“Talk of joy: there may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread – there may be.” . . . David Grayson
There are very few foods Ted loves more than beef. Right now my mind is flipping through our years together, trying to remember if there is, in fact, anything he loves more than a good cut of rare steak. I won’t even go into how rare he can eat it, but I will tell you if it’s as rare as he likes it, I usually can’t even look at his plate. Yuck. He also loves lobster, and the combination of steak & lobster for our anniversary dinner on Wednesday night almost sent him into gastronomical Heaven!
I used to like beef more than I do now. I don’t know why my taste has changed- another one of those “aging” things probably. Aging taste buds – yeah! My favorite beef dish of all time is a plain old grilled-over-charcoal hamburger. Slap that burger on a bun that has been toasted over the same coals (until the grill’s grid is burned into that white bread on the underside of the bun), and throw on some mustard, ketchup, onions, and maybe a slice of cheese. Too yummy!
Ted can make a mean beef roast in the oven – complete with potatoes, carrots, and onions. But the best roast in the entire history of man was my mama’s – she cooked it in a pressure cooker. It was so tender that it literally fell apart when you touched it – in fact she never even put knives on the table when she’d make that roast. And the gravy? OH MY GOSH! She’d complete the meal with “real” mashed potatoes and homemade biscuits – the kind that stood about three inches tall. It would not do to tell how much roast gravy I have sopped up with mama’s biscuits over the years. My boys talk about that roast to this day. They also talk about how their mother has never duplicated it, but I tell them it’s better to just remember their MeMa’s roast for what it was – the perfect childhood memory of dinner at their grandparents. And besides that, I’m scared to death of pressure cookers.
The beef recipes came in fast and furious today, so get ready to print these all out for your menus in the coming week.
MRS. K’S JAN MAZETTI (Submitted by Diane Swihart-Elkhart, Indiana)
From Diane: “Growing up we were pretty poor. We had this really sweet couple who lived across the street, and about twice a month Mrs. Kenaga would make this Jan Mazetti and bring a huge pan over to our house, every time saying to my mom ‘Oh I just made too much again – can your family help us out and eat this?’ My sisters & I just loved this casserole then and still do! Mrs. Kenaga gave me a hand written copy of the Jan Mazetti recipe and a 9 X 13 pan at my kitchen bridal shower in 1980.” (What a great story, Diane – thanks for sharing.)
1 lb. ground beef
2 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cans condensed tomato soup (undiluted)
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 (4 oz.) cans mushrooms (or fresh mushrooms)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 package lasagna noodles (break each one in half & cook as directed)
4 Tblsps. butter
1 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Make Topping: Melt 4 Tblsps. butter in pan. Add 1 cup cracker crumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the ground beef until brown. Drain. Add onions, garlic, celery, green pepper, salt & pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the soup, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- 2 pounds Beef Stew Meat (sirloin cut into cubes- usually sold already cubed & labeled “stew meat”)
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 whole Shallots, minced – OR onions work too if Shallots aren’t available
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 8 ounces of little White Button Mushrooms or brown Baby Portobellos
- ½ cups Red Wine
- ½ cans Beef Consomme (found near the beef broth in the soup aisle)
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Fettucini Pasta – broken in half, cooked & drained
- 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme or Rosemary
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- (Note on the Mushrooms: The three most common button mushrooms are the white, the brown or tan-colored crimini or cremini, and the portabella or portobello. The crimini and portobello are one and the same.)
Sprinkle flour over meat. Toss to coat.
Melt butter with olive oil in heavy pot. Sear meat over high heat in batches; remove to a plate when brown.
Add shallots (or onions) and garlic to pan (without cleaning); saute for 2 minutes over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and consomme (and add an extra half can of water at this time as well.) Then add salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Bring to a boil, then add back into the mix the browned meat. Reduce heat to low. Add thyme sprigs to pot.
Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. After that time, mix 2 tablespoons flour with a little water and pour into the stew to thicken the mix a little. Let it cook another ten minutes to thicken. Turn off heat and allow stew to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Good served over the fettucini pasta, or just egg noodles would work, or even mashed potatoes. Dish up the stew, with sauce, over the pasta in a soup bowl. Sprinkle the dished up stew in bowl with fresh parsley pieces for a bit of color before serving.
