Spaghetti Sauce – Birk’s ultimate recipe for the World’s Greatest Sauce
The key to this sauce is excess – excess everything. If you skimp or reduce any ingredients your sauce will be fit only for wimps. Prepare the sauce in a 10 qt. pot; you can freeze it in batches sized for your family and keep it forever. We have taken frozen plastic jars of this sauce on trips cross-country by air many times.
1 giant (a’ la Costco) can of chopped tomatoes
1 giant (a’ la Costco) can of crushed tomatoes (these are not the same as chopped)
2 lbs fresh mushrooms (Do not substitute canned; the pieces are too small)
2 lbs lean hamburger
4 large/6 medium onions
1 head (about 12 cloves) garlic
1 tsp. Sugar
¼ cup basil
¼ cup oregano
About 10 whole bay leaves (usually half a jar)
Dice onions; skin garlic cloves and cut each in half or thirds…do not mince. Put onions and garlic in pot with olive oil on high heat. Cook for about 3 minutes and add all of the hamburger meat. Stir vigorously with a flat-ended wooden spatula to break up the hamburger meat and cook until no pink parts remain. There will be about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot. To get rid of this, dump the entire contents of the pot into a colander and drain it. Then return it to the pot and add the tomatoes. Stir well.
While this is coming to a boil wash the mushrooms and cut them into halves or quarters if they are big ones. Do not make small pieces – the mushrooms will shrink as they cook. Add the mushrooms to the pot and stir them into the sauce. Be careful not to spill as you stir. Use high heat to bring it all to a boil. The sauce level should be about 2” from the top of the pot at this point.
Season with 5 or 6 shakes of Tabasco and the basil, oregano, pepper, and bay leaves. The sugar is a secret ingredient that reduces the acidity of the sauce. Stir everything well and then reduce to low heat. The sauce should be just barely boiling. Stir about every 15 minutes with the flat-ended spatula to prevent burning on the bottom. Never cover the pot. The sauce needs to cook about 3 hours, which will make it spatter a lot. One of those nifty stainless steel screen pot covers works well to let out the steam while keeping the spatters in the pot and off your stove.
When serving remind people not to eat the bay leaves.
Marinated Chuck Steak – Detroit neighbor, Nancy Fawcett
2/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon powered garlic
1 teaspoon mustard
Chopped green onions
Combine marinade ingredients and pour over steak. Marinate for 6 hours in refrigerator or 3 hours at room temperature. Baste meat with sauce as meat is grilled.
Meatloaf Recipe – Birk’s mom, Rosemarie
3 pounds low-fat ground beef
¼ cup milk
¼ cup matzo meal or small pieces of stale bread
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Tabasco sauceGarlic powder to taste
Soak matzo meal or bread in milk to soften. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap (make sure the ends extend well beyond the edges of the pan). Press the meat mixture into the loaf pan to shape. Chill for several hours. Invert meatloaf into baking pan and make sure there is no plastic wrap hiding in the meat. Make a gravy starter mixture with beef stock, water and tomato paste. Pour the gravy started over the meatloaf and make at 325 degrees for about 2 hours. Baste occasionally. Leftover meatloaf makes wonderful sandwiches.
Meatballs – Time Life Cookbook
To serve 4 to 6
2 slices French or Italian bread, torn into small pieces
½ cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 pound beef chuck, ground twice
¼ pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
6 tablespoons freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, preferably the fiat-leaf Italian type
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive or vegetable oil
Soak the pieces of bread in ½ cup milk for 5 minutes, then squeeze them dry and discard the milk. In a large mixing bowl, combine the soaked bread, the beaten egg, 1 pound of ground beef, ¼ pound of Italian sausage meat, grated Parmesan cheese, finely chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, lemon peel, allspice, salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Knead the mixture vigorously with both hands, or beat with a wooden spoon until all of the ingredients are well blended and the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
Shape the mixture into small balls about 1, 2 inches in diameter. Lay the meatballs out in one layer on a flat tray or baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
Heat ¼ cup of olive or vegetable oil in a heavy 10 to 12 inch skillet until a light haze forms over it. Fry the meatballs 5 or 6 at a time over moderately high heat, shaking the pan constantly to roll the balls and help keep them round. In 5 to 10 minutes the meatballs should be brown outside and show no trace of pink inside. Add more olive or vegetable oil to the skillet as it is needed. Serve the meatballs hot with tomato sauce.
