Tag Archives: slow cooker

Dunny’s Party Meatballs ~ a.k.a. “DunnyBalls”

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There’s nothing better at a party than a good meatball. And despite the fact that I have to use an entire Tide-to-go pen anytime I come near them, I will still inhale those suckers like it’s my job.

This is Dunny’s patented recipe, and it’s sure to produce a leftover-free pot. Most meatball recipes I’ve encountered involve BBQ sauce, so I like the Lexington twist of jelly and cocktail here.

You can make these in any pot on the stove, but I love a crock pot because it allows you to munch continuously and you get to use those fun little decorative toothpicks.

And no matter what you do, make sure to get the highest quality balls you can. I know Dunny always does. Heyyyyo!

2 bags frozen meatballs (around 50)
2 8 oz. jars red currant jelly
1 12 oz. jar Heinz cocktail sauce
1 box beef broth

  1. From Dunny: “Pretty much dump and stir occasionally til heated through.”
    Couldn’t have said it better myself.
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Filed under Appetizers, Meat, Party food

Barrett’s Basic Beef Broth

My love affair with broth is almost as well-documented (and maligned) as my common law marriage to pickle juice, so this post is a foregone conclusion. The Chef made this just the other day “for fun” (a reason I obviously gave him crap for but secretly was super pleased with).

He points out that the 24-hour cooking time provides the added bonus of making the house smell amazing, and that is definitely true. Plus it freezes well, so he suggests you make a, shall we say, “boat”load? Sure. Boatload. Make that much.

5 lbs of beef bones
5 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 large red onion, roughly chopped
4 carrots, roughly chopped
handful of thyme sprigs
water

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Place bones and veggies on a sheet pan. Rub with oil and roast until golden brown (about 30 minutes).
  3. Place bones and veggies in a large pot. Cover with water (at least 4 quarts). Add thyme and simmer for 24 hours.
  4. Strain.
  5. Make something awesome with it. Obviously I suggest soup. Or just drinking it with a straw. Whichev.

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Filed under Beef, Soups

“Braised” Brisket Tacos with Spiced Coffee Sauce

We made these tacos last week for Barrett’s birthday, and they were  devoured so quickly that Mr. Robert-Pickles-Schmidt couldn’t even scrape together a taco when he arrived an hour late. Despite the concerns of Chavandra – the butcher at our friendly neighborhood Kroger – who asked me “gurrrl, are you sho’ brizkit tacos is somethin’ you wanna make?”, it definitely is.

The coffee rub gives it a deep, spicy richness. Top it with the Ridiculously Perfect Pickled Red Onions, Spicy Southwestern Slaw, and crumbled queso fresca and you’ve got a meal that will make yo’ mama proud. And Chavandra too.

Coffee Rub
1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup black pepper
1/2 ground coffee

Brisket
1 5-pound brisket
water

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix together coffee rub ingredients and coat brisket liberally. (This can be done as far as 24 hours in advance.)
  3. Put brisket in a roasting pan or deep baking tray and add 1.5 inches of water.
  4. Cover and bake for 5.5 hours or until brisket falls apart easily.
  5. Place brisket on cutting board and let stand for 10-15 minutes before chopping and serving.
  6. Pour pan sauce into a serving dish and spoon over tacos. (Sauce will thicken and become concentrated and delicious while the brisket cooks.)
  7. Enjoy the compliments. These make upscale taco shop fare look like child’s play.

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Filed under Beef, Main Course, Meat, Mexican food, Party food, Rubs, Sauces

Burgundy Mushrooms

I was first introduced to these fliptastic mushrooms in middle school when Dottie Fisher brought them to school for lunch. Kim Kyle and I used to fight over who got to drink the sauce. I think that’s exactly what Hutchison (“The comprehensive girls’ school in Memphis” according to their newly-minted website slogan) wanted to turn us into: quibbling, mushroom-munching sauce-chuggers. How ladylike!

The recipe comes from Heart & Soul, the best cookbook I’ve ever owned.

2 pounds mushrooms
1 2/3 cups burgundy
1 cup beef broth
1 /4 cup butter
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dillseed
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced (I like to smash these instead of mincing them because it makes for easier juice-drinking. Yeah, I said it. What of it?)

  1. In a large Dutch oven or slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour.
  3. Uncover and simmer 2 hours more (or until the sauce is reduced to the consistency you like).
  4. Serve hot.

I serve these as an app out of a crockpot, but H&S suggests serving them sliced over steaks which is equally slap-yo-momma fantastic.

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Filed under Appetizers, Party food, Sauces, Side dishes, Special Occasion, Veggies

Pitts’ Braised Pork Shoulder

Well folks, it’s official: Nummy Num Num has hit the west coast. And the illustrious Justin Pitts has thrown a little of his culinary expertise back home to the dirty south in the form of Memphis’ favorite meat. If you’re BBQed out but still need your pork fix, a good braise will definitely satisfy your soul.

2 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 5-6 big chunks
Mirepoix (1 onion, 1 carrot, 2 celery stalks, chopped) – that’s French y’all!
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste (one squeeze of the kind in the tube probably= a couple tablespoon
2 TB AP flour
Cup or so of red wine
1 to 1.5 cups beef stock
bunch of parsley
1 sprig rosemary
2-3 sprigs thyme
2-3 bay leaves wrapped up and tied with kitchen string (or just throw them in)
water (optional, to bring liquid level up if needed)

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Get a big dutch oven. Season pork with S/P and sear it off well in olive oil, set it aside.
  3. Add Mirepoix and sweat it, then add garlic. Stir in tomato paste and cook it for a few minutes to get raw flavor out. Stir in flour and do the same.
  4. Pour in red wine and reduce it by about half.
  5. Put the pork back in. Add the beef stock and herbs until pork is almost covered but not completely swimming in liquid. Add water if needed.
  6. Cover the pot and put it in the oven (or cook over a really low heat on the stove).
  7. Braise the *crap out of it for about 3 hours or until it’s falling apart. Should make enough for 4 people.

*Sorry Pitts, but I had to PG your language up a little here since I know a few parents check in from time to time. I did, however, love your suggestion to serve this over Parmesan polenta in which you said “make polenta, thin it out with butter and milk, and add a s—load of cheese.” I’m pretty sure that’s what Julia Child wrote in all her cookbooks too.

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Filed under Comfort food, French food, Main Course, Pork