Recipes Steaks

Beef Stroganoff via Time Machine

Set the time machine for 1963, pop the hatch and emerge into a weird parallel world where everyone smokes constantly, fear of meat, dairy, and dietary fat is unheard-of and “fat kids” are an anomaly still worthy of ridicule by peers. Anxiety over Soviet missiles and MAD could only be relieved by smoking, drinking, the antics of “Rocky and Bullwinkle” and escape into the romanticized past of Camelot. ” Dr. Strangelove ” wouldn’t be seen till ’64. Something evil (besides Boris and Natasha) stalks this confounded scene: causing a dramatic rise in coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in relatively rich, western nations. The evil needed identification and eradication. All was about to be turned upside-down. This classic Stroganoff recipe provides instant transport back to the 60’s.

Ancel Keys (U of M) had already set the course by then with his graphic association of CHD death rate vs percent of dietary calories from fat for 6 countries. Everyone thought he was onto something and researchers piled-onto the “diet-heart idea”. More cool-headed skeptics found that Keys had cherry-picked the 6 countries from a total of 22 for which data was available. Had he included all 22 the correlation for sugar consumption versus CHD deaths would have been higher than that for total fat.

The zeal of funding institutions and researchers soon took on a religious crusade quality of certitude in direction and outcomes. No one questioning the “diet -heart idea” could get funding or an audience. Investigators manipulated data in ways to present the accepted outcome. Framington (MA) study analysts at year 30 could only find positive news in overall death rates of men (CHD death rates in women had never been shown to be influenced by blood cholesterol level) in the lowest cohort of blood cholesterol being a half-percent less per year than those in the highest. They failed to point out that deaths in question were not even CHD specific OR recognize that for men beyond age 47 survival rate was indifferent of cholesterol level! See “The Cholesterol Myths”.

So how did we get to today? How did all that momentum and low fat/high carbohydrate diet endorsements get reversed so that it’s now OK again to eat butter, bacon and beef? Reality intervened is what happened. Maverick cardiologist Dr Atkins started recommending the opposite; a high protein/low carb diet that had outstanding success in reversing the CHD symptoms of his patients. Packaged food companies eagerly switched over to cheap refined carbohydrates and sugar in place of expensive fats and -as a result-by the mid 80’s adolescent type 2 diabetes was becoming a problem. Endocrinology- the study of the body’s hormone reactions- came to better understand the roles of insulin and glycogen and the group of symptoms leading up to insulin resistance. Gary Taubes summed it all up in 2002. Since then diet-related autoimmune disorders and the huge role of gut microbes have begun to be understood.

Beware of vegan groups recovering the fallen, soiled banners of this era’s misguided protagonists, laundering them and representing them as underappreciated heroes. They were merely the wrong-headed opportunists of their time. Their endorsement by association lends no legitimacy to the vegan cause.

This is a wonderful, classic recipe. Be sure to cut steak to specified size while partially frozen. It’s impossible when completely thawed. The piece size is critical for chew-able texture as there isn’t much cooking time to help tenderize. Spring for fresh Italian parsley and the wide “nested” type egg noodles like Sams Choice Italia Pappardelle. Try a bit of fresh-grated nutmeg on a portion for that distinctive flavor.


  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds beef round steak or boneless sirloin steak trimmed of all exterior fat and cut into 2-by-1/8 inch strips (like for stir fry).
  • ½ cup (one stick) butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock, ideally homemade
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley


  1. Combine the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the meat in the mixture.
  2. Brown the meat in one-quarter cup of the butter in a saucepan. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until transparent. Add the mushrooms and remaining butter and sauté 3 to 5 minutes longer.
  4. Add the beef stock or bouillon and bring to a boil. The preparation, to this point, may be done ahead.
  5. Add the meat to the sauce and cook until meat is tender but not overcooked, 3 to 10 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Combine sour cream, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Add some of the beef sauce to sour cream mixture. Return to pan and heat meat and sauce, stirring. Do not boil. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with buttered parsley noodles.

