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Cornish Pasties with Skirt Steak

When I first saw the word “pasties,” I automatically added an “r.” Cornish pastries. That sounds delicious! After recent travels through the British county of Cornwall, I can vouch for the fact that Cornish pasties, and Cornish pastries are heavenly (if as “pastries” you count scones with marmalade and clotted cream, a delicacy that’s somewhere between butter and whipped cream).

Cornish pasties were so good that my sister recreated them at home. Below, you can find her recipe, which will make an amazing treat for Memorial Day picnics.

This kind of pasty is pronounced pass-tee, not paste-y (which describes my skin before I managed to get a sunburnt nose in a country famous for its rain). The first form of pasty comes from the same root word as pâté, which can be not only an hors d’oeuvre but also a savory pie of meat or fish.

And a savory pie is what you’ll get when you order one at bakeries in Cornwall. My brother-in-law described the one he ordered as a thick beef stew wrapped in pie dough. The dough is soft with a delicious firm crust at the edge, while the filling is tender without making the dough soggy.

Pasties are a historic grab-n-go meal. “Pasties are thought to have been around in Cornwall since the 14th century,” says the Cornish Pasty Association’s website, “so it’s only natural then that the Cornish have become rather attached to them.”

Stewed beef was a later addition, according to the Great Cornish Food Book, cited on the Cornish Pasty Association website. Before that, the workers who carried this convenient lunch used ingredients that were easier to come by—potatoes, onions and rutabagas.

Knowing that this was a worker’s lunch, it is easy to make the connection between pasties and mining. Traveling through Cornish coastal towns, we saw as many mines as pasty shops. Copper, tin, and other metals drew miners deep into the ground in Cornwall.

 

“It was the advent of Cornish mining in the 19th century that really brought the pasty into its own and made it an important part of the life of so many Cornish families,” says the Great Cornish Food Book. They were easy to carry. Some even say the miners held the rope-shaped “handle” on the edge of the pasty and discarded it at the end so they wouldn’t eat anything they’d touched with “grubby, possibly arsenic-ridden hands.” Others say the miners wrapped pasties in paper bags or cloth so they wouldn’t have to handle them with bare hands. I’m inclined to believe the second idea. That crust is one of the best parts!

Try them yourself! Here’s the recipe my sister made soon after we returned from vacation.

Cornish Pasties with Skirt Steak
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: English
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 pasties
 
A delicious "hand pie" - perfect for eating on the run or as a stunning meal for company. For those who prefer a simpler method, store-bought crusts can be used. Just cut them in half first and form into a triangle, or make one very large pasty that serves 2. If you're pressed for time, you can even turn the temperature up and pre-cook the ingredients. Sometimes I microwave the vegetables and pan-sear the beef if I need a quick meal. Be creative. Use olive oil, add other vegetables, meats or cheeses, or even drizzle some wine or beer into your mixture too!
Ingredients
Pasty:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup cold water
Filling:
  • 2½ cups potato, finely diced into about 1 cm pieces (about 3 medium potatoes)
  • 1 cup white cooking onion, finely chopped (about 3 small onions)
  • 1 cup carrots, finely diced (about 3 small/medium carrots
  • 12 oz beef skirt steak, finely chopped (some recipes said you could use chuck roast instead)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
Instructions
  1. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, butter and egg yolks into a food processor and blend until the mixture forms crumbs. Slowly add the water until it forms a ball (you may not need all of the water). Wrap the dough in clingwrap and refrigerate 1 hour
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough. Cut out 6 circles of dough using a large bowl or dinner plate as a template.
  4. Mix together the meat, vegetables, flour and a generous amount of salt and pepper in a large bowl. (Yes everything is raw still!) Ladle into the center of each circle of dough. Add a generous dollop of butter on top of the meat and vegetable mixture. Fold over and crimp the edges with a fork. Cut a few steam holes in the pasty. Brush with beaten egg. Scatter a little bit of cornmeal on the bottom of the pasty before placing on a baking pan to allow some heat to circulate underneath. Put another sprinkle of salt and pepper on top too before baking.
  5. Bake 50 minutes at 350, until golden brown on top and the beef is no longer pink. Allow them to rest 5-10 minutes.
  6. These reheated splendidly in the oven, and I imagine they would do fine being assembled ahead of time and baked later - which would make them the perfect meal to make ahead of time for company.

