Well as you know we received a bunch of free pears and I have now made, pies and pear butter and will make a pear crisp tonight. What I have learned about wild pears is that they must be cooked for a longer time if you want you the fruit in your pie to be soft. I made two pies honey based pies and the pears were too hard, the flavor was fine but I enjoy soft fruit in my pies. The pear butter is pretty simple to make and it is currently waiting to be sealed and put up on the shelf with the rest of my self canned items. The pear butter is very tasty and the cinnamon and nutmeg remind me of Fall!
Since I plan recipes for two weeks at a time I thought I might share some of my favorite recipes. Here is one of our families favorite recipes it is made from a ‘inexpensive beef’ I usually use brisket (for non Texans that is rib meat) and cook it for an hour longer! The gravy is to die for!
The red comments are changes I made to the basic recipe.
1-1/2 to 2 pounds of any cheap piece of beef
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt (be careful when adding salt to any recipe that you add salty bullion I usually season to taste
1 teaspoon of diced garlic (optional)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons bacon grease or oil
4 cups hot tap water
1/2 cup milk
1 Bullion cube
The first thing you do is buy your beef. Look in the meat section and choose the meat which is the cheapest per pound. The shape of the meat doesn’t matter because you will be cutting it up when you get home. If you find stew meat then you can use it too. It will be cut into smaller chunks than if you did it at home, but that won’t matter much. At home, cut the meat into large cubes. I try to cut 12 cubes, so each person can have two cubes per serving. You can cut them however you like though, smaller or bigger as you see fit. Cut off the fat while you’re at it, to make a tastier dish. When the meat is in cubes or chunks, set it aside. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Place the meat in the bowl and toss it in the flour, coating it on all sides. Meanwhile, heat up the fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the coated chunks of beef into the hot fat. Brown them on all sides. This will take about 10 minutes of cooking. Save the leftover flour in the bowl. You will use it later for the gravy. After the meat is well browned, add the tap water & bullion cubes. Bring the meat to a boil. Reduce the heat so the water barely simmers. Cover the pan with a lid or a pizza pan. Allow it to simmer for 2 hours. If the water simmers away, add more as you see fit. After two hours, the meat should be tender. In a pint size canning jar, or other container with a good lid, combine the remaining flour and the milk. Screw the lid to the jar on tightly and shake it until the flour is completely dissolved in the milk. Then pour this into the skillet on the stove, to thicken the gravy. Stir it up and bring it to a boil, continue cooking for a full minute. If the gravy is too thick, add a water until it is the consistency you like. Serve over mashed potatoes or cooked rice. This stuff is so rich and so good. It is simple too, just coat the meat in flour, fry it up, simmer ’til tender and thicken the gravy. The recipe is worth it for the gravy alone. Scrumptious.
The McVays serve this over mashed potatoes with homemade bread! I have not tried to do it in the crockpot yet but I bet it would work.
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