Showing posts with label beef. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beef. Show all posts


Baked Taco Rollups

Monday, after I posted Slow Cooker Sesame Honey Chicken on my Insta, my friend Robilyn commented  "I'll be making this tomorrow! What else can I make this week?"  Today, I dropped something off at her home, and guess what? There was a yummy smell coming from her kitchen.
The power of Insta! She had the Honey Sesame Chicken in her Slow Cooker. Love it when that happens. Also my young friend Megan made the sesame chicken and posted a pic on Insta of her dinner last night. Meg's the cutest newlywed and she's learning to cook for her new little family (Meg +Tony). So sweet.
In a world filled with fast food, and pre-made pre-packaged  everything, it's a rarity to see people (especially young peeps) cooking dinner. Here's my 2 cents:  It doesn't need to be complicated. Or take a long time. If you haven't cooked in a while (or ever), start small. Make a slow cooker meal. Or try this recipe. It's kid and hubs friendly.

I believe this recipe was originally named "Baked Tacos" and made with hard shells. Grant is a hard shell hater (already told that story here), so I changed the recipe a bit. The filling take just a few minutes to make and the rollup part takes another 5 minutes. Lay out a little taco bar with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, guac and chips.  Let your fam pile the salad or condiments onto a plate. Serve the taco rollup on the side.  It's a fun change from an ordinary taco and if you have little ones, a taco rollup is much easier to grip. Promise they'll love it.
Now you have two dinners in your repertoire!
Watch out Martha.

Baked Taco Rollups
Adapted from Mommy I'm Hungry
print recipe

2 lbs extra lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 medium onion diced
1 small can diced green chilies, mild
1 recipe for homemade taco seasoning (below)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans (regular or fat free)*
2 cups shredded Colby-jack  or cheddar cheese
flour tortillas, small to medium size

Suggested Condiments-
lettuce chopped
tomatoes chopped
sour cream
Sheri's Salsa

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet brown meat and onion over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess liquid. Add chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well and cook for a few minutes until bubbly. Add a little water or tomato juice if the mixture seems dry.
Spoon  about 3 tablespoons of the taco meat mixture onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up as you would a taquito, not filling the tortilla too full, but rolling fairly tight, so the tortilla will not come undone easily.  Place filled tortillas in a single layer onto a lightly greased baking sheet, seam side down. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through.
Remove from the oven and serve with optional condiments.
Makes about 12-15 medium tacos.

Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix all together. If making extra seasoning, store in an airtight container.
This is enough for one recipe of taco rollups above.
**less chili powder if you are serving to those who don't like spice.

-*I used about 3/4 of a 16 oz can of refried beans. We liked the filling with less bean and more meat.
Another option is to add a can of drained pinto beans and smash them with a potato masher into the meat after the meat is cooked. Add about 1 tablespoon of canola oil while mashing beans.
-If serving to young children (who may not eat a whole taco) or using as an appetizer, cut the tacos in half, preferably on a diagonal.
-Heat up leftovers wrapped in a paper towel for about 1 minute in microwave.


Boy Scout Stew

Some days are made for stew. Yesterday was one of those days. It was the first snow here. Yikes. October 23. While I'm not a huge fan of eating stew, I do like to make it. Something about chopping, mixing and having the aroma slowly fill your house on a cold day.

This is a recipe I've had for years. I've tweaked it countless times, and it's pretty close to perfection.  I named it Boy Scout Stew because it seems like the Scouts always make (translation, the wife of the Scout Master makes) a variation of this to eat on their camp outs. Did I tell you Jake received his Eagle Scout award a few months back?

Hooray and thank you to leaders who have mentored, served and loved my kid.
You gave your time to countless campouts, hikes, bike rides, merit badge clinics, build snow caves (and then sleep in them) and fish among other activities. I can only imagine how the tents/cabins smell after the boys live in them for a week at scout camp- without a shower, brushing their teeth, or changing their underwear. Your patience and the lessons you have taught my kid will never be forgotten.
You're the best.

