Here’s a good idea for something to make tonight! I don’t think I have ever not been in the mood for creamy pasta or spicy beef. I could be all set to feast on something like grilled teriyaki chicken with rice, or smoked salmon and steamed vegetables. But as soon as anyone says the words spicy beef pasta in any particular order I am immediately ready to abandon any plans for anything else. Few meals are as tasty or as satisfying as this creamy and hearty dish.
A little can go a long way with this beef pasta dish. More likely though you will double back for seconds or even thirds if they’re available. Before we get to the recipe below, I’ve got some tips for how to make this creamy protein-loaded entree with only the best ingredients. We’ll cover meat selection and prep as well as what pasta is best for holding up against the meat and the sauce.
What’s the Best Beef for Pasta?
When you think of beef with pasta a whole spectrum of ideas and visuals may spring to mind. The most common is probably ground beef and pasta a la some sort of Hamburger Helper. On the other side of the spectrum, you may think of a steak, such as filet mignon, or maybe top sirloin with pasta as a creamy side dish. If you want a real beef pasta dish you need to meet somewhere in the middle. Really anywhere. For my dish I took inspiration from beef stroganoff and from my favorite Chinese beef dishes in the preparation. I used beef shoulder, which is important because the cut of steak you use in your pasta will have a major impact on how it turns out.
Beef shoulder is cut from the chuck section of the beef. Sometimes the terms chuck and shoulder are used interchangeably, but that isn’t always appropriate. If you are referring to the cut, you can use either, but from that chuck/shoulder portion of the cow there are options. Chuck roast is fattier and grainier than shoulder roast. It’s important for recipes like this one that you use the leaner shoulder roast. Chuck is generally what ground beef is made out of, if you are looking for a comparison. It’s more difficult to thinly slice chuck, which is what we are going to be doing with the shoulder.
How to Prepare the Meat
Part of the reason for the choice of meat you want to pick is, of course, the flavor, but the preparation of the beef. Since you want to be able to cut it and cook it a certain way, the shoulder roast is an important ingredient to get right. Don’t go thinking you can just substitute it with a chuck roast. If you have to substitute the cut of steak, look for a flank steak, or maybe a ribeye, though that one will cost you.
Preparing the meat to be cooked is very important. Use a cutting board and a very sharp knife. Make sure you sharpen the knife before you start because dull knives are not just less effective, they’re also more dangerous. To sharpen the knife on a steel rod, run the knife across the rod and away from you at a 15% angle. You don’t need to use fancy strokes or go too fast. Just be thorough and make sure you get both sides. It’s a good idea to habitually sharpen your knives before and after each use.
The next thing you need to do is let the steak out and cut across the grain. That means perpendicular to the direction of the grain. The result of shorter grains in your pieces of meat is that the beef will be easier to chew. That’s especially desirable when the steak is part of a pasta dish.
Once you have your strips of meat for the pasta, you want to cover them in flour before you cook it. This is a cooking method that originated in peasant-style French cooking but it bears marks of some of my favorite Asian dishes such as Mongolian beef.
Corkscrew Noodles Know How to Party
The star ingredient for this recipe may be pasta. Although the beef is honestly the part I crave most about this dish, it’s the pasta itself that holds everything together. You can take a lot of wrong turns when selecting pasta. It’s really a lot of trial and error because some of it accounts only for personal taste. However, I do believe that some pasta is objectively better for certain dishes than others. Fettuccine Alfredo for example is unparalleled even though Alfredo sauce literally goes with everything.
Deciding on a pasta you want to use for your dish can take effort, you have to think through the part your pasta will play. I didn’t want a long stringy pasta for this, I want to stab my pasta just like I stab at the meat. I don’t want to have to twirl and stab, or stab and twirl, etc. The options among stable pasta are few, you can use a tubular pasta or a twisty corkscrew pasta. Personally, I love the way corkscrew pasta holds the sauce. I find it is the most complimentary option for a beef pasta dish.
Thickening the Sauce
You do not need to add any thickeners to this sauce to make it creamy and delightful. It only takes a little time to reduce to the right thickness level. Trust the recipe and let it cook down to the desired thickness before serving. It’s a lot like making Pasta Roni or something like that, only much, much better.
When it’s ready to serve, you can enjoy this as a whole meal or with a side salad. I recommend serving the salad while allowing the sauce to firm up on the stove so that it’s ready to serve hot and fresh when the salad course is done.
Ingredients to Make Spicy Beef Pasta
- Beef shoulder roast, boneless
- Large onion
- Green bell pepper
- Garlic cloves
- Slap Ya Mama seasoning
- Worcestershire sauce
- Beef broth
- Heavy cream
- Sour cream
- Corkscrew pasta
(Actual measurements are listed in the recipe card below.)
How to Make Spicy Beef Pasta
Step 1 – Prep
Cut beef, across the grain, into 1 ½ – 2 inch strips, ½ inch wide. Place meat in a large baggie with ½ cup flour. Shake to coat.
Step 2 – Cooking the Meat
Add 2 tablespoons butter to pan and melt over medium high heat. Cook meat until browned on all sides. Sprinkle with seasonings and add remaining butter to pan and cook onions and jalapenos until tender. Add garlic and pour beef broth and heavy cream into meat mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer until sauce thickens.
Step 3 – Assembling the Pasta
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and add pasta to meat mixture. Stir in sour cream until combined. Serve hot and enjoy.
Try This Delicious Spicy Beef Pasta Today
Here are a few more beef and pasta recipe you might enjoy:
And here is a delicious Beefy Taco Goulash from Great Grub, Delicious Treats that tastes amazing.
Spicy Beef Pasta
- 3 pounds beef shoulder roast, boneless
- ½ cup flour
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cups beef broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 pound corkscrew noodles
- Cut beef, across the grain, into 1 ½ – 2 inch strips, ½ inch wide.
- Place meat in large baggie with ½ cup flour. Shake to coat.
- Add 2 tablespoons butter to pan and melt over medium high heat.
- Cook meat until browned on all sides and sprinkle with seasoning during cooking.
- Add remaining butter to pan and cook onions and jalapenos until tender. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute or two.
- Pour beef broth and heavy cream to meat mixture.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until sauce thickens.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add pasta to meat mixture.
- Stir in sour cream until combined.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Here are a few pics that are the perfect size for pinning to Pinterest.