First Pandemic Visitors

First Pandemic Visitors

I’m back, healthy and cooking. It has been awhile, but I really did not stop just hid in the house like most others these days. Being a senior, I decided to take a break from the outside world work on the house, garden and have been volunteering for some Presidential and Senate campaigns. So, if you are getting those text asking who you might be voting for or are you registered before you hit delete or ignore it could be me asking the question be nice.  Anyway, the other day we had Mike and Gail over for the first time since they became engaged. I cooked up a meal that was pretty good if I do not say so myself.

BBQ Vegetable kebabs of, yellow (summer) squash, zucchini, mushrooms, Onions yellow and, red bell pepper.

Teriyaki Steak tips from Dom’s the Patriots version is better in our opinion although these melted in your mouth. These I simply put on skewers and BBQed until done.

Herb rubbed Flank Steak see here this is one of our favorite recipes. I will add I have learned to rub off the marinade with paper towel and overnight marinating to 24 hours works best.

BBQ Corn- I soaked the corn in husk all day but I am sure 1 hour would work. Then BBQ on the grill for about 15 minutes. We were fighting a threat of a horrendous thunderstorm, SO Lyn took the husk off and wrapped in tin foil. Oh, the storm did happen we soon had a river in the road in front of the house, and it lasted for hours the storm and the river. It ahs been years since we saw storm to that extent.  

Here are a few corn you might like Roasted Corn Salad,  Local Corn, Ginger, Corn Chicken Soup

Anyway, after a little discussion and the fact that we all had been symptom free and Gail who is back to work was tested negative a few days before, that masks were not needed. Thank goodness it is hard to drink wine with a mask. Wine and cooking are just a natural thing to me. Was a great evening.

Well look at that I’m babbling something my family expects from me.

Enjoy your summer and remember to check to make sure you are registered to vote it’s easy it takes seconds click below. Encourage your friends and family to double check.

Brisket in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Brisket in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

My brother kept asking me about my mom’s brisket recipe enough where I started to want one. I had a brisket from Butcher Box in the freezer so I grabbed and defrosted. Instead of making it Mom’s style brown, saute onions, add mixture of ketchup, yellow mustarts, horseradish and simmer for hours. I decided at Lyn’s request to try a sweet and sour recipe. However, I did not have ginger ale or coke and unfortunately being a senior I was not going to run out to the grocery store just for ginger ale. I happen to have root beer and said what the heck i have Root Beer BBQ Sauce it can’t hurt to try.

INGREDIENTS
• 1 first-cut brisket, 6 to 7 pounds, rinsed and patted thoroughly dry
• 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
• 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into chunks
• 6 large cloves garlic
• 1 cup ketchup
• ½ cup dry red wine
• ¼ cup cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper, or to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1 ½ cups Coca-Cola or ginger ale I did not have either so I used Root Beer which I had used for my Root Beer BBQ Sauce


How
Let meat stand at room temperature for 45 minutes before cooking. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Place everything but the soda, olive oil and brisket into a food processor, and process with steel blade until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in soda and olive oil.
Place brisket, fat side up, into a heavy baking pan just large enough to hold it, and pour sauce over it. Cover tightly with double layer of tin foil and bake for 3 hours. Turn brisket over, cover pan, and bake 2 to 3 hours more or until fork-tender. Cool, cover brisket and refrigerate overnight in cooking pan.
The next day, transfer brisket to a cutting board, cut off fat and slice with a sharp knife against grain, to desired thickness. Set meat aside. Remove any congealed fat from sauce and bring to a boil on top of stove.
Optional, since we smelt it all day and could not stand, let cool and trim off the fat then slice against the grain. Although I always find the next day produces a better piece of meat.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Taste sauce to see if it needs reducing. If so, boil it down for a few minutes or as needed. Return meat to sauce and warm in oven for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Quick Goulash with what I had

As I mentioned Lyn is fasting this week and I get to make what I want. I decided to make American Goulash and discovered that I did not a can of diced tomatoes and did not feel like opening a large can of ground tomatoes. So I ad libbed. I also used smoked paprika.

