potatoes with chipotle peppers or black peppercorn to serve as a side with Black Angus Tenderloin. Or, you could make loaded sweet potatoes with black beans, sour cream, and sriracha and serve with your favorite burger.
5. Pizza Toppings: Pile on Beef and Basil
Basil, arugula, and other fresh pizza toppings are in this year, and beefing up your Margherita with flank steak or beef Bolognese makes for a heartier, protein-packed favorite. Basil is well-known for pairing well with rich beef dishes, and beef helps balance the sometimes-sharp flavors of arugula. On pizza, these ingredients come together for a beefier version of the Italian dish. Try it with Black Angus New York Strip for added tenderness.
Interested in other beef and pizza combinations? Top your pizza with peppers, onions, shaved roast beef, and mushrooms for a Philly Cheesesteak pizza. Or, if you have extra time or want to flaunt your BBQ skills, smoke a beef brisket to add to your pizza. Swap out tomato sauce for BBQ and add cheddar cheese.
Create Next-Level Recipes with 1855 Black Angus Beef
Versatile, tender, and juicy, Black Angus beef is the ultimate comfort food. At 1855®, we produce rich, premium beef from only the best Black Angus cattle. That means you get top-notch, flavorful beef for any recipe, whether you’re backyard barbequing or celebrating a special occasion. Browse more beef recipes, find an 1855 retailer near you, or follow us on Facebook or Instagram or our blog for more cooking tips and inspiration.