Boy Scout Stew
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

3 lbs beef brisket or chuck,  cut into 2 inch cubes
2 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour
3-4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
6 cups v-8 vegetable juice cocktail
2 cups water
2 Knorr beef homestyle stock cups (4.6 oz each), or 2-3 bullion cubes
3 cups celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cups carrots, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces or baby carrots, whole
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into one inch cubes

Place meat in a medium bowl, season with thyme, salt and pepper. Toss with 1/2 cup flour.
Place the oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Heat to medium high.
Working in about three batches, cook the meat until it is browned on all sides, when the batch is browned, remove and set aside on plate. If there is flour left in the bowl, sprinkle it over the last batch of meat browning in the pan. Remove any remaining meat from pan, set aside.
Keeping heat on medium high, add a little more oil if needed. Place the onions and garlic into the pan on stove, cooking and stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
Return the meat to the pan with the onions and garlic. Add Worcestershire sauce. Cook for about 1 minute.  Add all remaining ingredients.
Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Serves 8-10

-Knorr Homestyle Stock cups are sold in the soup section of most grocery stores. They come in a package with 4 cups enclosed. I like the flavor of the Knorr brand. You may use Swanson brand liquid flavoring, regular bullion cubes, or other types of stock flavoring if desired.
-Only purchase beef that is a lower quality cut, such as brisket or chuck. This will produce the best result when slow cooking.


Cook's Illustrated Beef Tacos

One of my favorite dinners as a kid was tacos. How I loved taco night! It's a favorite at our home too. Well, maybe my favorite, because it's such a quick and easy dinner. My usual taco night ritual includes throwing some lean ground beef into a pan, adding a chopped onion, some V-8 juice and a package of taco spice mix. Lately, I've been on a "make your own mix" kick. I found this recipe from Cook's Illustrated and decided to give it a try. Yum. Loved it. 
Oh, and in case you are super lazy and don't love your family and are thinking "why would I make these when I can jump in the car and pick up 3 tacos for $1 at Taco (fill in the blank) ??"  Read this:

 In a study was found that Taco Bell’s “meat mixture”, which it dubs “seasoned beef” contained less than 35 % beef. If these figures are correct, the product would fail to meet minimum requirements, set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to be labeled as “beef”. The other 65% of the “meat” is made up of water, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, silicon dioxide, anti-dusting agent and modified corn starch (amongst other ingredients more suited to a test tube than a taco). Full article found here.

Yikes! The "meat" is less than 35% meat????  Scary.
Taco Tuesday. 
This one's for you. 

Cooks Illustrated Beef Tacos
Cooks Illustrated
print recipe

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
8 taco shells

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering. 

Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. 
Stir in the garlic, spices, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant about thirty seconds. 
Stir in the ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about five minutes. 
Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, and sugar until thickened, about 10 minutes. 
Season with salt to taste. 


America's Test Kitchen Spaghetti and Meatballs

Who doesn't love a good spaghetti dinner?  The America's Test Kitchen  recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs intrigued me because it calls for bread soaked in buttermilk, instead of the dried bread crumbs I use in my go-to recipe. The meatballs were extra tender, and the buttermilk added a bit of tang, as the Test Kitchen book promised. Yummy.
If you are looking for the perfect Sunday meal, (which in my opinion includes a good part of the meal prepared ahead) make these Saturday afternoon. After completely cooking the meatballs and preparing the sauce, let the meatballs bathe in the sauce overnight in the fridge.
Trust me, you'll want to double this recipe.
One step closer to the day of rest.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
adapted from America's Test Kitchen
print recipe

2 slices white bread (crusts discarded), torn into small cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk or 6 tablespoons plain yogurt thinned with 2 tablespoons sweet milk
3/4 pound ground beef  ( or 1 pound if omitting ground pork below)
1/4 pound ground pork (to be mixed with ground chuck)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 large egg yolk
1 small clove garlic , minced (1 teaspoon)
3/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for pan-frying

