So tender and flavorful.  This requires about three to four hours in the oven.  Serve as an absolutely fabulous Sunday dinner with friends or family.  Potatoes on the side is a good match.  Please try this recipe, you will love it!

4-5 lb. beef brisket
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil (extra virgin is best)
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut or about 16 baby carrots
2 large onions, peeled and cut into half moons
1 heaping Tbsp. minced garlic
6 whole cloves
1 can (about 16 oz.) whole cranberry sauce OR
1 can (about 14 oz.) beef broth

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get out a large ovenproof pot that you have a lid for, or you can use aluminum foil to cover pot.  Rinse and pat dry the brisket.  Sprinkle the black pepper all over it and rub it in, then set aside while you continue.

Heat the oil in the large pot, place the brisket in and brown well on all four sides for about 8 minutes on each side.  Take out the brisket, set aside, add everything up to the garlic and cook for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the cranberries or broth, stir well then place the brisket on top of the mixture.  Cover with a lid or  aluminum foil, place in the preheated oven for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Take the pot out of the oven but don’t turn off the oven.  Scrape off the sauce from the brisket into pot and place brisket onto a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.  Cut it into diagonal slices against the grain and gather the slices back together to return them to the pot.  Completely cover the meat with the sauce and season with about a tsp. of kosher salt.  Return the pot, uncovered, to the oven and bake for 2 more hours, basting every 30 minutes.

Serve hot with the sauce on top or alongside.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

cabbage.jpgHappy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you and your loved ones eat well from my version of the Irish classic. Put the Celtic Women CD or perhaps the soundtrack from The Brothers McMullen in your disc player while you prepare this. Remember, if you don’t care for the cabbage, just skip that step. Enjoy!

2 medium onions, peeled
6 whole cloves
3 1/2 lb. piece corned beef
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks
2 bay leaves
8 peppercorns

1 medium head green cabbage
5 russet potatoes, peeled & halved
Kosher salt & ground black pepper

Hot mustard on the side – optional, but really, really good!


Stud the onions with the cloves and set aside. Rinse the beef in cold water to remove the brine. Place beef in a large pot and add the onions, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, and enough water to cover. Bring this to a boil over high heat, cover, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 full hours, skimming it occasionally.

Wash cabbage and remove core and any torn leaves, then cut it into about 6 wedges. Add this and the potatoes to the beef and cover and simmer for 25 minutes – until potatoes are tender.

Transfer the beef to a cutting board and cover with a plate that has been weighted down with heavy cans. (Doing this ensures the meat is much, much easier to slice). Transfer the veggies to a platter. Remove the cloves from the onions. Strain the liquid, toss out the bay leaves and peppercorns. Return the strained liquid to the pot and cook it over high heat for about 30 minutes – it’ll reduce by about 1/3. Season it with kosher salt & pepper.

Return the veggies to the stock and heat through – this takes about 5 minutes or so. Remove the cans & plate from the beef and cut it across the grain, into 1/4″ thick slices. Arrange it on a plate with the veggies surrounding it. Moisten it with the stock. serve with the hot mustard if you’re using it.


Good, old-fashioned meatloaf with a twist, of course. Slightly cooking some veggies before adding them.

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 eggs
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
8 oz. jar tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan or similar one with sides. Melt butter & oil in small non-stick skillet. Add peppers & onion and saute for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool off. In a large bowl, add the ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, salt & pepper. With a spatula, scrape the cooked veggies into the bowl. Mix gently but well with your hands. Place into pan. Pour half the sauce over top and gently spread around onto loaf. Bake for 30 minutes; pour rest of sauce over top. Bake 30-45 minutes more, or until done. Remove from oven. Let cool 10-15 minutes before slicing.



I have tried so many different recipes and ways of making meatballs. I added sausage, I played around with different spices and the “keep it simple” way is still the best way to go. These are outstanding. Please try to use the best ground beef you can get. It does make a difference.

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 large eggs – beaten
1 large minced garlic clove
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs (do not use seasoned)
2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley (preferably fresh)
1 tsp. kosher salt
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin (or not) olive oil

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add in everything up to the olive oil. Mix it thoroughly together with your hands. Shape the mixture into small (walnut sized) balls. You will need to occasionally wet your hands with water so mixture doesn’t stick. Set them all on a tray or plate while you heat the oil.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and fry them until they are browned on all sides. This is going to take about 15 minutes. Carefully transfer them to a plate or tray with tongs.
Carefully transfer them to your sauce (or mine) and cook through, about 30 minutes.

