Monday, March 22, 2010

Grandma Hazel's Hot Beefs

First of all...update on the bathroom.  Shower, tub and walls are up!  Tile is going down...slowly but accurately which is important. 

Last weekend my parents came to visit which was pretty amazing considering the construction going on caused us all four of us to squeeze into our first floor half bathroom.  Doug and my dad sweated upstairs while my mom and I cooked and cleaned downstairs - I know, totally stereotypical but hey, we all enjoyed ourselves.  I made cheese manicotti from my Aunt Carol's recipe (it deserves its own blog post - it was so good) and my mom brought her secret weapon to motivate everyone to keep working - hot beefs. 

Now these are not your regular hot beefs, these are melt in your mouth, family secret, hot beefs.  I'm pretty sure knowing we were working on these in the kitchen caused the guys to work extra hard.

The original recipe came from my Grandma Hazel who was pretty much the love of my life growing up.  I loved making her laugh and she loved feeding my brother and I anything we wanted.  She always let me pour half and half on top of my rice crispies when I slept over and she also fed us things like donuts and soda that we didn't get at home.  I always remember her calling my brother a little bird because of the way he picked at his food, and how she was always up for a game of cards after lunch.  Nothing was off limits at Grandma's house and I spent long afternoons picking through her attics and cupboards looking for treasures.

Grandma Hazel knew how to put on a spread, although she did have a habit of throwing random things into jello salads, I think she can be forgiven by the fact that it was the 80's and that was the trend among Methodist pot-lucks at the time.  And don't ask my mom about braunschweiger sandwiches - we'll have to cover that in another posting.

Even if we were sitting down to a simple lunch she would pull everything we could possibly want out of the cupboards and throw it all in plastic bowls (either scratched tupperware or leftover country crock containers) and lay it all out on the table.  As we all started eating my Grandma would keep finding more things to add to the table until Grandpa would start in with his refrain of "Sit down Hazel" and soon we were all joining in urging her to sit and enjoy. 

I think the happiness Grandma found in food has been passed down to my mom and recently, passed down to me.  We all love putting a meal on for those we love and trying to make even a regular Saturday afternoon lunch something special.  Even though I didn't eat the hot beefs last weekend the smell alone triggered many happy memories.

Grandma Hazel's Hot Beefs

In my mind a plate of meat doesn't necessarily photograph that well so I thought I would post a picture of my Grandma Hazel instead.  My mom is lucky enough to still cook these in my Grandma's original pressure cooker so if you can borrow your Grandma's pressure cooker I gurantee they will taste even better.

This recipe is time-consuming but trust me, it will be worth it.  And once you get things going you can walk away and have a glass of wine. 

olive oil
3-5 pound chuck roast

salt and pepper

white onion, sliced
2-3 bay leaves

beef broth

1.  Heat large pressure cooker to high, add olive oil and sear chuck roast on all sides.  Salt and pepper roast as it sears.
2.  Top the roast with the sliced onion, bay leaves and add beef broth to cover 2/3 of the meat.
3.  Add pressure cooker cover and cook meat over medium high until it starts to whistle.  Then turn heat down to medium and cook for 20 - 30 minutes.  (Yes, the pressure cooker should still be whistling.  I know that sound is annoying so I would try to think of an excuse to leave the room for a while.)
4.  After the 20-30 minutes is up, take the pressure cooker off heat and let it rest  (covered) for 15-20 minutes.  After that amount of time the pressure should let us so you can easily take the lid off.
5.  If you want you can cool the roast overnight and skim some of the fat off the top.  If you just want to eat it in all its glory then cool it in the fridge for about an hour or until you feel comfortable handling it.  You will need to cut it up and my mom usually kind of slices and chunks it up the best she can. 
6.  Return the beef to the pressure cooker to warm it back up (uncovered).  Add some additional broth if the meat looks dry. 
7.  Serve on rolls and top with horseradish. 

The number of servings will vary based on the size of the roast.  A five pound roast will yield at least 10 sandwiches.  The hot beefs will keep when refrigerated and reheat nicely for a week. 

You could also freeze any leftovers but once your family smells whats cooking I doubt you will have any.

P.S.  You know you grew up in Wisconsin if you can spell braunschweiger correctly without using spellcheck.

Have a good week!

1 comment:

  1. Great post Kelly - I smiled while reading it because I can picture my grandma from your description! The sandwiches sound great, I'll have to try them!



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