Tag Archives: Beef

Leftover Roast Beef reborn as Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

I made a lovely rump roast over the weekend, and ended up with a lot left over.  And the question was raised, at least in my mind, what to do with the leftovers.    Now, the piece that was left was lovely and rare, and very lean.  And I knew I could cut it very thin and I could make a nice Beef Dip or French Dip with it.   And I might still, but what got my mouth-watering was a nice Philly Sandwich.   This is not to be confused with the ‘real thing’, this one is the version we’re familiar with down here.    There used to be a restaurant locally that had the best sandwich and when you ordered it ‘all the way’, it came complete with mushrooms and jalapeno’s, the pickled kind.   And it was very, very, good.   The nice cheesy, oniony, peppery, oozy kind of good.   I made many attempts to replicated it and it wasn’t quite right.      But I think I’ve finally nailed it.   *giggle* Just need more cheese the next time and to let it melt into the onion/pepper/mushroom mixture a little more, then again, I like cheese.

Here’s how I put it together.    I sliced up some green peppers, and sautéed them in a little EVOO and butter, just till they were done.  Sliced up some Onions, sautéed them with a little more EVOO and butter, just til they were translucent and then added sliced Mushrooms.  And a little more butter, giggle.  sautéed them all together for a few minutes.



The olive oil is good for you anyway and keeps the butter from browning or burning as easily.

Then I took some very thinly sliced roast beef, some of the veggie mixture and a few slices of pickled jalapeno’s (only add jalapeno’s if you want heat) and put them into a separate pan, and basically let the veggies warm the meat, and finished cooking it a smidge more.   You don’t want to let the meat cook too much more, as it toughens it.  (Trust me on this, I know whereof I speak).   I cut the rolls in half, buttered them and quickly browned them in a pan.   As soon as they were done, I heaped the meat/veggie mixture on top, added a couple of slices of mozzarella cheese, and some shredded cheddar cheese (cause I could), and placed them under the broiler in the oven until the cheese melted.     And there you have it.     And they were good.    Next time, though, I will use provolone cheese, as I think its melt point is better, and makes for a more gooey sandwich.

Leberknodel Suppe, Saurbraten and more at the Cooking Demo…

I’ve talked about the Cooking Demo’s at the Crooked River Grill before, and they are always fun.   I got to present a Danish Menu last year, and had a blast doing it.    And have been fortunate enough to attend most of the dinners since then.   This week we had a German menu.   I got to try Saurbraten for the first time.   And better yet, a soup that I’m still dreaming over, Leberknodel Suppe.    However the soup, well, let me just say I filled up on it and could have made that my entire meal.   But then again, I like liver.  Sorry, but I do.

For starters there was a lovely salad, and the soup.   Sigh, I took pictures of it, but didn’t know what the ingredients were beforehand, so I kinda put a bunch of the little meatballs in my bowl, didn’t know what kind they were until I ate one.   And fell in love, well, serious like at any rate.    Then my table mates told me it was liver, and I smiled.   And now I have the recipe for it, and I’ll share, I do share stuff from time to time.


The meat for the Saurbraten is actually marinated for several days before you brown it and then cook it slowly in the oven.   It was served with Potato Dumplings and Red Cabbage.   Quite tasty, and now I’ve finally tasted Saurbraten, and I’m glad I did.

And for dessert, a Black Forest cake, which I neglected to take a picture of, sigh.

Leberknodel Suppe
2-3 quarts of chicken or beef broth
1/2 pound of finely ground beef or veal liver
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp. parsley finely chopped
2 tbsp. chives, finely chopped
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg beaten
Salt and Pepper
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind

Heat broth, combine all other ingredients to make a dough.    Make small dumplings about 1 tsp. in diameter and drop gently into the boiling broth.  Simmer about 8 minutes or until the dumplings rise to the top.  Garnish with chopped parsley and chives.   Serve right away.

