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.
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.
One of the most comforting scents of winter is the smell of chili cooking on the stove – you just know your very soul is about to get warmed up.
I usually use a food processor to speed up the prep work – chop the onions and garlic, chop the meat, chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Unfortunately, the food processor was one of things destroyed when my parent’s house flooded in Hurricane Sally, so I went the old fashioned way with a large knife and murder in my heart.
This is a good, hearty meal without much heat. The sun dried tomatoes add a lovely brightness and using the oil they were packed in to sauté the onions and meat adds another flavorful layer.
I eat mine with saltine crackers and my folks like eating theirs with flour tortillas and grated cheddar cheese. Other options include Fritos corn chips, sliced jalapeño, sliced green onions, sour cream, guacamole, diced white onion, French fried onions, etc, etc. The sky’s the limit!
Chili Con Carne
1 large white onion
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1.5 lbs chuck roast, cut into hunks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
7 ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
2 (14 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
1 can Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chilies
1/2 stick cinnamon
1 cup water or beer
2 (14 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained
Drain the olive oil from the tomatoes.
Chop up the onions and garlic into a small dice and sauté in the tomato olive oil until softened and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin and a little pepper.
Roughly chop the meat into bite sized pieces and sprinkle with salt. Add to the pan, cooking until slightly browned on all sides.
Chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Add to the beef with the tomatoes, Ro-tel, cinnamon stick and the water or beer.
Bring to the boil, cover, then turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the cinnamon stick and add the kidney beans and cook for 30 minutes more with the lid off.
From the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky comes their 1920’s creation of an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon, tomato slices and a cheese sauce (their recipe here) called a Kentucky Hot Brown.
My version is a little different. I’m using Thanksgiving leftovers so we’re ladling on gravy instead of cheese sauce because gravy goes well on everything. As tomatoes are out of season, we are using some tomato jam.
Mom had me spread leftover cranberry sauce on hers instead of the tomato jam and it paired really well, especially with the Muenster cheese I put on hers and which shows the versatility of this sandwiches’ construction.
The sandwich is a delicious change from the usual leftover, post-Turkey day fare and will fill up those Black Friday shoppers’ bellies.
This recipe is for 4 people but it scales up if you’re serving a larger crowd.
Alabama Hot Brown
4 slices of thick sandwich bread
1 cup gravy
½ cup of tomato jam or one large, vine ripened tomato, sliced thinly
8 thick slices roast turkey breast
8 slices bacon, cooked to crispy
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Lightly toast the sandwich bread and set on a rimmed baking sheet.
Warm the gravy in a double boiler so it doesn’t thicken too much.
Set the broiler on low and put the rack in the middle of the oven.
Spread a layer of tomato jam on the toast or place thin slices of tomato on it. Place 2 slices of turkey (or more to cover) on each piece of bread. Place bacon on top. Generously cover with spoonfuls of gravy and sprinkle with cheese.
Place the baking sheet into the broiler and roast until cheese is melty. Serve immediately.
I’m a fan of Cheetos. I mean, who doesn’t like their cheese to go crunch?
I was watching TicTok and saw a chef coat a turkey in Flaming Hot Cheeto Crunch before roasting and thought that would make some tasty chicken breasts.
I confess it is a pain to measure out the uncrushed Cheetos, so I recommend pounding a couple of handfuls at a time until you get 2 cups.
How right I was – and there was the added bonus that it blew my parents’ minds.
Oh, and they go great on pork chops, too!
Cheetos coated Chicken Breasts or Pork Chops
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts or 3 pork chops
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten in a little olive oil
2 cups crushed Cheetos Crunchy Cheese Flavored Snacks
½ cup vegetable shortening
If using chicken breasts, pound them to a uniform thickness.
Place flour in a pie plate. Place eggs in another shallow dish. Place the crushed Cheetos in another pie plate.
For both chicken and pork chops, dredge both sides in flour, coat in egg and then press into the Cheetos. Once all the meat has been coated, put it in the fridge for at least an hour.
Heat a large cast iron skillet with the vegetable shortening. Once the oil comes to about 350 degrees F, gently set the meat into the pan. Cook about ten minutes each side or until beautifully browned. Fully cooked chicken will register 165 degrees F and pork chops will register 145 degrees F when done.
Remove to a paper towel lined rack and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. We ate ours with baked sweet potatoes.
