NOLAN RYAN MEATLOAF aka BASEBALL PITCHER RANCHER MEATLOAF

If you like baseball you’ve heard the name, but ANYONE from south Texas REALLY knows the name Nolan Ryan.  What you may NOT know is that his first passion was raising QUALITY beef and he has some of the best beef around!

NOLAN RYAN MEATLOAF with LAVA MUSTARD BBQ SAUCE

MEATLOAF
2 pounds ground sirloin, NOLAN RYAN beef where possible
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup FINE bread crumbs
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 SMALL red pepper, FINELY diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cups shredded Jack cheese
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons Frank’s original hot sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large bowl use your hands to combine all the ingredients until well mixed.
  • Place mixture in a greased loaf pan.
  • Bake 45 minutes.
  • Increase oven to 425° and cook 10 minutes more.
  • Top with sauce and bake 5 minutes more.
  • Serve immediately.

LAVA MUSTARD BBQ SAUCE
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
¼ cup Kentucky bourbon
1 cup barbecue sauce of your choice (I  use Sweet Baby Rays)
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon COLEMAN’S dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, but don’t allow the onion to turn brown.
  • Add the bourbon and cook off the alcohol, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the barbecue sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, mustard and cayenne. 
  • Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.

NOTE:  I have to leave out the mustard due to allergies and find the sauce is still awesome!

JACK ALLEN’S MEATLOAF (sort of)

A few years ago we met some friends at Jack Allen’s Kitchen restaurant for lunch. We’d never been there before, but were surprised by the menu and tasty dishes we ordered! Their claim to fame is Texas comfort food in a local fare farm to market restaurant setting. I was so impressed I actually bought the cookbook being sold at the front door as we left.

Every recipe I’ve made has been great. A few though, like this one, I’ve adapted to meet our likes and deal with food allergies! We love this adapted version

JACK ALLEN’S MEATLOAF (sort of) 😀

2 stalks celery, FINELY chopped
1 large red pepper, FINELY chopped
1/2 cup FINELY chopped onion
3 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
2 LARGE eggs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Frank’s original hot sauce
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 cup ketchup + 1 cup ketchup for topping

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • With clean hands mix everything together except the 1 cup of ketchup for the topping until uniformly mixed.
  • Form into loaf pan.
  • Spread with remaining ketchup.
  • Bake 45-60 minutes, until cooked through.

SLOW COOKER PHILLY CHEESE STEAK & RICE

SLOW COOKER PHILLY CHEESE BEEF & RICE Yield: 6-8 servings

I think grams originally found this on a Campbell’s soup label and her version was always done in the oven made with pork, which is part of what makes it a filling, hearty, winter family meal. But now I’ve updated it to include a beef version.  Preparing this in the slow cooker makes it even easier and even more versatile! A little goes a long way, making it super easy and budget friendly too!

1 1/2 pounds chuck steak beef pieces
1 SMALL red onion, chopped or sliced thin
1/2 green pepper, washed, seeded and cut into thin rings
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
1 – 10.5 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 teaspoon garlic powder
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper, to taste
1 stick of butter, cubed

  • Spray the slow cooker insert with non-stick spray.
  • Add the beef pieces.
  • Top with onions and peppers.
  • Whisk together the mushroom soup, beef broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour over pork chops and onions.
  • Add the cubes of butter on top.
  • Replace lid and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.
  • Remove lid and shred any large pieces of beef.

2 cups long grain white rice
1 cup water
1 to 1-1/2 cups shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

  • Add the rice and 1 cup of water.
  • Stir to make sure the rice is covered with liquid and replace the lid.
  • Cook on HIGH for 45 minutes to one more hour, or until rice is done cooking.
  • Remove the lid, add the shredded cheese, and stir.
  • Enjoy!

MEATBALL POTATO VEGGIE MEDLEY

This is a WONDERFUL one pan, winter meal for any weeknight! It’s easy to assemble and makes great leftovers!  OR it can be completely made from scratch – your choice!

MEATBALL POTATO VEGGIE MEDLEY
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Potato Soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 can sliced potatoes, drained WELL
1 can whole green beans, drained WELL
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
12 fully cooked meatballs, thawed, if frozen
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere or baby Swiss cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Coat baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the soup, sour cream, salt and pepper.
  • Fold in green onions and lemon zest.
  • Gently fold in potatoes, green beans and corn.
  • Spread mixture into baking dish.
  • Tuck meatballs into mixture, gently pressing into the sauce.
  • Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes until top is golden and mixture is bubbling.

TAMALE BUNDT PIE with SALSA VERDE CREMA

TAMALE BUNDT PIE
FILLING
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
16 ounces thick and chunky salsa
1 small can chopped green chiles, drained WELL

  • Brown ground beef and drain off fat.
  • Add seasonings and salsa, stirring to blend. Cook 5 minutes over medium-high heat.