Pepper Beef

You ever change what you’re cooking in mid stream?    I did the other night.   I had a lovely sirloin steak that had been thawed a couple of days and needed to be cooked.   I just didn’t want grilled steak and salad, however good that might be, I wanted something different.   And as I pondered the steak, I realized I had a couple of peppers in the fridge that needed to be eaten, and I thought Fajita’s!!!   I’m always up for something Mexican.  So I get the peppers out, slice them, slice an onion, get out the avocado, take a picture of them sitting so pretty on the cutting board.   After taste testing a couple of green pepper strips that is.  You have to make sure of your produce, it has to taste right.

Then as I got my stuff together, sorta, I got interrupted a couple of times, and I realized what I really wanted was something vaguely Chinese.     Actually I got the idea as I was slicing the meat, and getting interrupted a couple of times, while doing so and forgot to take pictures, grrrrrr.    So imagine me slicing the steak on an angle in thin slices.    Then imagine me dumping a tablespoon of cornstarch over the beef and mixing it together while I’m sautéing the peppers and onions.  (this is a neat trick by the way, it tenderizes the meat a little, giggle)    I also added a thinly sliced garlic clove to the mixture.

And some of the mushrooms that were hiding in the fridge, they thought they could escape, but I found them, sorry, it was a long week and I’m feeling a little silly here.     At any rate, I finished it off with a splash of soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil and served it over a bed of rice.   I had such a good dinner.

Such a simple meal, but tasty.     And if I’d wanted to I could have made this into fajita’s by omitting the soy sauce and sesame oil, and adding a sliced jalapeño or three, and sautéed them all together and stuffed into a flour tortilla.   With the aforementioned avocado and some cheese as well.   OK, I know you’re not supposed to put cheese on fajita’s but I think cheese goes with everything.

Now to go and clean house and get ready for Tapa’s night.    I’ve got something in mind for that, just have to get it all together, and yes, I will take pictures.   In fact I’m going to go and change the batteries in the camera right now so I can do my thing.

Home Made Spaghetti Sauce

Have you ever looked at the labels on commercial Spaghetti Sauce?   Next time you’re out shopping, pick up a can or jar of it and read the label.    Notice how much sugar is in there, whether it’s in the form of sugar or high fructose corn syrup or something else that means sugar.    I don’t know about you but I try not to buy anything with HFCS in it and quite frankly, why do you need so much sugar in something that is basically just tomatoes and herbs?   I started making my own spaghetti sauce years ago and we like it better than any of the commercial brands out there.    I also use it as a base for lasagna, so when I make sauce, I make a lot.   I figure if I’m going to be spending time in the kitchen, I am going to make it count for something.     If you have your own home canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste, I applaud you, I don’t so I go to the store and buy tomatoes in several different forms.

As you can see from the picture, I open cans, and then add it to the browned meat, and after that, correct for seasonings.   And I only use the No Salt added tomato products.   We don’t need the salt and certainly don’t miss it either in this recipe.    Check out how much sodium is in those other cans of tomatoes.   I think you’ll be surprised.

 Begin by chopping up a large onion, I like a fine dice.   Throw it in the pan with some olive oil and cook it till it just starts to change color, then add a couple or three crushed and chopped cloves of garlic.   I would say put in as much garlic as you like here.   Cook for just a minute or so, and then remove from heat, and reserve in a separate dish.  If using fresh mushrooms, throw them in the pan and just let them cook just for a minute before you add your meat to the pan, brown it and cook until it is no longer pink.   Break it up a little with your spatula and then add the onions and garlic to the meat, let it cook for a few minutes more, then add the Italian herbs to the meat mixture.
Meat with Herbs and Tomato Paste (sorry for the blurry picture)

