RICOTTA MEATBALLS & GRAVY

A really flavorful and nice addition to this recipe is a batch of shallots or onions caramelized with mushrooms added to the gravy after the meatballs bake! YUMMY!

RICOTTA MEATBALLS

4 slices white bread, torn into small pieces
1/3 cup whole milk
2 pounds ground chuck
8 ounces deli ham, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
3 ounces FINELY grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion, squeezed dry of moisture
2 teaspoons – 1 tablespoon FRESH ground sea salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
4 LARGE eggs
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 batch beef gravy (recipe below)

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Place bread pieces in bowl and pour in milk. Using your hands press bread into milk and let stand 5 minutes.

 

  • In a large bowl arrange meat with a well in the center.
  • Add the ham pieces, onions, ricotta cheese, romano cheese, ham pieces, eggs, fennel, bread pieces, salt, oregano and pepper to the well.
  • Gently and gradually incorporate all together without overtaxing.

 

  • Spray baking dish with non-stick spray or brush with avocado oil.
  • Pour gravy into baking dish.
  • Form meat into 1 inch meatballs and arrange in the gravy 1 inch apart, turning to coat.
  • Bake 30 minutes until meatballs are golden brown and are cooked through.

BEEF GRAVY

1⁄4 cup butter
1⁄4 cup flour
1 tablespoon Better Than Beef Bouillon
2 cups beef broth
FRESH ground salt and black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet (optional)

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add flour and whisk together, making sure to get all visible lumps.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until mixture starts to turn light brown, be sure to stir constantly.
  • Whisk bouillon and beef broth together.
  • Reduce heat to low and SLOWLY add broth mixture, stirring constantly. It may spit & bubble so be careful.
  • Add optional Kitchen Bouquet.
  • Turn heat back up to medium.
  • Continue stirring until gravy boils and thickens.
  • Makes about 2 cups.

LOOSE MEAT BACON CHEESE BURGERS

LOOSE MEAT BACON CHEESE BURGERS

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Heinz Chili Sauce
1 tablespoon Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon Avocado oil
1/2 Sweet Vidalia Onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef chuck
6-8 slices bacon, chopped, browned and drained of grease
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet pickles
6 slices cheddar cheese
12 pull-apart dinner rolls

  • Preheat oven broiler.
  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, chili sauce and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  • Heat the avocado oil in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the onion and ground beef. Season with the FRESH ground salt and pepper. Cook and stir until browned. Drain off excess fat if necessary.
  • Spread mayonnaise mixture on both sides of buns.
  • Remove from heat and stir in pickles and any remaining sauce.
  • Place bottoms of rolls on baking sheet and toast under broiler a couple minutes – WATCH that they don’t burn.
  • Remove baking sheet and turn oven down to 400°.
  • Spread the bottoms with cheese followed by the meat mixture.
  • Layer cheese on top of meat followed by the crumbled bacon.
  • Add tops to the burgers.
  • Bake 10 minutes until tops are toasted and cheese is melted.

NOTE: Also good with Frank’s Sweet Chili Lime Sauce.

SPICY PIMIENTO CHEESE BURGERS – BUNLESS BURGER series #5

When I was a kid I remember driving by McDonalds and seeing their sign claiming how many burgers they had sold. It ALWAYS seemed like an exorbitantly high number to me, but these days I do believe hamburgers are one of the most eaten fast food and BBQ sandwiches.

I’d never really thought about it, but got curious about the origins of the hamburger. It will probably come as no surprise that the hamburger can actually be traced back to Hamburg, Germany. Ironically you almost have to give the credit to Russia though. In the mid 18th century Hamburg was the largest port in Europe and the seaman brought the idea with them of their acquired taste of eating steak tartare from Russia. But, even Russia cannot lay claim as it was the Mongul nomadic warriors that brought steak tartare with them from central Asia to Russia to begin with. The legend claims that the warriors would tenderize their meat by placing it under their saddles during their long rides where the motion of the saddle would tenderize the meat to a pulp and they would then enjoy the meat raw. I can find no mention of who actually decided to cook the meat into a “burger”. But according to my research it was the German immigrants brought the cooked burger to us here in the states.  The first North American restaurant to offer up a hamburger steak on their menu was DelMonico’s in 1834 New York. Strangely enough the hamburger steak sold for 10¢, double the price of roast beef and even veal. Eventually, people became more familiar with hamburgers and the price dropped as it became more a food of the masses when it was placed on a bun with the added condiments, tomatoes, pickles and was sold on horse drawn lunch wagons, at diners and lunch counters instead of the elite.

