Friday, October 30, 2015

New England Pot Roast

¼ cup all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sea salt
1 ¼ teaspoons black pepper
4 pound beef chuck roast
2 Tablespoons shortening
1 cup water
8 small potatoes, pared and halved
8 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch chunks
8 small onions or 1 to 2 large onions quartered
1 to 2 bay leaves

Stir together flour, salt and pepper: rub mixture on meat thoroughly. Melt shortening in large Dutch oven or frying pan; brown meat over medium heat, about 15 minutes.

At this point you can either add water to Dutch oven; cover and simmer over low heat for 3-4 hours until meat is tender adding veggies one hour before end of cooking time, or, you can place meat, bay leaves, and water in a covered roasting pan and place in preheated 350 degree oven and roast for 3 to 4 hours, again adding veggies one hour before end of roasting time. If you roast the meat, check on level of water and add more if needed, but not too much or it will dilute the flavor of the juice which will be used for making gravy. At end of cooking time, remove meat and vegetables to a warm platter and prepare gravy as instructed below.

Pour dripping (fat and juices) into a 2 cup measuring cup. Let fat rise to surface and skim off ¼ cup fat. If there is not enough fat then add enough butter to equal ¼ cup. Melt fat in pan. Stir in ¼ flour until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Add 2 cups liquid and continue stirring until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed. Serve with meat and vegetables.

Note: if meat is roasted in oven, make sure to get all the browned bits from the sides of the roasting pan for the best flavor in your gravy.
This meal pairs well with Butter Dips.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Pastry for a 9-inch one crust pie (see link below)
12 slices of bacon (or 1 cup diced ham)
1 cup shredded natural Swiss cheese
1/3 cup minced onion
4 eggs
2 cups whipping cream, or light cream, half n half or evaporated milk
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne red pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion in pastry lined pan. Beat eggs slightly; beat in remaining ingredients. Pour cream mixture into pie pan.  Bake 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature and bake 30 minutes longer or until knife inserted 1 inch from center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

You can choose any meat and cheese combos for quiche. Here are a few suggestions:
·         Apple, cheddar, sausage and onion is good.
·         Ham and Swiss or ham and cheddar
·         Bacon, mushroom and spinach
·         Onions, mushroom, green pepper, and provolone

Standard Pie Crust

Monday, October 26, 2015

Standard Pie Crust

8 or 9 inch ONE CRUST PIE
1 cup all purpose flour*
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon shortening or 1/3 cup lard
2 to 3 Tablespoons cold water

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour*
½ tsp salt
½ cup shortening or ¼ cup plus 3 Tablespoons lard
3 to 4 Tablespoons cold water

8 or 9 inch TWO CRUST PIE
2 cups all purpose flour*
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups plus 2 Tablespoons shortening or 2/3 cup lard
4 to 5 Tablespoons cold water

2 2/3 cups flour*
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening or ¾ cups plus 2 Tablespoons of lard
7 to 8 Tablespoons of cold water

*Do Not Use self-rising flour in this recipe!

Measure flour and salt into bowl. Using 2 knives or a pastry cutter, cut in shortening or lard until mixture looks like meal. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time until all flour is moistened and dough almost cleans side of bowl. Add more water if needed but do so sparingly. For a perfect crust, set bowl in fridge for a few minutes to chill.

Remove from fridge, gather dough into a ball and place on floured counter top or table. Roll with flour dusted rolling pin to 2 inches larger than inverted pie pan. (For a 2 crust pie, divide dough in half using one half for bottom crust and one for top crust.) Fold pastry into quarters and place in pan. Unfold and ease gently into place.

For a One-Crust Pie: Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pan. Fold and roll pastry under, even with pan. Flute edges.

For a Baked Pie Shell: Prick bottom and sides thoroughly with a fork. Bake at 475 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.

For a 2 Crust Pie: Turn desired filling into pastry-lined pan. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pan. Roll second round of dough. Cut slits so steam can escape; fold into quarters and unfold over filling. Trim overhanging edge of pastry to inch from rim. Roll and fold under and crimp or flute to form pretty edge of crust. Cover edge with 2 to 3 inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking. Bake as directed in recipe.

Note: if possible, hook fluted edge over edge of pie pan to prevent shrinking and help keep shape.