What I did was mix ketchup with the chicken broth and diced what little I had of cherry tomatoes left from Misfit Market. I had chopped green peppers and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Was a good supper and lunch today. Lyn was mad she kept complaining it smelts so good.

Right now I’m waiting for Charlie Baker to give an pandemic update and all that is on screen is his sign person who is looking very nervous walking back and forth and I think talking to himself.

Slow Cooker Texas Smoked Beef Brisket

Slow Cooker Texas Smoked Beef Brisket

Yup another brisket recipe, told you I love brisket.

I usually don’t like the texture of meat cooked in a crock pot it always seems on the dry side to me. I think this is just personal preference. This recipe came out good and when topped with my BBQ sauce it was very tasty. I had this sliced and pulled on a bun. It’s a very easy recipe to throw in the slow cooker walk away and get very hungry every time you enter the room.

Ingredients

Brisket Rub:

  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Cooking Brisket
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef brisket
  • Barbeque Sauce: see my Texas-Style BBQ Sauce
  • 3/4 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1/4 cup water (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1/2 onion, sliced into rings

How

  1. Mix paprika, pepper, salt, brown sugar, chili powder, and cumin together in a bowl; rub evenly over the surface of the brisket. Put brisket in a large, resealable plastic bag; refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight.
  2. Stir barbeque sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke together in the bottom of a slow cooker. Lay brisket into the sauce mixture. Arrange onions atop the brisket.
  3. Cook on Low until brisket is very tender, 6 to 7 hours. Scrap the fat cap off with spatula or knife. Rest brisket 10 minutes before slicing or shredding; serve with sauce.
Steak Tips with Mushrooms in Red Wine Sauce from the Boston Globe

Steak Tips with Mushrooms in Red Wine Sauce from the Boston Globe

I’ve posted the Hill Top steak tips recipe before, I remember the Hill Top well, ate there 2 -3 times a week when I was a theater manager in Saugus and Peabody. There were three of us from local theatre and Big Rosie the waitress. We would take care of her with passes and she would come out halfway through the meal apologize that it was not made right and return with a new order for our take home leftovers.

From the globe: Steak tips are a distinctly New England cut. They’re sometimes called sirloin tips (because they can be cut from the sirloin, but also from the tenderloin, flank, or other tender beef), and families have been making them for weeknight suppers or backyard barbecues for decades. You can use steak tips, sliced thinly, for a stir-fry with vegetables, but they’re also a very quick dinner on their own with a little sauce. 

First let them marinate in fresh ginger, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard for an hour or a day. Then sear them in a hot skillet — this takes five minutes — and make a pan sauce with mushrooms and red wine. The downside is that the meat can be expensive, because you’re buying ends of high-priced cuts. The upside is that dinner is ready in minutes and though it’s a little retro, it’s delightfully familiar and delicious.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1½ pounds steak tips (cut from sirloin or tenderloin), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound mixed mushrooms (shiitake, cremini or baby portobello, button)
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ¼ cup chicken stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

1. In a bowl, combine the Worcestershire sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, mustard, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir well. Add the steak tips, stir well to coat them all over, and cover. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 1 day, turning several times.

2. Transfer the steak to a plate and pat it dry with paper towels. Reserve any marinade in the bowl.

3. In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the steak in one layer. Cook without disturbing for 3 minutes. Turn and cook the undersides for 3 minutes more. Remove from the pan and transfer to a clean bowl (not the marinade bowl).

4. Without wiping out the pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper. Lower the heat, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

5. Add the wine and stock or water with any reserved marinade from the bowl. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and let the mixture bubble steadily for 6 minutes, or until it is reduced and starts to look syrupy.

6. Return the steak tips to the pan with any juices that accumulated in the bowl. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often, or until the steak tips are heated through. Sprinkle with parsley.

Sheryl Julian can be reached at sheryl.julian@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sheryljulian.

Candied Brisket

Candied Brisket

Usually around St Patricks day I’ll grab a few corned beef briskets this year with the limits I was only able to get 1. So I made what was my son’s favorite this style of brisket and then rubbed it in via pictures and texts. If you’ve been following me you know I love brisket and make it many different ways. I’ve posted many her are a few Another attempt at smoke brisket Brisket in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce, Instant Pot Corned Beef Brisket, Flat, Single or First cut Brisket Jewish style , https://stevesacooking.com/201Another attempt at smoked Brisket…..

