Tag Archives: beef

Meat Sauce (Bolognese)

This is a simple and common recipe. Sometimes you just need a big old plate of pasta and homemade sauce!

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound ground beef

2 cans whole tomatoes (Red Pack)

1 plum tomato (imported)

2 or 3 small cans of tomato sauce (DeMonte)

1 8 oz. can of paste (Contadina)

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

2 large onions (chopped)

¼ cup water

1 tbsp. Olive oil

1 tsp. dry basil or a few leaves of fresh

½ tsp. sugar

¼ tsp. oregano

2 large bay leaves

¼ salt

¼ pepper

DIRECTIONS:

 Brown Meat in olive oil in a large pot and drain off excess oil.

 In blender chop one can of whole tomatoes and add this to the pot with the meat.  In a blender chop one can of one can imported plum tomatoes and add this to the pot. Add 3 cans of sauce and one can of paste. In a blender add the chopped onion and crushed garlic in water and pulse in the blender until finely chopped then add to pot of sauce.  Liquefy last can of whole tomatoes in the blender add to pot.  Add all seasonings.  Add about a ¼ cup of water to the blender and then add that to the pot. Cover and cook at least 1 hour.

NOTES:

Serve over pasta, like pappardelle or rigatoni. Add garlic bread and Italian Green Beans or a salad for a complete meal.

Also See Ma’s Meatballs, Chicken Parmesan, Shrimp Parmesan. My mother also added a piece of pork for my sister and ALWAYS made meatballs and sausage with every batch of sauce she made.

A Holiday Dinner – Prime Rib

Prime Rib is usually something I save and make for Christmas dinner.  However occasionally I make it during the year for friends and family. It just goes so well with a bold Cabernet Sauvignon. I am partial to the cabernets from Caymus or St Francis.

        I suppose you could make this “standing rib roast” as it was called in the past for Easter or a leg of lamb. I usually make Shrimp parmesan for this particular spring holiday.  So perhaps I should make a big fat Prime Rib and open a magnum of wine to celebrate the Vernal Equinox. The point in time in which there is officially more daylight as it begins to win out over darkness.

        Here is to hoping that everyone has a happy and healthy Vernal Equinox on Sunday March 20th, 2022 at 11:30 am. I will be celebrating with a huge piece of beef and wine.

Standing Rib Roast (Prime Rib)

Serves Prime Rib – 5 to 7 ribs 10 to 14 people

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS:

1 Extra Large pan*

INGREDIENTS:

Prime Rib – 5 to 7 ribs 10 to 14 people

1 small head Garlic peeled (for 7 ribs)

Salt

Pepper

Onion Powder

Olive

DIRECTIONS:

When you order your beef you can have your butcher separate the meet from the ribs and tie it back on. This makes slicing it easier later on.

At ~11:00am. (When eating at 4 or 5pm)

Pat dry the meat using paper towels. Place the meat in a large shallow pan. I use my largest broiler pan.

Mix together in a small bowl- crushed garlic and two tablespoons of olive oil. Rub this mixture all over the roast using your hand to coat it evenly with garlic and oil. Sprinkle on salt, fresh ground pepper and onion powder on top the oil and garlic on top of mixture. You can even cut slits into the beef with a paring knife and insert slivers of garlic. I do this across the whole roast about 2 inches apart.

Let the beef stand out on a large plate for two hours, until it is at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 300°. (~1:00PM)

After the beef has sat for two hours stick in the thermometer probe and Cook in a 300° oven for 3 to 4 hours until meat thermometer reads 140° – Rare.  Remove the beef from the oven. Cover with tin foil and let rest/stand at least 20 minutes. Meat will continue to rise in temperature for another 5° to 10°.

After 20 minutes, carve one-inch thick slices and serve.

NOTES: Serve with Roasted Potatoes or French Fries, Fresh String Beans, Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions, and for a condiment try making some homemade Horseradish Sauce.

*The Whirlpool Broiler Pan can be found on Amazon for $30.

ENJOY!

The Drunken Chef

© Russ Ahrens and The Magic of a Perfect Pairing, 2022

WELCOME MARCH and corned beef

        March is a favorite month of mine. Many famous book, poetry and music all refer to March such the idiom; “In like a lion out like a lamb.” Which as many of you might know refers to the weather of March and how it is freezing in the first weeks and noticeably, “supposed to be”, warmer in the last. This however is not always true. I have seen snow in New York City just before Easter back in the seventies and again the eighties. Then there is the famous expression by some guy named Will; “beware the ides of March.” Which back then, March 15th was considered Roman tax day.  I wonder why the United States chose April 15th?