I just found a great product called Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs blend. Check the link out here, http://www.gourmetgarden.com/us/  It comes in a tube and you can find it in the refrigerated section of the veggie section in your grocery store.   It is a little pricey, but well worth it for the fresh taste.     Or you can add some dried Italian seasoning to the meat as you’re browning it, this seems to help open up the flavour of the dried herbs.     While the meat is browning open up those cans of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste.   If using canned mushrooms, go ahead and add them with the tomatoes.  Dump the tomatoes into a large pot, mix it up with your spoon until the tomato paste is mixed in and when the meat is ready, add it to the pot.   Taste it here to help correct the seasoning, and if necessary add more herbs.  And if it seems to acidic, add a teaspoon of sugar.  I also add a few tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese and then simmer for about an hour  or two or three over low heat, stirring from time to time.     Cook up your favourite pasta, whether it be spaghetti, linguine, or angel hair and serve the sauce over the pasta or however you like to serve it.    And it makes a lot.   I freeze the rest and pull it out when we’re in the mood for Spaghetti or Lasagna.   If I’m making Lasagna, I add a can of diced tomatoes and then layer it with cheeses and noodles.

Ready for the freezer.

This is also a very company friendly dish.  You can stretch it with a couple of cans more of tomatoes, a tad more seasoning, cook up lots of spaghetti and serve with a green salad and a loaf or two of garlic bread.

Here’s the recipe;

1 lb. lean ground beef (feel free to use Ground Turkey instead)
1 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 large. onion, diced
2-5 cloves garlic, minced (to your taste)
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced or 2 small cans mushrooms
3  16 oz. cans diced tomatoes, no salt added  (Marzano Tomatoes if you can get them, they really add to the flavour.)
2-3  6 oz. cans tomato sauce, or 1 large can, no salt added
3 cans regular tomato paste
1 can tomato paste with Italian herbs added
3-4 tbsp.  Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs, or 1-2 tsp.  dried Italian Seasoning.
1-2  tbsp.  Amore Double Concentrated Tomato Paste http://www.amorebrand.com/products/tomato-paste
2-4 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese

Sugar, 1-2 teaspoons, optional

Olive oil for browning.

Prime Rib Roast Part Two, Updated

I left you hanging, I know, my bad, but I wanted to detail what I did to make what I thought were the best roasts I’ve made so far. (talk about a convoluted sentence, whew).
Every time I make a roast like this, I try to do better, I tweak, I twiddle, I play with my meat, but one thing I’ve striven for is to get it perfectly cooked throughout, which to my mind means evenly cooked.   My own personal preference is for RARE, but my DH likes his between Medium and Medium Rare.   The roast before this last one I got Medium Rare, but my DH likes his between Medium and Medium Rare, and even though I thoroughly enjoyed my piece of meat, I wanted to make one that he would consider perfect for him.

First the Medium Rare roast which I made around New Years.   I’m really kicking myself but I totally spaced getting a picture of this as it came out of the oven, and I just didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures of the meat on the plate as we had guests in that day, so you’ll just have to see what I had left of the two rib roast, it was just over 5 pounds.
I want to stick in a couple of credits here.   I have an old(er) cookbook called Woman’s Day Collectors Cook Book, published in 1960.   On page 38 there is a recipe for Miracle Roast Beef.   It instructs you to place a roast in the oven at 200 deg. and roast it for one hour per pound.   And says that it makes a perfect rare roast.   I’ve done it in the past, with a lovely rump roast and it does work.   However, I didn’t care for the grayness on the outside of the roast.   Picky, picky, picky.   I know.    But I ran across this recipe for a Foolproof Standing Rib Roast  on Paula Deens part of the Foodnetwork site.   And decided to make the roast using both methods.   (I know, I confuse myself sometimes too).
At any rate…
To begin with I prepared a nice little bed of celery stalks and mushrooms for the roast to rest on.   I discovered this trick last year, and I think it helped the roast, flavour wise.   At any rate the mushrooms were very tasty, giggle.   After the roast was cooked, natch.  And always roast the meat, rib side down, fat side up.

