Beef Barley Soup

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There are two ways to do this. Cook it on the stove which requires a lot of steps or dump everything into a crock-pot and cook on medium all day. This is a great soup.

1 TBSP oil
1 Lb. beef button round (I actually used less than a pound)
½ onions chopped
1 clove garlic sliced into thin coins
1 TBSP tomato paste
4+ cups chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
¼ cup pearl or naked barley
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp. dried rosemary

On the stove in a Dutch oven brown the meat in oil.  Remove
Sauté the onion, carrots and celery
Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
Add the broth, garlic, cut the meat into spoon size squares and return the meat
In a cheese cloth pouch tie the bay leaf and the rosemary and add that to the pot
Add the tomato paste and stir in
Add the barley
Salt and pepper
Bring to a boil, reduce to slow simmer and cook for 1 hour or until the barley is completely cook.

Serve with a baguette.

As of 3/4/21

English Bangers

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This is a Cumberland style banger owing to the mix of seasonings. 

I used a 2.5 lb. Picnic roast (Pork shoulder) and ¾ Lb. of a pork steak with a lot of fat.  I’ve also used 3.0 Lbs. pork shoulder blade steaks with plenty of fat.

Rusk (Bread Crumbs)
I made rusk from scratch with baking powder and no yeast.  Using rusk is the traditional way of making bangers.  However, a coarse panko can also be used.  The purpose for the rusk is to bind the meat and fat and retain the juices in the sausage.

136 grams of rusk (bread crumbs)
204 grams of cold water
Mix the water and crumbs together and place in a refrigerator for at least an hour to soak up the water.

Sausage Casings
I used the standard hog casings packed in salt.  Two casings covered three lbs. of pork.  Soak the casings in cold water and change out the water several times.  They should soak at least an hour. 

In a jar mix these seasonings.  Use 2.25 teaspoons of seasoning per pound of pork.
3 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. mace
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger

Cut the pork into small squares and run through a meat grinder. 

Add the rusk and the seasonings and by hand mix the ingredient well.  Make sure to incorporate the seasonings evenly, or you might get too much seasoning in one section and not enough in another. You can also use a Kitchen-Aid with the paddle and mix on low until it looks

Before stuffing the casings place the pork in the frig at least an hour to let all the ingredients merge and the meat to get cold.  Make a sausage patty and cook it on the stove to see if the flavor is to your liking.  It is far better to go easy on the salt and pepper initially and adjust later after you have sampled the meat.  Once the seasoning is added, there is no way to take it out. 

Stuff the casings and then twist the stuffed casings into sausage lengths ~4 inches.  Place them in the frig overnight.  They need a baste in the seasonings overnight and maintain the form of the casing.

Cooking Bangers

I used a corn holder and poked 8 pinholes in the sausage.  This is done to keep the sausage from splitting and popping open.  Fry the sausage 5 minutes on each side in oil to brown.  Bake in a oven 20 minutes on 350º.   Serve over mashed potatoes, sautéed onions in butter and cover in brown gravy. 

As of 3/25/21

Osso Buco (Bone with a Hole)

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(Osso = bone) + (Buco = hole)

This meat is a shank cut. The best part is the marrow in the center of the bone when cooked. Mostly, it is made with veal shank. However, veal shank can be expensive or impossible to find. Since the meat will cook for an hour and one-half or more, I substitute the veal with a beef shank. I can find beef shank for a third of the cost of veal and actually I think it has a place in this dish.

Serves 2

2 beef shanks
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce or puree. (I make my own each year from scratch and freeze)
½ cup of dry red wine (dry white will also work)
Salt and pepper
Meat broth as needed (I use veal stock when available but chicken broth works fine also.)
1 clove garlic (pressed)

2 carrots chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 half onion chopped
2 celery stalks cut into ½ inch pieces

Bouquet Garni:
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs oregano or thyme
1 bay leaf

Gremolata (Chopped herb garnish, mix all ingredients in a bowl):
1 lemon grated for its lemon zest
1 clove garlic minced
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley finely chopped
¼ tsp. dried sage
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary finely chopped

Cooking Directions:
Salt and pepper the meat and then dredge in flour. Brown in a Tbsp. or more EVOO in an oven proof pot. I use a 5 quart cast-iron pot with a lid.  Remove meat after browning and set aside.  The shank should be served whole with the bone in but I also find it better to cut it up in squares and serve the bone along with it.  It makes it easier to manage on the plate.

