Sunday, February 7, 2010

Oh My! Better Than Grandma's Shredded Beef. It is possible.

1 3-4 lb roast
1/4 c. butter
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c soy sauce
1 c cooking wine/sherry
4 c water

Heat butter in a heavy pot (ceramic dutch oven is best), add onions and cook until caramelized. Put roast on top of cooked onions. Add all the remaining ingredients. Put in oven at 350 degrees for 4-5 hours (or until the meat shreds). Shred the meat and let sit in the delicious juices.

Serve on French buns with melted mozzarella or provolone cheese. Use some of the juice for a awesome French dip.

(I made this for Ken, and he likes it better than any other sandwich he's had - including Grandmas. It's beyond amazing. And it would do great in the crock pot too. Made it before church and it was done when we got home. It was hard not to eat it right away since it was Fast Sunday. Super yummy and super easy.)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Braised Short Ribs

Because Valentine's Day is around the corner, I thought you'd like to try making this for your sweetheart on that special day. I'll be making it at the Johnson house.

  • 8 whole Beef Short Ribs
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 6 pieces Pancetta, Diced (bacon works instead, if needed)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole Carrots, Diced
  • 2 whole Shallots, Peeled And Finely Minced
  • 2 cups Red Or White Wine
  • 2 cups Beef Or Chicken Broth (enough To Almost Cover Ribs)
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
Preparation Instructions

Salt and pepper ribs, then dredge in flour. Set aside.

In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until complete crispy and all fat is rendered. Remove pancetta and set aside. Do not discard grease.

Add olive oil to pan with the pancetta grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat to medium.

Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan to release all the flavorful bits of glory. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.

Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid.

Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving. At the last minute, skim fat off the top of the liquid. (Can also refrigerate mixture, then remove solid fat from the top.)


When I went vegetarian for a month, I found that eggs were my life-saver. So a quiche became a favorite quick meal.

1 pie crust. Put pie crust in a pie pan.

Then add, Vegetables: choose from your favorites, and dice them up. I put in green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli. Whatever you have in your fridge works.

For extra flavor, include meat: ham or bacon bits work wonderful. For a vegetarian option, don't add the meat.

Throw the vegetables, meat, and 1 cup cheese on pie crust. Then...

In a bowl, mix:
4 eggs
2 cups milk

Pour over vegetables. Cook in an oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until eggs are set. Enjoy!

Lentil Bean Soup

An Italian New Year's dish. From Jacque's mission


  • equal amounts of carrots, celery, and onion chopped fine (I chop about the same amount equaling two large onions each)
  • 1/4 c. - 1/2 c. olive oil
  • minced garlic (about 3-5 cloves)
  • Italian sausage (one per person minimum)
  • 1 large can of tomatoes
  • Lentils (1-2 bags)
  • Broth cube (or two)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sautee carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in the olive oil in a pan.
  2. Add sausage to mixture (removing skin and cut to small pieces) and cook through
  3. Add the tomatoes to the mixture and simmer on medium-low for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add lentils, broth cube, salt and pepper. I usually also add water near to the top (but that depends how soupish you want the soup).
  5. Let it simmer for 45 minutes on low (I'm guessing here!).

Tomato Soup

3 T melted butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 46-oz can diced tomatoes
1 T chicken base
3 T sugar
pinch of salt
black pepper to taste
1 1/2 c heavy cream
chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh basil

Saute diced onions in butter until translucent. Add canned tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken base, sugar, pinch of salt, pepper, and stir. Bring to near boil, then turn off heat. Add in cream, parsley, basil and stir.

Amazing if you combine with grilled cheese. We enjoy sourdough with Havarti cheese, all melted and gooey and buttery crunchy to dip in our soup. Sure to warm you up on the coldest days even Wisconsin has to offer!

Eggplant Meatless Balls

3 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
1/4 c mushrooms, diced
1-2 T water
1 1/4 c fresh bread crumbs
1/2 c minced parsley
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
1/2 c grated cheese
1/4 c olive oil

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet and slowly cook the garlic over medium heat until golden. Add eggplant, mushrooms, and 1 T of water, cover, and steam the eggplant/mushrooms over low heat until very soft (about 10 minutes). Add remaining water only if the eggplant begins to stick to the skillet. Stir the eggplant occasionally while it cooks. Set eggplant aside and let it cool.

Combine the bread crumbs, parsley, salt, eggs, and cheese in a large bowl. Stir in the eggplant, mix well, and let stand for 20 minutes. Scoop small amounts of the mixture into your hands and form meatballs the size of a small egg. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, then fry the meatballs, turning occasionally so they brown evenly. Transfer meatballs to tomato sauce and keep hot.

Makes 18 meatballs.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Grandma Brooke's Roast

1 Chuck Roast
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
1 C water (I don't really measure)

Sear both sides of meat. Put in 9 x 13 pan. Add seasoning and water. Cover with two layers of foil. Bake at 350 for about 3 hours or at 300 for 4-5 hours. It is done with it can be easily pulled apart with a fork. Serve with Rhodes Rolls.