Ingredients

  • 1 3-4 Pound Corned Beef Brisket
  • 1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 2 Teaspoons horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice (optional)
  • Sliced Pineapple (optional)

How

Place corned beef brisket in a large Dutch oven, fat side facing down.

Cover completely with water by two inches.

Bring to boil and simmer on low until fork tender 4-6 hours

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cover a large baking sheet with tin foil.

Remove brisket, allowing all excess water to drain back into the pot.

Place corned beef on the foil covered baking sheet, fat side facing up.

Gently skim the layer of fat off of the corned beef using a spatula; discard fat.

Mix mustard, brown sugar, pineapple juice and horseradish in a small bowl.

Smear the mustard mixture on top of the corned beef.

Place sliced pineapple on top

Bake in oven for 5 to 10 minutes; or until the mixture begins to bubble.

I sometimes use the broiler

Remove from oven and let rest for 5 to 15 minutes.

Slice against the grain and serve

Texas-Style BBQ Sauce

Texas-Style BBQ Sauce

For Christmas Lyn got me a taste of Texas, Austin Texas to be exact Blacks BBQ . It had been years since I was there, but it did not disappoint. It came frozen so after it defrosted, I followed the simple directions to reheat. Wrap in tin foil place on pan * into a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hours until internal temp was between 110 and 120. I stuck in my remote temp gauge and began to prepare my Texas style BBQ sauce.   Once it came to temp, I added another step and wrapped the whole thing, foil and all, in a towel and place in a small cooler with lid closed. It was in there for maybe 3 hours. Placing it wrapped in a cooler let it sit and absorb the juices and when I took it out it passed the flexible test gently dropping on each side. Ok enough about the brisket here is the sauce, a friend of mine in Dallas taught me this recipe which I have tweaked since.

* I like to preheat the pan in oven rather than throwing in cold pan.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 dash of Black’s original pepper sauce (optional)

How

In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer until you sell it could be less time. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to blend. I placed in the blender after, but this is optional.  This comes out as a thicker sauce. I stored in a small canning jar.

Instant Pot Steak Chili

Instant Pot Steak Chili

Like most I cook pretty much the same things over and over with small changes here and there. I was in a rut, sort of and wanted something different. I had some wholefoods stew meat in the freezer and had recently cooked one of my instant pot favorites Thicker Instant Pot Chili so beef stew was not on my list. I remembered the Texas chili I made and said maybe I’ll make a variation of that. I looked at some recipes for ideas and went to work.

 

IMG_20180218_103106 (NXPowerLite Copy)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/3 pounds stew meat, diced into ½ to 3/4-inch cubes – I had a little over 1 pound
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Big spoon full of sliced jalapeños for the jar, then minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • About a cup of Lyn’s pasta sauce – got to use what’s on hand. (subbed for tomato sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, for serving
  • Sour Cream, for serving
  • Chopped Avocado, for serving

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Season stew meat with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Let sit for about 10-15 minute
  • Pat dry with paper towel
  • Heat olive oil In Instant pot on sauté
  • Add stew meat and sear until browned, about 2 -4 minutes. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno, and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, kidney beans and 1 to 1 ½ cups water.
  • Seal the instant pot and choose Chili button set for  30 minutes
  • Let natural release

Serve with shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, a dollop of sour cream and avocado maybe corn bread or chips, if desired.

I only had some left over Garlic toast and you got to use what you have, Mike, my son came over to do his taxes and laundry he did not mind at all.

IMG_20180218_131718 (NXPowerLite Copy)

It’s hard to say where the heat came from but I might try less chili powder or jalapeños next time. Mike likes it hot said it was really good. I would like to make it a little thicker just my tastes.

Thicker Instant Pot Chili

Thicker Instant Pot Chili

Thicker Instant Pot Chili

I’ve been craving chili recently but did not want to take all day so I decided that I would do it in the instant pot. I’ve tried this before but they seem to come out soupy than what my mind’s eye wants.