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Ground Recipes

Special Agent Suet Part 1: Pemmican

Pemmican is an all-natural , long-lasting energy food originally made by native Americans from wild large game, dry berries and nutmeats. Suet rendered into tallow (chemically/biologically stable at normal temperatures) serves as an important energy source and binder for all the components.

Suet is the “hard” fat from inside the body cavity of a beef animal. It’s not simply collected “trim” fat from the exterior. It’s 52 % saturated and 32 % mono saturated with a smoke point of 392 deg F. REMEMBER: NO legitimate scientific research has EVER established a causal link between saturated fat consumption and heart disease – despite what people who should know better continue to say. Suet seems hard and dry but in fact contains significant water moisture and will decay even under refrigeration.

Rendering the suet into tallow changes it’s chemical/biological stability at normal temp’s. Beef tallow is composed primarily of the saturated fats Palmitic (26%) and Stearitic (14%) as well as mono-saturated Oleic (47%) with a composite melting point of 86 to 113 deg F which provides a melt-in-the mouth sensation. The rendering process basically involves slowly heating suet (cut into small chunks) over a long period of time to drive out water. This is best/most safely done in a device with limited heat input capabilities (crockpot) or better yet a device that is thermostatically controlled (self-heated roaster). Small (1-3 pound) quantities rendered in a crockpot can be started out on “high” but must be monitored by thermometer inserted into the suet regularly to check temperature. Reduce crockpot setting to”low” when the 212 deg F “plateau” is past (most of the water evaporated) and the temp begins to climb rapidly. Stop heating when temp reaches 260-270 deg F, strain thru a SST kitchen strainer and pour into a glass or crockery vessel with removable cover to cool and store .

I based my pemmican trial on this site’s recipe #1. 

My interpretation used a 1# brick of Hay Creek Ground Round thawed and spread out (like a pizza dough) onto a roughly 16 inch diameter circle of parchment paper and oven dried for 8 hours @ 180 deg F. It sticks with unbelievable tenacity so the parchment is highly recc’d. Break the dried sheet of meat into rough chunks and food-processor mill into a granular powder. I ended up with 135 grams from the original 454 grams of beef. Place powdered beef into 2 quart mixing bowl.

Melt 200 grams of tallow (you already rendered and saved ) over a double boiler.

Hand chop (with a knife) 3/4 cup (117 grams) roasted almonds .

Measure out 1 1/2 cup(50 grams) dried cranberries (NOT Craisins which are sugar-enhanced. Even the “reduced sugar” Craisins contain 2X the sugar of an equal-weight serving of true dried cranberries)

Pour melted tallow over powdered beef while mixing with a silicone spatula. Add nuts and cranberries and mix till uniform.

Immediately plate out (pack with spatula while doing) onto smooth plate or pan and place in cool location to partially solidify. Test ability to break into chunks with knife or scraper after an hour of cooling. Store chunks in sealed plastic ziplock or rigid plasticware in refrigerator. Freeze for long-term storage.

The flavor and mouthfeel is entirely unique, subtle and becomes even more appealing with familiarity. Great trail food! Feel Good points on using grass-fed for the Omega-3′ benefit!

Where to get grass fed suet?

Ground Round ready for drying


Recipes Roasts

Lisa’s Lazy Pot Roast in Clay

I’ve made this recipe a million times- mostly in cheap, oversized enamel roasting pans- whose loose fitting covers promote excessive dehydration. Thought I’d give my new Romertopf clay cooker a spin on this ol’ favorite. I’m sure any heavy, closely sized (roast should just fit) casserole or dutch oven with a tight lid would work as well. Adjust total roasting time for smaller/larger roast weights. My 2.7# Chuck was overdone to point of falling off bone though not dried out at 3 hours. Don’t be dismayed by the dark appearance of the roast exterior; it’s the rub! I don’t mess with the intricate “sauce” steps: just adjust the final broth addition so the natural pan sauce is of desirable consistency. I only added a quarter cup. The softened onions serve to bind the juices and preclude the need for reduction or thickeners. Let cool a bit in covered cooker before slicing or chunking to serve. Serve with potatoes/carrots etc cooked separately.

