Archive for MEAT

Pot Roast, Chamorro Style

Whenever I find myself feeling a bit homesick, I think of something to cook that soothes my longing for my island home. Chamorro Pot Roast is one of those dishes. This is a dish that was usually on the menu for Chamorro gatherings. I remember going to parties when I was younger, and before the table was opened, I’d check to see if there was any pot roast. If there was, the ONLY things I’d have on my plate were rice (red or white), pot roast (with as much gravy as I could scoop up), and lots of fina’denne’. These days, I use a crock pot to cook my pot roast. Set it and forget it…what could be easier?

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.  🙂  

Chamorro Pot Roast

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Ingredients:

  • 1 2-lb chuck roast (look for one that is nicely marbled with fat)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 whole garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (you can use white vinegar instead)
  • 2 tablespoons Dashida seasoning (Korean beef soup stock)
  • 1 teaspoon Accent or Ajinomoto
  • 1 cup water (if cooking this on the stovetop, use 2 cups water)
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch plus one cup water

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Directions:

1.  Place a large skillet or dutch oven over high heat.

2.  Using a long, sharp knife, CAREFULLY cut 8 deep slits into the sides of the roast. Push a whole clove of garlic into each slit.

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3.  Rub the sides of the roast with salt and pepper.

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4.  When the pan is hot, add half of the oil into the pan. Brown the roast on all sides then remove it from the pan and place it into a slow cooker or crock pot set to HIGH.

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5.  Add the remaining oil to the pan used to brown the roast. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.  Add the sautéed onions and garlic to the slow cooker.

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6.  Into the crock pot, add:

the tomatoes with juice…

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the Dashida seasoning…

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the accent or aji…

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the balsamic vinegar…

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the soy sauce…

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and 1 cup of water (see note below) plus any remaining salt and pepper.

NOTE:  If making this on the stovetop, add 2 cups of water instead (a lot of water will evaporate as the roast cooks).

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7.  Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH setting for 2 hours then lower the heat to LOW and cook for an additional 2 hours then turn off the slow cooker.  If cooking this on the stovetop, cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat for 2 hours.

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8.  When the roast is done, remove the roast to a plate or cutting board and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing (don’t cut it sooner that this or all the juices will flow out and leave your roast dry).

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9.  In the meantime, while the roast is resting, prepare the gravy. Using an immersion blender, purée the chunks of vegetables in the gravy until it is completely smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer all of the gravy (the liquid and all vegetables) from the slow cooker to a blender and blend until smooth.

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10.  Pour the puréed mixture into a small pot; bring the mixture to a boil.

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11.  Mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1 cup of water.

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Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the gravy and return to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.  Turn off the heat once the gravy has thickened.

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12.  After the roast has rested, use a serrated knife or very sharp carving knife to slice the roast into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.

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Pour gravy over the sliced roast beef.

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Serve with hot white rice and Enjoy!  I love to “drown” my pot roast and rice in lots and lots of gravy!  🙂

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Chamorro Bistek (or Bisteak)

Bistek (or Bisteak) is a favorite Chamorro dish.  The addition of achote (or annatto) gives a unique flavor, along with the tanginess of the added vinegar.  

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If you have it, I prefer using achote water made with fresh achote seeds.  Fresh is always best, but of course, using achote powder works quite well too.  This is what the packet of achote powder looks like.  As with the Sazon Goya seasonings, achote powder is another item that is commonly found in either the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.  If your local store doesn’t carry it, try looking for it in your local Asian supermarkets.

 

goya achoteIf you don’t have fresh achote seeds or achote powder, you can substitute with Sazón Goya seasoning that contains achote.  This is what the packaging looks like.  It’s a common item in the Hispanic aisle in most grocery stores.

