Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chinese Pot Roast

This is a tried and true recipe that I will be making in the Café tonight:

Chinese Pot Roast


1 (4 pound) beef chuck roast (bone in or not)
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups water
3/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground ginger  (I used 1/3 of a cup.  I like ginger)
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Coat the chuck roast with garlic salt, pepper and mustard powder. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the roast and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.

In a medium bowl, stir together 3 cups of water, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, ginger and celery seed. Pour over the roast and then cover the roast tightly with a lid or aluminum foil.

Bake in the preheated oven until the roast is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

When the roast is done, remove it from the pan to a serving plate. Set the pan of drippings over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir together cornstarch and 1/4 cup of cold water. Pour into the boiling liquid and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve, pouring the gravy over the roast.

Cook’s Notes:  I will also make rice and some sort of tossed greens salad to complete this meal.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The first of Deirdre's Birthday Dinners: Roast Tenderloin of Beef with Mustard Sauce

Deirdre's birthday is upon us and it is time to celebrate.  There will be at least two and perhaps more birthday dinners to celebrate her birthday.  In the Cafe tonight we are making a tried and true favorite:


2 tsp. soy sauce
2 1/2 lbs. beef tenderloin
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 med. garlic clove, minced
3 med. shallots, minced
1/3 c. dry red wine
1 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 cup (8 oz.) canned low-sodium beef broth
1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. heavy cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1.  Rub the soy sauce all over the beef and let sit for 30 minutes.  Season with pepper.

2.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large, heavy, oven-proof skillet, heat the oil over high heat.  Add the beef and cook until well browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

3.  Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the tenderloin for about 20 minutes, turning once, until the internal temperature reads 127F degrees on a meat thermometer for rare.  Transfer the meat to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let sit for 10 minutes.

4.  Pour off any fat from the skillet.  Add the garlic and shallots and cook over low heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Pour in the wine, increase the heat to high and simmer for 1 minute.  Stir in the mustard, broth and cream and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to moderate and simmer until the sauce has reduced to 1 cup and is thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon, about 6 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and stir in the butter until incorporated.

5.  Using a sharp knife, cut the meat into 12 slices.  Arrange the meat on plates or a platter, spoon the mustard sauce on top and serve.

Along with the roast, we will be serving rice pilaf and a Radicchio-Boston Bibb Lettuce Salad with a blue cheese dressing. 

Later today we will be stopping by Art of the Table to pick up some vino to go with this meal.  More to follow as conditions warrant.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


A favorite recipe of ground beef, macaroni, garlic, stewed tomatoes, butter, onion, and other seasonings, layered with cheddar cheese.

  •  8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked 
  •  1/4 cup chopped onion 
  •  1 clove garlic, minced 
  •  1/4 cup butter 
  •  1/2 teaspoon pepper 
  •  1 pound ground beef 
  •  1 medium bay leaf 
  •  1 can (14.5) ounces stewed tomatoes (I use diced tomatoes with sweet onions) 
  •  2 cups shredded cheddar cheese  (I use more) 
  • Seasonings of your choice.  I use Mickey and T's All American seasoning. 
Cook macaroni in boiling salted water according to package directions. 
In a large saucepan, combine seasonings, onion, garlic, butter, pepper, ground beef, bay leaf, and  tomatoes. Don't strain the tomatoes.  
Cook slowly for 20 minutes; stir in 1 1/2 cups of the Cheddar cheese. Spoon about half of the macaroni into a buttered 2-quart casserole. Top with cooked meat mixture then remaining macaroni and reserved cheese. Bake beef macaroni casserole, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes.
Beef Macaroni Casserole serves 6.
Total Time: 50 minutes

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Stay in Bed Stew

I have not made this recipe in a while, but it is definitely a keeper for a cold winter night.  As I type this, our house is starting to fill with the wonderful aroma of this dish.

Stay in Bed Stew

2 ½ lbs stewing beef
1 cup chopped carrots (I used 3 medium sized carrots)
1 cup chopped celery (I used an entire stalk)
1 cup chopped onions (I used one onion)
1 parsnip
1 potato, chopped up
1 bay leaf
2 or 3 garlic cloves (optional)
5 whole allspice kernels (Yep, whole kernels!)
1 can beef bullion (I used a can of Campbell’s Beef Broth, plus ½ a can of water)
1 15oz can tomato sauce
3 T tapioca

Place all ingredients into a Dutch oven and bake for 4 ½ hours at 275F.  Yield is dinner for 4-6 people.

The recipe is really that easy.  Throw all of the ingredients into the pot and away you go.  I added the garlic cloves the last time I made this recipe (the original recipe did not call for garlic) and it really improved the flavor of the stew.

A hearty bottle of Cabernet or Merlot stands up well to this meal.  I added a few dashes of Mickey & T's All American Seasoning to the stew, and I mixed up the ingredients before I put the Dutch oven in the oven. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve Ribeye Steaks

As we awaited the first major snow storm of the 2011-2012 winter season, we decided for our New Year's Eve meal that it might be nice to grill a couple of steaks before the snow started coming down.  We found this recipe and decided to give it a try.  We were not disappointed.

Ribeye Steak Marinade

- 2 ribeye steaks
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Ground black pepper to taste

1.  Whisk the vegetable oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, and pepper together in a bowl until combined.
2.  Place the meat in the a plastic bag, and pour the marinade over the steaks. Squeeze out excess air,
and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. Discard the marinade after it has been used.
3.  Prepare a fire in a grill.  Cook the steaks until done to your likes.  Remove from the grill and place the steaks on a cutting board.  Loosely cover with aluminum foil and allow the, to rest for ten minutes.

Cook's Notes: We marinated the steaks for about six hours, turning the bag about every two hours.  The marinade really permeated the steaks and the flavor was amazing.  This recipe is a keeper.