Saturday, March 14, 2015

Meatloaf redo

In my cookbook, Ancestral Cooking,  I have a recipe for meatloaf.  It came from a Quaker Oats package many years ago.  Here is an update on that recipe, or, as my grandmother Dammummy would write, receipt.
I bought a large package of ground beef at Wegmans and used all 6 pounds to make 4 loaves. You can halve this recipe, if you would like.  I recommend making 4 loaves and freezing 3 for later use. 
This is gluten free and dairy free.
Oats do not have gluten, but can be contaminated with gluten carrying wheat or rye when grown in fields that have self seeded with previous years' plantings or when processed in mills that also process gluten carrying grains. I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free oats.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Saute in olive oil to sweat and remove liquid:
2 sweet onions and 2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
Mushrooms, chopped: button, baby bella, shitaki, portabello - as much as you wish.  Use lots.

6 pounds of ground beef - 80% or 85% lean

6 oz can of tomato paste
4 eggs
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup parsley
1 Tablespoon basil
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix all together with your hands in a bowl

Add and mix in 1 cup Quick or Old Fashioned Oats - Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free.

Make into 4 loaves and cook either in loaf pans or on a rack over a jelly roll pan to catch the fat.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hours.  I use a quick-read thermometer to make sure that the internal temperature is at least 160 degrees. If using loaf pans, remove the loaves from the pans and cool on a rack.  Serve slices with a poached egg on top and with the vegetables of your choice.  Eat warm or reheat later.  Wrap the extra loaves in natural waxed paper, then in a zip-loc bag, and freeze for later use.

This is my best version yet, as I taste it.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hands-on History

Ancestral Cooking & Local Cooking: Hands-on History: An Experiment in Yesterday's Technology There is great value in studying “lost arts” for reasons other than purely historical ones. Our...

Ancestral Cooking Book is available again

My cookbook is once-again available for purchase.  I am continuing to edit the recipes as I tweak them and posting them on the blog.  I will also put new favorite recipes on the blog.
For those of you who want the printed version in hand contact me through this web site:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mushroom Stew

I have been reading the Paleo Cookbook and was just presented with a recipe for Mushroom Stew:

I have been playing with this on this rainy afternoon is Elma.
This is a great recipe. Next time I might try it with a few shitakes, as well as portabellos and button mushrooms. I did add dried thyme from last summer's harvest. I did not add the scallions due to Walter's aversion to raw onions.
It was yummy!

Serves 4
1 lb of mixed mushrooms, chopped with tough portion of stems removed (I used Portobello and White Button mushrooms and found them to be a great combination);
¼ cup of butter or ghee;
2 onions, chopped;
4 cloves garlic, minced;
Handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked;
¼ cup or so of red wine (this is really to taste, depending on how strong you want the flavor of the wine to be. A nice alternative to this would be fresh beef stock);
½ cup of heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk;
2 green onions, chopped;
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;

Before chopping the mushrooms, rinse them to remove any excess dirt and then pat dry.
Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the butter or ghee.
Stir-in the onions and garlic. Cook until they begin to brown, about 7 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. After cooking for a few minutes you will notice that they let off moisture. You want to continue cooking until this moisture evaporates entirely.
Add the wine or stock as well as the heavy cream or coconut milk and stir well to ensure that the flavors are dispersed evenly.
Once the stew has simmered for a few minutes, add in the thyme leaves, green onions and adjust the salt and pepper seasoning. Allow to sit on a low heat for a few more minutes so that it thickens.

This stew is now complete and ready to be enjoyed.

Visit this website for some interesting theories and recipes:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Corn Bread, as promised

Chili cooking in the fireplace with the cornbread ready to cut.

Along with the chili we almost always have corn bread. To make this scrumptious corn bread we often use corn cut from the still-warm cooked cob during the season.

Preheat your oven to 350°. Put a #8 (10") iron frying pan in the oven while the oven is heating up. When it is up to temperature throw about 1 tablespoon of butter into the pan to melt.

While it is melting mix together the makings of the corn bread:

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl:
3/4 cup yellow corn meal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
(make sure the baking powder is fresh - purchased within the year)
1 teaspoon salt

Mix the wet ingredients in another smaller bowl:
3/4 cup buttermilk
(this can be well beyond the "buy by" date - just make sure there is no mold)
1/4 cup corn or canola oil
1 egg
Beat it all together.
Add about 1 cup of corn either cut from the cob or dumped from the can after draining.

