Oxtail Stew, an heirloom recipe

This is a classy, rich, amazing dish. It’s an heirloom, for it was handed down to me from my Polish mom from her mom. But it is one of those, “they never used a recipe,” recipe. That means it was assumed you had seen how it was made before, tasted it, knew what you were doing and, certainly, made it slightly differently each time. (And you serve it on top of mashed   potatoes or wide egg noodles.)

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This “unwritten” recipe for Oxtail Stew is really just the “bones” of the dish, the basic instruction. The cook uses it as a start, then simply tastes and adjusts as he goes along. So feel free to take this instruction, and note of some of my italic adjustments I made today when preparing this stew; then make your own. ~But know, the next time you, or I, make it, it will be different!

Anyway, I introduced this Stew to my hubby when we were dating, and swear, that introduction led to the 20 years of marital bliss we celebrate today!

Oxtail Stew
2 lbs. oxtails, cut in 1½” lengths
flour for dredging1 med. onion, sliced
1 can condensed beef broth
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Inspired 3-Bean Super Bowl Chili

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Super Bowl is coming, so today’s posts include a variety of inherited chili recipes, topped off with this inspired recipe, 3-Bean Super Bowl Chili.  This new recipe is the result of all of the other chili recipes we’ve loved, and a new-found love for all things extremely hot and spicy.

Inspired 3-Bean Super Bowl Chili
2 ½ lbs. lean boneless chuck, cut into ½” cubes
1 lg. white onion, finely diced
6 tbsp. chicken fat, divided (or veg. oil)
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. hot red chili powder, or to taste
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Winning White Chili with Wild Rice and Pork

A recipe from upscale grocer, Jerry’s, located in Sanibel Island, Florida and Edina, Minnesota.  Make ahead, the flavor improves and it’s easy to reheat.

Winning White Chili
Ingredients
2 med. onions sliced
2 lb. boneless pork loin, cut in ½” cubes
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Beer Chili

This was a simple recipe we hijacked in college and turned into “Beer Chili,” using long-neck bottles of Red, White and Blue Beer.  Hey! Don’t laugh, we went to school in Milwaukee and there was a sale on long-necks! No doubt, there was a lot more beer poured into this chili then, than what the recipe prescribed.

Beer ChilI
1 lb. lean hamburger
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 can dark red kidney beans
1½ tbsp. chili powder, add more to taste
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International Chili Society Prize Winning Chili

This prize-winning International Chili Society recipe won the competition in the late 1970s. The ingredients here are roughly the same, ~but the amounts differ, as the 1977 winning recipe for “Jay’s Chili” found here: http://www.chilicookoff.com/Winner/wc_1977.asp. It’s well worth the time to pursue that link , for the site is non-stop chili and salsa!

International Chili Society Prize Winning Chili
Ingredients
2 med. onions, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
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Hearty Chili with an Italian Twist

From Jerry’s Foods, in Edina, Minnesota and Sanibel, Florida

Hearty Chili with an Italian Twist
Ingredients
1 lb. bulk Italian Sausage
1 lb. lean ground beef
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Tigua Indian Reservation Restaurant Hot Chili

The Tiguas, who are descendants of Indians from New Mexico’s Pueblo tribes, run amazing tribal restaurants in Texas’ oldest town, Ysleta (which means “little island’), which is now a suburb of the border city of El Paso.  There they offer Indian, Mexican and Texan tastes on a menu that includes bread baked exactly the way it was 300 years ago, sizzling fajitas and this fiery red chile stew.

Tigua Indian Reservation Restaurant Hot Chili
Ingredients
2 ½ lbs. lean boneless chuck, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 lg. onion, chopped
6 tbsp. lard or vegetable shortening, divided
4 tbsp. flour
3/4 c. red chili powder
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White Chili with Chicken

This chili even lasso’ed my son, ~he claims not to like chicken, but uttered a loud “mmmmm” when he tasted it!

White Chili 

2½ c. water
1 tsp. lemon pepper
4 (1½ lbs.) chicken breast halves, skinless (or use cooked turkey and add ½ tsp. lemon pepper)
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Karl Ratzsch’s Hungarian Beef Goulash

Karl Ratzsch’s restaurant provided the recipe to the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1978.

Karl Ratzsch’s Hungarian Beef Goulash
2 lbs. lean beef (bottom sirloin, butt or round), cut in 1½” squares
2 lbs. onions, sliced
4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
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Karl Ratzsch’s Potato Dumplings

Found this at http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/eatingout/eating_k/karlrap.htm and added it to my collection.

Karl Ratzsch’s Potato Dumplings
3 lbs. potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
1 C. hot milk
¼ C. bacon grease
3/4 C. diced, cooked bacon
¼ C. diced, cooked onion
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
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Bruce Z’s Polish Red Borsch (BARSZCZ CZERWONY)

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My uncle Bruce’s big, meaty, delicious barszcz czerwony truly has that old-world cachet and will wonderfully impress guests. This recipe is sized for a party. (P.S. Also known as borscht, bortsch, borstch, borshtch, borsh, borshch, Ukrainian борщ)

Bruce Z’s Polish Red Borscht (BARSZCZ CZERWONY)
10 lbs. boneless chuck roast, cut into 3″ squares
2 beef soup bones
Butter or olive oil
8 lg. carrots, sliced into 1/2“ rounds
8 lg. turnips, sliced into nice size strips
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