I bought a whole chicken the other day and found a partial case of old light beer when cleaning my parent’s garage. That made it easy to decide to grill it using the beer can up the the butt method. The added moisture from the beer keeps the chicken moist through the grilling, so you don’t need to brine it.
The rub is all things that are delicious with chicken – rosemary, garlic, sage plus salt and pepper. While the amount I fixed had enough for one chicken, it keeps well in an airtight container, so feel free to double the recipe and keep extra on hand.
I forgot to take a picture before I started carving but you can see how moist the meat and beautifully crisp the skin is after 70 minutes grilling and ten minutes of resting. Very tasty and the leftovers make awesome chicken salad.
Be very careful when removing the chicken from the grill – the can will be slick and the chicken is now top heavy so it can easily slide off a pan. Of course a few grassy notes won’t harm anyone and, if you’re quick to pick it back up, no will ever know you dropped it.
Not that I speak from experience or anything.
Rosemary Garlic Sage Rubbed Grilled Chicken
3-5 lb whole chicken
1 can beer
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
½ teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons butter, softened
Pour off about a third of the can of beer and cut the top partially off. Drop in the garlic cloves.
Combine the salt, rosemary, garlic, sage and black pepper. Mix with your fingers. Set aside.
Loosen the skin of the chicken and smear pats of butter under the skin. Use any leftover butter to coat the outside of the skin. Sprinkle the rub onto the chicken about 1 hour before grilling, turning it over to coat all sides.
Set up the grill for indirect cooking. I usually make a half circle with the coals. Ease the very slick chicken down on top of the beer can. It will take a little effort to work it down but, once it is on, the legs will act as a tripod and it will sit securely on the grates.
Grill for 1 hour, with the back of the chicken facing the coals. Take its temperature after 60 minutes and then turn it carefully to finish cooking with the breast side facing the coals.
When the internal temperature has reached 170, remove the chicken from the grill. Use tongs to separate the hot can of beer from the chicken and discard. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before carving and serving.
Winn-Dixie had a sale on bone-in turkey breast and so I donned my mask and headed out to the grocery to pick one up. I brined the turkey breast overnight before placing it in my Dad’s Weber over a pan of water and grilled it for almost 3 hours.
We served it with the last of the asparagus and some potato cakes made from potatoes leftover from the shrimp/crawfish boil on Mother’s Day (recipe here).
Lots of yummy, tasty goodness. Can’t wait for sandwiches, though!
This brine is good on chicken, too.
Herbes de Provence Turkey Brine
½ cup coarse kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
juice of 2 lemons, about ¼ cup (keep rind)
3 tablespoons Herbes de Provence
2 quarts water
1 bone-in turkey breast, 4-6 lbs
3 tablespoons butter, softened
Dissolve salt and sugar in three cups of water. Once the salt and sugar are dissolved, add in 1 cup of ice and stir until melted. Add in lemon juice and herbes de Provence. Let brine cool to room temperature.
Cut through the turkey’s backbone and split open in a butterfly. Place turkey in zip top bag with the lemon rinds and add water to the brine to bring it to 2 quarts. Pour into the bag and seal. Place in the fridge for 12-18 hours. If you don’t have a large enough bag, place in a pot big enough to cover the bird. Put a plate on top to keep it submerged.
Remove from fridge while starting to heat the coals. Rinse and pat dry. Use your fingers to loosen the skin. Press pieces of the softened butter under the skin and rub any extra over the skin.
Set grill for indirect cooking – I banked all the charcoal on one side. Add a wood chip like hickory for smoke. Place a pan with water on the opposite side to the coals. Put the turkey on the grate over the pan of water, with thickest part closest to the fire. Grill over indirect coals for at least 2 hours or until the internal temperature of the meat registers 165 degrees F.
May is National BBQ Month and I’m starting it right with a beef brisket on the grill. On May 1st, I covered a 9lb beef brisket in a Dalmatian rub (equal parts kosher salt and black pepper) and wrapped it in plastic wrap and placed it in the fridge overnight.
Today, I pulled it out of the fridge to come to room temperature. I then followed the ATK method (outlined here) and lined Dad’s Weber Grill with a charcoal snake and lit one side for a slow, 5 hour burn with a couple hunks of hickory for lovely smoke. I placed a pan of water in the center of the grill to keep things nice and humid in there.
