Midwest Sunday Dinner* (Four Recipes in One)

* Full disclosure: I am not from the Midwest. My mother was raised in OH, but even she doesn’t eat the typical  “Midwest diet” of meat and potatoes. This is simply my interpretation of a meat and potatoes meal. Also, I never ever order meatloaf when dining out because nothing compares to this moist flavorful meatloaf!

Homemade meatloaf served with fresh snapped peas, glazed carrots, and cheesy garlic mashed potatoes. All recipes are included in this post.

Homemade meatloaf served with fresh snapped peas, glazed carrots, and cheesy garlic mashed potatoes. All recipes are included in this post.

 

HOMESTYLE MEATLOAF  Serves 8

3 lbs of meat loaf blend (equal parts ground chuck, ground pork, and ground veal) OR 2 lbs ground chuck and 1 lb ground pork OR 3 lbs ground turkey (not turkey breast alone, make sure ground turkey is mixed with dark meat for better color and flavor)

2 yellow onions pureed using food processor

2 bell peppers (preferably red), diced

3 cloves garlic minced

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon beef seasoning OR salt

2 large eggs, whisked

1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs

3/4 cups favorite bbq sauce or light brown sugar, extra sauce or sugar to top before cooking

Optional- 1/2 cup 1% milk or 1/2 cup plain tomato sauce

Ingredients for meatloaf shown. The bbq sauce, Boss Sauce, is my family's company. I will post information about it soon! We are expanding our market. It's delicious!!

Ingredients for meatloaf shown. The bbq sauce, Boss Sauce, is my family’s company. I will post information about it soon! We are expanding our market. It’s delicious!!

Ingredients for Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients for Turkey Meatloaf. Use dark meat turkey for better color and flavor.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In large bowl place ground meat of your choice. Create a well in the center of meat.

Fill well with onions, peppers, and garlic.

Meatloaf

Liberally season meat with dry mustard, cinnamon, ground black pepper, and beef seasoning or salt.

Meatloaf

Mix meatloaf mixture with clean hands until seasoning is well incorporated.

Add eggs, bread crumbs, milk or tomato sauce, and bbq sauce or brown sugar.

Meatloaf

Mix meatloaf mixture for another 3 minutes or until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Meatloaf

Line a large glass dish (do not use a shallow dish) with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.

Place meatloaf into pan and shape into a loaf  using hands.

Meatloaf loaf

Top loaf with 2-3 tablespoons of bbq sauce, brown sugar or 3-4 strips of bacon.

Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes – 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Please note that while cooking the meatloaf will generate liquid. Drain this from pan. You can save this liquid to make a quick gravy.

Final Meatloaf

 

(CHEESY) GARLIC MASHED POTATOES

2.5 lbs butter potatoes (all purpose potatoes, not white potatoes), peeled and cut into quarters or eighths

1/4 cup sour cream

2 cups half and half

1 stick salted butter

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/2 tablespoon salt

Optional: 1/2 cup shredded pecorino romano cheese AND 1 cup shredded Muenster cheese

Mashed Potato Ingredients

Directions Serves 8

In large stock pot bring potatoes to boil in (salted) water. Once potatoes are tender (fall apart when fork is inserted) drained potatoes, but return them to same warm pot and return pot to the stove. Turn of the heat/eye.

Potatoes

 

Immediately, add stick of butter, and half and half. Begin to mash in pot using a masher. FYI NEVER put potatoes in the blender. the starch becomes glutenous.

Mashed Potatoes

Once potatoes are smooth add sour cream, white pepper, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir until smooth and seasoning well incorporated. If too thick add more half and half (or another milk) by the tablespoon full. Top with parsley flakes and serve.

If making “Cheesy” add shredded pecorino romano and Muenster cheeses when adding seasonings. Then top with parsley flakes.

Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Cheese is optional)

Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Cheese is optional)

GLAZED CARROTS  Makes 8 cups

12 large carrots peeled

2 tablespoons salted butter

1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Not shown: ground nutmeg, salt, ground and cayenne pepper

Not shown: ground nutmeg, salt, ground and cayenne pepper

Directions

Julienne carrots (find instructions here, you may also slice them on a mandolin)

Julienne Carrots

In a large sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar. Add carrots to pan and coat with butter-sugar mixture. Liberally season carrots with ground ginger, nutmeg, salt, and if using, cayenne pepper. Stir carrots until well coated.

Carrots

Turn heat down to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until carrots are tender, but not mushy.  Serve.

Carrots

 

FRESH STEAMED PEAS

4 cups fresh snapped peas

1 cup water

2 tablespoons vegetable base OR 1/2 tablespoon salt AND 1/2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

2 tablespoons unsalted/salted butter

These are fresh peas! They taste 100 times better than canned or frozen.  Not shown: Ground dry mustard, butter, garlic powder or water

These are fresh peas! They taste 100 times better than canned or frozen.
Not shown: Ground dry mustard, butter, garlic powder or water

Directions

In 4 quart pot, melt butter over medium heat.

Add rinsed peas, seasoning, and water. Bring pot to boil for 3 minutes. Reduce temperature to low. Simmer on low for additional 3 minutes. Serve.