I wanted something that was thick and full of flavor. I had a pound of hamburger in the freezer and my pantry was stock so what the hell.

 

Ingredients

  • lb ground meat
  • 16oz tomato sauce
  • Small to medium size onion roughly diced
  • Pinto Beans
  • Tablespoon chili powder
  • teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ heaping teaspoon cumin, I like this stuff
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • ½ Small Red pepper roughly chop or more your choice

Garnish

  • Freshly ground cheddar
  • Thinly slices scallion

Turn the instant pot to sauté and add maybe a teaspoon of oil. Add ground beef and brown. Depending on the % you may want to drain the pot after browning. My frozen was 90% sirloin so no draining was needed. Add the rest of the ingredient and mix thoroughly.

Put cover the cover on and turn to no venting then turn the instant pot to manual and 10 minutes. When it is done turn off and let naturally depressurize.  I then turned back to sauté add the red pepper, stirring constantly and when it came to a boil turn it off.  It is essentially done just taste for spices shovel out a serving and top with cheese and scallions.

Good for a bowl or a burrito or a taco.

 

Thicker Instant Pot Beef Stew

Thicker Instant Pot Beef Stew

It was a cold day and the skies were threatening snow we were off to the grocery store and my stomach spoke up Beef…. Beef Stew. I wanted a stew that was thicker than the other Instant pot stew I made and this one looked good, so good I’m using their finished picture. It came out just like my mind’s eye had pictured full of flavor and the veggies cooked perfectly. The only thing I did was substitute some red wine for the sherry also had pre-cut stew meat. The extra effort and time was well worth it!

They said and I agree:

You’ll Enjoy Instant Pot Beef Stew Because:

  • Easy to make
  • Cut short half the cooking time comparing to cooking on stovetop
  • Huge flavors – packed with *umami!
  • Soul-satisfying, cozy comfort food
  • Healthy – packed with earthy root vegetables
  • Tenderized, juicy, moist beef in hearty thick sauce full of body & texture

Instant Pot Beef Stew are Great for:

  • Cold weather
  • When you’re craving for a filling & comforting meal
  • Dinner parties
  • Holiday meals

*Umami (/uˈmɑːmi/), or savory taste, is one of the five basic tastes (together with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness). It has been described as brothy or meaty. People taste umamithrough taste receptors specific to glutamate.

INSTANT POT BEEF STEW

Classic American Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe: Make this soul-satisfying beef stew. Tender & moist pressure cooker chuck roast immersed in a rich, hearty, umami sauce.

Author: Amy + Jacky | Pressure Cook Recipes
Recipe type: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Stew, Vegetables, Easy
Cuisine: American

  PREP: 10 MINS |  COOK: 110 MINS |  TOTAL: 2 HRS
SERVING: 2 – 4

  

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds (1001g) USDA Choice Grade Chuck Steak (Canada AAA Grade Blade Steak), 1.5 inch in thickness – I bought precut stew meat.
  • 3 medium garlic cloves (15g), crushed and minced
  • 12 white mushrooms (150g), thinly sliced
  • 2 small onions (214g), thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks (150g), cut in 1 ½ inch (4cm) chunks
  • 2 medium carrots (200g), cut in 1 ½ inch (4cm) chunks
  • 3 – 4 small Yukon gold potatoes (365g), quartered
  • ½ cup (65g) frozen peas
  • ¼ cup (63ml) of sherry wine – I used Juxtapoz red wine instead that I had opened.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.35g) dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) flour
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

 

Chicken Stock Mixture

  • 1 ½ cup (375ml) unsalted homemade chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (50ml) tomato paste

 

Note:

One batch of vegetables stayed in the pot to enhance flavor and acts as a natural thickener for the beef stew.

The other batch of vegetables was set aside and added back into the beef stew afterwards. This adds texture for the overall dish.