When the oven temperature has risen to 350° and the butter is melting in the pan
pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix only until blended.
Over-mixing will make the bread tough.

Remove the VERY HOT pan from the oven, swish the butter around the bottom and pour the mixture in.
Put it right back in the oven and set your timer for 25 - 30 minutes.
When it is just beginning to crack on the top, it is done.
Take it out of the oven and, when still warm,  turn it out onto a cutting board.If you leave it in the pan, it might get a little gooey on the bottom.
Some people have even been known to attack this with a spoon when it is still in the pan.

If you were to use a different pan, adjust the time for the size of the pan. A larger pan will make a thinner bread and require less cooking time. A smaller pan will make a thicker bread requiring more cooking time. Any way it is done this is good.

Serve it with butter and/or honey or eat it as-is.
Corn Bread in its Griswold iron pan.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chili redone

The other night I adjusted the chili recipe from my cookbook - Ancestral Cooking.
I made a large pot for a celebratory dinner at Emily & Jesse's new house. Unfortunately I couldn't join them as I had shingles and didn't want to give little red Ned the chicken pox.

This time I made the chili on the stove, but it works in the fireplace, as well.

Cover the bottom of a large dutch oven with a bit of olive oil.

Chop (I use my cuisinart) 1 medium onion, 2 cloves of garlic and a couple of carrots.

Salt and sauté them in the olive oil until limp but not brown.

Add a couple of pounds of ground meat. For this batch I used bison, organic beef, mild Italian chicken sausage and ground turkey.

Add ¼ teaspoon (a few strong grinds) of fresh pepper, 1+Tablespoon chili powder, 1+teaspoon of the following: ground basil leaves, dried oregano, chopped dill weed, and dried parsley. Adjust to your liking.

Add 1 small (6 oz) can of tomato paste, I quart jar or can of cut-up tomatoes,

about 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar, 1+ Tablespoon Dijon mustard,

½ cup red wine or what-have-you. I threw in the liquid from the tomatoes and did not add any wine for this batch.

2 or 3 drained cans of beans – dark red & light red kidney beans, and Great Northerns or another white bean. I use canned beans, but am about to make this starting with dried beans.

Add a cup or so of corn. Sometimes I use corn that I have striped off the cob during corn season; sometimes I use canned corn. I drain as needed. I took this photo before adding the corn from the freezer, which was striped from the cob at the dining room table last summer. It doesn't look all that different - with or without it.

Season with salt and more chili powder, as you wish.

I serve this with a chunk of cheddar cheese with a grater, sour cream and hot sauce for those who like things hot. They do say that some like it hot.

None of the amounts in this recipe are sacred. Play with it and make it your own. Some people like more beans, others like more meat. I am happy to accommodate.

This goes well with corn bread – the recipe for which I will add shortly.

You might note the olive oil on the back of the stove. That is a Haig & Haig Pinch bottle that I found on the top shelf of my closet in Canada. Mother must have kept them for whatever other use. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pumpkin Bread Redo

For those of you who have been making this pumpkin bread for the last 30-some-odd years or have discovered it in my book "Ancestral Cooking" there are some necessary changes. I started this using Comstock's Pumpkin Pie Filling (2 cups per can). Unfortunately Comstock stopped making it. I now use Libby's Pumpkin Pie mix (30 oz: 3 cups per can). This has required beefing up the spices as well as the number of coffee cans (9) in the cupboard.

I now make 3 batches at once, thereby using all of the pumpkin for one 30 ounce can.

Make 3 - 3 loaf batches in 3 different bowls at the same time - 9 coffee cans.

The new recipe for each 3 loaf batch is as follows:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F

3 - 1 pound coffee cans, greased with corn oil or spray.

3 cups white granulated or organic granulated sugar
1 heaping teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup corn oil
4 eggs
1 cup Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix (1/3 of the can)
2/3 cup water

3 cups unbleached, unbromated all-purpose flour.

Mix the dry ingredients together, except the flour.
Add the wet ingredients. Mix well with an electric beater.
Mix in flour.
Fill coffee cans 2/3 full.
If you add raisins, flour them first so that they do not sink.

Bake for 1 hour in a 350 F oven - on the middle rack of the oven.

Let them cool on a rack. When you want to remove them from the cans put each can on a burner to melt the bottom of the loaf inside the can. Turn it upside down and shake to gently release it. Leave on a rack to harden the outsides of the loaves before bagging.