Simple Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

1 pound spaghetti
grated Parmesan for topping pasta

For the meatballs: 
Combine bread and buttermilk in small bowl, mashing occasionally with fork, until smooth paste forms.
Mix all meatball ingredients, including bread mixture and pepper  in medium bowl. Lightly form 2 tablespoons of mixture into 1 1/2-inch round meatballs; repeat with remaining mixture to form approximately 18-20 meatballs. (Compacting them can make the meatballs dense and hard. Can be placed on large plate, covered loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerated for several hours.)
Meanwhile, heat  about two to three tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat in 10- or 11-inch non stick saute pan. When edge of meatball dipped in oil sizzles, add meatballs in single layer. Fry, turning several times, until nicely browned on all sides, about 10 minutes, regulating heat as needed to keep oil sizzling but not smoking. Transfer browned meatballs to paper towel--lined plate; set aside. Repeat, if necessary, with remaining meatballs.

For the sauce:
Discard oil in pan, leaving behind any browned bits. Add olive oil along with garlic; saute, scraping up any browned bits, just until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, bring to boil, and simmer gently until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in sugar and basil; add salt and pepper to taste. Add meatballs and simmer. Keep warm over low flame.

For pasta:
Heat 4 quarts of water to boiling in a large pot to cook pasta. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water. Follow package directions and cook until al dente, drain, and return to pot until serving. 

-This recipe serves about 6 adults. 
- The longer the sauce simmers, the more flavorful the dish will be. Preparing the dish the day before allows for best flavor. This dish may be prepared up to five days before serving. On day of serving, cook pasta and heat up sauce on stove top over low to medium heat for about 45 minutes. 


Grilled Teriyaki Elk Kabobs

Disclaimer: If you are offended by hunters, stories about hunting, pics of hunted animals, etc. ,  you may want to pass on reading this post...

Carpet Shoes. Camo. Face Paint. August 20th. The opening weekend of the deer bow hunt in Utah.
A joyous time for the Foster fam.  Well, at least for the males in the fam.  First the deer hunt, and then in a few weeks, the elk hunt.
The hunt is on. Today, I ran down to my basement and opened the freezer, I let out a yelp when I saw this:

My nephew, Nick "harvested" a buck on Saturday, the opening day of the hunt.
Oh happy day.
In honor of Nick, slaying  harvesting (huter talk) a deer, I prepared these tasty kabobs for Sunday dinner. No, I didn't use Nicks venison, just some elk steaks we had in the freezer. Now you know I'm not a fan of wild game, but after marinating these in my special sauce, and Grant working his magic on the BBQ, we ended up with some really delish kabobs on the table.
Happy Huntin' !
The Clampetts.

Nick's deer on the opener. 
Update-Monday night, Jake got a deer as well. 

Want to read more about my hubs obsession with hunting? This post tells it all. 

Grilled Teriyaki Elk Kabobs 

A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

For assembly of kabobs:
12-14  10 inch wood skewers, soaked in cold water for at least 15 minutes

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup A-1 or Heinz 57 Steak Sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar, preferably dark brown
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 clove garlic, optional
salt and fresh ground pepper

For kabobs:
2 lbs red meat (elk, venison, beef) cut into 1 inch cubes
fresh veggies and fruit:
1 pineapple, chunked
4 peppers total- assorted colors (red, orange, yellow, green) seeded and cut into chunks
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 large sweet onion, chunked
8-10 fresh mushrooms, washed

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a bowl, or a large Ziplock bag.
Add the cut up meat to the marinade and let sit for at least 1 hour, and up to 24 hours.
When ready to assemble, thread meat and vegetables onto skewers.
Grill on medium high heat for about 5-6 minutes per side, turning once.

-We have found over the course of YEARS of cooking (and overcooking) wild game, the best way to prepare steaks is to sear or cook in a short amount of time over high heat. Marinating helps tremendously.  

