Loose Meat / Maid Rites

Loose Meat in crock

Loose Meat in crock

So I was bound & determined to recreate the loose meat sandwiches that I remembered from my childhood. Had to reach out to my people from old hometown & looked around the web quite a bit (wow, the recipes I found were vastly different & midwest folks get damn serious about their loose meat talk).

By the way, this was my main dish for the Seahawks going into the Super Bowl – do feel that I had some sort of hand in helping them handily schooling the Broncos. I could be putting more weight on my cooking mojo than should be…

Needless to say, kinda took from each recipe & made them my own – that is the way it goes when experimenting. You’ll need to try this one out & let me know if this lives up to Dairy Den loose meats from Missouri Valley, IA – that is if you’ve ever been to MV in the 70’s – 80’s.

Ingredients:

3 lbs ground beef (85%/15% fat mix)
3 tblsp dry mustard
3 tblsp vinegar
1 14oz can beef broth (reduced sodium)
1 tblsp salt
1 tblsp pepper
1 med onion diced
sliced dill pickles

Loose Meat on Bun

Loose Meat on Bun

Let us cook:

  • Brown the beef in skillet (beef can be a bit pink as will cook in crock) – breaking up the beef.
  • Drain beef mostly – you can keep a bit of the fat/water (about 1/4 cup) & then put beef in crock pot.
  • Add dry mustard, vinegar, broth, salt & pepper – stir up.
  • Set crock on LOW for 6hrs. If possible, turn on HI the last hour to cook off liquid. If there is a bunch of liquid left in crock, pour out.

Serve:

There is a certain way to serve this. Do not stray from what I tell you here dammit! Was blessed with fantastic Super Bowl guests that were very interested in eating dish as I remembered.
Plain hamburger bun, add loose meat, top with raw diced onions & sliced pickles. Add as much mustard as needed – that is it. Enjoy.

Side Dishes

Side Dishes

Lastly, I made 2 other items for Super Bowl – Potato Skin Jalapeño Poppers & Mushroom/Spinach Pockets. The potato skins were gone immediately, freaking great appetizer – none will be left. The pockets were a chore & I learned how to fold fillo sheets under pressure – am always down for a challenge. (Sorry for horrible picture, but was too enthralled with game to worry about photo lighting)

I stand behind my loose meat recipe & will fight to the death (or at least heated discussion) that this is the best loose meat next to the real thing!

P.

Fajitas Via Crock

Fajitas

Fajitas

So I’m going the way of the Paleo eating & cutting out some of the gluten (I know a bit trendy), but I need to lose a tire size or two for my Costa Rica vacation @ end of Jan. along with an nice back waxing.

This dish is pretty darn easy & if you’re able to stick around to put the veggies in at the half way mark to keep them crispier. A big plus is that you can use the food in a few different ways – put it in omelet, eat out of a bowl or throw it on a tortilla.

The trick to this is time cooked & slicing the meat pretty thin.

Stuff:

  • 2 lbs boneless sirloin or flank (sirloin is cheaper) – slice 1/8″ thick
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tblsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tblsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 chipolte peppers w/ sauce, blend in mixer/processed

Crock it:

  • Put meat in crock
  • Mix lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, jalapeño, cilantro & chipolte together – then stir in w/ the meat
  • Cover with onion & diced tomatoes.
  • Set on LOW for 6hrs – at the 3hr mark – add the bell peppers (doing so keeps them from getting too mushy)

Great crock & comes out with a lot of flavor. Depending on the meat choice – flank vs. sirloin – the meat will either stay together or fall apart (sirloin tends to fall apart). Also, if you don’t like the heat – use 1/2 the chipolte & 1/2 the jalapeño.

Sides: Guacamole, cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortillas or whatever else you think is proper.

I made this to keep on hand for quick easy meals & throw some guacamole on top for a good time.

*Sorry for un-meal photo, but was just cooking to eat later.

Vivir felizmente.

