Monday, August 24, 2009


Ever since I went to see Julie and Julia a few days ago, I've been cooking up a storm...for me anyway. I've signed up for something called Farm Fresh Delivery (my first delivery is this Friday), I've visited a local Farmer's Market, and I've run by a local farmer's roadside stand to pick up around four dozen ears of sweet corn (some to eat this week and some to freeze for winter)....the last unfortunately.

On Saturday I made both chili and Italian beef. Also on Saturday I got a call from a friend who has a garden bursting with zucchini and she called to beg me to take some. I did. Especially since she so kindly even grated enough for me to make four loaves of zucchini bread, delivered it to my house, and even brought a couple of recipes typed out.

Tonight when I got home from school (and it was practically night since I didn't leave school until 5:15 p.m.) I put on some kale to boil, broke green beans to steam, put the Italian beef in the oven to reheat, mixed up two loaves of zucchini bread which are now in the oven, and will probably go back after posting this to put on some water for sweet corn.

Here is my mother-in-law's recipe for Italian beef:

Ingredients: 5 to 7 lb. rump roast, 2-3 cps. of water, 2-3 beef bouillon cubes, 1 t. marjoram (I actually used some from a small herb garden I grew on my deck this year), 1 t. thyme, 1 t. oregano, 5 drops Tabasco sauce, 2 t. garlic powder or 1 clove minced, 2 T. Worchestershire sauce, 1 c. green pepper (more really) chopped or sliced into thin strips (I prefer sliced), salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Cook beef 40 minutes per pound at 325 deg. Remove, cool, and slice thin. Add water, bouillon, etc. to juices (in same pan). Simmer 15 minutes. I put that same pan right over the burner or flame of my stove. Add sliced beef. Marinate 4 to 5 hours or overnight. Heat before serving on rolls. Do not boil, just simmer.

This recipe is somewhat like the chili I make because you can play around with it a little. You can add more bouillon if you want a stronger beef flavor, use herbs to your own taste, use minced hot peppers of some kind (I did this weekend using the peppers I got at the Farmer's Market) and adjust for how spicy you want it, and you can chop or slice the green peppers. Also, I like a lot of green peppers to put on the sandwich with the meat and juices.

Also, for bread I don't use plain old buns. I use rolls, preferably hard rolls which I've had trouble finding lately, but did find them at Kroger. This allows you to pile on the beef, peppers, and pour some of the broth (au jus) right on the sandwich. It really is best to leave the beef marinating overnight for more flavor.

Enjoy...I'm off to check on my works in progress.

I'll never attempt to be Julia Child, but then I've found good tasting food doesn't have to be difficult. Au jus just may be the only french cooking term I do know. Oh, and bon appetit (even though this is an Italian recipe).

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