Thursday, November 26, 2015

Beef Shank Potato Carrot Dutch Oven Casserole -- Revisiting an 80's Leftover Roast Beef Recipe

Today we are going to take a look at a vintage 1985 recipe from an Ontario community cookbook for "Roast Beef Hash" and reinvent it a bit.

I came across this recipe in the St. Paul's 25th Anniversary "Our Favourite Recipes" cookbook, part of a type of fundraising cookbook that I love and that examples of which we have looked at before on our cookbook TBT features. This one was to aid a church in Golden Valley, Ontario. The recipe immediately appealed to me as easy, thrifty and likely really good.

While I think the recipe would work fine on its own, and probably would turn out to be quite tasty, I thought a few changes might make it even better than it sounded on paper while keeping the essence of the original. These included using beef shank in place of leftovers and cooking it stove-top in a Dutch Oven instead of in a casserole.

First, to keep it thrifty we are going to use cuts of beef shank. This is a very inexpensive cut of meat, usually bought bone-in, that can be truly delicious though it requires long cooking times.

Take the beef shank and season it liberally with salt and pepper to taste. For this recipe we used four shanks. Once seasoned, dredge the shanks in flour until nicely coated on both sides.

Meanwhile, heat some extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a Dutch Oven to medium-high on the stove top and brown the shanks for about one minute a side so that they they look as pictured. Remove them and set aside as you brown the others.

When they are all browned place all the shanks back into the Dutch Oven without draining any of the juices. Add 4 cloves of minced garlic, enough water to just cover the shanks, and an appropriate amount of onion soup mix. So, for example, if you use four cups of water, as we did, then use as many packets of the soup mix as needed according to their instructions as if you were making the soup.

Bring this to a boil and then lower temperature, cover and simmer for 3 hours.

After three hours have passed add one large diced onion. Cover and simmer for another half hour. Then add 2-3 potatoes chopped rustically into several pieces each and add two diced carrots. Again, cover and simmer for another half-hour.

At this point the beef should be fall apart moist and the vegetables nicely cooked and flavoured. Top with some chopped parsley.

Serve over egg noodles (if desired) in a bowl with crusty bread and/or with rice on the side. Goes perfectly with a table red and garden salad.

Inexpensive and a crowd pleaser! Enjoy.

See also: The Oliver: Reinventing a 50's Colossal Salami Sandwich -- Vintage Cookbook TBT

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