 

 

 

This dish usually includes peas as a main ingredient.  Some think that if you DON’T add peas, it isn’t Bistek, but my family prefers this dish made WITHOUT peas.  We like using fresh or steamed green beans or sugar snap peas instead.  It’s all up to you, really.  With peas (or vegetables, for that matter) or without, it’s still a very tasty dish that is a must-add to your list of menu choices.

Scroll all the way to the bottom to find my recipe.  Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it.  🙂

Chamorro Bistek (or Bisteak)

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Place thinly sliced beef into a large frying pan.  I like to use minute steak for this.

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Add Dashida seasoning, minced garlic, black pepper, and thinly sliced onions.  Stir to combine all the ingredients.  Cook over medium high heat until the meat is browned.

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Add to the pan white vinegar and soysauce.  Stir to combine.

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Add water to the pan.  Add more or less water, depending on how much gravy you like.  We like a lot of kådu (gravy)–adding about a cup of water will yield a lot of kådu.  Cook for a couple of minutes–just long enough to reheat the gravy–then stir in achote powder (the achote powder will dissolve better if the liquid is HOT). 

NOTE:  You can substitute the water and achote powder with achote water made using achote seeds.

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Cook for another couple of minutes then stir in fresh or frozen peas (OPTIONAL).  My family actually prefers to use fresh sugar snap peas.  Cook for a few more minutes, or just long enough to either reheat the frozen peas, or to cook the sugar snap peas to your liking (we like it al dente, or cooked but still crisp).  You can also use fresh green beans instead of peas.  In the photo below, I used steamed sugar snap peas.

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After the vegetables are cooked/reheated to your liking, remove the Bistek from the heat and serve with steaming hot white rice.  ENJOY!

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Chamorro Bistek (or Bisteak)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds thinly sliced beef
  • 4 tablespoons Dashida beef flavored seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water*
  • 1 packet achote powder*
  • *If using achote seeds, make enough achote water to yield 1 cup
  • Optional:  1 cup frozen or fresh peas, sugar snap peas, or green beans

Directions:

1.  Place the beef, Dashida, garlic, black pepper, and onions in a large pan.  Cook until the beef is browned.

2.  Stir in the vinegar, soy sauce, water and achote powder.  Cook for about 5 minutes.

3.  Stir in your vegetables.  Cook long enough to reheat the vegetables (if frozen), or until the fresh vegetables are cooked to your liking.

4.  Serve with hot white rice and ENJOY!  🙂

 

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Lasagne al Forno

I first made this lasagne years ago, when I lived in Germany (yes, Germany, not Italy).  There was this small family run Italian restaurant in the little German town we lived in.  Aside from the restaurants and cafés in Italy, that little Italian restaurant in Germany is the best I’ve ever been to.  It’s been over 15 years since I’ve been there, yet I have not yet found any Italian restaurant to compare to that one in Germany.

This recipe is my take on one of my favorite dishes served there.  The blend of the tomato and bechamel sauces take this pasta dish to a whole new level.  Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.  🙂 

LASAGNE AL FORNO

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box no-bake lasagne noodles (have a 2nd box on hand in case you use a large pan)
  • Meat sauce (see below)
  • Bechamel sauce (see below)
  • 1 bag (1 pound) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese blend

Lasagne al Forno ingredients

Meat Sauce:
    • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
    • 1 pound lean ground beef (you can omit this if you want your sauce less meaty)
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 2 tablespoons Dashida beef flavored seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
    • 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped into small pieces
    • Black pepper, to taste
    • 2 29-ounce cans tomato sauce
Directions to make the Meat Sauce:

1.  Brown the sausage and ground beef.  Drain any excess fat and liquid.

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 2.  After the meat has browned, add the Dashida, onions, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and basil.

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3.  Cook until the onions are translucent. 

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4.  Add the tomato sauce to the ground meat mixture.  Stir to combine.  Simmer for 5 minutes then turn off the heat.  Set aside.

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Bechamel Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 5-ounce bag grated Parmesan cheese
Directions to make the Bechamel Sauce:

1. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter.