When it hit the stall, around 160-170 degrees F, I wrapped it well in aluminum foil and let it continue to cook to 200 degrees F, about 3 hours more. Timing here is all estimates based on weight of the meat and temperature of the grill. Rule of thumb is it takes about 1 hour 15 minutes per pound at 250 degrees F.
Once you remove the brisket from the grill, leave it wrapped for at least an hour and up to three to rest and let the juices redistribute and the meat to relax. I put it in a cooler in order to lessen the temptation to snack on it during this time.
Slice against the grain and give the eaters a choice of cuts from the flat or “lean” portion or the point or “fatty” portion. Anyway you slice it is a truly mouthwatering experience.
Oscar Mayer is encouraging people to get outside while maintaining a social distance of 12 hot dogs apart to cook for a cause. Bring your grill to the front yard and cookout with your neighbors while giving back! The company will donate one million meals to Feeding America, and each time someone shares their cookout on social media with the hashtag #FrontYardCookout, Oscar Mayer will donate an additional meal to the nonprofit organization, for up to one million extra meals.
I cook a lot of chicken but my favorite kind of chicken is fried. I really like the drumsticks, when they’ve been done right so the meat is juicy and the skin is crunchy. This process has the oven fry the chicken and, while you need be careful when moving the oven rack and turning and removing the chicken so as not to spill the oil, it makes a pretty delicious fried chicken.
I had a 10lb bag of chicken leg quarters that I divided and used the thighs for another recipe.
This being the time of isolation, I had no ranch seasoning in the house. However, I made one up from the spices in my parent’s cabinet.
It was quite good with the skin crunchy and the meat flavorful and juicy.
Buttermilk Ranch Oven Fried Chicken Drumsticks
4 lbs chicken parts (I used drumsticks)
1 quart buttermilk
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup peanut oil
Place drumsticks in a zip top bag. Combine buttermilk, salt and pepper and pour over the chicken. Seal the bag well and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Mix together the ranch seasoning ingredients with the flour. Place in a shallow dish. Pour the buttermilk in another dish.
Roll the brined chicken pieces in the flour, a few at a time, until well coated. Then, dip chicken in the buttermilk followed by another coat of seasoned flour. Place on wire rack when done and keep in the refrigerator while the oven comes to temperature. Letting the chicken dry out a bit will help the coating stay on better.
Preheat oven to 450 with a 12″ cast iron skillet and the peanut oil in it. The oil should come up about ½ inch of the skillet. It is important to be heating the oil and skillet as the oven heats.
After the oven has been at temperature for 15 minutes, open oven and use tongs to carefully place chicken in the hot oil. Be careful here, especially when moving the oven rack in and out.
Cook for 30 minutes. Turn drumsticks over and cook for 30 minutes more. Internal temperature of the drumsticks will be 175-180 degrees F. Remove to paper towels to drain and serve.
I had been craving tzatziki and decided to do a Mediterranean style chicken dinner. I’m calling it that instead of Greek as I don’t recall ever having couscous in Greece. This is a pretty quick cooking recipe (although the tzatziki and marinade will take a few hours). Actual cook time is around 20 minutes.
My recipe for tzatziki can be found HERE and you only need to make it a couple hours in advance for the flavors to come together. It will be stronger the next day, so don’t go too crazy on the garlic (unless you really hate vampires).
A few crumbles of feta cheese would have gone nicely with this dish, too.
Stuff any leftover meat in a pita with some more tomatoes, a little lettuce and another dollop of tzatziki. Definitely food for the gods!
Mediterranean Chicken with Couscous
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon lemon zest
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup couscous
½ cup of Kalamata olives
1 cup cherry tomatoes
Slice the chicken into strips. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and place the marinade and chicken in a zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible when sealing the bag and massage the marinade into the chicken. Set in the fridge for up to 4 hours.
Heat 2 cups of water to boiling. Place the couscous in a medium boil and pour the water over. You can use broth here for more flavor but water is fine. Cover and let stand for at least 5 minutes.
Heat a skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir fry the chicken until done, about 5 minutes per side.
Pit the olives and slice into quarters. Slice the cherry tomatoes into halves. Fluff the couscous and stir in the olives and tomatoes.
Place a couple of spoonfuls of the couscous on each plate. Add four strips of chicken and a healthy dollop of tzatziki and serve.