Add another Tbsp. EVOO and sauté the mirepoix.

Mix the red wine and tomato paste in a cup or bowl until the paste has dissolved.  Add the wine mixture to the mirepoix and stir.  Add one cup of stock or broth and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a light boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Add bouquet garni and simmer 20 minutes.

Return meat to the pot and then add pressed garlic. Add remaining stock or broth until the meat is covered. Then add a dash more of wine.

Place pot with a lid (Dutch oven) in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 1½ to 2 hours.  An alternative is to simmer on top of the stove for nearly 1½ to 2 hours or until the meat tender.

Serve on a bed of cooked Polenta or Risotto and garnish with Gremolata to serve.

As of 2/21/21

Sushi Bake (w/Salmon and Crab)

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I love sushi but locked in the blizzards of the Midwest I don’t get much Sushi.  Here is a tasty recipe.

Sushi Rice

  • 2 cups Mahatma Sushi rice
  • 3 Cups water
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil.

In a rice cooker add the rice and add water.  Rinse the rice about 5 times to get all the cloudy rice water until the water becomes clear.  Drain the water, add the rice and 3 cups water and turn the cooker on.  When the button goes off add the rice vinegar and the sesame oil.  Stir until the water evaporates.  Please the rice in a 9X12 pan and layer it and let it cool.


  • 300 Gr of salmon (2 pieces)
  • Olive oil

Place the salmon on a tray lined with aluminum foil.  Add olive oil to the tray and oil on top of the salmon.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cook 10 minutes.  Let cool.  With 2 forks shred the salmon and place in a large mixing bowl.


Open 1 6 oz. can of crab meat and drain through a strainer.  Place on top of the salmon. 

Cream Cheese

Open 1 – 6 Oz. package cream cheese and with a hand blender blend it until it becomes soft and fluffy. Place on top of the salmon and crab.

Shushi Bake

On top of the salmon add ¼ cup regular mayo and 2 TBSP of Sriracha sauce.  Hand mix all well.  Spread on top of the rice. Add lines of Sriracha sauce on top and lines of Kewpie Japanese Mayo.  Then bake 15 minutes.  (Hint:  I found the Kewpie in the mayo section, not the Asian section.)


Remove from oven, add thinly sliced ½ cucumber and thinly sliced 1 Avocado. 

As of 2/14/21

Pork Loin and Sweet Kraut

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Serves 2

1 LB. Pork Loin or Pork Tenderloin (Tenderloin is the filet of mignon of pork and pork loin is the muscle that runs along the back between the back fat and the ribs.)

Paste for the Loin
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves of garlic
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 TBSP olive oil

In a small food processor, add all ingredients except the paprika. Blend into a smooth paste. Rub the paprika into the pork loin first, then rub the Paste onto the loin. Refrigerate an hour or more.

We used 1 can of Frank’s Sweet Bavarian Style Kraut w/Caraway Seeds.

1 small yellow cut in half, then cut into thin half-circles. Sauté in butter timed with serving.

½ apple, chopped and placed at the bottom of an ovenware pan.
1 cup of beer, we used Leinenkugel from Wisconsin b/c it is like a German Pilsner.

In an ovenware pan place the loin on top of the chopped apples, add the beer and cook in oven 400° for 30 minutes until the center reaches internal temps of 160°. Remove the loin and wrap in aluminum foil and rest for 10 minutes then slice into medallions and discard the apples.

Separately, sauté the onions and heat the Sauerkraut in separate pans timed for serving with the loin.

With tongs plate the Sauerkraut, then the onions and then add the loin medallions on top.

Mircowarp 30 seconds if necessary to heat again. Serve

As of 2/13/2113