Braised Short Ribs

Let your oven do the work so you don’t have to.  So good, so tender and great to share with company.

4-5 lbs. beef short ribs
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground mustard
3 peeled, sliced carrots
1 tsp. celery seed
1 cup water
1 can tomato soup
1 pkg. beef or brown gravy mix

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Place the ribs in a heavy Dutch oven or pot with an oven proof lid.  Sprinkle on the salt, pepper and mustard. Then place everything else in and around meat. Cover and bake for 3 hours.  Check occasionally to see if it’s drying out and you should add about 1/2 cup water – it makes its own juices, so you normally do not have to add this extra water.

Potato Soup

A hearty potato soup recipe.

8 medium red potatoes – peeled and cut into chunks
3 carrots, peeled & diced
6 celery stalks, diced
2 quarts water
1 diced onion
6 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 cups milk

In a large pot, cook the potatoes, carrots & the celery in cold water to cover until tender – this takes about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid and placing veggies aside. In the same pot, melt the butter & saute onion for about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, salt & pepper; gradually add milk, stirring constantly until it is thickened.

Gently stir in the cooked veggies. Add 1 cup or more of the reserved cooking liquid until the soup is to your desired consistency. You will probably need to add more pepper & maybe salt – taste test. Ladle into bowls or cup/mugs & serve.

The Best Chicken & Dumplings

img_0012.JPGIt really is the best we’ve ever tasted. Simple wins again.

2) 32 oz. boxes chicken broth (I used a kosher brand)
1/2 bag baby carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium onions, diced
2 small-medium, peeled & diced turnips
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 heaping Tbsp. minced garlic (from the jar is fine)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. thyme
4 poached chicken breasts, cooled & sliced into small chunks
2 double-handfuls of uncooked egg noodles

Get out a large dutch oven or soup pot – use one that has a tight-fitting lid. Empty the 2 boxes of chicken broth in, then add 2 cups water, all the veggies and spices – add everything up to the chicken. Let this simmer for 30 minutes. (Perhaps you can prepare the chicken while this is simmering). Add the chicken and let simmer for 10 more minutes; add the egg noodles and simmer again for 10 more minutes.

Prepare the dumplings:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. Crisco shortening

Place the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and sift or whisk. Cut in the shortening with 2 knives, fork, or pastry cutter until it resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the milk. Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto the hot meat or vegetables in the boiling stew – do not drop dumplings directly onto liquids. Cook uncovered 10 minutes; cover and cook 10 minutes longer.

You just made more friends.


This cooks in about 45 minutes. A tasty weeknight meal you can serve with sandwiches – perhaps grilled cheese with bacon or tomato.

3/4 cup+ 4 cups water
1 small, diced onion
2 carrots, peeled & diced
2 large potatoes, peeled & diced
1 med green pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 minced garlic cloves or more to taste
8 oz. can tomato sauce
14 oz. can white beans – drained & rinsed
2 – 14 oz. cans chicken broth
1 small stick pepperoni or beef or chorizo, peeled & diced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 – 1/2 cup uncooked ditalini

Get all the ingredients ready and onto the counter. Into the pot you’ll be making this soup, place the 3/4 cup water, bring to a boil then add the onion. Boil steadily for 3 minutes, then add all the rest of the ingredients up to the ditalini (you’ll add that later). Bring to a boil again, then simmer on med-low for 30 minutes. Add the ditalini, bring to a boil, simmer for 15 more minutes.

Tortellini Meatball Soup

Oh, how I love homemade soups! This one is especially good and hearty. You can alter it and use ground beef and/or ground pork instead of the turkey.

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 lb. ground turkey, beef, pork, or a combo
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 small diced onion
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced OR 1 tsp. celery salt
3  14.5 oz. cans beef broth
1  16 oz. can kidney beans – drained & rinsed
1  14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 small pkg. (or half of a 16 oz. pkg) frozen cheese tortellini

First, make the meatballs:  preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a large, rimmed baking sheet. Into a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg, then add the meat, breadcrumbs and spices. Mix gently but well and form into small meatballs – I usually get about 20 of them. Place on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.

Now, start the broth:  Into a soup pot, place the oil and butter and heat over med-high heat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the broth, 2 cups water, beans and tomatoes; bring to a boil then turn down to simmer. When meatballs are done, drain them if needed, then add to the broth, sprinkle some ground black pepper in – about 1/4 tsp. then bring back to a good, steady simmer for 30 minutes, gently stirring occasionally.

