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Beef

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Stew must be respected in order to be respectable. This version of Irish stew takes liberties but shows a loving respect for this simple, dish, popular in all cultures but legendary to the Emerald Isle. A good strong plays a role in this version. My trick is to cook the stew with a few vegetables until the meat is tender. For the last hour or so, I add fresh baby carrots and potatoes. The stew emerges with nice chunks of vegetables, the meat is soft and the gravy is well flavored with the first round of vegetables. Steamed turnips on the side is another nice touch.
A little beer to tenderize
Beer ribs...and beer.

Different manufacturers make different varieties of dry gravy mixes. I use McCormick’s or French’s. You can mix and match types – the results will still be good. Same for the cut of beef – I prefer cross rib, brisket or standing rib for this recipe but almost any cut – even a rump roast, will do. The tougher the meat (or better price which sometimes indicates a tougher, but no less flavorful cut of meat), the slower and longer the roasting.

Onion soup powder, wine, and ketchup. Yup. This is easy to assemble and makes for an extra tender, deeply flavorful shorts rib or a nice, tender, sliceable pot roast. If you prefer stew, use 3 pounds of lean stewing meat to replace the short ribs. Adding potatoes to the meat during the last hour of roasting makes this an all-in-one meal.
 

A cornerstone recipe that is great to have in your collection. It is homey tasting but elegant and tender.

Not only does this roast beef taste out of this world, it needs only one long, slow roasting. No chill, slice and re-roast. Who has time?  One day, after years of doing brisket Grandma's way, I found slow roasting did the trick. This is a fork tender,deeply flavorful brisket that has all the perfect notes of wine, garlic and onions. This is the sort of recipe you pop in the oven if you are home all day, doing the rest of the feast and getting the house ready (it also is perfect for a crock pot).

A trademark entree from the pioneer trail, flouring and frying thin steaks was a way to make a cheap, lean steak more substantial and tastier.

A crock pot would be perfect for this traditional all-in-one meal. I slow bake it in a low oven and observant families might keep it on a low burner covered with aluminum sheeting, and let it cook itself to hearty perfection, without nary a stir – and ready and hot in time for a Saturday sabbath luncheon. No matter when you serve this, it is heartwarming, memory food and nutritious. Cholent recipes are incredibly varied (vegetarian ones, chicken ones, etc.) but this one is a wonderful classic one to start with.

Take a cornbread base, add El Paso style taco filling, top with Monterey Jack and serve with a side of salsa, avocado slices, and sour cream and diced chilies. Whoa Nellie. This is best served in small hunks of chili and cornbread base - on a gorgeous Santa Fe style ceramic plate or Fiesta ware, alongside a mixed green salad and ice-cold iced tea and lime wedges.

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