By Donna Zitter Bordelon
Beef has fallen out of favor in many quarters, no pun intended. But how does one account for beef’s ubiquitous appeal at Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other restaurants and bars? Somebody’s eating beef. All things considered, somebody still wants to know “Where’s the Beef?” And somebody’s cooking with beef, too. In fact, there’s a lot of such cooking taking place in and around Philly, judging from the recipes sent into the NE Times food column.
The following recipes are some of the submissions not randomly drawn in the ongoing gift-card contest. So many of the submitted recipes really are winners, culinarily speaking, and I plan to share them with you in future columns. If you entered a recipe, it could be published, so please check back in the months ahead. The following are a few of the submitted beef recipes.
WENDA BONAZZA’S NOT YOUR MOMMA’S SHEPHERD’S PIE
3 lbs. lean ground beef
5 lbs. mashed potatoes
1 cup BBQ Sauce
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup Cheez-It crackers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line the bottom of your baking dish with Cheez-Its to make a crust.
In a skillet, cook ground beef until brown. Drain. Add BBQ Sauce. (I prefer Chicken and Ribs BBQ Sauce.)
Pour cooked ground beef mixture over crackers, covering the cracker crust completely.
Sprinkle cheese over the ground beef, leaving about 2 Tbsp. aside.
Pour mashed potatoes on top, covering the ground beef completely.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of mashed potatoes.
Bake for 20 minutes.
MARY KUCZYNSKI’S BARBECUED BABY BEEF RIBS
2 lbs. baby beef ribs
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. chili sauce
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Dash of black pepper
Dash of dry mustard
Prepare Basting Sauce: Mix all ingredients together.
Wipe the ribs with damp paper towel.
Place ribs in a single layer in a shallow pan.
Baste occasionally while baking.
Roast ribs at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning once.
If ribs are too dark, cover with foil, reduce to 400 degrees for last 10 minutes.
DAN HUNSINGER’S BEEF & BLUE CHEESE PENNE WITH PESTO
2 cups uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
2 beef tenderloin steaks (6 oz. each)
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
5 oz. fresh baby spinach (about 6 cups), coarsely chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup prepared pesto
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, sprinkle beef tenderloin steaks with salt/pepper.
Grill steaks, covered, over medium heat.
Drain pasta. Transfer to large bowl. Add spinach, tomatoes, pesto and walnuts. Toss to coat. Cut steak into thick slices. Serve with pasta.
Sprinkle with cheese.
JOAN’S NANA’S HAMBURGERS
1 package hamburger rolls
1 lb. ground beef
½ cup oatmeal
1 small onion, chopped fine
1½ tsp. yellow mustard
½ cup ketchup
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients (except rolls) well.
Split rolls and cover each half with meat mixture, being sure to cover the edges (I use a fork). Put on baking tray.
Broil 5–6 minutes until hot, bubbly and brown.
Serve with pickles and chips. Yum!
PRISCILLA RATAJ’S SWEET AND SOUR MEATBALLS
1 lb. ground meat
1 medium onion, chopped
Garlic, chopped (to taste)
1½ cups bread crumbs
Salt/Pepper to taste
8 oz. can cranberries, whole or strained
1 can tomato soup
Mix together meat, onion, garlic, salt/pepper and bread crumbs. Make small meatballs.
Heat soup and cranberries until melted. Add meatballs to sauce. Cover and cook slowly for 30–40 minutes.
Eat well, live long, enjoy!
(Questions or tips can be sent to Donna Zitter Bordelon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)