I digress, March is a wonderful month filled with food. There is Saint Patrick’s Day, in which here in New York, we celebrate with and overabundance of corned beef, cabbage and boiled potatoes that is made in a very large pot. This is a recipe I will be making and sharing with you all now.

I always prepared this this meal on March 17th, regardless of it falling on a Friday during lent. As a matter of health, more so then anything else I choose to eat fish every Friday during lent. It give me a good excuse shall we say, “to make all these terribly stinky dishes that smell up my house all day.” Those are my wife’s words, she prefers me to cook fish OUTSIDE whenever possible. She would have me cook the corn beef outside if I could. Therefore, I should be posting a few fish dishes this month. Including but not limited to, fried flounder, stuffed flounder, fried shrimp, shrimp scampi, potato wrapped sea bass, and the ever-popular tuna salad, to name a few.  After all, there are only like seven weeks until Easter and I am forced to stop cooking MOST fish recipes in the kitchen of my home.

Let get to the first recipe we discussed, Corned beer, I mean BEEF. (ugh a corny joke)

Saint Patty’s Day Corned Beef

Serves 4 to 6

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS:

1 Extra Large Stock Pot

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 thin cut corned beef brisket (I like the Freirich brand)

1 onion

2-3 carrots

2-3 stalks celery

 2 heads of cabbage

12 oz. Bottle Beer (Guinness Harp or Sam Adams October fest if you have it)

1 whole clove garlic (peeled)

6 – 8 pepper corns

1 tbsp. pickling spice or seasoning packet from corned beef

5 lbs. Red Bliss Potatoes or small white potatoes

Frozen corn on the cob

Water

DIRECTIONS:

In an extra large stockpot, add corn beef with juice from package (and the spice packet). Add enough water to cover corned beef.  Add one 12 oz. bottle of beer, preferably NOT dark, perhaps one you are serving with dinner (Sam Adams Oktoberfest I saved from the fall).  Add carrots, celery, and onion that has been cut into large pieces. Add the whole clove of garlic. Cook on low 2 hours. After cooking the meat two hours you can now add potatoes and the cabbage. Turn heat to high. Return to a boil. Now lower heat and simmer one hour longer. Remove meat to cutting board to rest. Test meat for doneness to see if it is tender, meat should pull away will a fork. If it still too chewy cook it longer!

When the meat is done cover and let rest. It needs it. Turn the heat up to high on potatoes and cabbage to boil and add the corn. Cook corn in the same hot water for the recommended time on package.  When corn is ready it will also be “seasoned”, slice meat and serve with cabbage, potatoes, corn.

Serving suggestion: Serve with bakery fresh rye bread, whipped butter and a nice spicy brown mustard like Guldens.

NOTES I don’t remember ever eating corned beef with my mom until I was a teenager. I don’t think anyone else in my family liked it back then. Everyone except my sister who ate with her eggs for breakfast but let’s save that recipe and story for another time.  See St. Patrick’s Day Menu or SPRING

NOTES: Remember corned beef shrinks when you cook it. Why? I don’t know! It just does, so buy extra, plus I have a few recipes for that leftover corned beef that you DON’T want to miss out on!

ENJOY!

The Drunken and now hungry Chef

The French Dip Burger

        Now that you have your French onion soup recipe. Let’s use some of that for THIS recipe! I call it the French dip burger and it’s the perfect meal for watching a football game! For a large crowd watching the big game, check out my cheeseburger sliders recipe too!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

French Dip Burger

Serves 3 to 4

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS:

Grill or Cast Iron Pan or frying pan

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds of 80% lean ground beef

4 Brioche Bun’s (I found mine at COSCO)

2 Spanish Onions (sliced thin)

8 slices of provolone

4 tablespoon of butter

2 tables spoons of olive oil.

Salt

Pepper

Ketchup to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your cast iron skillet or whatever frying pan you are using.

Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and a tablespoon of butter. Once the butter is sizzling, add you sliced Spanish onions. Cook until they just start turn brown.

In the meantime, while you onions are cooking, start forming the hamburger patties. I love using a hamburger press for this. You can find these on Amazon for under $15. Mine cost $9.99.