CORN BREAD
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cups WHOLE milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup avocado oil
1 cup SHARP cheddar cheese

  • Sift together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.
  • Whisk together the milk, oil and eggs.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients whisking JUST until dry ingredients are moistened.
  • Stir in cheese.

ASSEMBLY

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • GENEROUSLY spray bundt pan with non-stick spray.
  • Sprinkle green chiles on bottom of pan.
  • Spread half the batter over the green chiles.
  • Top evenly with filling.
  • Add remaining batter and spread smooth.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes until top is lightly browned.
  • Cool 5 minutes on rack.
  • Loosen edges with a knife.
  • Invert onto serving plate.
  • Garnish with crema and chopped tomatoes.

SALSA VERDE CREMA
1 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa verde
handful chopped cilantro
1 lime juiced
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper

  • Pulse all the ingredients together to desired color and consistency. The more you blend the lighter the color will become.

BBQ “ICE CUBE TRAY” BACON BALLS

I found this recipe on Facebook and decided to give it a try for our special Superbowl goodies this year. I try and find “unusual” recipes to try each year for the BIG game. Recipes on Facebook and Pinterest can really be a hit or miss situation.  I’d say we probably have a 75% success rate 😀  But, these were fantastic!

BBQ “ICE CUBE TRAY” BACON BALLS
10-12 thin sliced bacon strips
1 pound hamburger
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup FRESH chopped parsley
1 egg
1/2 onion, FINELY chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Favorite BBQ sauce

  • LIGHTLY spray ice cube tray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Overlap bacon slices across an ice cube tray.
  • Gently push bacon into the ice cube holes.
  • Mix together hamburger, egg, parsley, bread crumbs and seasonings until well blended.
  • Divide meat into equal portions and press into ice cube tray.
  • Fold bacon slices over top of meat mixture.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Turn ice cube tray over onto a baking sheet and gently lift ice cube tray off.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Remove tray from oven and generously brush with BBQ sauce.
  • Bake 10 minutes more.
  • Remove from oven and cut apart into individual “cubes.
  • Insert toothpicks and serve.

TOMATO BEEF STROGANOFF

TOMATO BEEF STROGANOFF
1 1/4 pounds sirloin tips, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced thin **
2 teaspoons hot water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
Fresh sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 large shallot, diced fine
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream (SEE NOTES)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

  • Poke each piece of meat with a fork
  • In a mixing bowl toss meat pieces with Bragg’s liquid aminos, cover and marinate 1 hour.
  • While meat is marinating prep mushrooms.
  • In a large skillet melt butter over medium high heat.
  • Add mushrooms and sauce until soft and caramelizeng.
  • Drain mushrooms and set aside.
  • Whisk together the water and mustard powder with the sugar, and some pepper just until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.
  • Pat meat dry with paper toweling.
  • Season with fresh ground pepper.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add beef pieces and sear on ALL sides, reducing heat as necessary to prevent burning. Transfer eat to plate.
  • Add Add onions and saute until caramelized and browning.
  • Add in the tomato sauce and flour, stirring to blend.
  • Stir in beef broth, mustard paste and wine until well blended and bring to a SLOW simmer, cooking until slightly reduced and starting to thicken.
  • Fold meat pieces and mushrooms into the sauce and cook a couple minutes more until heated through.
  • Remove from heat and fold in sour cream.
  • Serve immediately over buttered noodles.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.

*NOTE*:

  • I prefer thin sliced mushrooms, but some prefer larger mushrooms in which case you should use 1 pound and quarter them.  Hubby hates mushrooms and I often omit them all together and it’s still a really tasty dish!
  • Y0u can substitute a whipped cream cheese for a thicker version.

GRAN’S MEATLOAF

Gran’s Meatloaf is a super moist, scrumptious and full of flavor recipe that’s great for any weeknight because it can be prepared ahead of time and baked the next day! It’s a super simple recipe that has been handed down through the generations and comes out perfect each and every time!  The leftovers make WONDERFUL sandwiches for lunch the rest of the week.

GRAN’S MEATLOAF
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
3/4 cup WHOLE milk
1 LARGE egg
3 slices white or sourdough bread, torn up into small pieces
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (or substitute ½ tablespoon onion powder)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or substitute ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped cilantro (or substitute ½ teaspoon ground coriander)
½ cup Jalapeno ketchup**

  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • Combine all ingredients except the ketchup in a large bowl JUST until well blended.  Do NOT overwork.
  • Spread mixture into an un-greased loaf pan or shape into a loaf on a sheet pan.
  • Spread ketchup on top of meatloaf.
  • Cook for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 160.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

NOTE: This recipe used to read a tablespoon of hot sauce plus regular ketchup, but now that Jalapeño ketchup is so regularly available I use it exclusively.

7UP CHILI LOOSE MEAT SANDWICHES

I originally found a recipe, 7-UP CHILIBURGERS, in a loose bound cookbook from 1977.  It was one of those compilation style books written for fundraisers for schools or churches.  I’ve modified it over time, but we love it.