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2.  Add the flour (all at once) to the melted butter.

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3.  Use a whisk to mix the flour and butter together.  Cook over medium low heat for about 2-3 minutes.  Whisk constantly to prevent burning.

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4. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream.  Whisk vigorously to ensure there are no lumps. 

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5.  Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the milk mixture.  Turn the heat up to medium high. Continue whisking; cook until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.

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You know the sauce is thick enough when you dip a spoon into it, run your finger down the spoon, and you leave a line down the spoon that doesn’t disappear with runny sauce.

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6.  Add the grated nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.  Turn the heat off and set the sauce aside.  NOTE:  This sauce is EXCELLENT for fettuccine alfredo.  🙂

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Assemble the Lasagne al Forno:

1. Using a large lasagne pan, or a deep dish baking/roasting pan, spread a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.

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2.  Add a layer of noodles.  Don’t worry about filling in the spaces with noodles; these no-cook noodles will expand during the baking process.

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3.  Pour some bechamel sauce over the noodles, just enough to cover the noodles.

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4.  Sprinkle shredded and grated cheese over the bechamel sauce.  Top with another layer of noodles.

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5.  Repeat the layering process — meat sauce, noodles, bechamel sauce, cheese, noodles — until you’ve used up all of your sauce and/or noodles.  The last layer (on top) should be bechamel sauce topped with cheese.

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6.  Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the pan of lasagne on top of a large baking sheet.  Cover the pan of lasagne with aluminum foil.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. 

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7.  After 25 minutes, remove the aluminum foil.  Turn the oven to Broil — continue to bake the lasagne for 5 more minutes to brown the cheese on top.

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8.  Once the cheese has browned, remove the pan from the oven.  Before serving, let the lasagne sit for at least 15 minutes (don’t worry, it will still be hot) to allow the sauces to set.  If you serve immediately after removing the lasagne from the oven, the sauces will run all over the place (it will still taste delicious, but your presentation won’t be as “pretty”).  Serve with your favorite crusty bread and ENJOY!  🙂

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Short Ribs Soup (Kådun Kåtne)

It’s cold and rainy right now in the Colorado Rockies…perfect weather for Short Ribs Soup.  We call this Kådun Kåtne in Chamorro.  You can substitute short ribs with your favorite cut of beef–other favorites are oxtails (don’t knock it ’till you try it) and beef shanks.

You can even change this up further by adding your favorite vegetables–potatoes, taro, other types of squash, and baby bok choy are delicious in this recipe too!

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.  🙂

 

SHORT RIBS SOUP (KÅDUN KÅTNE)

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 packages (9 pieces) thick cut short ribs (rinse each piece well)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 8-10 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons Dashida beef flavored seasoning
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small head cabbage, cut into small pieces
  • 4 small yellow squash, peeled and cubed

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Place half of the diced onions in a large soup pot.  Add the short ribs and garlic.  Brown the ribs on all sides over medium high heat.

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2.  After the ribs are browned on all sides, add 8 cups of the water, the remaining onions and Dashida.  Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil.  Every now and then, skim off and discard any scum that rises to the surface.

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3.  Cook the ribs for 45 minutes to an hour over medium high heat.  Keep the lid covered while cooking; uncover only to skim off any scum on the surface then replace the lid.  If you need to, add the remaining water (keep the ribs submerged in liquid during cooking).  After an hour, the ribs should be tender.  If the ribs are not as tender as you’d like, cook for 15-20 more minutes.

This is what the scum looks like — you want to scoop this out and discard it.

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4.  When the ribs are done (and as tender as you’d like them), add the vegetables.  First, layer the cabbage on top of the ribs.  Press down on the cabbage, just slightly so that the leaves are moistened with the broth.  Layer the squash on top of the cabbage leaves, also pressing them into the broth (do not stir the vegetables into the soup–they will cook ON TOP of the ribs).  Cook for 5 minutes then turn off the heat.