Dice your vegetables very small – about 1 cm or less than 1/2 inch pieces.

And, if you happen to find yourself golfing in Phoenixville, PA, look for the Wheatley mine on the grounds of the Pickering Valley Golf Course, where you can find this familiar-looking “Cornish stack.” It reminds me of an old saying: “a mine is a hole anywhere in the world with at least one Cornishman at the bottom of it.” As Cornwall was running out of minerals, other countries were discovering them, so many miners left Cornwall to offer their expertise and improve their lot elsewhere.  Between 1841 and 1901, more than a quarter of a million people left Cornwall. The Wheatley mine in Phoenixville was founded during that time period: 1850, to be exact.

Cornish pasties made with #SkirtSteak! #PicnicFood #SavoryPie

Red Wine Beef Stew Recipe from Sister to Sister

Sisters.

I grew up with one sister, but now thanks to marriage I have 5 sisters. Sisters are a great resource for recipes. On so many holidays we’d savor each other’s recipes and tuck a few of our favorite recipes written out on index card into each other’s stockings. When my recipes all feel a little blah, I can email a sister and get some awesome recipe inspiration.

This is what happened the other week while I was Facetiming with a sister-in-law. She was in the middle of making beef stew – a recipe she had gotten from another sister-in-law. It was a gravy-style beef stew, similar to my favorite beef stew recipe, but instead of calling for beer like my recipe did, it called for red wine.

red-wine-beef-stew-3-copy

Since I had some stew beef in the freezer and was eager to try a new recipe with it, this was the perfect solution!

The original recipe calls for bouillon cubes, which often include MSG, to which, incidentally, that sister and I are both allergic. If this is the case for you, try making your own beef stock using soup bones and our beef stock recipe or make your own powdered vegetable bouillon cubes.

red-wine-stew-5

Serve over potatoes (baked or diced and baked or sauteed) with a side of a roasted green vegetables such as Brussels sprouts.

red-wine-stew-6

Beef Stew in Red Wine Gravy
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds beef roast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bouillon cube, 1 tablespoon powdered vegetable bouillon (recipe noted above) or 1 cup beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1½ cups dry red wine
  • salt (to taste)
  • Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired
Instructions
Dutch Oven Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a Dutch Oven on a stovetop, add olive oil and turn to medium heat. Brown beef in batches and set aside. Add onion and garlic and deglaze the pan.
  3. Return beef to Dutch Oven. Add stock or bouillon and pepper and stir.
  4. Sprinkle with cornstarch and stir until coated.
  5. Add wine and stir. Transfer Dutch Oven to oven and allow to cook for 3-5 hours.
Crockpot Instructions:
  1. Add beef, onion, garlic and oil to crockpot. Add stock/bouillon and pepper and stir. Sprinkle with cornstarch and stir until coated. Add wine, cover and allow to cook 5-6 hours on high or 10-12 hours on low.

 

red-wine

Shredded Beef Arepas

You know what arepas are, right? No? Oh, good! Neither did I until this summer (and neither, apparently, does spell check).

This summer, a friend of mine mentioned a new local Venezuelan restaurant that served $6 arepas on Wednesdays, and even though I had no idea what an arepa was, spending $6 on a nice sit-down dinner with friends sounded just fine.

When Arepa Time arrived, I discovered that the arepa meal was much like a standard American “barbecue” sandwich with pulled, seasoned meat. Only, instead of being served on a Kaiser roll or other hearty bread, the meat was wedged between two arepas, which are kind of like English muffins made with a special kind of cornmeal. And the delicious seasoned beef inside my arepa was topped with smoked gouda and avocado.

shredded beef arepas

I knew right then that this was a meal I needed in my future.