 

How

  1. Prepare the Pressure Cooker:Heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté button and click the adjust button to go to Sauté More function) over medium high heat. Make sure your pot is as hot as it can be (Instant Pot: wait until the indicator says HOT).
  2. Brown Chuck Steak:Note: I had already cut up pieces but browned the same way except season all sides first.
  3. Season one side of the chuck steak generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil in pressure cooker. Ensure to coat the oil over whole bottom of the pot. Carefully place the seasoned side of chuck steak in pressure cooker. Generously season the other side with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Brown for 6 – 8 minutes on each side without constantly flipping the steak. Remove and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Make Chicken Stock Mixture:While the chuck steak is browning in pressure cooker, mix 1 tablespoon (15ml) Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon (15ml) light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon (15ml) fish sauce, 3 tablespoons (50ml) tomato paste with 1 ½ cup (375ml) unsalted homemade chicken stock.
  5. Sauté the Mushrooms:Add sliced mushrooms in pressure cooker. Sauté until all moisture from the mushrooms have evaporated and the edges are slightly crisped & browned. Roughly 6 minutes. Taste and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary. Remove and set aside.

Their picture was better than mine.

  1. Sauté the Vegetables:Add 1 tablespoon (15ml) of olive oil in pressure cooker if necessary. Add thinly sliced small onions and sauté until soften and slightly browned. Add minced garlic cloves and stir for roughly 30 seconds until fragrant. Add all celery chunks, carrots chunks and sauté until slightly browned. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary.
  2. Deglaze: Pour in ¼ cup (63 ml) sherry wine and completely deglaze bottom of the pot by scrubbing the flavorful brown bits with a wooden spoon. Let the sherry wine reduce to allow some of the alcohol to evaporate.
  3. Pressure Cook the Vegetables:Add 2 bay leaves, ¼ tsp (0.35g) dried thyme, quartered potatoes, and chicken stock mixture in the pot. Mix well. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 4 minutes and Quick Release. Open the lid.
  4. Cut the Chuck Steak:While the vegetables are pressure cooking. Cut the chuck steak into 1.5 inch – 2 inches stew cubes on a large chopping board. Place all chuck stew meat and the flavorful meat juice back in the large mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon (8g) flour in mixing bowl and mix well with the stew meat. Don’t worry, your pressure cooker can get up to pressure with a small amount of flour.
  5. Pressure Cook the Beef Stew:Remove half of the carrots, celery, potatoes from pressure cooker and set aside. Place beef stew meat and all its juice in the pressure cooker. Partially submerge the beef stew meat in the liquid without stirring, as you don’t want too much flour in the liquid at this point. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 32 minutes + 10 minutes Natural Release. Turn off the heat. Release the remaining pressure. Open the lid.
  6. Thicken Beef Stew and Add Vegetables:On medium heat (Instant Pot: press Sauté button), breakdown the mushy potatoes and carrots with a wooden spoon. Stir to thicken the stew. Add frozen peas, sautéed mushrooms, and the set aside carrots, celery and potatoes in the pot. Taste and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary. We added 2 pinches of kosher salt.
  7. Serve:Serve with mashed potatoes, pasta or your favorite starch.

Doesn’t their picture look so good?

I did notice that leftovers required a little more liquid when reheating

 

Cooking Tips for Instant Pot Beef Stew

  1. Why are we browning the chuck steak as a whole before cutting it up?
    Due to less surface area, browning the chuck steak as a whole will retain more moisture. Maillard reaction excels in dry and high heat environment, so the chuck steak will also brown faster and better when compared to cubed stew.

The caramelized flavors from browning is one of the secrets to a rich hearty beef stew.

  1. Can I use other beef cuts for this recipe?
    Chuck roast is one of the most suitable cuts for the pressure cooker. For optimal result, choose one that is well marbled! Beef Brisket is also a good choice, but it will take a longer time (~70 minutes).
  2. Can I skip the sauté steps and dump everything into the pressure cooker for this beef stew?
    Yes, you can dump everything into the pressure cooker and cook for 32 minutes. But if you want to up your beef stew game, give it some time and love.
  3. In Step 7 – Dried thyme:Release the flavor of dried thyme by scrubbing them against your fingers while adding them to the stew.
  4. In Step 9, why did we remove half of the carrots, celery, potatoes from the Instant Pot?
    We first perfectly cooked all the vegetables and separated them into 2 batches.