Crumbleburgers

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Crumbleburgers
In my suburban home-town, Cub Scout, and “church kid” years in the 1950s, we all loved it when the moms made “crumbleburgers,” my very favorite food for a summer picnic. I don’t know if crumbleburgers are exactly the same thing as “sloppy joes” or not. More important to me than their aliases is how they tasted. My mom’s approach was simplicity itself – ground beef and Heinz Chili Sauce – simmered together until it was scrumptious. For no-carbers, spoon over vegetables, although this would never have been considered when I was a kid! What was your version of this summertime favorite?
Course picnic
Cuisine Americana
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings
hungry picnic-ers
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoons oil or fat We're all Keto now, so use EVOO or bacon grease or butter even and get the flavor and fat you're looking for.
  • 1 lb ground beef We have standardized on 15% fat, grass-fed, organic is possible for flavor and healthiness.
  • 1 medium onion We almost always buy yellow ot yellow sweet onions, but use the onion of your choice!
  • 1 medium green bell pepper As always, use organic if you can.
  • 1 16 oz bottle chili sauce Heinz Chili Sauce is so old-school...we love it.
Course picnic
Cuisine Americana
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings
hungry picnic-ers
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoons oil or fat We're all Keto now, so use EVOO or bacon grease or butter even and get the flavor and fat you're looking for.
  • 1 lb ground beef We have standardized on 15% fat, grass-fed, organic is possible for flavor and healthiness.
  • 1 medium onion We almost always buy yellow ot yellow sweet onions, but use the onion of your choice!
  • 1 medium green bell pepper As always, use organic if you can.
  • 1 16 oz bottle chili sauce Heinz Chili Sauce is so old-school...we love it.
Instructions
  1. Dice your onion and green pepper fairly small, 1/4 inch or so.
  2. Brown the ground beef in oil, fat, or grease. I like to brown the beef before adding the vegs. I've done both and can't see that it matters what comes first or if you do all the browning at one shot.
  3. You've got your meat and vegs browned. Now add the Chili Sauce. Heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes, then as long as it takes to get a not-too-runny consistency.
  4. Spoon onto (or over for the open-face edition) the bun or bread of your choice.
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Dad’s Beefy-Veggie Soup

I have never cared for vegetable soup or for brothy, beef soup. I mean, what’s there to like about thin, barely any flavor, hot brown liquid. If I want a cup of broth, fine, but you call that a soup? No thanks.

Until now.

The motivation for even trying to make a satisfying beef vegetable soup came from the diet detour we decided to take recently. We bought into a 5-day program designed to get us off our weight-loss plateau and once again sliding down the slope to slimness. The program calls for us to make a “special” chicken vegetable soup and eat it for two meals a day. More about this program in another post.

We made a batch of the chicken-veg soup and then, after three days, decided to switch to beef. A few more calories, a chance to experiment, what could go wrong? Our first batch showed us what. So I did some research and came up with what looked like a possible winner if adapted for Keto. The result is really great and will take a little more than an hour, once you have assembled the ingredients. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Remember that DRB is all about flavor. This beefy-vegetable soup finally gets a “10”.

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Dad's Beefy-Veggie Soup
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 each large yellow onion Diced to your liking.
  • 1 lb Baby Bella mushrooms Sliced and diced to your liking.
  • 1 1/2 lb beef chuck roast Well-trimmed of larger fat chunks and connectivce tissue. Dad does not like to wrestle with gristle! Cut the meat into 1/2" pieces.
  • 2 T coconut aminos Coconut what? Read special note. Or, use soy sauce instead.
  • 2 T tomato paste The kind in the tube lets you not waste what's left in a can.
  • 2 T chopped garlic We use the stuff in the jar these days.
  • 1/2 cup red wine We used the good stuff — well worth it.
  • 4 cups beef broth We use low sodium variety, organic if available.
  • 1 3/4 chicken broth This is a recommendation from ATK. Can't see how 100% beef broth would spoil anything.
  • 2 each bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes To heat things up
  • 2 each carrots I used baby carrots in a bag to aproximate, but 2 large organic carrots is preferred. do a small dice.
  • 2 each celery stalks Small dice
  • 14 oz canned, diced tomatoes There are several varieties to choose from. I use plain with no or low salt.
  • 8-10 oz spinach, chopped I used fresh, but frozen is OK with water squeezed out.
  • 2 T dried parsley flakes Or 4T fresh, minced.
  • 1 T gelatin Powdered. See special note.
  • 1 tsp salt Sea salt or a bit more Kosher salt.
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper Freshly gound.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 each large yellow onion Diced to your liking.
  • 1 lb Baby Bella mushrooms Sliced and diced to your liking.
  • 1 1/2 lb beef chuck roast Well-trimmed of larger fat chunks and connectivce tissue. Dad does not like to wrestle with gristle! Cut the meat into 1/2" pieces.
  • 2 T coconut aminos Coconut what? Read special note. Or, use soy sauce instead.
  • 2 T tomato paste The kind in the tube lets you not waste what's left in a can.
  • 2 T chopped garlic We use the stuff in the jar these days.
  • 1/2 cup red wine We used the good stuff — well worth it.
  • 4 cups beef broth We use low sodium variety, organic if available.
  • 1 3/4 chicken broth This is a recommendation from ATK. Can't see how 100% beef broth would spoil anything.
  • 2 each bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes To heat things up
  • 2 each carrots I used baby carrots in a bag to aproximate, but 2 large organic carrots is preferred. do a small dice.
  • 2 each celery stalks Small dice
  • 14 oz canned, diced tomatoes There are several varieties to choose from. I use plain with no or low salt.
  • 8-10 oz spinach, chopped I used fresh, but frozen is OK with water squeezed out.
  • 2 T dried parsley flakes Or 4T fresh, minced.
  • 1 T gelatin Powdered. See special note.
  • 1 tsp salt Sea salt or a bit more Kosher salt.
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper Freshly gound.
Instructions
  1. Dice the beef and add to 1 gallon plastic freezer bag or bowl. Add the coconut aminos and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Melt butter and olive oil in your Dutch oven, or big pot over medium heat. Add onion and mushroom and cook for 6-8 minutes, careful not to burn, but let a good dark brown fond develop. Very important to the eventual flavor. Remove mixture to a bowl to add back later.
  3. Add the marinated beef to the pot all at once. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning pieces once.
  4. Add garlic and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add red wine and cook down until nearly gone. Drag a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pot. If the clear space it creates take 3-5 seconds to fill in, you're good to go. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
  6. Add broths, carrots, celery, bay leaf, chili flakes, and tomatoes. Stir in well, cover pot, reduce heat to simmer. Set timer for 30 minutes.
  7. Stir tablespoon gelatin into 1/2 cup warm water. Stir vigorously and let let for 5 minutes.
  8. When timer goes off, add gelatin solution. Add spinach, combine and cook until it is thoroughly wilted and incorporated.
  9. Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste. This is ready to eat, but will be better tomorrow after spending the night in the fridge.
Recipe Notes