I allowed the roast to rest at room temperature for a couple of hours before I prepared it for the oven.

I then took a very sharp knife and shaved some of the fat from the ends of the ribs, and set that aside.

I took a small handful of butter and buttered the ends of the roast, yes, I added more fat, I can’t believe the layer of flavour that added.   I think you could use olive oil as well, but I had the butter so I used it, so there!   Everything’s better with butter.    This seals off the ends so they don’t dry out as the roast is cooking.

Salted and peppered the roast, then placed the shaved off fat on top of the salt and pepper.   It basted the meat, beautifully.

Then I placed it in a 375 deg. oven and let it cook for about 45 minutes, at 3 pm, then  turned the oven off as per Paula’s instructions.   However, I didn’t have the luxury of time, because I’d been baking a Lemon Meringue pie so I had to fudge the timing a little.     I let it sit for about an hour and then turned the oven back on to 200 deg. when the internal temperature hit 100 deg.   I wanted to let the temp come up to 130 degrees before I pulled it out of the oven, if the temp looks like it’s rising too fast, turn off the oven.     I did, then turned it back on again.  At about 5:15 I turned the oven up to 425 deg. and let it roast for about half an hour, this gave me a lovely brown on top and more important, made sure the oven was hot enough for the Yorkshire Pudding I was going to bake.    I pulled the roast out around 5:45, pardon me for not being more specific, but I had a few things going on at that time.   Put it on the cutting board, covered it with some foil and  a towel, and let it rest while the Yorkshire Pudding baked and I got the potato’s mashed and the gravies made.  I always make Au Jus and a regular brown gravy.   And by the time I cut it, the internal temp was up to 140 deg.   Next time I’ll pull the roast at 135 deg. and let it rest til it gets to 145 or a little more, that will give me the Medium that I’ll want.

At any rate this is all that was left of the roast, and as you can see, the meat was done evenly throughout.  It was a lovely piece of meat and we really enjoyed it.

The outside of the meat
The cut side, see how evenly it’s cooked?
Perfectly cooked, medium rare all the way.

I love it when a plan comes together, or is that a recipe comes together?  Hmmm,  at any rate, if you happen to have a special occasion coming up or just want to try your hand at a Prime Rib roast or find it on sale, lucky person you, go ahead and make this.  You won’t regret it.   And if you happen to have leftovers, there’s nothing like a good French Dip sandwich.   Oh and the ribs, well, I usually put some good barbeque sauce on them, and stick them back in the oven for a couple of hours and VOILA!!!  Fantastic BBQ ribs.   Tender, juicy and I have to stop now and go make me something to eat, I made myself hungry.

I made another Rib Roast for Valentines Day, cliché I know, but…   At any rate I managed to remember to take pictures  this time after removing it from the oven, and before I cut it.
And again, I used the Paula Deen method and will never go back to using any other way of cooking it, ever.    This time I pulled the roast at 135 degrees, let it come up to 145 deg.  and it was perfect for my DH.   And the flavour, well, if you want a good piece of roast, you need to buy a good piece of meat to start with.   I bought some Angus Beef and it was worth it.   The meat cost about $25, but we got 2 meals out of it.   All we cared to eat of some lovely prime rib, and then there was enough to make some French Dip Sandwiches later on.   Oh and I can’t forget the ribs, another lunch right there.    If you look at going out for a Prime Rib Dinner, you’re probably looking at at least $40 for two people, and then there’s the tip, drinks, appetizer…   I know it usually costs us at least $75 for our meal if we want Prime Rib in a restaurant.   And you never get a large piece, which my DH likes.  Just sayin….


Prime Rib Roast, Part One

I like to astound, mystify and generally amaze people by my casualness about cooking a Prime Rib Roast. (Y’all know I’m kidding, right?)    So many people get totally intimidated by this cut of meat and while I can somewhat sympathize, I don’t really understand it totally.   If anything, this is one of the easiest cuts of meat to cook.   The problem lies in the fact that it’s really pretty pricey and that is scary in and of itself.    But if you find it on sale, and try to cook one, I think you would be surprised at how easy it can be to cook one.