Linked up to:


Beef Empanadas with Black Bean Dipping Sauce

One of my favorite features in Bon Appetit is R.S.V.P. Readers Favorite Restaurant Recipes . Here's how it works- readers write in and ask BA to get recipes for them from their favorite restaurants.  After acquiring the requested recipe, the magazine publishes the request along with the coveted recipe.  I've found loads of great recipes over the years in this section of BA. Here's my latest find, in the June 2011 edition... the reader says:

"We spent our honeymoon at Grace Bay Club in Turks and Caicos  (really? We spent our honeymoon at the Homestead in Heber City) .  One of my best food memories is the Beef Empanadas served at the lounge. I'd love the recipe. "

Since Grant LOVES empanadas, I decided to give these a try. They are not quite like traditional empanadas you'll find in South America...the chef at Grace Bay Club says "Every cook in the Islands knows this dish." So I guess this is the "island" version of empanadas.
Result: We loved them as much as the Turks and Caicos lady.
YUM. And we didn't even need to leave Bountiful to get them.

Oh, since I like you so much, here's a little step by step tutorial.


Cook, Mix, Cool




Beef Empanadas with Black Bean Dipping Sauce
adapted from Bon Appetit

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1  17.3-oz packages frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
2 large egg yolks, beaten, for glaze

Dipping Sauce
1/2 15-oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Roma tomato, seeded, chopped, divided
1 lg scallion, chopped, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, chopped onion and garlic; cook, stirring often and breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon until beef is cooked, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, cumin, and cayenne. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring often, to let flavors meld, about 4 minutes. Add cilantro; season to taste with salt & pepper. Let filling cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut each pastry sheet into four 4 1/2" squares for a total of 8 squares. Lightly brush edges of squares with glaze. Spoon filling into center of each, dividing equally. Fold edges over, forming triangles, and press to seal. Crimp edges with tines of a fork. Divide triangles between prepared sheets. Brush tops with glaze.

Do Ahead: Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover & chill.

Bake until tops are puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Dipping Sauce
Meanwhile, puree beans and sour cream in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in half of tomatoes and half of scallions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining tomatoes and scallions over.
- I think ground turkey would be a great substitute, or maybe an equal amount of shredded chicken. 


Green Chili Enchiladas for a Crowd

I love enchiladas. We make several different types, my absolute favorite being this recipe for Santa Fe Enchiladas. It's a wonderful recipe, but time consuming. Not great if you have to make, say, enchiladas for 200.
I looked for a recipe I could easily make in bulk, without losing the great flavors found in the made from scratch recipe I love... read several different recipes and came up with my own simple dish.
"Green Chili Enchiladas for a Crowd".
Spanish for the day (per my live in translator): Puro delicioso. Va a gustarlo mucho! 

Green Chili Enchiladas for a Crowd
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

for meat filling:
1-4-5 lb. roast, Beef Cross rib
1 package Lipton Onion  soup mix, dry

for meat filling, after cooked:
1-16 oz far Herdez Salsa Verde or any other type of green chili salsa

for enchiladas
1 - 28 oz. can Green Chili Enchilada Sauce, mild
24 small corn tortillas
1 lb Pepper Jack cheese, grated
1-2 cups sour cream, low fat or regular

Meat filling- early in the day or the day before serving:
Place roast in a crock pot on low, pour  dry soup mix over top, fill pan or crockpot with water, until water level reaches about 3/4 way up sides of roast. Cover tightly, cook for about 8 hours on low heat (275 if in oven).
Remove meat from pan, let cool slightly. Shred or chop meat, discarding any fat, and place in  9x13 pan salt and pepper generously. Pour Salsa Verde over top of meat.  Pour about 2 cups of the leftover juice over meat. Bottle any remaining juice and freeze for later use (gravy, soup, etc)
Preparing pan-Grease a jelly roll pan (approx 10 1/2 by 15 1/2 ") Pour about 1 cup green chili enchilada sauce into pan, making sure the sauce covers the bottom of the pan in a thin layer.
Cooking tortillas-Turn on a griddle or using a fry pan on the stove,  at medium high heat spray pan with non stick cooking spray. Quickly cook all of the tortillas on both sides, just until the tortillas are pliable or soften.  This will take about 15-30 seconds per tortillas (total for both sides, about 10-15 seconds per side). Do not overcook or the tortillas will become hard. Place the tortillas on a plate and stack them as you go.
Assembling tortillas: In an assembly line place the tortillas, sour cream, meat, cheese, and finally, the prepared jelly roll pan.
Take the tortilla and spoon about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of sour cream in the center, spreading around a bit.  Add some meat and cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down on the pan. Continue to roll until all 24 of the tortillas are stuffed and rolled. You should have three rows of 8 tortillas each.
Pour the remaining sauce on top and bake at 375 for 30 minutes, loosely covered with a sheet of foil.
Remove from oven and top with some Jack or Cojita cheese. Let sit for 10 minutes and serve.