I lay a piece of plastic wrap inside the bottom half of the press. Add a large “meatball” and warp it LOOSELY in the plastic. I “Press” with the top piece of the Press to from a perfect hamburger. You looking to make your hamburgers all relatively the same size and weight so they cook evenly. After the burgers are made, it’s now easy to wrap them up tight and store the extras in the refrigerator or freezer because the plastic is already there!  

Stir you onion and push them to the edge of your pan. With you pan on medium high heat. Butter your buns.

Then toast your buns like a slice of grilled cheese in the center of that pan.

Once you buns are all nice and toasty place one or two burgers into the center of your pan. Fry for about 5 minutes and flip. Stir you onions. Place 2 slices of provolone on top of the burgers and cook for 4 minutes.

Cover and cook one more minute or just until cheese is melted. Your burger should be medium rare depending on it’s thickness. Adjust your cooking time to desired doneness.

Move the cooked burgers from the pan to the bottom half of the bun, place onion on top. Serve open for guests to add condiments like salt, pepper or ketchup.

Sever with hot French Onion Soup in a 10 once ramekin or small Pyrex bowl to dip the burgers into.

The salt, pepper and Ketchup can be served on the side. (this burger does NOT require mustard, just sayin.)

ENJOY!

The Drunken and now hungry Chef

French Onion Soup

        French Onion Soup is a classic. When I was much younger, I frequented a restaurant that had a terrific French Onion Soup. I even remember going to this restaurant on a first date. I remember using the French Onion Soup almost as an excuse to ask her out.

        “Do you like French Onion Soup?”

        “Yes. I suppose.”

        “Well, let me take you to this restaurant I know that makes an amazing French Onion Soup.”

        “I don’t know. I don’t date guys I meet in bars.”

        “I’m not asking you to marry me or anything. It just French Onion Soup.”

        She agreed to go and try the soup and the rest they say is history. I married her 15 years later but that’s a story for another time.

        I was talking originally about soup. A French Onion Soup that I just made recently…although I took a few short cuts…Shhhh. See the recipe below.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

French Onion Soup

Serves 3 to 4

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS:

Big Pot

INGREDIENTS:

4 Spanish Onions (cut in half and sliced thin)

8 cups water (or no salt beef stock)

3 tbls. Olive oil

4 tbls. Butter

1 package of Lipton onion soup mix (no salt beef stock)

4 bouillon cubes (instead of salt)

½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce (I use Lee and Perrins)

½ tsp Soy Sauce (I use low Sodium)

½ tsp Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet

4 slices of French bread

½ cup Gruyere cheese grated

½ cup Mozzarella

DIRECTIONS:

Over medium heat brown onions in olive oil and butter. Add water or beef stock. If you do not have beef stock on hand, add the onion soup mix. Add 4 bouillon cubes instead of salt. Add ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp soy sauce and about ½ to 1 tsp of gravy master for a deep rich color. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Toast French bread slices under broiler.

Add bread to bowls as shown below. Add soup. Mix the two chcese together in a bowl then top off with ½ cup of mixed cheese. Place under broiler until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Serve hot with a red Bordeaux blend from Napa Valley.

Italian Wedding Soup

        Unlike most of my recipes I do not remember where it was I first had a hot steamy bowl of Italian Wedding Soup. Perhaps is was at a restaurant or maybe even at a catering hall during a wedding, nah, too corny. Wherever it was, I liked it. I do remember one place in particular that had a very good recipe. This place was deli/caterer with a few table. They made great sandwiches and had wonderful soups. They used to make Italian Wedding very often. They unfortunately, are no longer around so now I have to make it myself.

        Because of the cold weather that we have been having here in New York, I have been making a quite few soups and stews. I thought I should share some of them with you. Unfortunately, for my coworkers I have been reluctant to bring any “extra” soup to work and share it. I have been trying to follow the best practices for social distancing. A chef NEVER wants people getting sick from standing around pot ladling out soup. Perhaps as things start improving I can bring them all in a large pot of this soup or maybe the stuffed cabbage. Wouldn’t  that be a gas! (Scrunchy face)

        Well that’s all the time I have for bad puns this morning. I hope you at lease enjoy the soup even if the jokes aren’t any good.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Italian Wedding Soup

Serves 4 to 6

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Large Pot

Chef’s knife

Large bowl

INGREDIENTS

1 pound extra-lean ground beef

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup dried bread crumbs

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried basil

3 tablespoons minced onion

2 ½ to 3 quarts chicken broth

2 cups baby spinach – rinsed

1 cups baby Bok-Choy

1 cups escarole – rinsed and cut

1 cup seashell pasta or large white Couscous

3/4 cup diced carrots

3 chicken bouillon cubes

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil and onion. Shape mixture into 3/4-inch balls and set aside.

