Beef Stew. Nope, beef soup! Naw, Meathenge does Beef Stewp?

I really can’t take any credit here, the crock-pot did it. Or should I say, didn’t do it. Actually, it is my fault I didn’t follow the recipe. In my defense, I rarely if ever follow any recipe.
As everyone knows I bought a crock-pot a few weeks ago and came up with this, Is it a crock, or not? I’m finding more crock than not. I’m okay with it now, it’s become the Zen of failing or not having much control over what I cook, it feels good. Last week April mentioned something about wanting to have a decent beef stew recipe for her crock-pot, but didn’t want to end up browning the meat first, translucentizing the veggies and whatever else took place outside of the pot. Me being the Meat Buffoon that I can be, decided to break the rules and try making a beef stew by putting everything in the crock-pot without doing anything to it. Just to see what I came up with, basically reinventing the wheel. Sure I could have done the typical “research” on the internets, but couldn’t be bothered.
I did something really silly, this time, for this recipe. I knew the flour would need to be a part of the ingredient list for the subtle thickish sauce that we all crave in any good stew. But I wasn’t going to take the time to brown anything and end up cleaning a 35 pound cast iron fry pan in the process. All I wanted to clean was a knife and a cutting board, that was it. Um, so I dredged the meat in flour, then just plopped the meat in along with everything else. I did do one thing I was pretty impressed with, pre-heated the crock-pot. Add liquid and turn the sucker on, brilliant!
Beef Stew Meat – 2 pounds (make bite sized or not, don’t matter. Looks like you get 50%+ shrinkage anyway).
A.P. Flour – 1/2 cup (makes a nice mess on your fingers and in your kitchen)
Onion – 1 Yellow er White – (I like the white ones)
Carrots – 4 – Peel & Slice
Celery – 3 – Peel a little of the ribbing and slice
Fresh Garlic – All you want (I did 5 big cloves)
Bay Leaves – 1 or 2 (I didn’t have any, so didn’t use them)
Salt – Kosher (add it)
Fresh ground black pepper – Grind it (add it)
Worchestershire Sauce – 1 tsp?
Chicken broth – 3/4 cup
Good hearty red wine – 1/4 cup

Note: Mess with whatever you want, but I suggest keeping the liquid amounts there.

Huh, lookie there. Sounds like a great beef soup recipe, don’t it?
After it was done, put a colander over a large pot and separated the bits from the juice. Used a fat separator thingy on the juice, put to stove and jacked the heat a bit. I reduced it until it tasted … flippen fantastic ! Woot. Reinstalled everything together and let cool, install to fridge for the next day.
Keeripes, that was most excellent. Both Z and I tore in to it like to rabid 3-legged weevils. So, I made beef soup. Duh. The flavors and textures were a lot more complex than one might think after so many hours and so little care, thought, effort. The small amount of wine added quite a bit of action to the final product, don’t leave that out.
xo, Biggles

Pepper Rub Country Style Pork Perfection of Love

Doh ! I cooked this about a month ago and it’s been one of the posts waiting in the wings. Yeah, it’s like that and I have more than just a few.
I been so tired of the chile powder, paprika and the likes. I’ve had so much over the years which is why I’ve been using mostly good kosher salt to marinate my meat in lately. A while back Eric the Knife Guy and his lovely wife Janet gifted me some spice blends from Oregon Spiceman. This particular blend is their Pepper Rub. Black pepper, white pepper, sweet basil, garlic powder and salt. Sounds good and smells even better.
I had a good load of fancy pork country style ribs from Ted of Highland Hills, it was time. Brought down the trusty clay cooker, sliced up an onion, too much garlic, rubbed the meat 2 hours before, installed enough chicken broth, and slid it in to a cold oven set to 400 degrees. I probably even soaked the clay cooker a bit, like you’re supposed to.
Pull when pully aparty, pull when broth is rich in flavor and texture. Probably around the near 3 hour mark.
How was it? The fancy pork and its flavors pulled right through, so tender, so juicy in its own perfection. But the clean bite of the pepper delivered to my waiting gullet everything I was looking for. The onions brought to the table a sweetness, the garlic rounded out all the flavors with a husky bellow. The pepper rub was a delight and packed a slight punch, tilted my head with complex flavor thinking. It wasn’t something I could serve the boys with their “tender” (read: undeveloped) palate. But brother, or sister, this juicy delectable is absolutely divine poured over a more than heaping pile of buttery mashed taters, even perfect for a mid July festival.