The one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that a good burger has a good amount of fat to keep the burger moist. LESS is more when preparing a GOOD burger. LESS ingredients and LESS handling – lets the meat speak for itself. 😀

PIMIENTO CHEESE BURGERS
1 – 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
Pimiento cheese (recipe below)
melted butter

  • Preheat grill to high for direct grilling. Lightly spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Divide the ground chuck into four equal portions, 4-6 ounces each.
  • Form each portion into a 3/4-inch burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb.
  • Brush both sides of the burgers with the butter and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the burgers, turning once until golden brown and slightly charred on both sides and cooked to desired temperature, about 4 minutes each side for medium.
  • During the last minute of cooking, place a dollop of the pimiento cheese mixture on top of each burger and close the grill lid, cooking JUST until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute.
  • Place the burgers on the buns (if desired) and top with the bacon, sliced red onions, sliced tomatoes, your favorite pickles and lettuce as desired.

SPICY PIMIENTO CHEESE
12 ounces softened cream cheese
1 pound SHARP Cheddar cheese, finely grated
3/4 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 large Red Bell Pepper, washed, seeded, roasted and chopped fine
1 teaspoon QUALITY Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Frank’s original Hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, hot sauce and salt until smooth.
  • Blend in grated Cheddar cheese.
  • Fold in bell pepper until well distributed.
  • Chill well.
  • Serve with crackers or on a burger.

COWBOY BURGERS

COWBOY BURGERS – 8 burgers
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped Pastrami
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray original BBQ sauce
8 slices QUALITY cheddar cheese
French’s crispy onion rings or crispy bacon (optional)

  • Gently blend all the ingredients  except the cheese slices and onion rings together.
  • Form 8 patties.
  • Split buns and lightly butter. Set aside.
  • Heat grill to medium high.
  • Grill 3-4 minutes, flipping once per side for medium rare burgers.
  • Top burgers with cheese.
  • Place buns, split sides down on grill.
  • Close grill a couple minutes until cheese is melted and buns are lightly toasted.
  • Place burger on bun, top with onion rings and condiments.
  • Serve warm.

FRENCH ONION MEATBALLS

FRENCH ONION MEATBALLS

GRUYERE cheese is the real star here that turns the flavor of French Onion soup into satisfying meatballs!

Yields: 4 servings Prep Time: 0 hours 15 mins Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins

MEATBALLS
2 tablespoons avocado oil
3/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère
1/4 cup bread crumbs 
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped parsley
1 LARGE egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon FRESH ground Himalayan sea salt
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line a large baking sheet with foil and rub with oil. 

 

  • In a large bowl, combine ground meats, Gruyère, bread crumbs, parsley, egg, and garlic.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Form 16 meatballs and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake until golden and cooked through, 25 minutes.

SAUCE
4 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 teaspoons FRESH chopped thyme, plus more for garnish 
1 teaspoon FRESH ground Himalayan sea salt
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
  • Add onions and cook until very soft and golden, 25 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  • Add broth and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until slightly thickened, 10 minutes. 
  • Add meatballs to skillet and sprinkle with Gruyère.
  • Cover and cook until meatballs are warmed through and cheese is melty, 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm, garnished with thyme.