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Servings: 8
GOLDEN MUSHROOM CUBED STEAKS (Submitted by Jeanine Kramer – Mackinac Island, MI)
From Jeanine: “I am so sad I missed the chicken one!!! But here is a beef recipe, which happens to be one of the easiest and cheapest things I make. It’s also nice because you can make just one cubed steak or as many as four with this recipe! Its very convenient since I usually just cook for two. Goes really well with mashed potatoes or rice, and your favorite veggie.”
- 2-4 cubed steaks
- 1 can Campbell’s golden mushroom soup (beefy mushroom can be used, but not cream of mushroom)
- 1/2 Campbell’s can water
- 1/2 Campbell’s can red wine (or beef broth can be substituted)
- 1 Tblsp. Butter
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Brown cubed steaks in hot butter in sauté pan.
Mix soup, water, and wine together in a medium bowl. Pour mixture over browned cube steaks, bring to boil. Reduce heat & cover, simmer approximately 1 hour.
SWISS STEAK FOR SLOW COOKER (Submitted by Lowell Green – Olivet, Michigan
From Lowell: “It sounds like you had a very nice anniversary and CONGRATULATIONS. However, it seems that Faye & I have you beat. If the Lord wills, we will celebrate our fiftieth on May 7th. Attached is my recipe for Swiss Steak. It’s a little different, but we really like it.”
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 Tblsp. dried parsley
- 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. round steak
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp. seasoned salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- Enough canola or olive oil for browning meat
- 2 cups water
- 1 beef bouillon cube or 1 tsp. beef soup base
- 1 can diced tomatoes (or 1 pint home-canned crushed tomatoes)
- 1 cup finely diced carrots
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Sprinkle basil and parsley into slow cooker.
In a medium saucepan, mix water, tomatoes, carrots, onion, bouillon cube or soup base, and Worcestershire Sauce. Bring to a boil.
Pour into slow cooker. Stir.
Cut meat into 1 – 1 ½ inch pieces.
On a plate, mix together flour, seasoned salt, pepper and garlic powder. Coat meat with flour mixture. Reserve remaining flour mixture.
In a skillet, brown coated meat in oil. Add meat to slow cooker. Reserve cooking oil in skillet.
Cook on high for 3 – 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
After meat and vegetables are tender, put remaining flour mixture (or as much as needed for thickening meat mixture) into reserved oil (You may need to add some oil). Stir to make a paste.
Pour into slow cooker and stir until thickened.
Serve over mashed potatoes.
From Brenda: “I don’t have a lot of beef recipes, because when it comes to beef, we mostly grill steaks and hamburgers, fry cubed steak, or cook a roast in the oven. But here’s a recipe I stole from daughter Julie in Arkansas.”
MEXICAN CASSEROLE (Submitted by Brenda Horton – Lake Blackshear, GA)
1 lb. ground beef (I always use chuck)
2 cups cooked Minute Rice
1 can Cream of Tomato soup
4 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 envelope Taco Seasoning mix
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like sharp.)
1 cup Fritos, crushed
Brown and drain meat. Cook rice. Stir beef, rice, soup, chilies, and taco mix together. Pour into oblong baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese, tomatoes, and corn chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
So that’s the last of the recipes for 2-3 weeks. If all goes well, let’s plan on our next recipe day being Friday, April 16. Surely by that time I’ll be able to sit in one spot long enough to type up some recipes.
I plan to post something on Monday and Tuesday mornings. After that, we’ll take it day by day. Ted said I absolutely could not take the laptop into the operating room (spoil sport!).
The header is from Lana, of course, and that is her Country Fried Steak. (Lana and I make this exactly the same way – which is exactly the same way OUR mothers made it. It is absolutely the only way to cook cubed steak the Southern way.) Check it out at http://www.lanascooking.com/2009/11/02/country-fried-steak/
See you Monday morning, good Lord willing. God bless.
“The Lord is my shepherd, that’s all I want.” . . . Small child misquoting the Bible’s 23rd Psalm.