My favorite farmer got a Traeger Grill for Christmas. I am a huge fan of grilling as it makes for fewer dishes and messes in the kitchen. However, charcoal grilling creates very late dinners after long days on the farm.
The big Christmas gift!
Matt and I are hoping that the new wood pellet grill will provide a practical and efficient way to get a diverse variety of dinners on the table at a decent hour. Our girls are dreaming of fewer kitchen clean up chores!
My favorite farmer, a few years ago…
As a retired college football player, Matt tries to devote some quality time to bowl games during the holiday season. He cooked his first beef brisket today in addition to cheering the Nebraska Cornhuskers to victory in the Gator Bowl.
Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner at our house tonight!
Smoked beef brisket is one of my favorites. It is a cut of meat that needs to be cooked with patience to ensure tenderness. Every brisket is unique, but choosing a brisket with a cap of fat at lease 1/4″ thick and then cooking the meat to an internal temperature of 190-195 degrees will grant you the ultimate eating experience.
Ingredients: Beef Brisket (approximately 6#’s), Beef rub spices or your favorite barbecue rub, 2 cups beer (or beef broth), 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and your favorite barbecue sauce.
- Season the brisket on both sides with the beef rub.
- Make the mop sauce: in a clean spray bottle or container combine the beer (or beef broth) with the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
- Start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4-5 minutes). Arrange the brisket fat-side up on the grill grate and smoke for 3-4 hours with the lid closed. Spray or spread the mop sauce over the meat every hour.
- After smoking, set the grill temperature to 225 degrees F and continue to cook the brisket–basting with the mop sauce periodically–until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 190-195 degrees. This will likely take 4-6 hours, so be patient!
- Wrap the cooked meat in foil and let it rest for 30 minutes (preferably in an insulated container so that the meat stays hot).
- Slice the meat with a sharp knife across the grain into pencil-width slices.
- Serve with your choice of barbecue sauce, or eat it plain like I do!
I served our brisket with home made macaroni and cheese and green peas. The girls topped off the meal with their beautifully decorated Christmas cookies.
An entertaining tradition with a house full of budding engineers at the helm…
It was a great way to celebrate the New Year!
One of my favorite summer time dishes is meatloaf made with garden fresh tomatoes. I never seem to make it exactly the same twice, but it seems to always taste fabulous!
Needs: Sliced tomatoes, ground beef, one egg, stove top stuffing, shake and bake parmesan crusted seasoning
Slice the tomatoes, then blend the egg with the hamburger and shake and bake seasoning
Layer half of the hamburger, a first layer of stuffing, the tomatoes, a second layer of stuffing, and then the rest of the hamburger. Bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour
I served it with fresh sweet corn from one of our fields.
It was almost as awesome as the double rainbow that appeared over the feed yard recently!
I have a wonderful college friend who used to “dog sit” for Matt and I when we still lived in New Hampshire (our first “baby” was a black labrador named Taylor). Her payment was always a meal of Macaroni and Cheese a La Burkholder. It is also one of my girls’ favorite meals, and both of the older two are pretty adapt at cooking it.
They think that it is an “All American Meal”…
JP–from Nebraska to New York City–this one’s for you!
Needs: Butter, Flour, Milk, Cheddar Cheese, whole wheat macaroni noodles, and all BEEF hot dogs (I like the Wrangler brand best)
Directions: In a sauce pan on medium/medium low heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter. When melted, blend in 2 generous tablespoons of flour followed by 1 and 1/4 cup of milk.
Stir the mixture until the white sauce thickens and bubbles. Be patient–it is best if the sauce thickens adequately!
Turn the heat down to low and use a cheese grater to grate a bar of sharp cheddar cheese into the sauce and mix until it is melted.
While you are preparing the sauce, boil water on the stove top and cook the macaroni noodles until soft (whole wheat noodles usually take about 10 minutes in boiling water). Strain the noodles when they are cooked and put them in a casserole dish.
Cut up 4-5 hot dogs into small pieces and mix them in with the noodles. Finally, mix the cheese sauce in with the hot dogs and noodles.
Cook in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Enjoy 🙂
Now that Megan has *perfected* the art of building a charcoal grill fire, she is attempting to pass along her vast knowledge to her younger sister while at the same time learning to properly patty and cook the cheeseburgers that they both love to eat.
Can you tell that her daddy is an engineer?
The double cuteness does a very nice job of hiding the orneriness…
Interestingly, Megan found that making hamburger patties was not quite as easy as she thought it would be… Packing the hamburger together into a strong patty ensures easier and more even cooking on the grill!