Meathenge’s White Trash Spaghetti Soup

Only recently have I started making spaghetti soup again, and it’s as divine as I remember. Over 20 years ago my Uncle Ralph made it for me and it’s about as simple to make as a glass of milk. But just because it’s simple and trashy, don’t mean it won’t deliver an absolutely rich, warm and filling meal that everyone will adore as much as we do.
You know how you, like, have leftovers when you make a red sauce spaghetti type situation? Sometimes there’s pasta left over too, but I’m talking about the red sauce leftovers. Put it in a pot, add enough chicken stock or broth to bring it to a soup consistency. Either use the leftover pasta or cook fresh. Bring to simmer, turn off and serve.
xo, Biggles

The Biggles Method – Simple Pot of Beans – add that rack of ribs

Editor’s note: Hand still really hurts, doing this post in batches. TCB baby!
Who here likes a good pot of beans? Excellent, me too. Who here has screwed up a pot of beans badly enough to just toss the batch? Hmm, yeah. Me too. Beans are an odd lot, even with a recipe it can head south at any given moment. Just because they’re dried, doesn’t mean you can get an old, nasty bag full. If one little ingredient is added and found to be too much, or not enough? You’re a goner. Please click through to read about my little bean adventure, you’ll be glad you did.

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What a long, strange trip it’s been – Country Style Rib Roast

Unbeknownst to me, I wound up with the same cut of pork twice in the same week. One ended up more like a steak, the other a roast (got this one from Omar). He couldn’t tell me what it was in English and it looked like an odd globule of meat to me, at the time. It wasn’t until I got home and started playing with it that I realized what it was and how I should go about preparing the beast, it was about 4.5 pounds of the Country Style Pork Ribs, all connected.
As you know, this piggy cut is full of meat, fat & bones and lends itself well to long and slow cooking. Dutch Oven or French Oven or Danish Oven cooking coming!
To be honest, I wasn’t very well prepared. I thought I had everything I needed to get the job done, but I didn’t. What I ended up with was missing maybe 2 dimensions of flavors. It was fricken great pork and juicy juice, but I know what I’m capable of and I missed a few things.
Preheat oven to 325 on bottom rack.
What I had:
4.5 Pork Roast
4 El Salvadorean chorizo links
4 glugs of good red wine
Carrots, onions, garlic & celery
Survival Spice
3 Balinese Long Peppercorns (tee hee, I just noticed a quote by me on their web site!)
And maybe a few other things I can’t remember.
Roughly cut up the roots & veggies, add to dutch along with the whole sausages. Wash, dry meat (really well), rub with extra virgin.
Liberally rub roast with Survival Spice, add liberal amounts of the spice over the bed of non-meat products.
4 glugs of wine to bottom of pan, do not glug over the meat.
But Biggles? What happened, this actually sounds really good? Well, when putting this together I wasn’t feeling herby, I didn’t have the fresh herbs I thought I needed. I went through some dried ones and decided to opt out. Dumbass. And, as it turns out the onion I had was too small and the head of garlic turned out to be the size of half a golf ball. I thought for damned sure I had at least 1 large head left. So, between the lack of the herb action, lack of garlic, onion & chicken broth, the sauce just didn’t have any dark, rich spark to it. See, I should have left the wine go by itself, it would have been just a tad better, but I decided to add 3/4 cup of water. I knew better, but I see chefs and read recipes where they’re adding water all the time. I neglected to use The Force.
Listen up folks, water is for ice cubes to put in glasses full of booze. Water keeps you hydrated when you’re at work or ghod forbid, when you’re exercising. Water has no place in slow roasted meat gifts, no sir. No ma’am! Heck, even those wacky vegetarians know to roast their veggies to make vegetable stock.
Here’s the roast just before I installed the glass lid and gently slipped it in to the oven.
Here’s the same pot 3.5 hours later. Not bad for a Tuesday evening, eh? The rich porky smells mixed with the wine and veggies were absolutely to die for. But, due to my Tuesday ineptness, it fell short of my expectations. In the immortal words of Big D, “NEXT !!!”

Sopa de Garrobo – El Salvadorean Iguana Soup

IguanaSoup001.jpg So far, everytime I visit Joya de Ceren in Richmond, Omar has something new to show me. Today it was fresh watermelons from Mexico, they looked wonderful. I’ll return tomorrow and grab me one. A week ago he handed me a can of Doňa Lisa’s Sopa de Garrobo. With a price tag of $6.99 I thanked him and said, “Maybe next time, not today.” He shook his head and waved his hands and said, “Take it and try it, see what you think, maybe you’ll like it. It helps make you strong and virile!” Oh great, what am I going to do with that? I dunno, maybe something will pop up.
I wouldn’t accept the gift without a recipe. “If you give me a little recipe, I’ll make it.”