An easy Sunday dinner! A great meal for impromptu guests. This meal will serve 8 dinner guests,

An easy Sunday dinner! A great meal for impromptu guests. This meal will serve 8 dinner guests,

Sunday Smothered Chicken

Smothered Chicken (shown with flour & milk eliminated for "healthier" version

Smothered Chicken (shown with flour & milk eliminated for “healthier” version

This is a perfect and quick entree for your Sunday meal. I don’t have a “story” like my other items, because I created this one Lenten Season when I had given up red meat. I wanted a beef chuck roast and created this instead. That’s it! I hope you enjoy! Serve with rice, cabbage, and corn bread.

Ingredients 

1 roasting chicken cut into 8 pieces OR cut up for stewing/currying (see your butcher)

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons black or cayenne pepper

2 medium yellow onion cut in half and sliced

2 celery stalks, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon chopped or minced garlic

1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil

1 cup all purpose flour for coating

6 cups cold water or room temperature chicken stock (AND OPTIONAL 1/2 cup flour and 1 cup cold heavy cream)

1/2 cup corn starch (8 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes

2 tablespoons fresh thyme

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Directions

On a sheet pan  place chicken pieces that have been patted dry and fat trimmed, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and flour on both sides.

In a heavy pot (i.e. a dutch oven) heat vegetable (or coconut) oil over medium-high heat. Place chicken skin side down in single layer. Cook for 10 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken and cook another 10 minutes (Chicken should be golden brown, although it is not completely cooked). Remove chicken and place on a CLEAN sheet pan. Do not drain.

Reduce heat to medium and add onions, garlic, and celery. Scrape the bottom of the pot, loosening chicken debris. Cook vegetables until tender. In a large bowl whisk chicken stock or COLD water with corn starch, and add liquid to pot with vegetables. At this time, you may also whisk in cold heavy cream and flour for a more decedent flavor.

Add dried parsley, fresh thyme, and remaining salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil (7-10 minutes), stirring frequently. Return chicken to pot. Cook in liquid for another 25 minutes on medium-low heat. Chicken should almost fall off of the bone. Serve with rice, cabbage, and cornbread.

 

 

 

Oxtails with Gravy

When I’m craving red meat, I turn to this recipe. I watched my God mother make this meal many times and adjusted it to include other ingredients to bring it to the “next level.” It can be served with dumplings or spinners, simple dough dropped into the gravy and cooked simply by the heat of the liquid, served with broad beans or large lima beans, corn bread, rice, or cabbage.

Ingredients

5-6 lbs oxtails, fat trimmed

4 habanero peppers sliced

1 bunch culandro minced

1 red bell pepper sliced

2 yellow onion cut in half and sliced

2 sprigs fresh rosemary (optional)

3 Tablespoons minced garlic

5 carrots peeled and sliced thinly using plantain slicer

2 cups dry  red wine (don’t buy “cooking wine”, instead purchase an inexpensive dry wine that tastes good and cook with it)

2 cups water

4 bay leaves

2 Tablespoons beef bouillon

1 Tablespoon ginger powder

3 Tablespoons seasoned salt or salt-free “seasoned salt”

3 Tablespoons White sugar

3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil

Directions

After trimming oxtails, place in large bowl. Add yellow onions, bell pepper, garlic, habanero peppers, culandro, seasoned salt, and ginger powder. Rub meat with all ingredients. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

When ready to cook oxtails, you have two options: low and slow atop stove alone OR pressure cooker for 25 minutes, then low and slow atop stove. The directions listed here are for low and slow atop the stove. When using the pressure cooker simply cook oxtails in pressure cooker (without onions and peppers) for 25 minutes following the cooker’s instructions, then follow my directions as follows.

After oxtails have marinated, remove from refrigerator.

On stove top add oil to heavy pot. Heat oil to medium high heat. Add sugar. Allow sugar to “burn” a brown color, stirring to keep from sticking to pan.

Add oxtails to pot to braise. Turn over after cooking 5-7 minutes. Oxtails should now be a pretty brown color.

Next add vegetables to pot with oxtails along with red wine. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Stir, by scraping bottom of pot to release fat deposited on bottom of pot. Add water, bay leaves,bouillon, and remaining dry seasoning. Bring to a boil. You may sprinkle one Tablespoon of flour atop mixture at this time.

Turn pot down to lowest setting and cook covered until oxtails are tender. When cooking on the stove top this may take 4-6 hours depending upon size of oxtails and amount of space in pot. Using a pressure cooker will cut this time in half.

About 30 minutes before serving add carrots. You don’t want the carrots to get too mushy.

If liquid/gravy is not thick enough, in separate bowl mix 1 cup cold water with 2 Tablespoons of corn starch. Slowly stir into pot with oxtails.

Serve with rice, cabbage, and cornbread or dumplings.

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving 197.1

Total fat 4.1 grams

   Saturated fat 1.5 grams

Cholesterol 28.5 mg

Sodium 115.5 mg

Potassium 422.7 mg

Total Carbs 17.1 grams

    Dietary Fiber 3 grams

    Sugar 7.3 grams

Protein 9.9 grams

Vitamin A 154.1%

Vitamin C 14.8 %

Calcium 4.6%

Iron 3.9 %