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Posts Tagged ‘ground beef’

postheadericon Bum Stew or Bum Soup

The Coal Region has seen its share of hard times. As Anthracite coal and the accompanying industry saw a significant decline by the 1920s and mines and breakers closed, other industries came in to take its place. Manufacturing jobs were available as well as a large amount of garment factory work among other things. But even then, most families had to be very frugal – many had a lot of mouths to feed, or jobs did not pay well.  Like much of the country, the Coal Region felt the effects of The Great Depression, rationing during WWII, and the attempt to return to “normal” at the end of the war.  A way to save money was to be creative with inexpensive ingredients that made a large volume of food to feed the family, and the shopper in the household carefully planned each and every meal, menu, and trip to the grocery store. The most popular meals or dishes usually consisted of items already in the pantry, easily available, and affordable. Enter “Bum Stew” or “Bum Soup”. Once again, every cook had “their” version, but basically it consisted of ground beef, potatoes, and green beans simmered in water to create a filling soup. This version in my files also uses condensed tomato soup, a relatively inexpensive pantry item even “back in the day”. It does add a richness to the stock that is otherwise absent, but when times were tough, even a can of tomato soup took money out of the family budget therefore many people only remember bum stew made with water.  You can also use some canned beef stock in place of water if you choose.  Many folks who remember growing up eating “bum stew” still crave it today, even if they can afford more expensive meals.  Good memories have no price tags! As with most soups and stews, the flavors develop if made one day, refrigerated, then reheated to serve the next day.

 

Bum Stew or Bum Soup

Bum Stew or Bum Soup

Bum Stew (or Bum Soup)

Ingredients

  • Bum Stew:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 - 10.75 ounce can condensed tomato soup
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 4 carrots, peeled and small dice
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground beef in a large pot.
  2. Drain off half of the fat.
  3. To the pot and beef, add the onions, carrots, and potatoes,. Toss and cook the vegetables to get some color on them.
  4. Add the tomato soup, water, and green beans to the pot with the beef.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer, covered, for 30 - 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  7. Serve.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/11/15/bum-stew-or-bum-soup/

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postheadericon Polpetta (Meatballs)

When I was a child, growing up in the Anthracite Coal Region, “vacation” was a rare event, certainly  not something that was guaranteed to happen annually. The budget was tight and my Dad’s work demanded he put in long hours in the summer. When a vacation opportunity did present itself, we did as many people in the Coal Region did; we went “down the shore” — Jersey shore that is — Wildwood, NJ in particular. I loved the shore.  Wildwood had a lot of amusements and rides for the entire family and my Dad and I had a ritual — we would rent a tandem bike and ride on the boardwalk in the early morning sometimes veering off and exploring the streets of town. To save money when we did go to the shore, we stayed in a big, old Victorian house in which there were several rooms for rent and two efficiency apartments. We stayed in an apartment and made our own meals except for an occasional dinner out. One year, we got particularly lucky. My dad, who was stationed in Italy during WWII and remembered a bit of the Italian language he had picked up, came in and announced he had “made some new friends” in the apartment underneath us — a family of post-war Italian immigrants. Seems Dad and the husband in the family staying there struck up a conversation — in Italian.  Dad admitted he fumbled his way through, but was proficient enough to share some memories, have a few laughs, and it wound up with us being invited to dinner with these lovely folks! I was (am still am…) fussy about tomato and pasta sauces.  But I was even more particular about meatballs.  I detested big, tough, over-worked, over-cooked, weirdly seasoned blobs lying on top of my pasta. So, I figured, “Maybe I’ll like the sauce.” (which I LOVED) and I will just act like I am eating the meatballs.  But somewhere along the way, a little bit of meatball found itself onto my fork and the clouds parted and the angels sang! Sized just right, moist, tender, flavorful… I begged my Mom to ask for the recipe.  It has been in my recipe collection ever since and it is my favorite meatball.  Ever. “Grazie amici miei italiani” (Thank you my Italian friends.) NOTE: Use good quality cheese, not that saw-dust like stuff in a can from the grocery store shelf.