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Beef Stroganoff El Salvadoreño !!!

Roll that n baby! Stick out your chest and raise your arms as you say it.
Beef Stroganoff El Salvadoreño !!!
First thought, jacked a setting on the camera and didn’t catch it. They dark. Flitting the levels didn’t even do it, feh.
Okay, so here’s the scoop. I haven’t made Beef Stroganoff in more than 20 years, not sure why. I think it’s my general aversion to sour cream, it’s like butter. It scares me, no really. But in the last week, have been craving it. Craving it enough to actually shop for the ingredients and make it. So, Friday afternoon at 5pm we find Biggles at the local Dumb Mart looking for parking …

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Directly from Meathenge Labs – Grilled Chicken Noodle Soup

Disclaimer: I shopped for this meal, I prepped this meal, I cooked this meal and I photographed this meal with a fever, with hacks, coughs and a flowy nose. Expect a few errors, expect some oddities. Just so you know.
Chicken noodle soup is one of those recipes where everyone has their own way of doing it, and it’s the only way. If it’s not their way? Rubbish! Yeah well simmer down now because this recipe is most probably some place you’ve never been. I need you to pay attention because there are some finer point where you’ll go wandering off and not get the expected results. It isn’t just about grilling chicken, then making soup with it, no sir.
Would you like to come play?

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Chile Verde – slow simmering fun with food

I found the pitchers!

This isn’t necessarily an exact recipe, this time. This batch was something I did on the spur of the moment, not sure what happened really. I was doing my weekly shopping (fer kid’s lunches and junk) and walked passsed the chile peppers and thought to myself, CHILE VERDE. It was just like that too, chile verde. If you’d like a more exacting recipe, try my Pork Chili recipe. In any case, come along for some stewing fun, eh?

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Meathenge’s Cajun Chinch Stew

I’d never had Chinch meat, always heard about it. It wasn’t until my brother inlaw Meathead found some at a local market in the freezer section that we’d even consider it. It was decided to meet up this last Friday night and see what all the hubub is about.
Oh stop it, it’s just like squirrel or ‘possum. Let’s learn to love our furry little chinchilla for more than just the hide. Use it all, I say. Please come and join our adventure.

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No Color, No Flavor. Man, I love browning meat!

Say it again with me, “Maaaan, I looove browning meat!”
It’s got everything in there I like. You get really heavy pans (if you don’t have to use 2 hands to set the fry pan on the stove, your equipment is too small), fresh meat, tons of searing heat and aromatic aromas. Browning meat has it all, right there.
Come have a short look at Tuesday’s little supper.

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Minestrone Soup – A response to Autumn’s breezy coolness

While I was dredging chunks of brisket through the smoky gravy on Saturday, I had a vision of the leftover brisket lolling about in a soup. Minestrone soup to be exact. I just love homemade soup, especially if it includes tomatoes and brisket. It’s perfect for the changing seasons, all rich and yummy. Minestrone doesn’t have a set recipe, since it’s traditionally made with seasonal vegetables. I wanted to start off on the right foot, even if it’s usually planted firmly in my mouth. Instead of digging through my cookbooks, I decided to see what Elise had going on. I lucked out, she did have a nice recipe and it looked good even in print. Thank you Simply Recipes, you just made my afternoon that much easier.
I had 2 pounds of brisket ready to go Sunday morning, my meez was in place. Are you ready?

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Biggles reads a recipe. It’s says Shrimp and he hears Pork Sausage. Oh dear … – The Biggles Method *Pork Sausage Creole*

Well, that was a lot of fun. Been hankering for something rich, spicy and would use some of the awesome chile peppers this season has produced. This last Saturday’s farmer’s market was absolutely filled with fresh chile peppers and ‘maters. There were so many I expected the Honey Guy to have them as well, no kidding.
Before I left work on Friday I checked out Chuck Taggart’s Gumbo Pages. After a little perusal I landed this recipe for Shrimp Creole. I’ve never been a big fan of dealing with shrimps. Why? Cause they just too tedious, that’s why. Sure I could take his suggestion of a chicken substitute, yet no. I wanted something a little heartier, like spicy pork sausage. Gee, I was going to visit Fatted Calf Saturday morning, maybe they had some pork sausage?

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Tomatillo Chile with Pork – A version of Chile Verde

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can afford the luxury of being a Mexican Food, food snob, you’ve had conversations about who had or has The Best. Does Del Palmar have the best Chile Colorado, or is it Trevino’s? Today, I believe it would be Trevino’s. Looking for the best papusas in Richmond? The debate is still going on to this day. However, if you’re looking for the best chile verde? There’s only one place to be, Meathenge.

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