Unfortunately, the whole reason we were getting together with friends that Wednesday was to say goodbye because we were moving far away. Far away from good friends and from this newly discovered treat.

I would just have to learn how to make beef arepas on my own. This has proved much easier than making new friends. I was astonished at how simple it is to make arepas at home, and how deliciously soft and buttery they were. The beef roasts for 3-4 hours in a Dutch oven, but once you’ve browned it, you hardly have to think about it again. And the arepas themselves are easier to make than most bread! I am hoping to make this delicious Venezuelan cornbread for some new friends in our new locale soon, but this savory, buttery meal will continue to remind me of the last evening we shared with these friends in our old neighborhood.

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Shredded Beef Arepas
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Beef recipe adapted from The Candid Appetite; Arepa recipe adapted from Gluten Free Girl. If you don't have a Dutch oven, you can brown the meat in a saucepan and then transfer it to a baking dish and roast 3-4 hours, or transfer to a crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours.
Ingredients
Shredded beef
  • 2 pounds boneless rump roast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons each salt and black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons each: garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • Quarter of a yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 beef bullion cube
  • 2 cups water
Arepas
  • 2 ½ cups lukewarm water
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups pre-cooked white cornmeal (such as P.A.N. - only use pre-cooked!)
Toppings
  • Sliced avocado
  • Shredded gouda cheese
Instructions
Shredded Beef:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat a heavy-duty Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil.
  2. In a bowl, mix spices and divide put half of the mixture into another bowl and reserve. Rub the remaining mixture into the roast.
  3. Brown the roast on all sides. Remove from heat.
  4. Add bell peppers, onion, garlic, bay leaves, lime juice, salsa, bullion, water and remaining half of spices.
  5. Transfer to oven. Roast 3 to 4 hours until the meat is tender and easy to pull apart with a fork.
Arepas
  1. Reduce oven heat to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl, mix water, salt and oil. Add cornmeal slowly until the mixture feels like clay (but a little wetter and mealier).
  3. Round the dough into balls (tennis ball size). Flatten to the size of an English muffin. If the edges crack, the dough is too dry.
  4. Fry on a cast iron pan or other oven-safe pan over medium heat.
  5. When the bottoms are crisp and golden brown, flip them. Repeat.
  6. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, and then slice and butter them and fill them with seasoned beef and desired toppings.

 

Pulled-Beef Arepas

A Last Taste of Summer: BBQ Pulled Beef Sandwiches

I’ve been gardening this summer, which means that the neighborhood squirrels are no longer the quirky entertainers my husband and I stop to appreciate in local parks. No longer are they the darling protagonists of stories my husband and I exchange: “I saw a squirrel carting an entire doughnut back to its nest! It couldn’t even see past the doughnut and kept bumping into things!”

Nope. When it’s gardening time, the squirrels go from friends to pests. Because now it’s my food these “darlings” are trying to steal!

This summer, I grew some corn at the edge of our garden, near our picket fence, and the squirrels have been climbing up the fence and then clawing their way up our next door neighbor’s deck railing and launching themselves onto the stalks of corn. Somehow they hang on while the corn stalks sway from the impact.

So far, they have not been able to detach any ears and run away with them, but I can tell they’re plotting.

I suppose I understand. Homegrown corn is worth some peril. It’s so sweet, succulent and buttery. And, if homegrown corn on the cob were to be served along with these BBQ Pulled Beef Sandwiches I made the other night, I would also launch myself from great heights to get to the picnic table.

These BBQ Pulled Beef Sandwiches with Lone Star Farm’s dry aged beef offer a delicious last taste of summer. They’re picnic fare at its finest. The perfect salty, saucy BBQ taste that pairs so well with corn-on-the-cob, potato salad, deviled eggs and watermelon.

They are also ideal for the busyness of early fall days as the kids start school again and the calendar fills up with weeknight commitments. They take about 10 minutes to prepare: It’s just a matter of whipping up a sauce, cutting the chuck roast in half, mincing some garlic, chopping some onions and then practicing patience as the smell of BBQ beef wafts through the house as this meal slow-cooks to its tender best.