In a large stockpot heat chicken broth to boiling and add meatballs and carrot. Return to boil a cook for 10 minutes until meatballs are no longer pink inside. Add the spinach, escarole, pasta. Return to boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, at a slow boil for at least 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.

NOTES:

Extra chicken broth is sometimes need to reheat leftovers when the pasta has absorbed all that yummy stock.

Enjoy!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Cabbage (Stuffed)

        This is a dish both my sister in-law and I have been trying to make now for years but have never did it. Every time we eat it out at our favorite Jewish delicatessen we both say, “We have got to make this.”

        So here it is, sister in law. My recipe for the stuffed cabbage I dropped off to you the other night.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Cabbage (Stuffed)

Serves 4 to 6

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Dutch Oven

Chef’s knife

Can opener

Large bowl

Large Pot

INGREDIENTS

12 large cabbage leaves off a large head of cabbage

1 lbs. ground beef

2 sweet pork sausage about 1⁄4 lb ground pork

1⁄2 cup rice, made with beef broth and

1 tablespoon butter (1 cup rice when cooked)

1 egg beaten

¼ cup whole milk

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon sweet basil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 ½ tablespoons onions, grated

1 ½ tablespoons celery, mined

1 ½ tablespoon shredded carrot

½ cup cabbage, shredded

Sauce ingredients:

1 can of Campbell’s tomato soup

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ can of water

2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce

2 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Coarsely slice remaining cabbage for bottom of pot

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cut 12 large leaves off of a head of cabbage, cover leaves with boiling water, let stand until leaves are limp (2-3 minutes); then drain OR core cabbage head, and boil cabbage until leaves are tender enough to remove easily (10-15 minutes), very carefully remove 12 large leaves (You may have to peel the outer layers first and then return the cabbage to cook and continue peeling the leaves until all are done); then drain.

2. Mix together the beef, pork, rice, egg, milk, seasonings, and grated vegetables.

3. Put 1-4 tablespoons (depending on the size of leaf) of meat mixture in center of each leaf; tuck in sides and roll to cover meat. Repeat until all the meat is in cabbage leaves.

4. Mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add some of the sauce to just cover the bottom of the Dutch oven, then line the bottom of the pot with the remaining sliced cabbage, that had been sliced into ¾ to 1 inch strips.

5. Next, add 1/3 of the sauce on top of sliced cabbage then layer in the stuffed cabbage rolls and add 1/3 of the sauce between each layer, making sure the cabbage is seam side down in the Dutch oven. Cover top layer with sauce. Cover pot and simmer over low heat about an hour or until the cabbage it tender with tested with a fork.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Beef Gravy aka Brown Sauce

Beef Gravy aka Brown Sauce

You can make you own beef gravy of you so choose or you can “doctor up a jar of Heinz brand Anjou gravy simply by adding a can of sliced mushrooms to it and a tablespoon of butter for extra richness. You could buy McCormick’s powdered gravy mix and repeating the steps above.

If however, you are feeling adventurous or simply do not like the idea of serving anyone jarred gravy here is a traditional recipe for a basic brown sauce.

INGREDIENTS

2-1/2 to 3 cups of Beef Stock (see beef stock recipe upon its availability)

3 tablespoons of butter (or pan drippings)

3 tablespoon of flour

1 shallot minced

DIRECTIONS:

Heat butter and/or pan drippings to a medium size saucepan. Add 3 tablespoons flour and 1 shallot. Cook over medium heat until flour golden brown. Slowly add warm beef stock while whisking. After each ½ cup allow sauce to come to a bubble. Once bubbling this will be the sauces maximum thickness. Keep adding beef stock until desired thinness if reached. Strain to remove and lumps. Serve immediately, the sauce with thicken more as it cools.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Classic Meatloaf Recipe

As a child growing up my mother never made meatloaf. When I asked why it was because she thought my older brothers and sister would not like it! How many delicious things did I miss-out-on because they were so dam picky? The answer to this question I will never know. She did finely make it for both my brother and myself. It was served with mashed potatoes, gravy and canned shoestring green beans from DelMonte that I added tabasco too try and spice it up. My brother liked his with just plain tomato sauce over the top.