Polpetta (Meatballs)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 2 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup torn day old Italian bread soaked in 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 or 3 medium cloves very finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • OPTIONAL Fresh or dried bread crumbs as needed for rolling.

Instructions

  1. Squeeze excess milk from bread.
  2. Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Be gentle and do not over-mix.
  3. Shape into ping pong or golf balls sized balls and roll lightly in bread crumbs, if desired.
  4. Brown well in frying pan with olive oil and add to your tomato sauce.
  5. Let finish cooking by simmering in sauce.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/11/05/polpetta-meatballs/

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postheadericon Halupki Casserole

I adore halupki, (AKA golumpki, blind pigeons, stuffed cabbage, etc.) but I do not always have time to core, cook, and prep whole cabbage leaves or dedicate the cooking time to the traditional roll version. I also often find myself with a partial head of cabbage in the veggie bin left over from making another dish…no whole leaves to harvest from the head, but still lots of usefulness left. In those instances, I put together this faster to prep and cook casserole version of Halupki that provides all the flavor with far less fuss. As with the rolls, I like this served with mashed potatoes as a side. This recipe gets its sweet and sour element in the sauce from tomato soup and a little sugar and vinegar. You can add a few strips of bacon to the top when baking, or even a layer of sauerkraut; dress it up with what you like and what you have on hand if desired. This freezes beautifully; just thaw and reheat when you get a craving! I like to mimic the inside of traditional halupki by making little meatballs to layer in the casserole, but you can cut the prep time even more by just sprinkling little “globs” of the meat mixture into the dish. I have also made this in the slow-cooker. Prep the recipe as written, but layer into the crock, cook on low 4 – 6 hours or until cabbage is tender. I normally oven bake this in a disposable aluminum lasagna pan; it gives me some extra depth to avoid spill overs and makes for super easy cleanup.

Halupki Casserole

Halupki Casserole

Ingredients

  • Approx 1-1/2 - 2 lb cabbage, core removed and chopped in 1/2 inch pieces or medium shreds (approx. 1/4" )
  • Meat Mixture
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (OR use all ground beef)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 small onion, diced fine
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Sauce
  • 2 - 10 ounce cans condensed tomato soup
  • 1 - 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 - 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • OPTIONAL: 1 - 2 cups sauerkraut and/or bacon strips (to layer on top of cabbage.)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together, set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix the meat mixture ingredients together well. Form into bite-sized meatballs.
  3. In a deep casserole dish or lasagna pan, place a few spoonfuls of sauce, then layer half the meatballs, then half the cabbage on top and pour half the remaining sauce over the top. Repeat with remaining meatballs, then cabbage, then last of the sauce. NOTE: If you are using sauerkraut and/or bacon, place these on the layers of cabbage before adding the sauce each time.
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 F degrees until cabbage is tender. Baking time varies with how large or small you chopped the cabbage. Start testing the cabbage with a fork after 1 hour. Recover tightly and continue to cook until tender.
  5. NOTE #1: Natural water content of cabbage will vary with each head. You may find your cabbage has released a lot of water or not much. If your casserole seems to need more sauce or is drying, add a little water as it bakes. I always "sloosh" the tomato soup cans with some water to rinse them well and use this if I need to adjust the liquid during baking.
  6. NOTE #2: If adding bacon to your layers, keep in mind bacon will release grease as it cooks, Adding a lot of bacon can cause an excess of grease in the finished dish especially if you start with a high fat ground beef.
  7. NOTE #3: This is not a precise recipe. You might have more or less cabbage, use more or less meat, need more or less sauce...It is one of those recipes where your eyes and instincts will guide you as you put it together.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/06/halupki-casserole/

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postheadericon Pa Dutch Yum-A-Setta