Moroccan Beef & Parsnips

Moroccan Beef & Parsnips

Moroccan Beef & Parsnips

Forgot to publish this earlier – did this one a couple weeks ago!

Felt like doing something a bit different & out of my wheelhouse taste wise. Recipe called for a beef brisket, but damn that piece of meat is super expensive & wasn’t small enough. I should have thought ahead & went to my local butcher & checked with them, alas, I am quite lazy & did not.

Hmmm, apricots with meat. This is where it gets iffy for me, but I know a lot of folks enjoy the sweet & savory. Really trying to expand my palette & attempt new items in my cooking.

Here goes:

  • 1 large onion, sliced into wedges
  • 2 parsnips, chopped
  • 2 lbs boneless beef brisket (too expensive so I just used a pot roast)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup whole dried apricot

Add the onion & parsnips to crock (I never add the veggies to the bottom, they just get too mushy & I usually add at about 1/2 way thru time wise, but didn’t this time).

Mix coriander, cumin, cinnamon, garlic & nutmeg together then rub into the meat. Place meat in the crock. Mix the wine, broth & honey together & pour over the meat & veggies.

Add the apricots around the meat & on top of the veggies.

Set on LOW for 6hrs.

Well… not too bad, but as mentioned not my thing. The parsnips, onion & apricots made a nice side to the meat. Weird, usually when I cook the meat in some liquid the meat just falls apart, but this time it was a tad dry – good taste to meat though.

Not sure I’d make it again, yet is always fun to experiment & try something new.

Meatloaf

Asked if there was one meal that my kid would want, what would it be for Sunday Nite Dinner Time? Surf & Turf. Hmmm, not in the cards at 3pm on a Sunday for me (plus, lobster is pricey).

So, we narrowed it down a bit. Second choice? Meatloaf & a baked potato w/ the fixin’s. That is a bit more like it. Between football games I procured stuff & came up w/ a delightful (and completely midwest) meal. This kid has been on the coast way too long to request this kind of meal, right? I thought it would be sushi or mimosa (jk).

The baked potato, that one is a given – 30 mins in foil & then 30 mins out – remember to slather it down w/ olive oil, poke it a bunch w/ a fork (gets aggressions out if nothing else) & then salt / pepper before cooking.

As for the meatloaf:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 diced up carrot
  • 1 diced up stalk of celery
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tblsp pepper

Mix this all together & put in a well greased crock pot. Spread it around so it is all even & whatnot.

Top glaze:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • few dashes of worcestershire
  • few dashes of hot sauce (franks or tabasco)
  • mix up & coat top of meat

Put on LOW for about 7hrs or HI for 4hrs.

Was super skeptical about doing the loaf in crock – I do like me the crusty top part & cooked glaze from oven cooking. Pleasantly surprised at how moist & delicious this was. The veggies should have been chopped up a bit more in this (a food processor would be great for this), but like having some roughage in the loaf as opposed to just solid meat. I give it a solid B at this point & not a BM, yet…

OMG – baked tater. Have never used fresh chives – if you can do so – do so, this made it seem healthy & semi fresh. I found them in “manager special” section for 50 cents! The 30/30 combo worked amazingly well – the skins were perfect. Top w/ sour cream, (real) bacon bits & butter – best thing I’ve had in months!

So, loaf it out. The second best loaf I’ve had in crock next to that salmon loaf – which is in blog, look it up.

Loaf out, P.

Beef Stew

beef stew

Beef Stew

Well, nothing goes better with watching zombies/people get their heads bashed in than beef stew! The stew kinda looked like a mixture of brainmeatcarnage…

Haven’t gotten to the posts for a bit & that is not good for me or you all.

This is way simple & only takes a handful of ingredients – I thought this crock wouldn’t be that great cause there were so few items, but once again the crock did not disappoint.

Here goes:

  • 1 lb stew meat (bottom round)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 can drained diced tomatoes
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 2 potatoes (1 in cubed)
  • 1/2 tblsp oregano
  • 1/2 tblsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Throw it all in & set on low for 8hrs. Remove the bay leaves & cinnamon stick before serving.