I don’t know how old I was when I had my first ever meatloaf sandwich. I am not even sure it was at home or at a local deli.

I have now spent my entire adulthood making it at least once a year but the irony is that my own son dislikes it. He dislikes anything beef in general.

Since he is away at college, this is what we had for dinner Sunday.  

To me the best thing about meatloaf is the hot meatloaf sandwich the next day. It must include extra gravy on the sandwich, a large dill pickle on the side and a bag of plain old-fashioned potato chips.

I know this dish is not for everyone but I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Especially for lunch!

The Druncken Chef (Russ)

Classic Meat Loaf

Serves 8

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

Metal Baking dish 9 x 13 or shallow roasting pan

Measuring cup

Vegetable Chopper (Zillus) or chef’s knife

Large bowl

INGREDIENTS

3 lbs. 80% lean beef chop meat – some people perfect meatloaf mix (equal parts ground beef, pork and veal)

3 large eggs

1 small onion diced

½ cup of milk or water

1 clove crushed garlic

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 ½ cups seasoned breadcrumbs

1 tbls Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Ketchup (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, add: 3 lbs. ground beef, 3 eggs, 1 small onion that has been diced, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1 ½ cups of seasoned breadcrumbs, ½ cup milk or water, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional), a dash of salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until all the ingredients are even distributed.   

Place in a baking dish. I prefer a metal pan to a glass Pyrex dish. I think the meatloaf just browns better. Shape ground beef mixture into a loaf. Cover with a layer of Heinz ketchup.

Spread sliced onions around the edges or just outside the loaf (not on top). Sprinkle onions with olive oil. Season onions with salt and pepper.  Bake in a preheated oven for about 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 150 – 160 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for ten minutes.

NOTES: Serve with mashed potatoes, beef gravy and zesty shoestring string beans.  

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Chili Recipe

Let me begin by apologizing for being gone so long. Yes, I have been cooking. It just has not been anything new. I have not been sleeping well and have been rather tired. I even did take out once or three times. I will hopefully be cooking some new things this weekend. Let’s see how it goes.

I have been making my own chili for years. The recipe has only changed in instances where I am trying to accommodate other people’s tastes who are eating it with me. For example, I did not make hot and spicy chili for the cub scouts or my fellow coworkers. Those batches were milder. Now that a have made it this year it is finally time I can share it with you guys my loyal readers.

The recent batch that I made and heated up for lunch I could actually put green peppers in. When cooking at home I never use green peppers. Jennifer does not like them and more importantly she is allergic to raw peppers.

So now here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy it.

Chili

SPECIAL IMPLEMENTS

1 Big Ass Pot

INGREDIENTS

4 lbs. chop meat (option: substitute 2 lbs. chop meat for ground turkey)

2 medium onions diced

1 small green pepper – seeded & diced (optional)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 16 oz. can tomato sauce

1 16 oz. can of water (option: Sam Adams Octoberfest Beer)

1 can red kidney beans (optional) this was not in the camping chili

1 can cannellini beans (optional) this was not in the camping chili

1 can black beans (optional) this was not in the camping chili

1 box Carroll Shelby’s Chili Mix

            If no chili mix is available double this:

2 tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

½ tsp. cumin 

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper and/or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

DIRECTIONS:

Cook onions and green pepper in olive oil over medium low heat until translucent in a large heavy pot.  Add chop meat to pot and stir in onion. Cook chop meat until no longer pink and drain off most of the fat. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add Carroll Shelby’s Large Spice Packet, ¼ of the Small Cayenne Pepper (hot) spice packet, and some salt. Save the Masa packet to throw away at the end.  Add garlic powder, onion powder, and fresh ground pepper. Cover and let simmer on low stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. Cook 30 minutes. If the chili is not to thin and watery then throw away the Masa packet and your chili is done. If the chili is too “soupy” then add the Masa in thirds to thicken (I’ve never had to use it) and cook 10 more minutes.

Serving suggestions: Serve hot chili in crock pots and cover with grated cheddar cheese. Melt cheese under broiler and then top with diced red onion and serve HOT! Also an excellent hot dog topping!

NOTES

This is great as a hot dog topping (particularly without the green bell pepper) in winter or at a summer barbeque.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)