As a Dutchie and Coal Cracker, I never met a noodle or dough ball I didn’t like.  Add cheese to the noodles or dough, and I am in 7th heaven. This casserole does that and, needless to say, is one of my favorites.  Layers of noodles, cheese, and lightly sweetened tomato/burger mix come together in a dish sure to become a family favorite. A pot-luck friendly, travels well recipe, it is also budget friendly, kid-friendly, and can be prepared ahead of baking time. I prefer Velveeta wrapped slices for their melting quality in this recipe, but you can substitute another brand or use deli sliced “American cheese”.  I also use medium width noodles in this dish so the sauce and cheese mixes through well. I pair this with Pa Dutch Pepper Cabbage and it becomes the ultimate comfort food meal for me! COOK’S NOTE: When draining noodles after cooking, I do not drain them perfectly dry.  I leave them slightly damp so that the undiluted cream of chicken soup mixes nicely with them.  SLIGHTLY damp — not dripping!

Pa Dutch Yum-a-Setta

 

Pa Dutch Yum-A-Setta

Ingredients

  • 1 - 1/2 lb. hamburger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup, undiluted (10-3/4 ounce can)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted (10-1/2 ounce can)
  • 12 ounces egg noodles
  • 12 slices individually wrapped processed (Velveeta or equivalent deli sliced)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Brown hamburger and onion with salt, pepper. Drain off excess grease.
  3. Add brown sugar, and undiluted tomato soup to the meat mixture and stir well.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the egg noodles according to package directions; drain. Add undiluted cream of chicken soup to the noodles and mix.
  5. Butter a 13" x 9" casserole dish. Layer 1/2 of the noodle mixture in the bottom of the pan, top with 6 slices cheese layered across the top, then top that with 1/2 of the hamburger mixture. Repeat the layering with the remaining noodle mixture, 6 cheese slices, and hamburger mixture.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/02/pa-dutch-yum-a-setta/

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postheadericon Stuffed Pepper Soup

Everything you love about stuffed peppers, but in the form of an easy and satisfying soup. Quick to whip up, this soup also freezes nicely. As the cooler weather settles in on the Coal Region, I like to have soups available for speedy meals as often as possible. This one is a favorite of mine and on frequent rotation on my schedule because it comes together quickly, is budget friendly, and does not require hours of simmering.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups chopped green peppers
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cooked long grain rice
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook and stir beef until no longer pink; drain off excess fat.
  2. Stir in next eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add cooked rice; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes longer. If desired, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/20/stuffed-pepper-soup/

 

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postheadericon Coal Region Barbecue

Known elsewhere as “sloppy Joe’s”, in the coal region, this is barbecue…a noun, not a verb. It has nothing to do with grilling a hunk of meat over a pit or coals, and why we chose to call is “barbecue” is a mystery, but it is sweet/sour and delicious.  None of that canned “sloppy Joe” stuff for us!

Coal Region Barbecue

Coal Region Barbecue

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 - 2 T water, if desired
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 hamburger buns

Instructions

  1. Crumble the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until meat is no longer pink. I like to brown the meat slightly, not just "steam" it. Drain excess grease, and stir in the vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, salt and pepper and water if using. Simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Serve on buns.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/coal-region-barbeque/

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postheadericon Pa Dutch Meat Loaf

In keeping with sharing our Pennsylvania Dutch diversity in the Coal Region, today’s recipe is Pa. Dutch Meatloaf. This meatloaf is sweet from the addition of brown sugar and has a ketchup/brown sugar glaze. I just love the leftovers in sandwiches after it has been chilled. And of course, it is also topped with strips of bacon.

Pa Dutch Meat Loaf

Pa Dutch Meat Loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 1/2 cups crushed butter-flavored crackers
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 slices bacon
  • SAUCE
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together ground beef, crushed crackers, onion, eggs, 3/4 cup ketchup, and 1/4 cup brown sugar until well blended. Press into a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Lay the two slices of bacon over the top.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until cooked through. While the loaf bakes, mix together the remaining 1 cup ketchup, vinegar, salt, mustard and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Spread over the top of the meat loaf for the last 15 minutes of baking.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/pa-dutch-meat-loaf/

 

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