It’s a great meal to make for Labor Day, too, because it feeds a crowd and is very filling. But if your Labor Day menu is already set, make this anyway because it freezes well! Then on the busy nights to come, you will have a delicious meal ready to thaw and serve.

This tender beef BBQ made with dry-aged beef and served on soft brioche rolls is a meal that will delight you and your family as you enjoy the last weeks of picnic season, and as you prepare for the busy weeks ahead.

BBQ Beef 4

BBQ Beef Sandwiches
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Adapted from Taste of Home
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1½ cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • soft brioche rolls, for serving
Instructions
  1. Cut chuck roast in half, trim fat if needed, and place in crock pot. Mix all other ingredients except garlic and onions. Sprinkle onions and garlic over beef, then add sauce.
  2. Cook on low 8-10 hours, high 4-5. When cooked, skim off any fat and pull the beef roast apart with two forks. Serve on sandwich rolls.

 

 

 

Spicy Slow-Cooker Chipotle Burritos

Around our table, if dinner is so spicy it makes our lips numb, the meal has been a success.

When I was a new wife and just getting the hang of putting solid meals on the table most evenings, I scoured recipe sites and cookbooks for spicy meal ideas.  Many a delectable recipe has found its way into my repertoire after I’ve searched for “spicy” plus whatever ingredients I have on hand and need to use up.

Burritos are one of the best meals to bring together that spicy kick plus whatever the fridge or pantry has to offer.  I buy cumin and chili powder in big containers and keep jars full of dried beans on hand.  With those staples plus some meat, rice, tortillas, cheese, veggies and herbs, I can have some tasty and healthy burritos wrapped up in no time.

When I follow a specific recipe, this Spicy Slow-Cooker Chipotle Burrito recipe, adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, is one of my favorite meals.  The slow-cooked meat, made with quality all-natural beef, is rich and tender.  Chipotle peppers give this recipe a smoky taste (but be careful; these smoked jalapenos are not just adding a smooth barbeque flavor, they are also adding heat!).  Even though chipotle peppers usually come in little cans, they hold enough peppers for a few recipes, so I always freeze the leftovers in a small plastic container and pull out whatever I need for the recipe.

chipotle burrito

This time around, I tracked down a jicama at a local grocery store.  Never had a jicama?  I hadn’t either.  It’s quite magical.  It looks like a potato but tastes like a combination of an apple and a radish.  The crisp and juicy texture cools this recipe down.

For the salsa, you can purchase some, open the salsa you canned last summer or try this easy recipe for Pico de Gallo salsa.

If burrito night hasn’t already become your favorite night of all, these smoky, spicy, healthy burritos might just change that.

Spicy Slow-Cooker Chipotle Burritos
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds Lone Star Farm Free-Range Beef Chuck Roast, cut ¾ inch thick and with any chunks of fat on the outside removed
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (add or subtract peppers to control the spiciness)
  • 1 T adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 whole wheat tortillas
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar or Monteray Jack cheese
  • Pico de Gallo salsa
  • thinly sliced jicama
Instructions
  1. Cut the meat into a few large chunks and brown it in a frying pan (this locks in the flavor).
  2. Drop the meat, along with the undrained tomatoes, onion, chipotles, adobo, garlic and spices, into your crock pot.
  3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  4. When the meat is almost done, warm up the tortillas on a frying pan or wrap them in foil and warm them up in the toaster oven.
  5. Pull out the meat and plop it onto a cutting board. Using two forks, pull the meat apart until it starts to look like a pulled-beef sandwich.
  6. Return meat to the crock pot and use a slotted spoon to dish up enough for each tortilla.
  7. Top the meat mixture with salsa, cheese, jicamas and any of your other favorite burrito toppings.

Article written by Rebecca Talbot and coordinated by VanDuzer Design & Marketing for Lone Star Farm and may also be syndicated on Fig: West Chester and Rachel’s Farm Table.