Add the tortellini, bring back to a boil, then cook as package directs. When the tortellini is done the soup is done. Ladle into bowls and eat!

Turkey Gumbo (or What To Do With Those Leftovers)

Ah, what to do with that leftover bird. I make it a rule to never go out shopping the day after Thanksgiving – instead I hang out at home make this soup for leftovers. Let others shop, I cook.

6 cups chicken or turkey stock
2 cups water
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
3 cups diced onion
1 lb. smoked sausage (I use Hillshire Farms)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups cups cooked, chopped cooked turkey meat
1/4 cup gravy from prior turkey meal – (optional, but very good)
1 large Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. pepper
Salt – be careful here, the stock & meat might already be enough salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked bow tie noodles, or 1 cup uncooked rice

For the Roux:
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup flour

In a large pot bring the the first 6 ingredients to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and let cook for 20-30 minutes. Now add everything else except the noodles, and keep this simmering for another 10 minutes. Add the noodles, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. It will continue to cook as you prepare the roux, below.

Keep the soup at a low simmer while you spoon off 3 cups of clear soup – do this as best you can and set aside. Then into a medium pot melt the butter and add the flour, stirring constantly while it cooks for at least 1 full minute. Slowly add the 3 cups clear soup – just a little at a time – and stir constantly on high heat until it gets thicker and thicker. The goal here is to create a very smooth pastelike roux. Mix this into the soup, while stirring and stir well.


Lentil Soup

Pure heaven on a cold day. Make a loaf of homemade bread to go alongside.

2 cups dry lentils
1 quart cold water
1 quart beef broth
1 quart vegetable broth (OR all beef broth)
2 potatoes, peeled & diced
2 carrots, peeled & grated
3 Tbsp. white or rice vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
Pecorino Romano to pass

Soak the lentils in the water, covered, for 2 hours. Place lentils and soaking water into a Dutch oven or a big soup pot. Add the broths, potatoes, carrots, vinegar, salt (don’t add any pepper) and cloves. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a low simmer for 3 hours. Serve with cheese to sprinkle over.

Beef Short Ribs In a Pot

So delicious and so hearty. It doubles quite well.

3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. beef short ribs
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tsp. Ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. butter
2 leeks, white & green parts OR
1 medium diced onion
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 cups of canned crushed tomatoes

In a large pan, heat the oil over over med-high heat. Sprinkle the short ribs with the salt and pepper then rub them into the meat on both sides. Add to hot oil and brown them on both sides for 5 minutes on each side – you want these to brown well. Remove from pot with tongs and set aside onto a plate or baking sheet.

In hot oil in the pot, place the butter and add the leeks/onions and celery; cook for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Sprinkle in the oregano and add the tomatoes. Scrape the ribs into the pan, along with any accumulated drippings from the plate. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer for at least 2 full hours. Serve. (The sauce may be a tad greasy, just lift out the ribs with tongs).



2 lbs. ground beef
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
1 29 oz. can pinto beans
1 29 oz. can kidney beans
1 large onion diced
2 large tomatoes – seeded & chopped
2 tsp. powdered cumin
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1-1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. kosher salt
1-2 cups water

Brown the ground beef in a large pot or dutch oven – the one you’ll make the chili in – over medium heat; drain the fat and put back into pot.

Place everything else into the pot and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat to simmer and let simmer for 3 hours. Do not cover. You will need to stir it about every 20 minutes or so.

Black Bean Soup

This recipe is made using canned beans ; I usually forget to soak the dry ones overnight and sometimes I just don’t wanna do it. Laziness has its good qualities.

2 Tbs. vegetable oil – NOT olive oil
1 small diced onion
2 stalks diced celery
2 peeled, diced/sliced carrots
1/2 of a diced green pepper
2 Tbs. minced garlic
4 cans (15 oz. each) black beans
4 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (1/2 tsp. will give it a really good kick)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. liquid hickory smoke – (look for it near the gravy packs or spices)

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat then add onion, celery, carrot, pepper and garlic – simmer for 15 minutes – you wanna sweat the veggies but don’t let them brown.

Meanwhile pour the canned beans into a colander and rinse them well with cold water. Then take 3 cups of these rinsed beans along with 1 cup of chicken broth and puree them in a food processor until smooth – this is what will give the perfect thickness to the soup.

When the veggies are ready, pour everything into the large pot and stir well. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn down to simmer and let it simmer at a good bubbling simmer for one hour. The liquid will reduce a bit and become thicker.

Meanwhile, make a large pot of white rice if you wish to serve on the side.  Also, some homemade zesty bread sticks are delicious alongside.