-I like this with best with yellow corn tortillas.
-If you want to make this the day before, assemble the tortillas up to the baking point. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. The next day, Remove the wrap and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. You may need to add sauce as the tortillas will absorb some of the sauce overnight.
-These do not freeze well (become mushy). Better to make no more than one to two days ahead.
-These work well with slow cooked pork or chicken instead of beef.


Elk and Potatoes with Brown Gravy and Beaten Butter Biscuits

Have I told you before Grant is a crazed bow hunter? Well, he is.
Here is our life.
Part of it anyway.
About early April. Grant bumps up his 3-4 day a week runs to 5-6 days a week. He starts shooting his bow about 3 times a week too (which eventually ends up being 5-6 days a week by July). Every night around 10, he calls his brother Brett, (they are like Siamese twins, separated at birth) who lives 1.3 miles away. Yes, they have measured. The convo goes like this:
G- "Hey what's up" nonchalantly.
response I can't hear from Brett.
G-"Did you run?'
G- in an even more nonchalant way- "Did you shoot?"
Now Grant is answering the same q's, Brett is asking him.

Why is this relevant?? Years ago, when they started hunting together, they decided to use a point system to see who would get to fling the first arrow on the elk hunt. Here's how the elk hunt goes, when you hunt in a pair:
Typically, one hunter calls in the elk, using a hose type device (kind of like a vacuum cleaner hose) called a "grunt tube" Yes, really, that's what it is called. Usually, it's covered in a piece of camo fabric kind of like a huge scrunchie. They make sounds into the tube. Sometimes it's a "bugle" sound, sometimes it 's a cow (girl elk) sound. In my mind, the cow elk must sound like:
"Honey, I found the remote for you!"
Click here if you want to see a demo. This is serious business.
Anyway, long story short, the hunted elk hears the sounds, comes running to what he thinks is a real animal and the other hunter then takes his shot at the animal.

Getting in to shape- good idea if you are hauling around a pack like this.

So, G & B decided to keep track of fitness and shooting points all summer long. This would motivate them to be in great shape when they needed to hike all over creation to find the elk, deer, sheep, mountain goats, or whatever they were (are) hunting and perfect their bow hunting skills ( like Napoleon D). On the night before the opener, they tally the points to see who will hunt first, and who will call. The person with the most points gets to hunt first. It's suppose to be a surprise.
The only problem is, the nightly phone call keeps them up to date on who is ahead in the scoring system. And often possesses Grant to do midnight temple runs. In the end, it is never a surprise. Does this make sense? Don't answer that question.

Bow Brothers aka G & B, Dit and Dot.

Anyway. Almost every year, we are fortunate :) to have some type of game in our freezer. To date, we have had: elk, venison (deer), mountain goat, moose, big horn sheep, bear, antelope, turkey and duck. No the duck was not shot with a bow. But yes on all of the rest.

My boys love bow hunting as well. They tagged along as when
they were younger, and are now hunters themselves.

The hat Jake is wearing in this pic is called the
"Good Karma Hat". All hunters must put it on their head,
including Brett and his kids, before a hunt begins.