Roast resting on some celery stalks and with mushrooms nestled beside it.

I’ve been making Prime Rib Roasts for many years, and had a blast cooking these roasts when we were out camping in the wilds, away from civilization, (we didn’t even have electricity or running water), just an RV with a large oven.   I insisted on the large oven when we bought our Motorhome and have never regretted it.  However,  I digress, or got sidetracked or …

If you’ve ever cooked a roast, you can make a Prime Rib Roast, it really is that simple.    I still don’t know if I was fearless or stupid or …  but the first time I cooked a Prime Rib Roast I cooked a 16 pound one.   And guess what?   It was fine.  In fact it was downright good.   And what made it even better, we ate it while we were camping out in the woods.   Just something about cutting into a big old hunk of meat, way out in the backwoods.  (sorry to any vegetarians who are reading this).    It was primitive and good, or is that good and primitive?    And it also made quite an impression on my fellow campers.    And when a local store happened to have a killer sale on the roasts a while later, I did it again,only this time I cooked two of those roasts, again while camping.   In fact for years, that’s the only time I made Rib Roasts.  While we were camping.   And then watched everyone fighting over the rib bones that were left.    I’m not talkin’ about the dogs either, sigh, what grown men will do when faced with something like a big ol’ meaty bone.   Gets that primitive streak going, I tell ya.

At any rate, over the years I’ve refined and refined my technique and I think I finally have it almost perfect, at least til the next time when I make it a little different   tweak it some more.

There are a few basic rules that I always follow.

1) Pick the most appetizing piece of meat that you can, if the butcher is impatient with you, tough, it’s your money.   I don’t like a ridge of fat running through the middle of the roast, and have rejected a lot like that.   For my taste, it makes the meat too greasy.   Take a look at both ends of the roast.   And my own personal preference, I don’t like the meat cut from the bone.  (unlike the picture above, it was the best looking roast I could find that day)  While it may make the meat easy to carve, it also loses a lot of juice and I don’t think the meat is as tender.

2) Take it out of the fridge for at least 2 (two) hours before cooking, to warm up a little, it cooks so much more evenly when it’s close to room temperature.

3) I forgive myself if it isn’t perfect.  Life happens.

4)  I use my meat thermometer!  This is really, really important.  If you have one of the wired kind, like a Polder, great.  I monitor the roast constantly, I watch the temperature, and in the past adjusted the oven temp all the time.   But not any more, I finally got one of  the best, most perfectly cooked roasts  this week.  (and wouldn’t you know it, I forgot to take a picture of it after it came out of the oven, sometimes I really tick myself off.)

5) Make sure you buy a roast that’s big enough.    I usually figure on 1.5 lbs per person.  YUP, 1 1/2 lbs per person.    That is, if you’re cooking a roast with ribs.  The rule of thumb for most people is that you get two servings of meat per rib.   So if you have a 4 rib roast, you have 8 servings of meat.  You can Google all the sites you like and they’ll pretty much tell you the same thing.   But, they just don’t know my family.   Some of the members like the ” OH MY GAWD” cut, which is a little bit larger than life.   Trust me, I’ve seen them consume it and look for more later.   My BIL could make a decent dent in a roast, as does my DH.   I made a two rib roast the other day, and didn’t have much left over.    I like having leftovers, so I will cook a roast just a little bit bigger than I think I need.   But I don’t always get them.

Since this post is getting a little long, I’ll close for now and detail how to make the perfect roast in the next post.

Shredded Beef

Shredded Beef for February Boat Club

I guess by now you realize I go to a lot of potlucks, giggle.   We have a standing date once a month with a local club and then there is our social life which tends to revolve around food, so I get to make something at least twice a month for potlucks.