7UP CHILI LOOSE MEAT SAMMIES
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped small
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
7.5 ounce can 7UP or Sprite
3/4 cup Jalapeno ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Franks, original hot sauce
Havarti slices

  • Melt butter in cast iron large skillet.
  • Add beef and chopped onion, browning until crumbly.
  • Drain off excess fat.
  • Return meat to pan and sprinkle with flour, stirring to absorb.
  • Whisk together the ketchup, Worcestershire, 7UP, hot sauce, chili powder and garlic powder.
  • Add to meat mixture and bring to a simmer.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook 10 minutes.
  • Split ciabatta buns in half.
  • Lay a slice of cheese on top of bread.
  • Spoon loose meat over cheese and enjoy!  They are also GREAT, but MESSY as whole sandwiches.

NOTE:  This is a good recipe to make double of and freeze half for a quick weeknight meal.

BACON WRAPPED TENDERLOIN TIPS

These will make a HUGE hit at your next party!  They are the perfect guy food too making them perfect for backyard get togethers or tailgating parties!

BACON WRAPPED TENDERLOIN TIPS
1 pound beef Tenderloin Tips
Precooked Bacon
1/4 cup avocado oil
Thin slices of Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon Zero to Hero Sweet BBQ rub
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar glaze, reduced slightly
2 tablespoons minced chives

  • Preheat a cast iron skillet on high.
  • Blot dry the Tenderloin Tips.
  • Trim the pieces so they are about 1 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inches wide.
  • Season the meat with the BBQ rub.
  • Add the oil to the cast iron skillet and heat briefly.
  • Add the seasoned tips the skillet and cook for 1 minute while stirring JUST long enough the sear the sides but keep the center raw.
  • Quickly remove the meat from the skillet and cool in fridge.
  • Lay a piece of cheese on each beef tip.
  • Wrap seared tips with bacon and hold them together with a tooth pick.
  • Stand the wrapped tips up on a sheet pan so that the bacon is on its side leaving some space in between.
  • Cover pan with plastic film and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Bake 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to serving plate.
  • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar glaze and sprinkle with minced chives before serving.

SHORT RIBS ala INSTA POT with CREAMY POLENTA

SHORT RIBS ala INSTA POT serves 4
2 pounds bone-in short ribs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon Avocado oil
2 small carrots, chopped
2 large green onion, sliced
1 large stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 cups chardonnay or merlot
14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 teablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1-2 sprigs thyme

  • Pat short ribs dry.
  • GENEROUSLY season with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Set INSTA POT to saute’.
  • Add avocado oil.
  • Brown short ribs on all sides.
  • Transfer short ribs to plate.
  • Add carrots, celery, onions and garlic, stirring often 5-6 minutes until tender and fragrant.  Generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Arrange vegetables around edges and add tomato paste to the center, cooking a minute or two until browned.
  • Add wine and simmer 10-15 minutes until reduced to about 1/4 cup.
  • Stir in tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, chicken broth and thyme.
  • Return short ribs to the INSTA POT.
  • Press cancel.
  • Lock lid and cook on HIGH 30-35 minutes.
  • Use natural release for 10 minutes.
  • Remove meat from sauce.
  • Discard thyme and any loose bones.
  • Skim off any fat.
  • Reserve 3/4 cup of vegetables.
  • Use an immersion blender and puree’ remaining vegetable into sauce until smooth.
  • Cut beef into large pieces or shred and return to the sauce.
  • Serve over polenta.

NOTE: Original recipe called for red wine, red wine and I don’t like each other much. I substituted the chardonnay and even hubby loved it so I think this was a win-win!

POLENTA
2 cups WHOLE milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
scant 3/4 cup polenta (4 ounces)
1/4 cup finely grated Asiago cheese

  • Bring milk, butter and salt to a boil in a sauce pan.
  • Whisk in polenta.
  • Cook, stirring constantly 3-4 minutes, until thick and creamy.
  • Stir in cheese, adding 3-4 tablespoons of water if too thick.
  • Serve short ribs and sauce over polenta.

BBQ HOISIN BRISKET ala SLOW COOKER

This is one of the tastiest AND the simplest of recipes.  The combination of the BBQ sauce and the Hoisin sauce is well paired for a bit of salty AND spicy with JUST a hint of sweet in every bite.

BBQ HOISIN BRISKET ala SLOW COOKER for 2-4
2 pound brisket*
2 cups Hoisin sauce
1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ sauce
1 cup Beef Broth

  • Whisk together the Hoisin sauce, BBQ sauce and beef broth.
  • Spray the crock insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place brisket in insert, fat cap up.
  • Pour Hoisin mixture over top.
  • Cover and set on low for 7-8 hours.

NOTES:

  • I buy a 4 pound brisket, cut it in half and freeze half for the next time. It seems impossible to find a brisket under 4 pounds anyway.
  • Buy a cut with the largest fat cap you can find – they are the MOST flavorful!