Pot Roasts: A Hearty Winter Tradition

When I think of pot roast, I think of the freezing cold back porch of the first apartment I rented.  The porch was glassed in and closed off from the rest of the house, and my roommates and I used it as a second refrigerator (although, since this was in Chicago, sometimes it changed from a fridge to a freezer).  One of my roommates would slow-cook a big pot roast, store it on the back porch, and share it with us.  Her particular version of pot roast used cherry cola and  frozen cherries she had picked from trees in Michigan earlier in the year.   It had a melt-in-your-mouth texture and sweet flavor, and like most pot roasts, it made so much that it was perfect to share.

A Traditional Pot Roast

A Traditional Pot Roast

 

A year or two later, when I first got married, my mother-in-law shared her classic take on pot roast.  This was essential since it is one of my husband’s favorite meals!  It has been warm and nourishing while the wind howls outside.

Traditional Pot Roast Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Pot Roast
Cuisine: Traditional
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Traditional pot roast with beef, carrots, potatoes and onions.
Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 pound brisket, rump roast, or pot roast
  • 2 to 3 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 or 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup beef broth or consommé
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Put vegetables in the bottom of a crock pot.
  2. Salt and pepper the meat, and then put it in the pot on top of the vegetables.
  3. Add liquid.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours.

This winter, I decided to try a new pot roast recipe: stracotto, which sounds like a musical technique but tastes like pot roast.  Stracotto, an Italian pot roast featured in the Joy of Cooking, is a juicy dish with a warm blend of flavors.  It makes so much that you can put it to the additional uses the Joy of Cooking suggests, using the meat to fill hot sandwiches and the leftover juice to toss with your favorite pasta.  With a little goat cheese and pasta, the juice and vegetables make a rich, savory supper.   If you can get them, fresh herbs are best for the recipe below—the flavor will be stronger, and you’ll have the pleasant sensory experience of chopping bright green herbs and filling your kitchen with their sharp fresh smell.

Italian Pot Roast (Stracotto) from The Joy of Cooking

Mince together:

                3 large garlic cloves

                ¼ cup packed parsley leaves

                4 fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried sage

                1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Set aside half the mixture, and mix the rest with:

                1 tablespoon olive oil

                ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Make about 10 deep slits in a 4 to 5 pound beef pot roast or chuck roast

Stuff the slits with the herb and oil mixture.  Heat in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat:

                3 tablespoons olive oil

Add the roast and brown on all sides; about 20 minutes.  Do not let it scorch.  Remove the roast to a plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.  Sprinkle the roast with:

 1 teaspoon salt

Return the pot to heat and add:

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery rib with leaves, chopped

4 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 bay leaf

Cook, stirring, until the onion is lightly browned.  Stir in the remaining herb mixture and cook for 30 seconds.  Add and boil until the pot is almost dry:

½ cup dry red wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Stir in and boil until reduced to less than ½ a cup:

1 cup dry red wine

1 cup beef or chicken stock or broth

Add the roast, along with:

One 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed

1 cup dry red wine

1 cup beef or chicken stock or broth

Bring to a gentle simmer and cover the pot.  Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, so that the liquid just barely reaches a simmer, and cook for about 2 ½ hours.  Turn the roast every 30 minutes or so.  When the meat is tender, remove it to a platter and cover it with aluminum foil to keep warm.  Skim off any fat from the surface of the liquid and remove the bay leaf.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  If the sauce seems thin, boil it down for a few minutes.  Slice the meat about ¼ inch thick and moisten it with the braising liquid.

Lone Star Roast_600px

Italian Pot Roast

Getting the Best Flavor

One of the steps in this recipe is specifically designed to bring out the best flavor.  Browning the surface of the meat makes the flavor more intense.  If you use dry-aged meat from LoneStar Farm, you will already be starting with beef that has been produced with optimal flavor in mind because dry-aged meat develops a more intense flavor than wet-aged meat.  This process, writes Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, ages meat at a low temperature with moderate humidity and “causes meat to lose moisture gradually, and thus become denser and more concentrated,” which makes the meat more flavorful.  So if you are starting with dry-aged beef, there is all the more reason to lock in the delicious flavor with this early step of browning the surface.

