BEEF BOURGUIGNONNE (Burgundy) from Best Loved Recipes of the American people by Ida Bailey Allen

Growing up, we always had roast beef for Christmas.  Since I can’t make a good roast beef to save my life, it became our tradition to have Beef Bourguignonne for our Christmas dinner.  I usually serve it with buttered noodles, glazed carrots, cranberry sauce, and Dave’s cinnamon buns.

½ cup beef fat – I just use about ¼ cup of vegetable oil

12 small white onions, peeled

2 pounds beef – either chuck, bottom round or top round

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon powdered thyme (or 1 teaspoon fresh)

½ pound mushrooms, sliced – I like to use baby bellas

1 cup beef broth

1 cup dry red wine

In a large kettle, render the beef fat (or just heat the oil) and sauté until lightly browned; remove from the kettle and set aside.  Meantime, cut the meat into bite sized pieces.  Brown the meat in the remaining oil in the kettle.  Stir in the flour and seasonings, and add the onions, mushrooms, broth and wine.  AT THIS POINT, I HAVE THREE OPTIONS:

  • Cover the original kettle and simmer on the stove top for 3 ½ hours.
  • Transfer the stew to a covered casserole and put into a slow (325 degrees) oven for 3 hours;
  • Transfer all to the crockpot and let it simmer for 3 – 6 hours. This frees up the stove and oven and gives me time to enjoy the day and/or make an apple pie!

If you find the stew getting too dry, add more broth.


CHICKEN & SPAGHETTI – family recipe

1 lb. spaghetti

1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into bitesize pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

Olive oil

1 jar Italian salad dressing (I use WishBone Italian Robusto.)

Splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar

Additional spices to taste

Cook spaghetti in salted boiling water until done to your taste.  Meanwhile, sauté chicken until browned, adding garlic, salt and pepper toward the end so that the garlic doesn’t burn.  Add a full bottle of dressing and vinegar to the chicken and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.  Add additional spices, dried or fresh, as desired.  (Try parsley, oregano, rosemary, additional garlic, thyme…).  Pour chicken and sauce over drained spaghetti and serve.  This is good either hot or chilled.


CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP – my variation

1 roaster chicken


3 carrots, roughly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon whole pepper corns

Fresh thyme sprigs

1 large box of Swanson Low Sodium Chicken Broth

3 finely sliced carrots

½ cup finely chopped celery, optional

Chopped parsley

Egg noodles

Salt and pepper the chicken (whole or parts) and roast until it reaches 180 degrees.  Cool.  Strip the meat, setting at least one breast half aside and use the rest of the chicken for a salad or tonight’s dinner.  Put the carcass, reserved chicken meat, chopped carrots and onion, thyme, and bay leaf into a large pot, with water to cover the carcass.  Simmer for about 3 hours, then set aside to cool.  Strain, pick off any additional meat and dispose of the carcass and vegetables.  Return chicken meat to the pot, along with the chicken broth, sliced carrots, celery and parsley.  Bring to boiling and add noodles.  Add additional seasoning to taste.

I use medium egg noodles from Walnut Creek, as they are heartier than anything you’ll normally find at your local grocery store.  I usually buy the noodles at stores that sell bulk products, such as ones owned and operated by Amish or Mennonites.


ONION SOUP HAMBURGERS AND SMOTHERED HAMBURGERS– from the Lipton soup box originally, but no longer!

2 pounds ground beef

1 packet Lipton onion soup mix (or use a homemade dried onion soup mix recipe)

½ cup water


Mix all together, and grill to your liking.  This normally makes 8 burgers.  I put the leftover burgers in a freezer bag and freeze.  About a week later, I’ll sauté a sweet onion sliced in rings until lightly browned and limp, add a jar of beef gravy and the now-thawed leftover burgers, simmering until the burgers are heated through.  Serve with orzo pasta or mashed potatoes.


PORK CHOPS WITH ONION AND SHERRY – from Barb’s mother Raebeth Hitchcock

4 thick loin chops

4 tablespoons butter, divided

3 tablespoons oil

Salt and pepper to taste

3 large (or 5 medium) Spanish onions, sliced about ¼ inch think

1/3 cup sherry

Season chops with salt and pepper, sauté in 3 tablespoons butter and oil until browned.  Transfer to a platter and keep warm.  Add remaining butter to the skillet and brown onions lightly, turning often.  When onions are nicely tender and beginning to brown, push to side of skillet and return chops to the pan, heaping onions on top.  Simmer 10 minutes, add sherry and simmer 5 more minutes. Serve with buttered noodles.  This is definitely a family favorite.  (I deliberately make extra noodles and look forward to noodles and onions for lunch the next day!)



SHANGHAI PORK CHOPS – modified from an unknown source

Lightly sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder on 3 or 4 pork chops.  Brown the chops on both sides.  In a separate bowl, blend ½ cup water, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, pour over chops and continue cooking until chops are done.  Remove the chops one at a time from the skillet and cut into small pieces, and then return to the skillet; continue until all chops are cut up.  Drain one small can of peas and add them to the skillet and simmer for 2 minutes more.  Serve over rice.


TACO SOUP – From a friend of a friend in Alabama

(The hardest part of this recipe is opening the cans!)

2 pounds of ground beef – other meats will do as well

1 small onion, chopped

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can Rotelle tomatoes

2 cans shoe peg corn

1 can black beans

1 can red kidney beans

2 packets ranch dressing mix

1 packet taco seasoning – or fajita or chili, or whatever you have on hand

1 can chicken or beef broth


Using a large stockpot, brown the meat with the onion and drain.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, simmer long enough for the flavors to blend, and serve.  We always have honey cornbread with this.  Great for a cold and damp day!  Also, a great time to take to the office Christmas party.


TUNA SALAD SUBS the way Dave made them growing up.

2 small cans tuna fish, drained

2 hard-boiled eggs

¼ cup pickle relish, drained

Celery seed

Mustard powder


Hot dog rolls


Chop the hard-boiled eggs and stir them into the tuna.  Add the pickle relish and enough mayonnaise to your preferred consistency.  Add celery seed and mustard seed to taste.  Serve on hot dog rolls.