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NOTE:

Before serving, I usually scoop out a good amount of kådu (soup broth) into a freezer-safe bowl, then place the bowl in the freezer for several minutes.  All of the fat will rise to the surface and harden.  After the fat solidifies, I scoop it out and discard it, then reheat the kådu.

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5.  After the kådu is reheated, remove the pot from the heat.  Taste the broth; re-season if necessary with Dashida and pepper.  Serve with hot white rice and fina’denne’.  Enjoy!

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Homemade Beer Chili

Homemade chili such a versatile dish that can be changed up depending on the ingredients you add.

My family’s favorite is chili made with ground beef, but we also love white chicken chili and chili made with ground chuck (or cut into small pieces) and cooked in a pressure cooker.

It’s not only versatile in how it’s prepared, but how you serve it too.  Of course, being Chamorro, we love eating steaming hot chili with freshly cooked white rice.  We also love it served with chips–our favorites being Doritos or Fritos–or heaped onto a baked potato with a generous amount of shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.

However you serve it, it’s delicious.

My recipe contains some unusual ingredients–my “secret” ingredients.  (Shhhh….don’t tell anyone.)  🙂

Among my treasure trove of secrets in this recipe, I add an entire 12-ounce bottle of beer–YES, BEER.  I like using ale in this recipe, but by all means, use your favorite beer or whatever you have on hand.  Don’t worry, though–all of the alcohol gets cooked out, leaving behind only a hint of beer, imparting a new dimension of flavor that will leave your friends wondering what you put in it.

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I also add about a cup of crushed tortilla chips.  This serves as a thickening agent without adding flours or starches to the chili.  Add more chips for a thicker chili.  I think I used about 5 or 6 handfuls of chips to get a cup’s worth of crushed chips.  Just put the chips in a bowl and smash it with your hands.

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Give my recipe a try–I think you’ll like it.  🙂

Click on the thumbnail photos below to open up a full-sized photo.

Homemade Beer Chili
 
This is a hearty and very tasty chili that contains my "secret" ingredients that are sure to make you come back for more!
Ingredients
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 6 tablespoon Dashida beef flavored seasoning
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 12 oz beer
  • 3½ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (28-oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 2 can (15.5-oz) white kidney beans
  • 2 can (16-oz) dark red kidney beans
  • 4 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • salt and black pepper
  • jalapeño peppers
Instructions
  1. Place the ground beef in a large pot. Add the Dashida; stir.
  2. Add the onions to the pot.
  3. Cook over medium high heat until the meat has browned. I like using this utensil from Pampered Chef -- it's used to break up the ground beef into smaller pieces as you cook it (I switch to a cooking spoon after the meat has browned).
  4. Pour in the beer. I like using a good ale, but you can use your favorite beer. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally. Keep the heat on high until the liquid in the pot has dried down and the alcohol has cooked out.
  5. Add the chili powder. Stir to combine.
  6. Add the paprika. Stir to combine.
  7. Add both cans of tomatoes (crushed and diced) to the pot. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium.
  8. Add the crushed tortilla chips to the pot. Stir to combine.
  9. Add the beans and stir. Keep the heat at medium; cook, uncovered, until the mixture returns to a boil. The crushed chips should have softened and dissolved into the mixture by now, thickening it up quite a bit.
  10. Add the Parmesan cheese; stir. I like adding grated cheese to this recipe. It adds a bit of saltiness and gives it added depth of flavor.
  11. Add the brown sugar; stir. The brown sugar adds another layer of flavor in my recipe. I find it also balances the saltiness from the Dashida and grated Parmesan cheese, as well as compliments the spiciness from any added chili peppers (optional).
  12. At this point, you can stir as much hot chili peppers you like. My kids don't like spicy chili so I don't add it.
  13. Serve over hot rice, or in a bowl with a side of your favorite chips (we like Fritos or Doritos with this). Enjoy!

 

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