Cooking Part:
So, the big question is always - "Do you eat the meat??" or "Do you cook it??"
The answer, yes. Not as often as I should, but yes. Over the years I have experimented with many different cooking methods. My tried and true is a Swiss steak- Ill post that sometime. Wild game is tricky. Unlike beef, or pork, there is very little, if no fat on elk meat, or any marbling of fat. Grant (my no- cooker hubs) recently found the secret to cooking delish wild game. Searing, and not overcooking, only cooking to medium rare, at most. Seems simple. But for some reason, this has escaped me all of these years.
A while ago, I used some tenderloin elk steaks to make this wonderful dish. I'm not a huge fan of wild game, but this was really yummy. Tender pieces of meat, rich gravy, buttery biscuits. You could of course, use beef in place of the wild game, if your hubs is a girly man, and isn't a hunter.
That was a joke.
Let me know if you need some elk steaks, I have about 900 lbs in my freezer.
That, my friends was not a joke.

Elk and Potatoes with Brown Onion Gravy &
Beaten Butter Biscuits
A Bountiful Kitchen

Beaten Butter Biscuits:

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup cold milk, whole or low fat

Ina food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Pulse several times to combine. Add the butter and pulse again several times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the motor running add the milk. Continue processing just until the dough forms a ball.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times gently. Pat out to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Using a round biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits.
Bake 15-20 minutes at 425 if serving alone, or if topping casserole, place on top of prepared dish. Bake whole casserole uncovered, at 425 for 15 minutes.

Meat/potato layer:
1 lb elk or venison steak, cubed
3-4 cups cubed cooked potatoes, any type
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
herbs optional- oregano, basil, parsley

In about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, saute the onions in a saucepan until tender. Remove. Turn the heat to medium high, and sear the cubed meat. Make sure to not over cook. Cook just until the outsides are brown. Turn off heat.
Transfer meat, cooked onions and garlic and any desired herbs fresh or dried into a casserole dish. Set aside.

adapted from Ina Garten

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion ( about 2 small onions)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups beef stock, heated
2 tablespoons red or brandy cooking wine, optional OR
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon heavy cream, optional

In a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan, cook the butter and onions over medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Make sure the onions are well cooked, this brings out great flavor in the gravy.
Sprinkle the flour into the pan, whisk in, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot beef stock mixture and cooking wine or Worcestershire, and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes until thickened. Add the cream, if desired. Season, to taste.

-Place meat mixture in greased casserole dish.
-Top with gravy.
-Place biscuits on top

-Don't let the length of this recipe scare you. Start to finish (prep), I can make this dish in about 30-40 mins. Then pop in the oven and bake. Best to make when you have leftover baked potatoes.
-I usually make gravy without a recipe, but knew you would seriously consider opting out of our cyber/blogger friendship if I didn't give specifics. Ina's is a good basic gravy to make and use in this recipe.


Blue Ribbon Lasagne and SLC Jr. League Call for Recipes!

I won't go into the full story (again) about how I came to LOVE lasagna. Click here if you want to read that post. This recipe comes from one of the first cookbooks I owned as a new bride. It is found in the Heritage, aka "Patchwork" SLC Junior League cookbook (1975).

This recipe has been the Foster fam go-to lasagna recipe for at least 25 years. Everyone loves it. Lots of pasta. Lots of CHEESE. Lots of sauce. Always perfect. Perfect for dinner tomorrow. First day of FALL (yikes, already?!) A classic Jr. League recipe. Which brings me to my next subject...

I received an email last week from Cara Jones, a member of the Salt Lake City Junior League. She had a special request. Cara is on the committee that has been charged with creating a new cookbook that will contain recipes submitted by members of the community (she also mentioned they are always willing to get recipes from outside the state as well). The Salt Lake Jr. League is looking for recipes from A Bountiful Kitchen Readers. All proceeds from the newest cookbook are funneled back into the Junior League to help fund the League’s community projects which include, Care Fare, Women Helping Women, Kids in the Kitchen, RISE and more (you can read about them here ). The search is for a wide range of recipes including appetizers, main courses, side dishes, desserts and even cocktails. Their initial goal is 1,000 submissions. The deadline to submit recipes is October 15, 2010. After this date, Junior League and community volunteers will conduct a blind “test kitchen” where each of the recipes will be made and reviewed.
Submit your recipes to:
by email:
Fax: (801) 328-1048
Snail Mail:
New Cookbook, Junior League of Salt Lake City
526 E. 300 S.
SLC, UT 84102

I'd love to know what you will be submitting. Leave a comment, or if you have a blog, leave a link to your recipe and share. Happy Cooking!