NOTES:  Chicken can be substituted easily for the beef and pork

CHILI GLAZED MEATLOAF a NEW favorite of ours

CHILI GLAZED MEATLOAF
3/4 pound ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2/3 cup chili sauce, divided
1 large shallot, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, pork, breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup chili sauce, shallots and pepper gently blending together.
  • Form meat mixture into loaf pan.
  • Top with remaining chili sauce during the last 15 minutes of baking time.
  • Bake 1 hour until juices run clear and meat is cooked through.
  • Let stand under foil for 10 minutes before slicing.

HAWAIIAN MILANESA

HAWAIIAN MILANESA
Beef top round, cut into 4 thin milanesa steaks
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
1 stalk celery, sliced on the diagonal
3 green carrots, sliced on the diagonal
1 shallot halved and sliced thin
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 cup pretzels
1 cup animal cookies
2 eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
PREPARED rice

  • Grind pretzels and animal cookies into a fine dust. Pour into a shallow dish.
  • Whisk together the eggs until well blended.
  • Immerse steaks into eggs.
  • Dredge steaks into pretzel dust.
  • Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add steaks and sear 2 minutes per side.  Remove steaks and keep warm.
  • Add carrots and celery to skillet, sauteing until beginning to soften.
  • Add shallots and garlic, sauteing a few minutes more.
  • Add chicken broth and cook a few minutes until reduced.
  • Whisk together the liquid aminos, pineapple juice and cornstarch into a slurry.
  • Stir pineapple and slurry into the vegetables cooking to desired consistency.
  • Serve over steak and rice.

COFFEE POT ROAST ala SLOW COOKER

COFFEE POT ROAST ala SLOW COOKER – serves 4
2 pounds boneless chuck roast, quartered**
2 Medium onions, halved and wedged
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid amino acids
8-10 small gold potatoes, scrubbed and pricked with a fork
3 LARGE carrots, rustic large cuts

1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tablespoons cold water

  • Place half the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Top with the garlic followed by half the beef. Repeat the layers.
  • Whisk together the coffee and liquid aminos.
  • Pour over beef.
  • Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, about 8 hours.
  • At 6 hours add the carrot pieces.

  • Whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to cooking juices, stirring to blend.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH (about 30 minutes) until gravy is thickened.

NOTES:
**The original recipe was for slow cooking, but I prefer the oven unless I’m going to be gone all day. If I use the oven I DO NOT quarter it. If using the oven adjust the roasting time to 2-3 hours of covered and undisturbed roasting with the potatoes and carrots.

The original recipe had you slicing the onions thin. BUT, if you halve it root to tip and then wedge it you not only get thin pieces, you also get MORE flavor when you cut the onion in this direction.

The original recipe did NOT call for browning the meat, but I find you get a juicier roast with more flavor if you do so when roasting in the oven.

BRAISED SHORT RIBS ala TAMY with Creamy Mashed Yukons & Sesame Snow Peas

BRAISED SHORT RIBS ala TAMY adapted from ANTON & MICHEL with CREAMY MASHED YUKONS & SESAME SNOW PEAS

RIBS
3 pounds beef short ribs, about 10 ribs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 large shallot, sliced
10 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
12 ounces Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (or flavor of your choice)
1 cup hoisin sauce

  • Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven over high heat.
  • Brown the ribs on all sides, in batches if necessary.
  • Remove the ribs and pour off all but a couple tablespoons of the rendered fat.
  • Return the pot to the stove, lower the heat to medium and saute the garlic and ginger for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the ribs back to the pot.
  • Add the beer and the vinegar.
  • Stir well, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 300°.
  • Pour the hoisin sauce over the ribs, move the pot to the oven, and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Remove ribs and ginger from sauce.
  • Discard ginger.
  • Strain fat from the top of the pot so that you’re left with just the good stuff.
  • Serve with Creamy Mashed Yukons and Sesame Snow Peas – recipes below.

MASHED POTATOES
3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup half-and-half
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch chives, chopped

  • Boil potatoes until fork tender.
  • Heat the butter and half-and-half over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.
  • Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot and mash with a hand masher or use a ricer.
  • Add hot liquid to potatoes and whip with an electric hand mixer until smooth.
  • Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  • Add chives and mix before serving.

