Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dinner guests ?? Why yes we do !!

I love Joe's Day Off. Why ?? You would think that on his day off the last thing he'd want to do is COOK but nope, my chef loves his home kitchen as much as his restaurant kitchen. We have all the fun toys and all the interesting ingredients. Fresh produce. Lots of different kinds of meat to choose from. Almost endless options.

At home though, he likes to cook the comfort food classics. Tator tot casserole. Chicken and noodles. Hot roast beef sandwiches. Just like childhood memories. Only kicked up Joe style.

Today he decided on a classic my mom used to make often when I was growing up but she never made it quite like this !! It was such a big occasion that not only did I let Joe use the precious Le Creuset but we also invited my sister and nephew, and our neighbor and his daughter for dinner.

Joe's Salisbury Steak

2 lb ground beef
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs (more if meat mixture seems too wet)
salt, pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
3-4 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/2 cup milk

Mix all ingredients for steaks in large bowl until well combined. Cover with plastic and let sit in fridge for 1 to 2 hours to soften breadcrumbs and meld flavors.

Shape into 8 patties. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until almost cooked thru (medium). Remove from onion and set aside.

Mushroom Sauce

small onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms (we used used home canned, if using fresh use about 1 1/2 cups)
salt and pepper
3/4 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup cola
2 cups mushroom stock*
2 1/2 tb high quality beef base
1/2 cup red wine
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
roux for thickening or cornstarch- whichever you prefer

In large pan or dutch oven heat 1-2 tb oil. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook an stir until softened and onion is translucent. Add crumbled bacon.

Pour red wine over and deglaze pan. Add coffee, cola and mushroom stock.

Bring to boiling and thicken sauce. When sauce is thickened, add baked steaks to pan, cover and simmer until meat is cooked through.

Served with mashed potatoes and whatever vegetable you like, and if you're really lucky, some homemade bread !!

Joe was kinda mad that I didn't let him garnish my plate all fancy but seriously- I wasn't waiting !! I wanted to dig in right away !! And our guests- it was a thumbs up all around.

*Mushroom Stock-  I canned 20 lbs of mushrooms over the last two days and had to hot pack them. The end result was a stockpot full of richly flavored mushroom stock. The Chef used some for this recipe and the rest will be canned tomorrow for future dinners. If you don't have mushroom stock use beef stock or beef broth and omit or greatly reduce the amount of beef base in the recipe.

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