Lisa’s Lazy Pot Roast

Prep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 180 minutesTotal Time: minutesServing Size: 6 From “The Complete Meat Cookbook” Aidells and Kelly


  •  1 tsp dried thyme
  •  1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  •  1 tbsp paprika
  •  1 tbsp kosher salt
  •  1 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
  •  4 lb boneless beef chuck pot roast or beef brisket trimmed of excess fat
  •  2 tbsp vegetable oil
  •  1/2 cup water or beef or chicken stock or more if needed
  •  5 cups thinly sliced onion
  •  6 whole Garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  •  1 pinch salt
  •  1 pinch Freshly ground pepper


  • Flavor Step – Combine the herbs, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the meat thoroughly with the mixture. You can cook the roast immediately, but it will taste better if it sits for an hour or two at room temperature or overnight in a zipper-lock bag or, well wrapped, in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large, heavy casserole or a Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, about 7 minutes. Remove and set aside. Pour off any fat from the pan and deglaze the pan with the water or stock, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon or spatula. Put the roast back in the pan, cover it with the sliced onions and garlic, cover, and bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove the cover, turn the roast over so that it is on top of the onions, and continue to cook, uncovered, for another hour, adding more liquid if needed. Stir the onions around after about 30 minutes so they can brown more evenly.
  • Replace the cover and continue to cook for 1 hour more, or until the meat is fork-tender; brisket will take a little longer than chuck. Remove the meat from the pot and let it rest, covered loosely with foil, while you prepare the sauce. (At this point, you may refrigerate the pot roast for later reheating. Refrigerate the cooking liquid separately. To serve later, remove any congealed fat from the cooking liquid and strain it before using it to reheat the meat gently.)
  • To serve, strain and defat the sauce. Taste for salt and pepper. Cut the meat into thick slices or separate it into chunks. Spoon some sauce and onions over each serving.


Recipes Roasts

Sous Vide Chuck Roast

There’s loads of roast prejudice out there, prob’ly stemming from the tough, overcooked, dry-seeming “pot roasts” we were forced to eat as children. Sous Vide method will erase this prejudice from your minds with both tender and moist results from the lowliest of roasts: the chuck.

Equipment is no longer expensive or hard to obtain. My unit retails for less than $50 and is used with a home-insulated 8 quart stock pot (with worn-out teflon hardcoat interior) sitting on a silicone hot pad. I added an o-ring between the upper body and lower shroud to tighten-up the fit and prevent the stirring impeller from ticking against the shroud interior. Now it works great.

I’d already tried a Sous Vide Sirloin Tip and posted here. Chuck seemed the ultimate test with more fat and connective tissue to deal with. Rubbed a 2.7 pound Hay Creek chuck roast with 2 tsp salt, a tsp each of rosemary and thyme, and placed 6 cloves garlic around the roast in a gallon ziplock freezer bag. Placed partially closed bag vertically in pot and sucked out air via a small diameter tube (assisted by water pressure) while closing zipper. Set unit for 135 deg F with a target time of 24 to 36 hours. Removed after 26 hours, drained juices for gravy, and seared exterior of roast using cast iron skillet in 500 deg F oven for 8 minutes with one turn.

Incredibly moist, tender outcome. Still some fat and cartilage present at this cook time but bulk of roast so tender it could be used cold thin-sliced for sandwich cuts. Juices rich and make a highly savory gravy.


Recipes Roasts

Julias’ Boeuf Bourguignon

I had no concept of the origins of this popular 60’s beef recipe. Recently made my way thru the film “Julia & Julia”, sort of a parallel story of Julia Child’s , “JC”,(Meryl Streep) cooking experiences culminating in her TV show and cookbook and Julia Powell’s , “JP”(Amy Adams) retracing JC’s recipes in the book “My Year of Cooking Dangerously”. Recalled attempting to watch it before but was turned off by something annoying: maybe Amy Adams wide-eyed, naive approach but more likely husband’s (Chris Messina) aggressive enveloping of her recreations with Blue Planet marine invertebrate extensile lips – along with much non-verbal noise. Meryl – as always – amazing.