Red Hot Short Ribs – Parade Magazine
6 pounds beef short ribs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, slivered lengthwise
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup beef broth
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Season the ribs well with salt and pepper. Brown the ribs in oil in batches in an oven proof casserole. As each batch is done, place on a plate. Remove all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of fat from the casserole. Add the onion and wilt over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding the garlic in the past 3 minutes. Return the ribs to the casserole atop the veggies.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Mix with the ribs. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and place the covered casserole in the oven. Bake the ribs, basting and stirring them around occasionally until tender for about 2 ½ hours.
Remove the casserole from the oven and transfer the ribs to a plate. Strain the gravy to remove the fat. Return the ribs to the defatted gravy and reheat before serving. The meat can be removed from the bones before reheating and serving.
Vineyard’s Pork Roast – Vineyard’s Restaurant Detroit Michigan
2 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
Combine these ingredients and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Thicken with 4 teaspoons cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water. Add 2 teaspoons paprika. Set aside.
Roast pork loin roast or pork tenderloin at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees, pour sauce over port and continue cooking for another 2 hours.
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin – Unknown source
4 cups dry bread cubes
1 cup chopped celery
½ chopped onion
1 ½ teaspoon sage
1 ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1/3 cup melted butter
Combine dry ingredients and mix well; add butter and enough hot water to moisten. Mix carefully.
Split 2 tenderloins lengthwise and flatten. Season with salt and pepper. Spread stuffing on one tenderloin and place other tenderloin on top. Skewer edges and season outside surfaces. Top with four slices of bacon. Place on roasting rack and roast at 325 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Serves 8.
Stuffed Beef Roll – Time Life Cookbook
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
2 slices French or Italian bread, torn into tiny pieces
¼ pound lean veal, ground twice
2 tablespoons freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ pound Italian salami, cut into 1 ¼ inch julienne strips
2 ounces provolone cheese, cut into 1 ¼ inch julienne strips
2 hard-cooked eggs, quartered
1 three-pound slice of round steak, cut 1 inch thick, trimmed, butterflied (slit horizontally almost all the way through and opened out flat), and pounded ¼ inch thick; or two 1 ½ pound steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick, butterflied and pounded ¼ inch thick
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
4 cups canned Italian plum or whole-pack tomatoes, chopped but not drained (a 2-pound 3-ounce can)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
In a large mixing bowl, stir the egg, egg yolks and pieces of bread together until they are well mixed. With a spoon beat in the ground veal, grated cheese, parsley, salt and a few grindings of pepper. Spread the round steak out flat on a table (if you are using two small steaks, overlap them on their long side by about 1 inch). With a small metal spatula or knife, spread the stuffing mixture evenly over the steak. Arrange the julienne strips of salami and provolone and the quartered eggs on the stuffing, pressing them lightly into place. Starting from one long edge of the steak, carefully roll it up like a jelly roll. It will look like a long salami. With short lengths of string, tie the roll together crosswise in at east 5 or 6 places to keep it in shape.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. To cook the beef roll, you will need a heavy flameproof casserole or baking pan that has a cover and is large enough to hold the beef roll comfortably. Pour in the olive oil and heat it until a light haze forms over it. Brown the beef roll in the hot oil, turning it with 2 spoons until it is richly colored on all sides. Remove the beef and set it aside on a plate. Discard almost all of the fat from the casserole, leaving just a thin film on the bottom. Add the onions and garlic and cook them over moderate heat, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are soft and lightly colored. Pour in the wine and boil it briskly over high heat to reduce it to ½ cup, stirring constantly and scraping in any browned fragments that cling to the casserole.
