Just the Basics<br>All-American meat-based meals keep Grosetas on healthy course

Southwest Brisket

Mary Beth got this recipe from the California Beef Council and says it’s delicious and fail-safe. She made this for her brother, who is a gourmet cook, and he loved it. Ask the meat department of your favorite supermarket for the brisket.

5 to 7 pound beef brisket (not corned)

1 can beer (your favorite brand)

1 small jar mild salsa

Trim all visible fat from meat and place in a deep baking pan such as cast iron, Corning Ware or a roaster. Pour beer and salsa over meat and cover pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Check with a fork for tenderness. Slice across the grain and serve with warmed flour tortillas and the sauce. The meat and sauce freeze well.

Sloppy Joes

This is one of her children’s favorite recipes and is so easy to make.

2 pounds ground beef

1 bottle catsup

1 green pepper, diced

2 large onions, diced

1 can tomato soup

1 teaspoon dry mustard or 2 teaspoons regular mustard

1 teaspoon vinegar

Brown meat in a skillet. Add onions and peppers and sauté a little. Add remaining ingredients. Place in baking dish and bake at 300-350 degree oven for 1 hour. Or cook on top of the stove in a deep frying pan on low heat for 1-1/2 to 2 hours (this sticks in pan so stir frequently). May also be cooked in a slow cooker. 6 to 8 servings.

Easy Cassoulet

Mary Beth adapted this recipe from her favorite cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Recipes.

2 pounds Kielbasa sausage, such as low-fat Eckrich

1 small onion, diced large

2 cloves garlic, minced

Cut sausage into chunks. Brown in a large skillet with onion and garlic until meat is lightly browned and onion is tender.

Add:

2 cans (15-ounce) great northern beans

1 bay leaf

1/4 to 1/2 cup water

Simmer for 15 minutes and serve with mashed potatoes.

Sicilian Meat Roll

2 beaten eggs

1/2 cup tomato juice

3/4 cup soft bread crumbs

2 tablespoons snipped parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

2 pounds ground beef

4 to 6 ounces thinly sliced deli ham

1 package (6-ounce) sliced Monterey Jack cheese (or mozzarella)

In a bowl combine the eggs and tomato juice. Stir in the bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic. Add ground beef; mix well. On foil or waxed paper pat meat to a 10x8-inch rectangle. Arrange ham slices atop meat, leaving a small margin around edges.

Reserve 1 slice of cheese. Tear up remaining cheese; sprinkle over ham. Starting from the short end, carefully roll up meat, using foil or paper to lift; seal edges and ends. Place roll, seam side down, in 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees until done, about 1-1/4 hours. (Center of roll will be pink because of ham.) Cut reserved cheese slice into 4 triangles; overlap atop meat. Return to oven until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. 8 servings.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Recipes Cookbook.

Gourmet Potatoes

6 medium potatoes

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup butter

1-1/2 cups sour cream

1/3 cup finely chopped green onions

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter

Paprika

Cook potatoes in skins; cool. Peel and shred coarsely. In large saucepan over low heat, combine cheese and 1/4 cup butter. Stir occasionally until almost melted. Blend in sour cream, onions and seasonings. Fold in potatoes and turn into greased 2-quart casserole dish. Dot with 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through. 8 servings.

Sand Tarts Christmas Cookies

This is a favorite old family recipe. Mary Beth prefers to make them with walnuts and the mixture of butter and margarine.

1 pound butter (room temperature) or 3/4 butter and 1/4 margarine

12 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar

3 cups ground walnuts (or pecans)

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups sifted flour

Mix all ingredients well. A few tablespoons of water may be added if you have a hard time making mixture stick together. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until very light brown. Roll in powdered sugar while still warm. Store in tightly covered cans. (These store well but don’t survive travel well.)

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