Were settling in for a long string of cold days, so time to catch up on those indoor jobs. So today, i’m turning a couple packages of home raised grass finished frozen oxtail into delicious and versatile food. After unwrapping and placing the thawed beef oxtail pieces in a large pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 3-4 hours. When tender, let cool then pull off the meat pieces. The bones and extra fat i feed to our laying hens. Chickens are omnivores, so it’s not a bad thing, but i never feed chicken back to chicken. Chicken bones are fed to the dog.
Ideas for the meat: baleadas, quesadillas, roast beef salad, roast beef sandwich (using broth to make gravy), barbecued pulled beef, beef topping for fresh salad, or make vegetable beef soup with the broth or just plain broth if you or a loved one is under the weather.
September’s meal for Refuge Ministries, Mexico, Missouri was an old favorite of ours which was published in the Centennial Baptist Church cookbook shared by Frankie Levingston, the mom of my dear high school chum, Sharie Levingston.
1 lb ground beef (i use our home raised fully grass-finished beef)
2 cups pasta
3 cups chopped tomatoes or 1-15 oz can sauce
1/2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped peppers (we prefer green beans, okra, or such)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup cubed cheese (use your favorite)
Prepare pasta as per package instructions, drain, set aside. While pasta is boiling, brown ground beef in a large skillet with chopped onions, add tomatoes or sauce, with optional vegetables. Stir to just mixed, then add pasta. Mix carefully then sprinkle about 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese over top along with the cubed cheese. Replace lid and put on low heat until cheese starts to melt. Serve over bed of lettuce if desired.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Author: Frankie Levingston, Centennial Baptist Church (Mexico, MO) cookbook.
My photos show this recipe multiplied by 10 to prepare enough for the Refuge plus have some meals to deliver to friends and neighbors who are recovering from surgeries.
Hope you enjoy preparing and serving this easy, inexpensive, and tasty dish.
I basically followed this recipe from Chef Edward Lee sans the fish sauce, where do you get that anyway? Ivis and i never had opportunity to go fishing this summer, so there are no fish in the freezer from which to obtain fish sauce. In place of soy sauce, i use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. Additionally, i just sliced the brussels sprouts rather than shredding. No coriander or chili flakes (my husband is allergic to chili) and i used lemon juice in place of lime and red wine was substituted for the vinegar. Don’t let the lack of ingredients keep you from trying nifty recipes. Many can be eliminated or substituted and the dish will be just as great, not to mention your own creation. Go for it!!
Grassfed lamb is one of the most delicious and healthiest meats around. These chops were raised on a farm just north of us: Golden Circle Farms, Unionville, MO and are available for purchase in vacuum packed, USDA inspected packaging. Best way to contact Tom and Laurie Salter is by phone for now: 361-318-7745. Know your farmer to discover the cleanest and healthiest food for your family.
Sometimes a stumbled upon recipe in a catalogue or magazine or flyer really resonates with your family and it becomes part of the regular menu lineup. This casserole is one such that i found probably 20 years ago. The beauty of it, is that it is easily modified to accommodate your own tastes and whatever you have on hand (within reason of course!)
The original recipe is pictured way below, but the one i made yesterday included my home raised green beans and home grown grass finished ground beef. For chopping the vegetables i use a mini food chopper and even chop the green beans if i’m preparing for Sunday’s meal with Allen’s 98-year-old Aunt June. She has lost her teeth and can’t keep track of dentures – so it is what it is.
Family sized version:
2 lbs grass-finished ground beef
1 medium sized onion – chopped
3 medium sized carrots – chopped
1-2 cups Asian long pole green beans – chopped
1 24 oz jar of Eden Organic tomatoes (normally i use my home raised tomatoes, but i’ve already run out!) Eden’s brand is excellent, but, honestly, to open them, i either need my stout son, Dallas, to do it, or i go get my long handled Channel Lock pliers. It’s really ridiculous.
2 cups of your favourite cheese, divided – 1 1/2 cups to stir into veggie/beef mix, 1/2 cup to top off the casserole. Or stir in 2 cups of cheese to melt – whatever your choice!
Brown the ground beef in a 4 quart pot and add all the vegetables, including the tomato sauce, throw in maybe a tablespoon of salt (check your tomato sauce – it may already have salt in it – i try to use straight tomatoes) and a teaspoon of black pepper -whatever suits ya, and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. Add 1 1/2 cups of your favourite cheese and stir to melt.
Once the mix is ready, pour into a 9×13 inch pan, level it off, then top with biscuits. I make my own, but you can buy some to use. Then sprinkle about a cup of shredded cheese on top. Then add a sprinkling of parsley, basil, or oregano if you like.
Bake in a preheated oven of 375 F for about 28 minutes until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden brown. This makes 6-8 servings. Takes about an hour to make and bake, but if there are leftovers, it’s still a time saver. What does it cost? that will totally depend on the quality of ingredients you purchase.
So, why the liquid diet postings – well, my father-in-law just went through terrible pain and finally surgery to pull his stomach down through his diaphragm so that it was no longer in his chest cavity! There were a lot of problems this caused, so we all hope that he will be able to heal now. To start, however, he is on a 2 week liquid diet, so the challenge is to provide high calorie, palatable liquids so he can gain enough strength to keep going. Especially when he doesn’t even have an appetite.
We had just butchered a beef and i had asked the butcher to throw all the big bones in sacks for the dog, but now I’m cooking them for bone broth before letting the dog have at them. I pack a 3 gallon stock pot with beef bones and fill with water. Bring to a boil (be ready because this full pot will boil over and make a mess the minute you turn your back!), then turn down the heat for a slow boil about 5 hours.
Using tongs, I remove the bones and place in one of those big popcorn tins. The stock will be reduced to about 8 cups. Let this cool overnight, so that the fat that hardens on top can be removed easily. I’m not completely sure that removing all that fat is good, so i typically leave few tablespoons. It sure is extra calories, which are needed, but sometimes too much fat can cause indigestion and i certainly want to avoid that.
Once this stock is made, it can be used to prepare different flavors or use it as is with maybe a bit of Real salt (which has minerals) to taste.
Here’s what i added to one quart and Jerry really liked it:
1 tsp powdered or 5 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp powdered celery
1 tablespoon Real salt
1 large onion, quartered
Bring to boil, then turn down heat and simmer about an hour. Strain through doubled cheesecloth into a heat proof jar. I use a regular canning jar which makes it easy to transport up to his house. This way, he can pour out what he wants to warm up each time he feels he can eat something.
The report this morning was that he really like this combination!
Note that this broth is a far cry from broth purchased in the store. When this broth is cool, it is very gelatinous indicating its source is more than water and flavour. Our cattle are pasture finished with no grain or antibiotics.