Return the beef roll to the casserole and add the bay leaf. Force the tomatoes and tomato paste through a sieve or food mill directly into the casserole. With this addition, the liquid should now come about 2/3 of the way up the side of the roll; add more beef broth or water if necessary. Bring to a boil over high heat, drape a strip of aluminum foil over the beef roll and cover the casserole. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for about 1½ hours, or until the meat is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Transfer the beef roll to a carving board and strain the sauce from the casserole through a sieve or food mill into a small saucepan. Skim it of most of its fat, then boil the sauce over high heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat a spoon heavily. Cut the strings from the beef, carve the roll into 1-inch slices and arrange these attractively on a heated platter. Spoon the sauce over and around the beef.
Beef Brisket – Everyone’s Recipe
4 pounds beef brisket – the flat cut is preferred over the point cut
2 envelopes Lipton’s Onion Soup mix
1 Knorr Beef Bouillon cube
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
Trim meat of all excess fat and place is a covered ovenproof pan. Sprinkle the onion soup mix and crumble the bouillon cube over the meat. Add enough water to completely cover the meat and stir in the Kitchen Bouquet. Cover the pan and place in the center of a 325 degree oven. Cook undisturbed for about 1.5 hours, turn the meat over and continue cooking until the meat is very tender. The liquid level should cover the meat throughout the cooking time.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Lift the meat from the liquid. Cover tightly and cool overnight. Skim excess fat from the liquid. Thicken with a flour and water mixture and check for seasonings. Simmer the thickened gravy for about 20 minutes.
Best served at least one day after cooking. Can be frozen for up to several weeks. Slice the meat and return to the thickened gravy to a covered pan and reheat slowly. Serve with dumplings made from a stiff dough of flour and eggs that is dropped by spoonfuls into boiling water.
Mini Beef Wellingtons with Gorgonzola – Food Network
8 (1 1/2-inch-thick, 6 ounce) center-cut filets mignons
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 large mushrooms (about 1/2 pound total)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 puff pastry sheets (from a 17 1/4-ounce package frozen puff pastry), thawed
1/2 cup Gorgonzola (about 5 ounces)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pat filets mignons dry and season with salt and pepper. Sear on both sides in sauté pan with heated oil. Chill filets, covered, until cold, about 1 hour. Thinly slice mushrooms and in a heavy skillet cook in butter with shallot, garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste, over moderate heat, stirring, until mushrooms are lightly browned. Transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl to cool completely. In a small bowl lightly beat eggs to make an egg wash.
On a lightly floured surface roll out puff pastry sheets into 2 (14-inch) squares. Trim edges to form 2 (13-inch) squares and cut each square into 4 (6 1/2-inch) squares.
Put 1 tablespoon Gorgonzola in center of 1 square and top with 1/8 of the mushroom mixture. Top mushroom mixture with a filet mignon, pressing it down gently, and wrap 2 opposite corners of puff pastry over filet, overlapping them. Seal seam with egg wash. Wrap remaining 2 corners of pastry over filet and seal in same manner. Seal any gaps with egg wash and press pastry around filet to enclose completely. Arrange beef Wellington, seam side down, in a non-stick-baking pan. Make 7 more beef Wellingtons in same manner. Chill remaining egg wash for brushing on pastry just before baking. Chill beef Wellingtons, loosely covered, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush top and sides of each beef Wellington with some remaining egg wash and bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden and the meat temperature is 117 degrees.
2 cup veal or beef demi-glace
4 tablespoons Sercial Madeira
Make sauce while beef Wellingtons are baking. In a saucepan, boil demi-glace and Madeira 1 minute and keep sauce warm.