SESAME SNOW PEAS
1 pound snow peas
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Salt and pepper

  • Rinse the peas and trim off the ends.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oils and heat.
  • Add snow peas and saute until bright green, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and toss.

COWBOY GOULASH

COWBOY GOULASH
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 large carrot, small chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon avocado oil
4 cups beef broth
1 can original Rotes tomatoes
1 small can green chiles, drained well
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
sour cream

  • Heat oil over medium high heat.
  • Add beef and brown.
  • Drain off grease.
  • Add carrot, onion, garlic and bell pepper sautéing until soft.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add broth and hot sauce.
  • Cover and bring to a FULL simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes and green chiles.
  • Return to a simmer for another 20 minutes.
  • Serve with warm tortillas or corn bread and a dollop of sour cream.  Sometimes we serve it over pasta, rice or mashed potatoes.

 

FARM STYLE MEATLOAF

FARM STYLE MEATLOAF is a recipe I adapted from Kevin Penner’s 1770 House Meatloaf recipe after watching an episode of Ina Garten‘s Barefoot Contessa.  I debated on what to name this dish after my changes.  I flip flopped between Greenhouse and Farm style before finally landing on farm style.  All of the different meats and FRESH herbs and vegetables influenced my final decision for naming it Farm Style.  Honestly, I may yet rename it as I think more.

It is similar, yet completely different from my normal meatloaf recipe that I’ve been using for eons!  We instantly fell in love with the earthiness of this meatloaf and the savory herb sauce was perfect with mashed potatoes too!   Hubby normally loves ketchup or BBQ sauce with meatloaf, but with this flavorful sauce he bypassed it completely!

The key to this recipe is using QUALITY ingredients! Preferably grass fed meats and very FRESH organic ingredients.

FARM STYLE MEATLOAF
1/3 pound ground veal or lamb
1/3 pound ground pork
1/3 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH chives
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH Italian parsley
1 LARGE egg
scant 1/2 cup finely ground Panko crumbs
scant 1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Avocado oil
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
1 LARGE shallot, finely diced

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Place the veal, pork, beef, chives, thyme, parsley, eggs, Panko crumbs, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat and film it with avocado oil.
  • Add the celery and shallot to the pan, stirring, until softened.
  • Remove the celery and shallot from the pan and let cool.
  • When the mixture is cool, add it to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.
  • Using gloved hands, mix the ingredients until well combined and everything is evenly distributed.
  • Place a LARGE piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.
  • Place the meat on the sheet pan and pat it and punch it down to remove any air pockets shaping the meat into a loaf about 6 inches long x 2 inches high.
  • Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a meat cooked through (155-160°).
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

SAUCE
2/3 cup chicken or beef stock
1 tablespoon Marsala wine
3 cloves roasted garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

  • Combine the broth, Marsala wine, roasted garlic and butter over medium-high heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly thickened.
  • Add the chopped thyme, chives and parsley.
  • Quickly whisk in the cornstarch if needed to thicken as necessary.
  • Slice the meatloaf into serving portions and spoon the hot sauce over the meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTE: You can use a loaf pan if you prefer, but we like the firm crispy edges produced using this method.

CHILI LIME STEAK BITES

These are the perfect appetizer for ANY party. Super easy recipe ready in just minutes with only a few ingredients.
CHILI LIME BITES
1 pound top sirloin steak, cut into large bite sized pieces
scant 1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
scant 1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
scant 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon chili paste
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 LARGE limes zested and juiced
chopped parsley and green onion, for garnish

  • Place steak pieces in a mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss to coat well.
  • Whisk together the honey, chili paste and garlic.
  • Pour chili paste mixture over steak pieces and toss until well mixed and coated.
  • Heat avocado oil in skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling. If it doesn’t sizzle and hiss, the pan is not hot enough.
  • Sear the steak for 1 minute before touching it, then flip the steak bites.
  • Sear the steak on the second side for an additional 1 minute, then remove the steak from the pan to a plate.
  • Add the lime zest and lime juice to the hot pan, stir to combine, and pour the chili lime sauce of the steak bites.