Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Potted Beef


Potted Beef

When I mention potted meat, what jumps into your mind? Weird, glumpy stuff that you would rather serve to your cat than eat yourself? That’s what I thought, too. Then I started doing research for making a charcuterie board or meat and cheese tray. I needed something spreadable. I found many recipes for potted meat and ham salad. All of them sounded like cat food. I love a challenge. So, I went to the store, bought some beef and went to work.

After three tries, I came up with this version of Potted Beef. My husband, Jeff, was skeptical because of, well, the cat food thing. However, he loved this. He ate it all and asked for more. When I made the second batch, Jeff cut up onions, boiled eggs and pickles and stirred them into the Potted Beef. Then he spread the Potted Beef salad on toast and loaded it with Dijon mustard. Also, very good. This would also be an easy way to use up left over roast.

Make the Potted Beef the day before you need it. You need to cool the beef after you cook it and the spread tastes better if it has time to rest. You can add extra peppercorns and minced red onions to the spread right before serving if you wish. I offered my guests stone ground mustard and prepared horseradish with slices of baguette and crackers. 
Servings: 1 ½ cups Potted Beef
Hardware: A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, an Instant Pot® or crockpot, a strainer, a large bowl, an airtight container, a food processor, a silicone spatula, silicone oven mitt
Instant Pot© Time: Active time: 15 minutes; Cook: 40 minutes; bringing up to pressure: 10 minutes; time to cool varies: Potted Beef tomorrow
Crockpot Time: Active time: 15 minutes; Cook: 2-4 hours; time to cool varies: Potted Beef tomorrow

Ingredients:

  • 1-pound stew beef
  • 1 small onion (4-6 ounces)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup water
  • A beef bouillon cube or a tablespoon of beef broth concentrate (I used Kitchen Accomplice)
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • Salt

  1. Quarter the onion and slice the garlic.
  2. For the Instant Pot©: Add the water, wine and bullion/concentrate to the pot with the trivet in place. Using the sauté button bring the liquid to a boil. Add the onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and beef to the boiling liquid. Place the lid on the IP, making sure the valve is set to’ sealing.’ Turn on the pressure setting and set for 40 minutes. When time is up, allow to release for about 5 minutes and using the silicone oven mitt move the valve to ‘release.’ 
  3. For the crockpot: Add everything but the cream cheese, salt and parsley to the pot. Cook on high for 2 to 4 hours or until the meat is tender. **
  4. Drain the contents of the pot through the strainer into the big bowl. Remove the bay leaves. Reserve the liquid.
  5. When the meat is cool enough to handle, add everything in the strainer to the food processor. Add in the cream cheese. Add ⅛ cup of the reserved liquid. Alternate chopping and grinding until the meat is the consistency of a paste. The peppercorns may not all grind up, that is okay. You may need to add a little more liquid to find the texture you desire. Some people like the spread firmer, some like it more spreadable. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides from time to time. Taste and adjust the salt.
  6. Place the Potted Beef into the airtight container and refrigerate for at least two hour, but preferably overnight.
  7. Remove from the fridge a bit before serving. You don’t want the spread to be room temperature, but it needs to not be too cold to spread. 
  **If you don't have a crock pot or an Instant Pot©, place everything in a shallow covered dish. Place in a 250˚ oven for 2-4 hours our until fork tender. Flip about half way through.