Well it has been a quiet week in Prior Lake, Minnesota, my hometown, out there on the edge of the prairie. This recipe has been in my husband’s family for many years. It actually goes back to when my husband’s father was teaching high school in a very small northern Midwestern town in the 1960s. His parents rented an old farm house and his mother was paging through some 1930s farm journal magazines left in the attic of the home. Since his parents lived on the modest income of a small town teacher in northern Midwest, his mother was always looking for meal ideas that were unique, affordable and flavorful. Inside the farm journal she discovered a recipe to cook a simple cut of beef that turns out spectacular and Father’s day favorite for my husband and his Dad.
The following are the recipes for a delicious dinner of Grilled Sliced Marinated Beef Roast, Sautéed Garlic Asparagus, Morel Mushrooms, Boiled Baby New Potatoes and Fresh Strawberry Pie:
Marinated Beef Roast
3 Pounds chuck roast (1.5 – 2 inches thick) - You can certainly use better cuts of beef (e.g. London Broil, Sirloin) but the chuck roast works just fine.
1/3 Cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/4 Cup catsup
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Teaspoon prepared mustard (yellow mustard)
1 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder
Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a bowl to create the beef marinade. Poke the roast on both sides several times with a fork to allow marinade to penetrate. Place chuck roast in Ziploc bag and pour marinade bag so roast is covered. Set bag inside baking pan to avoid any seepage mess from bag. Let the roast marinade at room temperature for 3 hours (longer is better). Remove roast and marinade from bag into baking pan. Grill roast on medium heat, turning and basting roast with marinade until medium rare. With a sharp knife, slice the roast into thin strips and remove any fat or gristle. Place the sliced pieces of meat back into baking pan with remaining marinade and serve. Viola! You will be making this a lot after the family tries it.
This time of the year wild asparagus, morel mushrooms and strawberries are in season. You can find them in them in the forest and prairie meadows or easily pick up asparagus and strawberries from a local grocery store. Morel mushrooms are only available in the wild but you can substitute with baby Portabellas. I recommend getting the produce from a local organic farmer like Lorence’s Berry Farm in Northfield, Minnesota http://www.lorencesberryfarm.com/. You can either pick your own produce or they will pick them for you.
If you have time you can eat lunch at Hogan Brother’s Café in the historic Northfield downtown adjacent to First National Bank of Northfield where the famous James-Younger Gang met their demise trying to robbery attempt. It is no surprise that our stoic farmers of Scandinavian decent would ever give up nickel…
Sautéed Garlic Asparagus & Morel Mushrooms
For side dishes to serve with your beef roast, I recommend sautéed garlic asparagus and morel mushrooms. This is very simple and easy to prepare. Get the smallest stalks of Asparagus you can find, the large ones tend to be woody and less tender. Chop off the larger ends and rinse asparagus and morels thoroughly. Chop three clove of garlic (I would use the garlic press provided in the cottage). Bring large pan to medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter. Add asparagus and morels, garlic and 1 tablespoon of Soy Sauce (optional). Stirring occasionally, roast for 7-10 minutes until desired tenderness. If you like your asparagus well done roast on low for additional 10 minutes. Viola!
Baby New Potatoes
Clean boil and serve with butter, cottage cheese or sour cream.
Strawberry Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
1 Package of graham crackers crushed with rolling pin
1/4 LB of butter melted
Toss everything in pie pan until evenly mixed. Press mixture on bottom and sides of 9-10 inch pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Set to the side and let it cool.
7 Cups of strawberries
1/4 Cup corn starch
1 1/4 Cup sugar
2 Cups cold water
¼ Teaspoon salt
3 Ounces strawberry Jell-O mix
Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt. Stir into cold water in saucepan and simmer until thick and clear. Add Jell-O and simmer on very low heat for 20 minutes stirring frequently. Place cleaned and rinsed strawberries in pie crust and pour Jell-O mixture over top. Cool in refrigerator until thick. Viola! Who doesn’t like a fresh strawberry pie?
I guarantee a Father’s Day nap will be order after this meal…