Best Burgers

These burgers were just something tossed together as a “let’s see how this will work” kinda thing. I had no idea that they’d become so juicy and delicious. If you like cheeseburgers then add sliced sharp cheddar because it’s so much better than American and less salty. P.S. Don’t let the list of spices fool you – burgers won’t be spicy, just moist and tasty; add more for a spice kick.

2 pounds ground chuck
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. black pepper

Make about 8-9 patties out of the meat and place on a wax-paper lined baking sheet. Mix all the spices together and sprinkle on each of the burgers; spread around and gently press into each patty then turn and do this again. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them to your liking. I gave them a 4 hour sit and it worked quite well.

A hamburger patty is an excellent, inexpensive investment. I recently received one as a gift and can’t live without it now.

Salisbury Steak

Not made too often anymore, but still a classic. Reacquaint yourself with it or try it for the first time. You won’t be disappointed.

1- 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 lightly beaten egg white
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup saltine cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
12+oz. jar beef gravy
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms

Hot cooked egg noodles

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine beef, egg, onion, crumbs, milk, horseradish, salt & pepper. Shape into 4-6 oval patties and place in skillet.

Fry over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes, turn, fry 10-12 minutes more. Add gravy, gently scrape and stir up browned bits; add mushrooms and heat for about 5 more minutes. Serve over hot cooked noodles.

Chili Mac (a.k.a. Poor Man’s Goulash)

img_0024.jpgServe with biscuits or rolls for dipping. Your kids will love it.  **Update:  I made this today and accidentally added half of a 16 oz. box of uncooked mini-penne pasta to the pot.  When I realized that I did not pre-cook them, I added 2 cans of beef broth, let it simmer for 30 minutes and the results were fantastic! Total cooking time was about 65 minutes.

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 28 oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes
2 15 0z. cans tomato sauce
1 tsp. white sugar
Pinch (1/8 tsp) of nutmeg
1 lb. box macaroni

Heat the oil and butter in a large pot over med-high heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Add the ground beef, garlic and onion powders, paprika, salt & pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, until browned.

Add the can of tomatoes, the 2 cans sauce, the sugar and nutmeg and stir very well, breaking up the whole tomatoes during the full cooking process. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While this is cooking, prepare the elbow macaroni according to the package, drain and rinse/drain well with cold water. Place the macaroni in the pot with the sauce and stir well. Serve.

Rump Roast

Adding just 2 bottles of salad dressing is all it takes to make this fabulously delicious roast. Have egg noddles on the side.

About a 5 lb. rump roast
1 8 oz. bottle Italian salad dressing
1 8 oz. bottle Italian Parmesan or Parmesan Peppercorn salad dressing

Place beef in a large bowl, make slits all over, about 1 inch deep with knife or prong fork, then pour Italian salad dressing over. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for minimum of 4 hours or longer – overnight is ideal.  Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Drain meat from bowl and place on rack in pan, fat side up, while oven is preheating. Slowly pour the Parmesan salad dressing over, cover. Place in oven for 5 hours, basting occasionally. Remove meat to a cutting board and let meat sit for about 10 minutes before you slice and serve. Meanwhile make gravy from pan drippings.

Alternately you could use a slow cooker.

Pepper Steak

peppers.jpgSo good, you probably won’t have leftovers.

3 Tbsp. olive oil – preferably extra virgin
1 red pepper, seeded & sliced
1 green pepper, seeded & sliced
2-4 garlic cloves, sliced thin/minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1 good sirloin steak sliced very thin – ask your butcher to do this
Sprinklings of crushed red pepper flakes -optional

In a large, deep skillet that you have a tight-fitting lid for, heat the olive oil, then add the peppers and garlic and slowly cook for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer/medium and let it cook like that with the lid on for about 20-30 minutes.

Grilled Steak

Simple, delicious and ready when you are.

1-1/2 lb. flank steak
2 Tbsp. steak seasoning (such as Montreal by McCormicks)
Juice from one lemon
2 Tbsp. minced garlic

Place all ingredients in a zip-lock type bag, place in fridge overnight or all day.  Preheat grill or bbq, remove steak from bag and discard juices and bag.  Grill to desired doneness, or about 10-15 min per side.

That’s it.