Was surprised by how much the red pepper flakes made this spicy, but the cinnamon stick mellowed it out. Made this w/o flour (a lot of the recipes call for adding flour, but wanted to see how this turned out sans the thick flour stuff).

Served this fantastic stew w/ a nice crusty sourdough baguette & that proved to be a huge plus for dipping. Who the hell doesn’t like dipping something in something.

Award Winning Chili*

*(according to a limited test group)

chiliCooking

chiliCooking

What can I say – I know chili. Ok, I don’t really know what the hell I’m doing & just kinda wing it.

There are some core ingredients that you have to have & you just play around with ancillary ingredients. Can I get an amen that this is how it is done?! Talked some sh*t that my slow cooker chili was better than someone else’s & hence came the chili throw down.

All of the chilis were amazingly different that is for sure – meat only, veggie, Cincinnati (?), etc., but it was nice to put all of them together to see how different folks interpret what they come up with.

Props to Greg for providing space for us to do so & to Josephine & John for great trophies!

trohpiesChili

trohpiesChili

Main ingredients (from memory!):

  • 2 cans kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 can Ro-Tels tomatoes/green chilies (undrained)
  • 1/2 lb lean grd. beef (cooked)
  • 1/2 lb grd. pork (cooked)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tblsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tblsp chili powder
  • 2 chipotle chiles (blended w/ 1 tsp sauce) – this was a last minute add on, but was just perfect for smell & slight kick
  • couple of good grinds of pepper
chiliWinnners

Cook it:

  • Put all ingredients in the crock & set on LOW for 8hrs
  • I find if you are around while cooking, to put on HI @ 6hr mark for hour & then last hour set on WARM – this lets the last of the liquid cook off & set-up so that you don’t have a ton juice. Personally, I like my spoon to stand at attention when putting it in bowl.
chiliWinners

chiliWinners


Sides/Toppings:

  • 4-cheese / mexi blend shredded cheese
  • nice dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt
  • diced up green onions
  • regular saltines – you have to have this for sure for dipping & palette cleanser

Note: This was not too spicy hot – so that everyone could eat it. Would have added another 1 or 2 chipotle peppers, but I like to sweat it out (pussies beware!).

Thanks to everyone who came out on a nice day with tons of sides, rhubarb desserts (love me some rhubarb) & Shocker talk (to each their own sickos).

Rock out with your trophy out!

Stuffed Green Peppers

stuffed_pepper_1

Stuffed Green Peppers

This one brings me back to my childhood. Mom would make this dish every so often & I  remember how excited my dad would get. We (me & my sis), on the other hand, did not get all worked up about Stuffed Pepper night. That smell of the peppers cooking in the electric skillet was not appealing in the least.

Now look at me! My tastes have since refined & decided to give this one a shot because it sounded easy & green peppers are sorta cheap.

electric_skillet

Electric Skillet

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium green bell peppers
  • 1 lb. ground beef, lean
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (used fancy brown rice medley)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tblsp black pepper
  • 1 can Ro-Tels tomatoes
  • a few dashes of red pepper flakes
  • (should have added some worcestershire sauce, but didn’t – next time)

Make it happen:

  • mix beef, onion, rice, and seasonings together
  • cut tops off of peppers and hollow out any seeds
  • stuff peppers with equal portions of beef mixture
  • place stuffed peppers in crock
  • cover and cook on LOW for about 6 hrs
stuffed_pepper_2

Stuffed Peppers Finished w/ crappy corn!

Was pleasantly surprised how this turned out. The green peppers had an amazing flavor to them from sitting in the crock all day long. I wouldn’t go so far as saying “roasted” flavor, but pretty damn close.

The beef…as mentioned, could have used some more flavor. Think if I’d have added the worcestershire that would have helped, along with trying to spell that bloody word.

I’ll give it a good rating as this seemed nostalgic & the pepper parts were super delicious.