Posts Tagged ‘Dried Beef’

Thinking Ahead in 2010

Monday, January 4th, 2010

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New Year’s Resolutions can be tricky things. If we take them too seriously—try to turn our lives around completely—they can be dangerously difficult to maintain.
 
Instead of making impossible resolutions this January, therefore, I’m using the turn of the year for reflection and planning. Naturally, In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens is coming in for its share of both activities.
 
This weekend I looked over many of my posts from the past year or so in an effort to figure out where the blog goes from here. I have selected several types of post that have turned out to be very popular with readers, with me, or with both.
 
Here they are, in alphabetical order:
 
Characters I Have Known such as Florette Zuelke and Sylvia Hubbell;
 
Comfort Food like Faith’s Tunafish & Noodles or Irish Stew;
 
Contributions from Friends & Readers, such as Erin’s Pizza or Mike’s Louisiana Red Beans & Rice;
 
Historical Figures, Events, and Places, including Susan B. Anthony and George Washington’s Gristmill;
 
Holidays, from Mardi Gras to Oatmeal Month (I know oatmeal month isn’t technically a holiday, but we did celebrate it last year!);
 
Local and Seasonal Foods, from Rhubarb to Squash;
 
Songs and Music, including such popular standards as “September Song” and “Moon River”;
 
TV and Film Figures and Foods, featuring people like Vivian Vance and Harriet Nelson.
 
In the next year I hope to touch on each of these categories at least once a month (which probably means I’ll get to them once every other month; I AM a procrastinator!).
 
I’ll also be continuing my monthly Twelve Cookies of Christmas series.
 
And naturally I’ll frequently have to resort to posting a recipe for What We Just Ate.
 
Some people might argue that each of my categories could spark its own blog. It’s always been both a weakness and a strength of mine that I have many, many passions.
 
This scattered interest makes it hard for me to focus at times. I think it makes me a more interesting person, cook, and writer, however.
 
As the year goes by I hope regular readers—and even irregular readers—will help me build up the different categories. Please let me know which of them you favor.
 
And of course please tell me what I have left out that you’d like to read about.
 
Two of the categories—Contributions from Readers & Friends and The Twelve Cookies of Christmas—will depend on you in large part for contributions. The name of this blog is In OUR Grandmothers’ Kitchens, after all. Please consider submitting a recipe (with background information) to me in the next few months.
 
I hope together we’ll have a delicious new year!
 
Paula Rice, the Supreme Leader of the Meat Counter at Avery's, slices dried beef.
Paula Rice, the Senior Slicer at the Meat Counter at Avery’s, slices dried beef.

 
Frizzled Beef

 
Since I’ve spent so much time mulling over the past year recently today’s recipe naturally falls into the What We Just Ate category (although it’s also highly eligible for Comfort Food!).
 
My mother and I invited friends to supper Saturday night. What with snow falling outside and lots of work to do, we didn’t have much opportunity to shop or cook that day.
 
So we ended up with Frizzled Beef (a.k.a. chipped beef, a.k.a. S.O.S. or Same Old … um … Stuff).
 
Our local general store, Avery’s, stocks lovely dried beef at this time of year. The nice folks behind the meat counter will slice as much or as little as one likes.
 
The beef saves for weeks so it’s a great fallback food on snowy days. And it cooks up in minutes.
 
The recipe I used for the beef came from Gam, our neighborhood matriarch, as did Saturday’s oyster recipe. (I used to stay at her house a lot at this time of year so I guess I’m thinking of her!)
 
If you want to vary it, you may sauté a little onion and/or celery in butter in your frying pan before you add more butter and the dried beef.
 
You may also throw cooked peas and/or a pinch of thyme into the final product.
 
Frizzled beef may be eaten over biscuits, puff pastry, cornbread, or a baked potato. My mother and I had just baked some fresh oatmeal bread the other evening so we served it on toast. A salad and brownies completed our supper.
 
The guests didn’t complain about the simplicity of the meal. It was warm and tasty. And it was enhanced by candlelight and conversation. (Don’t forget those important ingredients when you serve it yourself.)
 
Ingredients:
 
1/2 pound dried beef
a pat of butter the size of an egg
flour as needed
1 egg yolk beaten into 1 cup milk (plus a little more if needed) and 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground pepper to taste
 
Instructions:
 
If you are averse to a lot of salt, rinse the beef carefully and pat it dry. Dried beef is heavily cured (that’s why it lasts so long) so it can be very salty.
 
Melt the butter in a medium frying pan. When it is hot, add the beef and toss it around to coat it in the butter.
 
Dust the warm beef with flour and toss it around for a minute or two. Pour in the egg mixture. Bring the mixture just to the boil, adding a bit more milk if it looks very thick; then dish it up.
 
Serves 4.
 
frizzleweb

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