Making Sure It’s Tender

Cooking the meat in the heavy Dutch oven over low heat  is an excellent way to ensure the roast is tender.  Achieving a fall-apart tenderness in the cooked meat is often one of the main challenges with pot roast because it involves cooking such a large chunk of meat at once.  (I know I’m not alone here—I found a lot of evidence on the internet that many other cooks have labored long and hard to perfect their pot roasts!)  Using good quality meat is the best way to start, and many cooks recommend using chuck roast because chuck roast is well marbled.  In a marbled piece of meat, you will see meat and fat actually rippling together in a red and white pattern, much like a beautiful piece of marble.

So, start with this cook-friendly cut of meat.  When you touch the raw meat, it will feel cool and wet.  That moisture is part of what keeps the meat tender as it cooks, so you want it to dry very slowly at a consistent temperature as it cooks.  Low-temperature slow cooking allows a “gentle heating of the interior, minimal moisture loss, a relatively uniform doneness within the meat, and a large window of time in which the meat is properly done,” writes McGee.  This gentle heating of the interior “allows the meat’s own protein-breaking enzymes to do some tenderizing.”

The slow-roasting warmth of this hearty meal is perfect for wintertime and holiday gatherings.  If it’s not already a winter tradition in your family, keeping these tips and recipes in mind will make it become one soon!

Crockpot Beef Stew With Homemade Broth and Rosemary Bread

“Mom, what did you do to the beef stew? It tastes different. I mean, it’s always good–but this is better than usual!”
This was my daughter’s comment when she came for dinner last week. Yes, it was the same recipe, and yes, I did something different. I made the broth with a soup bone from Lone Star Farm. There was a lot of meat on the bone, so there was plenty to cut into chunks. So our family has finally discovered what our grandmothers knew–a soup bone adds a distinctive savor to ordinary beef stew.

Below you’ll find the recipe I used (which I made in a crockpot).

Chilly Day Beef Stew with Homemade Rosemary Bread

Chilly Day Beef Stew with Homemade Rosemary Bread

Chilly Day Beef Stew


1 soup bone – The meat can be a little fatty, and will fall off the bone when it’s cooked—so you might want to chop the meat and trim the fat before cooking.  You can also pick up an extra roast to add to your stew for a meatier soup. 

Right now soup bones and roasts are in good supply at Lone Star Farm, so be sure to pick some up this Saturday from 10-12 at The Farmer’s Market at Elverson in Livingood Park.

Pour into crock-pot and stir in:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes or 3 tsp Better Than Bouillon, dissolved in 3 cups hot water
2 Tbsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

Turn crock-pot to low.

Add:

  • 1 meaty soup bone 
(Add 1 lb of beef cubes for a beefier stew)
  • 1/2 lb sliced fresh baby portobella mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 carrots (about 1 lb.), sliced
  • 1 1/2 lb potatoes (about 5), peeled, cut into large chunks
1/2 cup diced celery

Half an hour before serving, add:

  • 1 cup frozen peas

Simmer on low for 6-8 hours.
Makes 6-8 servings.

Serve with hearty homemade bread.

The following recipe for rosemary bread was shared by a friend, who found it on Allrecipes.com. It is very easy and has quickly become a family favorite! We have passed this recipe around at family gatherings and affectionately named it Delia’s Rosemary bread.

Rosemary is a great herb to pick up fresh this time of year too. It is easy to take care of as it thrives on little water and doesn’t mind sitting in a sunny windowsill for the winter. It also makes a nice decoration at the holidays since it is an evergreen.

Beef Stew 600

Hearty Beef Stew with Rosemary Bread

Delia’s Rosemary Bread

Oven: 375

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

  • 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary, divided
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, add sugar to warm water; stir until dissolved. Mix in yeast. When yeast is bubbly, mix in salt, butter, half the rosemary and Italian seasoning.