The revelation of JC’s greatness is made to JP in her recreation of “Boeuf Bourguignon” Much is made of this in the film and I was intrigued enough to find the recipe and try it out. I was sure of having made it before, prob’ly from Joy of Cooking , but didn’t recall any greatness.

Pretty much followed the recipe using 45 oz of deboned Hay Creek chuck roast, subbing chunked white onions for pearl, and skipping the sauce sieving.

Resulting tender-crisp, still earthy flavored mushrooms are quite distinct from other interpretations of this recipe and make all the difference. It’s worth a try!

Recipes Roasts

Lisbon-Style Vinegar BBQ Sauce for Pork

If you’ve got a quality, slow-BBQ’d  cut with a delicate smoke for making pulled- pork this sauce is the way to go. Forget the gloppy, sugary, branded trash entirely. Doubles as a dressing for slaw! Add sparingly (1/2 to 1 Tablespoon per pound) to shredded pork and also serve on the side  as a dip for the sandwich.


Recipes Roasts

Osso Buco Milanese

Late winter annual sauna party weekend coming up (w/kids & crew) and this trusty recipe comes to mind.  All ingredient except the shanks (use 2″ thick shank sections from your Hay Creek fractional beef orders) and saffron can be found at the Walmart but the results are world-class. Other than skipping saffron the only modification I use -to accommodate beef rather than veal shanks-is to double braising time to 3 hours in a covered pan in the oven at 325 F. Enlist aroma-motivated guests/family to stir the broth into the Arborio rice for risotto-the hardest part of the whole prep.


Recipes Steaks

Grilled Steak Salad

This NYT Cooking recipe is actually pretty simple to put together and provides an opportunity to grill-up some rub/marinated steak. Sirloin worked great for me. Note that this recipe incorporates  all the separate flavors that make up common “Chili Powder” (chile, cumin, garlic, oregano, salt) so it may not be worth special-sourcing “Ancho Chile Powder”.

A lighter meal for hot weather. Great flavor combination.


Recipes Roasts

Cold Smoked Rump

Smoke-roasted a small rump roast  using reverse searing (250 F then 500 F) process (Chris Grove) in Kamado grill setup with heat deflector and drip pan. Rubbed a day ahead w/simple blend of 2t salt, 2t brwn sugar, 1t onion powder , 1t garlic powder, 1t blk pepper, and 2t mustard powder.  Smoke-roasted @ 250 F to 120 F internal then removed roast from grill and converted to direct heat and opened vents to target the 400-500 F range. Put roast back on too soon (hungry) and internal hit 130 F before searing achieved. Carved a piece off w/o allowing sufficient rest time (hungry) and found it unexceptional in flavor (bland)  and texture (chewy).  Refrigerated in plasticware.

Couple days later in the heat and humidity-when cooking wasn’t appealing- put together a salad of cut greens(arugula and more) from the CSA high tunnel, topped with Ama Blu Cheese dressing. Occurred to me that the cold leftover beef might be a good combo so cut off some thin slices across the grain to go with the salad and a slice of sourdough rye bread. The beef came off completely different cold! Quite appealing with a clean, smoky flavor and firm but tender texture.

Next time I’ll leave the roast off while ramping-up the temp to sear. I’ll also foil-wrap the roast upon removing @ 130 F internal and equilabrate an hour or so in an small, insulated container before testing a warm slice:)


Recipes Roasts

Red Wine/Juniper Beef Stew

Prob’ly last stew recipe of the season what with warmer weather on hand. Great for cool, rainy days. Very flavorful sauce goes a long way with boiled new potatoes and fresh parsley.

I used a Hay Creek chuck roast and Almaden box “Merlot” wine. Skipped the fussy, seemingly low-impact steps like #3. Used dried herbs, simply dumped in. Definitely use the juniper berries! They are  around $1/ ounce in dried form on Amazon if none are harvestable in your yard. A lot of cooking time but not much work. Worthwhile.