Since it is February, and everyone has sweet stuff on their minds, I thought a nice, spicy dish would be a good counterpoint.   And last year there were a lot of sweets at the February Boat Club Potluck.

One dish I love to make is Machaca, or Shredded Beef.   It’s one of those dishes that comes together fast, cooks without any fussing around, and is usually pretty popular with everyone, but vegetarians.    Of course, you can make it vegetarian if you like, just add more beans.   In fact I would add a couple of different kinds of beans for variety, along with the kidney beans, I’d add some black beans and some pinto’s.   Beans are good food.   At least I like them.

I usually make this in a crock pot, but have also cooked it on top of the stove and in the oven.   If you do make this in the oven, the flavor will be a little richer, but you don’t lose anything by cooking it in the crock pot either.    Another wonderful aspect of this dish, it can be stretched very easily by the addition of a couple more cans of beans and a few more veggies.  And with the price of meat, that’s a good thing.    Personally I like it when I’ve stretched it more than when I do the original recipe.    And it’s fun to serve to people.   I have to say though,  when you dish it up and place it into a taco, you do need to add the Verde sauce to it, it adds another layer of flavour which I think this needs.   You use the Verde sauce as a condiment, adding it to the meat while cooking, doesn’t do a thing.  I know, I tried it once, and it wasn’t very good at all.  And I think you should learn from my mistakes.   Not that I make all that many, but…

To start with, and this is so sinfully easy I’m embarrassed to tell you how simple it is, get your pot out, whether it be a crockpot, or a pot on top of the stove or a large casserole dish.

All the vegetables, and of course the beans.


A big old chunk of meat


The meat is in there, hiding, really.

Place your meat in there, add a couple cans of Kidney beans, a chopped onion, a chopped green pepper, one can of tomato sauce, (I like El Pato Mexican tomato sauce), one can of chopped green chiles, 2 tablespoons of chile powder, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 whole tomato chopped.  Stick the lid on and let it cook.   If you’ve got this in a crock pot, don’t even lift the lid for 5 or 6  hours.   When the meat is fork tender,

At this point it really tastes good, I had to taste, quality control and all that.

pull the meat out and shred it with a couple of forks, add it back into the saucy goodness of the pot and let it cook another hour or so.

It will be saucy.   If doing this on the stove or in the oven, let it cook for a couple of hours, then check for tenderness.  As soon as it’s fork tender, pull it out and shred.   Add back into the pot and let it cook for a little while more.

Made one up before we headed over, final product had to pass inspection, of my mouth that is.

Serve with flour tortillas, Verde sauce and some cheese.   And don’t be surprised when people lick their plates.   It has been known to happen.  But they usually turn away or hide in the corner when they do it.

Shredded Beef

3-4 lb. chuck roast, not too fatty
2 cans Kidney beans
1 can El Pato Mexican Tomato Sauce or
1 can Tomato sauce
1 can chopped green chiles
1 tomato, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
2-4 tablespoons Chile powder

Dump it all in the crockpot and set for low and let simmer for 6 hours, minimum.   If cooking on top of the stove, cover and let simmer for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.   Same directions for the oven, set the temp at about 350 degrees.
When the meat is tender, remove from the sauce and shred, then add it back into the pot and let it simmer or cook for another 1-2 hours.   Serve with flour tortillas, green taco sauce and shredded cheese.

And here’s the rest of the dishes that were brought last night.   And I have to apologize I didn’t get a shot of the roasted tomatillo salsa.   Every time I got close to it, people were eating it, and of course I had to taste it as well, it was good.

Baked Ziti


Hot and Sour Soup


7 Layer Dip


Green Salad




Smoked Chicken


Veggie Plate



And there you have it, another successful night at the Boat Club.   As usual everything was excellent, and I ate too much, sigh.  Oh well.  I will survive.
Hope everyone has a great Valentines Day.