2. Mix in 2 cups of the flour. Gradually add remaining flour to form dough. Knead 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Coat the inside of a large bowl with olive oil. Place dough in bowl, cover, and let rise for an hour in a warm place.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4. After dough has risen, punch it down and divide in half. Line a baking sheet with lightly greased parchment paper.

6. Shape dough into 2 round loaves and place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining rosemary.

7. Cover and allow to rise another hour or until doubled in size.

8. Brush loaves with egg. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

Learning to Cook a Top Round Steak 3 Different Ways

Fajitas

Beef Fajitas with Top Round Steak

This month’s featured item is Top Round Steak, a lean cut of meat that can be sold either as a roast or as a steak. The only difference between the roast and the steak is its thickness. A steak is typically 1 1/4 inch thick, whereas a roast would be much thicker. We recommend 3 main ways to prepare this cut:

1. Marinating & Grilling

Top round steaks are very similar to a London Broil and are often sold interchangeably. They are best marinated for four hours to overnight and then grilled. Top Round steaks taste best when they are not cooked beyond medium rare, for a total cooking time of about 10-14 minutes.

2. Slow-Roasting

Top Round steaks and roasts can be slow-roasted to bring out this cut’s tenderness. You can roast the whole steak or cut it into individual portion sizes prior to roasting. To braise the top round, first season and brown the meat in olive oil over medium high heat. After it has browned, add ¼ cup broth or wine (This is for a four-pound roast. Adjust accordingly, particularly if you are using a thinner steak instead of a roast.)  Keep an eye on it and add a little more liquid if needed while it cooks. Simmer the roast for 2-2 ½ hours or until it reaches your desired doneness:

  • Medium Rare – 145 degrees
  • Medium – 160 degrees
  • Medium Well – 160 degrees
  • Well Done – 170 degrees

If oven braising, preheat the oven to 350 while you brown the roast. Pour ¼ cup liquid into the roasting pan, add the meat and cover the pan with a lid or foil. Bake for 2- 2 ½ hours or until it reaches your desired doneness.

In the crockpot, cook 6-8 hours on low. Some cooks use a little liquid and some just season the roast and let it cook in its own juices.

3. Thin-Slicing & Pan-Frying

Top Round steak can also be thinly sliced, seasoned and pan fried. You may want to add a little bit of water to the pan to ensure that the steak has enough moisture. This method works well for fajitas, pepper steak or cheesesteaks.  We recommend trying the following fajita recipe using a top round steak:

Homemade Fajita Seasoning

In a small bowl, combine:

  • 1.5 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder

Delicious Beef Fajitas

  • 12 oz. top round steak, beef skirt steak or flank steak
  • 4-6 flour tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup thin strips of red or green sweet pepper (1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion separated into rings (1 medium)
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh jalapeno pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomato or salsa (1 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Serve with guacamole, fresh or canned salsa, cheddar cheese, lettuce and sour cream, if desired. Accompany it with freshly sliced pineapple or mango on the side.

1. Use beef while slightly frozen for easier slicing. Trim fat from meat and thinly slice across the grain into bite-size strips. (The thinner the better!) Place meat strips in a deep bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. of fajita season, reserving remaining 1 tsp. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

2. Wrap tortillas slightly in foil. Heat in a 350 degree oven about 10 minutes or until heated through. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat. Add sweet peppers, onion and remaining fajita seasoning. Cook and stir about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove onion mixture from skillet.

3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the meat to the skillet. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes until desired doneness for steak. Drain well. Return onion mixture to skillet. Stir in tomato or salsa. Cook and stir 1 minute or until heated through. Remove skillet from heat; stir in lime juice.

4. To serve, fill warm tortillas with meat mixture. If desired, top meat mixture with guacamole, salsa, cheese and sour cream. Roll up tortillas and enjoy!

If you are on our email list, you’ll get a coupon for $5 off 3 or more Top Round steaks this month. Be sure to sign up on the side column!