Blue Ribbon Lasagne
Heritage Cookbook, Salt Lake Jr. League

For Sauce:
1 lb ground beef or combo of ground beef and Italian Sausage
2 onions, chopped
1-28 oz can tomatoes, chopped
1-15 oz can tomato sauce
1-6 oz can tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons oregano, dried
2 tablespoons parsley, dried
2 tablespoons basil, dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
ground pepper

1- 16 oz package lasagne noodles

Cheese layers:
1 lb cottage cheese ( or a mixture of half cottage cheese, half ricotta)
2 eggs, beaten
1 lb grated Mozzarella cheese
1 lb grated Monterey Jack cheese
grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Brown meat, drain off all grease, discard. Add onions and cook until transparent. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients. Simmer two hours, or more. Remove bay leaves and discard.
Cook Pasta as directed on package. Drain. Set aside.
Mix cottage cheese and beaten eggs. Combine Mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheeses. Grease a casserole (9x13 or larger) pan. Place a small amount of sauce in bottom of dish. Using half of each, layer noodles, then meat sauce, then cottage cheese mixture, and finally grated cheeses. Repeat with remaining halves. Sprinkle top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

-I usually double this recipe and it makes 2-9x13 pans and a 9x9.
-After browning the meat, I often throw all of the sauce ingredients in to the crock pot and cook on low for the day.


Sloppy Joes with Homemade Hamburger Buns

Sloppy Joes. So simple. I'm not talking about opening a can of Manwich, or using a package of Schilling. Making your own. Homemade! For years, I resorted to the can or package. Every time I made them, I thought, this is okay, but it would be so much better homemade. I mean, how difficult could it be to make a good Sloppy Joe concoction of my own? I pulled up a few recipes, messed a round a little, and came up with the attached. They were yummy, and served on a fresh bakery roll, even better. Then I came across this recipe for Homemade Hamburger Buns. It was meant to be.
Buns. Funny word. Favorite bun expressions from Grant: "Home of the big bun"  said whenever I say the word "bun" or whenever we buy a burger or sandwich with a big bun; "Nice buns" "Wonder buns" and "Get your buns over here". "Nice buns" referring jokingly to my buns, bc they are, FLAT. Is this too much information?

You'll love these buns. And the Sloppy Joes too.

Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
water 1/4 to 1/2 cup to thin sauce, if needed

Brown ground beef in skillet. Drain off any grease. Add chopped onion, red pepper and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until onion is softened. Add tomato paste, sauce, Worcestershire and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat. If mixture is too thick, thin with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Serve with hamburger buns, top with cheese, if desired.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

1 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

For glazing buns:
1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon cold water
sesame seeds (optional)

Using a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast and sugar into the water and leave for 5-10 minutes, until bubbly.
Add remaining ingredients. Mix well, knead until smooth. If using food processor, use dough hook, mix until dough is soft and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add a little flour if dough is sticky. Let dough sit in bowl, covered until doubled in size, about 1- 1 1/2 hour. Divide dough in half, then divide each half into 5 pieces and shape into a ball. Flatten each dough ball to about a 1 1/2 inch thickness. Place the buns on a greased baking sheet, let rise again for 30 minutes until puffy. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Glaze the buns with egg yolk and water mixture (if desired), then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns in lower half of oven for 12 - 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Slice buns when cooled, serve with hamburgers or sloppy joe mixture.

-I wasn't crazy about the look of the glaze. I prefer a floured matte finish to the top of my buns. Uh, my hamburger buns.
-In the future,if I wanted a shiny bun, I would use a whole egg, or maybe just an egg white to glaze the top of the buns, and forget about the yolk/water mixture.