Coconut Aminos

Have learned about this from a Keto-weenie and decided to try it here as a marinade for the diced beef, instead of soy sauce. Had no ill effects and later research says cocnut aminos are another Asian import used forever as a sweetener. For us Westies, it turns out to be a relatively healthy sweeetening and seasoning agent with 17 amino acids (who knew there were that many?) and low glycemic index. Will try it in other recipes. Readily available on Amazon. http://coconutsweetener.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-is-coconut-aminos.html

Gelatin (Knox and regular beef gelatin)

So, gelatin has many uses, it would appear. ATK uses it in many recipes as a thickener. Becareful with it. Too little and not enough thickening. Too much, you get slime. But it worked great in this recipe. Based on a Keto soups and stews cookbook we had lying around, I bought a bag of "Beef Gelatin" from Amazon, but hadn't used it before running out of Knox and deciding "What the heck, this may work." In both attempts, I used the prescribed 1 T of gelatin disolved for five minutes in tepid water. Dumped it in the pot as one of the finishing steps, stirred well, and discovered that the thickening seemed to increase overnight in the fridge and then again the next night.

Turns out that Knox is just finely ground beef gelatin. (Presumably Jell-o is made the same way, but not sure.) Gelatin, it seems by definition, is made from animal collagen (bones and other leftovers), and therefore is not vegan. Just saying.  

 

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Dad’s Classic Cook-off Chili!

The Queen gave me a great cookbook for Christmas some years ago that was full of the “Best Recipes of 1999,” according to someone. About the only thing I’ve made more than once is a chili recipe, although I’ve played with it to the point where it’s now a classic item in Dad’s Recipe Box. You, too, can play with it to your heart’s content. Just make sure to include the most special ingredients and techniques, and you’ll have everyone ooohing and ahhing for more.  Continue reading Dad’s Classic Cook-off Chili!

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Yams Richard (ree-shar)

New Orleans is one of our favorite places. On our first trip there, in the 70s, we visited – through pure luck – two of its greatest restaurants: Antoine’s, where we had pompano en papillote (in a paper bag) and Brennan’s, for its famous breakfast. We took away two Hurricane glasses and The New Orleans Restaurant Cookbook along with a devotion for New Orleans food. Continue reading Yams Richard (ree-shar)

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Brussels sprouts are the new green beans

For holiday feasts, that is. I have nothing, exactly, against the standard green bean, mushroom soup, onion things casserole. But unless you make it from scratch, it just doesn’t compare, for flavor with this easy and candy-esque treatment for b’sprouts. One of the secrets, of course, is bacon. The other is to cook the heck out of the sprouts until they are the kind of candy you like. Continue reading Brussels sprouts are the new green beans

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Dad’s Holiday Cranberry Relish

My first cook book was the Craig Claiborne classic, The New York Times Cook Book. My now ancient, paperclip bookmarks tell the story of why I bought it. Thanksgiving. Bookmarked are “Turkey,” “Basic Bread Crumb Stuffing,” “Mashed Potatoes,” and “Cranberry Relish.” I have referenced the last one each year that I’ve made Thanksgiving dinner.

This version uses cooked berries, not raw, and lots of sugar. Get over it. It’s just great. Continue reading Dad’s Holiday Cranberry Relish

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

How Chef John Makes “Punkin” Cheesecake – a Must See!

Chef John does it again. The Queen has asked for pumpkin cheesecake. I check out the version on ATK, but am so taken with Chef John’s production values, I decided to include his version here. Dad’s version will revert to a graham cracker crust and add bourbon to the whipped cream dollop. More to follow! Continue reading Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Easy Southern Green Beans

A friend, Betty Lou M., who grew up in Richmond, Virginia, says she has made this recipe ever since before she was a young bride 60+ years ago. These beans are very easy and mighty good, a great side for any occasion. We think they would probably be even better with fresh, local green beans, but we’ve been too lazy to try this. We’re pretty sure these beans are close to the ones at Cracker Barrel. Continue reading Easy Southern Green Beans