 

3 Delicious Roast Recipes

With Easter fast approaching, menu planning is on many people’s minds. Do you know what you’re planning to serve? Roast beef is a delicious, affordable meat to serve and we have many recipes on our blog that will be sure to please your guests. There’s three roasts in particular we think you’ll enjoy this Easter holiday.

1. Sirloin Tip Roast

If you already have most of your menu together, you may prefer to use a simple recipe like this one for Roast Sirloin of Beef. It calls for simply beef, salt, pepper and olive oil. Pair it with any of your favorite sides, such as this recipe for Garlic Roasted Potatoes with Asparagus and a salad.

2. Top Round Roast

For more of a one-pot meal, check out this recipe for a traditional French dish, “Pot au Feu.”  This dish is similar to a beef stew, however the roast is tied with twine and surrounded by the vegetables during cooking. Once the dish has finished cooking, you can carve the roast and serve it alongside the roasted vegetables. The recipe calls for a top round roast and soup bones. Be sure to only cook the top round roast to medium rare, or 135° when it’s first taken out of the oven for a final resting temperature of 145°.

3. Rump Roast

For a savory take on roast beef, try this recipe for Roast Beef with Scallion-Caper Green Sauce. It also calls for just a few ingredients: beef, fresh parsley, scallions, olive oil and capers. For this recipe, you start with a high cooking temperature for the first 15 minutes and then drop the temperature for the remainder of the cooking time.

According to Ochef.com, “There are two schools of thought on roasting: cook the meat from start to finish at a consistent medium temperature, which reduces shrinking and sputtering and produces a juicy, evenly-cooked roast; or put it in a very hot oven to start, and then lower the temperature for the remainder of the cooking time, which helps brown the roast and its juices (contrary to a widely held belief, however, it does not sear the surface and thereby lock in its juices).”

We will be at The Farmer’s Market at Elverson this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. If you are in the area, stop by and pick up some meat for Easter or another special occasion!

Philly Cheese Steak with Lancaster County Chip Steak

I’ll admit, Philly cheese steaks are one of my guilty pleasures. But when they can be made with lean beef chip steak from Lone Star Farm, I don’t feel quite so bad about eating it. In fact, I would even argue that if you follow the recipe below, it’s actually pretty healthy!

But first, let’s learn a bit about the history of the chipsteak! According to Ehow.com, the chipsteak was first discovered in the 1930’s:

The chip steak began, as many great inventions do, by accident. Butcher William Dubil of Pomona, California discovered that a cut of bottom round beef had been frozen accidentally during storage. Despite his inclination that this cut of beef would spoil as it thawed, he sliced the beef into paper thin patties and allowed the frozen cuts to slow thaw in his refrigerated display counter. Much to his surprise, the meat did not go bad, and instead became a tasty delicacy which he named chip steaks.

Today, chipsteaks follow the same pattern of taking the meat (either a round or a loin) and freezing it at low temperatures for 24 hours before slicing it thinly into this delicious cut of meat!

cheesesteak

Philly Cheesesteak Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package Lone Star Farm Beef chip steak
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium cooking onion
  • 1 portobello mushroom
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic

Plus:

  • Crusty sandwich rolls
  • Provolone cheese
  • Marinara sauce (if desired)
  • Hot peppers (if desired)

Directions:

  1. Slice onions, mushrooms and peppers and mince garlic.
  2. Add olive oil, garlic and onions to a large pan over medium heat. Saute 1 minute, add mushrooms and peppers. Cook 1-2 minutes more until vegetables begin to soften. Remove from pan.
  3. Slice the chip steak into thin strips; season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  4. In the same pan, add the chip steak and cook on high just until browned. Add vegetables back to pan 1-2 minutes more.
  5. Slice the sandwich rolls, place a slice of provolone cheese on the roll and toast in a 300 degree oven until the cheese is melted.
  6. Load up your sandwich roll with the meat mixture and add any toppings you desire.
  7. Serve with a green salad, like the one pictured with field greens, cucumber, red onion, goat cheese and an olive oil vinaigrette.