Once the fire was ready, the *expertly made* burger patties went on the grill (unfortunately the Daddy burger was not quite packed well enough and split into three pieces during this process…).
She mostly managed to get it put back together…
Flipping the burgers also took more savvy than she originally thought…But after a few tries she was successful! And, soon it was time to add the cheese and then serve.
With the mandatory ketchup smiley face 🙂
There were generally smiles all around during dinner, so an unanimous vote determined that (despite the challenges) our Cowgirl/Chef was a masterful burger maker in training…
The fresh strawberries and whipped cream was a tasteful way to end dinner!
What is your favorite type of burger? Megan is looking for ideas for her next Hamburger Queen dinner!
For those of you that have missed Megan’s Meatful Mondays, she’s back and she’s learning to grill!
Marinated Sirloin Steaks cooked by Cowgirl Chef Megan on a charcoal grill…
No spring would be sustainable without cooking lessons and quality time with the grill! Today, my favorite Cowgirl Chef partners with her daddy to make delicious sirloin steaks!
Needs: Sirloin Steaks (1″ to 1 1/2″ thick), bottle balsamic vinaigrette, charcoal, and grill.
Marinate the steaks in balsamic vinaigrette dressing for several hours.
Build a charcoal fire on the grill.
Place steaks on the fire when it is ready for cooking.
Cook until blood begins to pool at the top of the steak, and then turn the steak and cook a few minutes longer (more time means a more “well done” steak, less time is rarer.As one of the 29 cuts of lean beef, Sirloin steaks make a great summer time meal. Megan loves them for the taste, but I love them because they provide her growing body with: Iron, Vitamins B6 and B12, Zinc, Choline, Phosphorus, Protein, Niacin, Selenium and Riboflavin.
Beef’s Big 10 empower her to jump far…
And still be able to ride off into the sunset!
Click here for some great grilling tips!
My cowboy loves grass finished bison meat. He shared some with us this weekend and my favorite 11 year old cowgirl chef used it to make enchiladas. The following recipe is also really good with grain or grass finished beef hamburger. It’s your choice!
Enchilada needs: 2# ground meat, 8-10 soft whole wheat taco shells, package of Provolone cheese, 1/2 package of Mozarella cheese, package of McCormick Enchilada sauce mix, 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, Parmesan crusted “shake and bake” seasoning, water.
- In a frying pan, cook meat until done. Put in a healthy shake of Parmesan crusted “shake and bake” seasoning while browning the meat.
- In a sauce pan: combine tomato sauce, water and enchilada mix (Megan only used half a package of the sauce mix because she do not like spicy food). Bring the sauce to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes to thicken the sauce.
- Combine the sauce with the cooked meat and stir.
- Grate provolone cheese onto the whole wheat soft taco shells.
- Add meat and sauce to each taco shell. Roll it, and place it seam down in a lasagna pan.
- Pour extra meat sauce onto the top of the rolled tacos.
- Grate mozzarella cheese over the top of the tacos.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes in a 325 degree oven (until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling).
Serve alongside your favorite vegetable and enjoy!
We were blessed to have family visit us for Easter weekend. Not only did we celebrate the Easter holiday with good times, but my favorite 10 year old cowgirl/chef celebrated her 11th birthday.
She started the big day early helping me to exercise calves at the feed yard—followed by practicing her dance moves on top of the hay bale pile…
One of Megan’s favorite meals is hamballs. The meat dish is actually a Cozad tradition and is made from ground ham. My husband is a master at preparing them, and he and Megan always have fun when they create their masterful hamballs together.
They taste awesome–even if they aren’t made from beef…
Hamball needs: Two pounds of ground ham loaf, one egg, two pieces of shredded whole wheat bread, one handful of oatmeal, twelve shakes of pepper, eight shakes of minced onion, six shakes of tarragon, four shakes of garlic powder, a generous helping of parmesan cheese.
Use a large bowl to combine the above ingredients…
Blend the ingredients by hand…
Form the mixture into balls and place in a pyrex dish…
Sauce needs: Cup of water, 2 and 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar, and 3/4 of a cup of brown sugar. Mix the liquid ingredients together and pour over the hamballs. Cook an hour in a 400 degree oven.
Enjoy! After all, they have the birthday girl’s seal of approval 🙂
Protein Packs a Powerful Punch!
A special thanks to my cousin Mary Laura for sending this awesome kitchen sign all the way from the East Coast to my favorite volleyball playing–cowgirl–chef!