I had already pulled out the discard from my sourdough when I realized what I was really craving was cornbread. Back to the drawing board to figure out to combine my two loves.
My go-to cornbread recipe is my mom’s (it can be found here). With the addition of a cup of sourdough starter, I first jumped to the next size up skillet – 10 inches of cast iron.
I usually like to use buttermilk in my cornbread but, with the tang from the starter, I decided to use whole milk instead. The batter was super tight so I upped the butter to ½ cup and added 2 eggs instead of my usual one. That seemed to do the trick of loosening things up.
The cornbread turned out really well – it isn’t quite as fluffy as Mama’s but it is pretty light for having a cup of sourdough starter and it is very tasty.
1 cup sourdough starter discard 1 cup milk 1 cup cornmeal 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 eggs, whisked together ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup unsalted butter 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda
Mix the sourdough starter, milk, cornmeal and flour together in a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and set the mixture aside at room temperature while you preheat the oven.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with a 10 inch cast iron skillet inside and the stick of butter in the skillet. When the butter is melted remove from the oven and swirl the skillet to get the butter to cover the bottom and a bit of the sides. Carefully, pour over the dough. Stir to combine.
Add the eggs, salt, baking powder and baking soda to the mixture and stir well. Pour the batter into the heated and buttered pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden-brown. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving hot, slathered with additional butter.
As a kid, I took a lot of comfort in the ground beef, can of cream of mushroom soup beef stroganoff that mom would make a few times a year. As good as that was, I’m going to kick it up a notch with some of the leftover beef brisket I smoked on the grill.
I use a Dalmatian rub on my brisket (equal parts salt and pepper) so I didn’t need to add either to the finished dish. Here is my method for preparing the brisket.
If you don’t have any leftover brisket, use ground beef or any stir fry type meat like flank steak or sirloin, sliced thin and pan fried in the skillet you’ll then use to sauté the mushrooms.
If you’re using egg noodles, cook them in the sauce as the added cook time deepens the flavors. However, as I’m trying to make do with what I have in the house, I’m using rice.
The sauce is luscious and so very tasty. The brisket and stock give a big, beefy flavor to my new, favorite comfort food. We were all members of the clean plate club.
Leftover Brisket Beef Stroganoff
1 lb leftover beef brisket, cooked and roughly chopped (or a 1 lb browned ground beef)
4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef or mushroom stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces egg noodles or 2 cups cooked rice
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter in a large cast iron skillet. Remove from pan and set aside.
Melt remaining butter and then sprinkle on the flour and whisk together. Cook the roux for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Keep the heat low to just cook away the floor taste, not to add color. Slowly whisk in the stock. Keep stirring to remove any lumps. Add in the Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add in mushrooms and noodles and cook until noodles are cooked, about ten minutes. Add in beef and stir to coat. Stir in sour cream and cook about 10 minutes more. Taste for seasoning. Spoon onto plates (if using rice, use it as a base layer) and sprinkle with a little paprika, if desired.
I’m spending any creativity on the top crust. I decided to go with a mock lattice, grate pattern. Instead of weaving strips, I sliced slits in the top dough and stretched it to open it up.
Here is what I did:
Adjust oven rack to lower-third of oven. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place bottom pie crust in bottom of 9-inch pie plate and flute the edges.
Unroll remaining dough on a sheet of parchment paper. Starting on right side, 2 inches from edge with a ruler held vertically, cut 2-inch slits with a paring knife into dough, spaced about 1 inch apart. Move ruler 1 inch to the left and continue making 2-inch slits, starting parallel to center of first set, so spaces alternate. Continue working across rest of dough, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Gently stretch dough horizontally to reveal grate pattern (if dough is too soft or breaking, refrigerate until pliable, about 10 minutes).
Pour cherry pie filling into bottom crust. Dot top with 2 tablespoons of butter pieces. Place top dough on pie, stretching slightly to open up the pattern. Crimp to seal the top dough to the bottom dough. If there is any leftover dough, cut into a Pi shape. Beat 1 egg with a teaspoon of water and brush over top dough. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar.
Place pie on baking sheet and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the pie is bubbling and crust is golden brown. Let cool 30 minutes before slicing.
Michelle’s local grocery store, Ramey’s, had a sale on beef chuck roasts. As I was passing through on my way back to New Orleans, we stopped in and each got one. She is going to do a classic slow-cooker pot roast but I decided to go a little different and do a combination of grilling and braising on the grill to make debris po’boys.
I can tell you the cats in my neighborhood sure came out for the delicious smells coming from the grill. The little black cat scooted when the camera came out but the noisy one stayed until I finally pulled the meat off after nearly 3 hours.
Before serving, to be super authentic, I had to dash over to a local grocery store (Zuppardo’s) which carries loaves of Leidenheimer’s French bread – the official bread of the po’boy. The bread is tender on the inside with a crunchy crust. As that specific bread is hard to get elsewhere in the country, go ahead and use French bread loaves or rolls instead.
The finished sandwich is awesome. Lots of beefy flavor and the sauce soaks into the bread, making it melt in your mouth good. I was out of tomatoes but the lettuce added a nice crunch. Dad took too long slicing the pickles and I was hungry, so I took the picture without them in it.
3.5 lb beef chuck roast
coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups beef stock
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
Generously rub salt and pepper over the chuck roast and set aside while you prepare the grill. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a pourable container and set aside.
Set the grill up for indirect cooking with a semi-circle of 14 to 20 unlit charcoal briquets as a base layer. Use a chimney starter to bring the rest of the charcoal to heat and pour over the unlit coals. Place several hickory chips on the coals to add smoke.
Sear the chuck roast on both sides for about 5 minutes per side over direct heat. Place the meat in an aluminum pan on the cool or indirect zone of the grill. Carefully pour over the beef stock mixture. It should fill the pan and mostly cover the meat.
Braise, uncovered for 1 hour. Rotate the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Continue to braise for 2 hours more. Internal temperature of the meat should be 200 degrees F.
Allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes on a cutting board before shredding with your hands or two forks. Bring the sauce to a boil to reduce slightly. Remove from heat and defat the remaining sauce before returning the meat to the sauce to stay warm.
Slice French bread or rolls lengthwise, leaving a hinge on the opposite side. Spread the cut sides with mayonnaise. Place a generous amount of meat and a ladle of the sauce on one side of the loaf. To dress your po’boy, top with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes and a couple of pickle slices.