Recipes For The Main Course

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“person cutting vegetables with knife” by Alyson McPhee on Unsplash

I like to always follow a recipe and below are some for the Main Courses I use often.

The main dish is usually the heaviest, heartiest, and most complex or substantial dish on a menu. The main ingredient is usually meat, fish or another protein source. It is most often preceded by an appetizer, soup or salad, and followed by a dessert. For those reasons the main course is sometimes referred to as the “meat course”.

Herbed Meat Loaf

Herbed Meat Loaf
Ingredients
  • 1 ⁄2 green pepper  diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion  diced.
  • 1 ⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbs dried basil
  • 11 ⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1 ⁄2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs tomato catsup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ⁄2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 lbs meatloaf mix 1 lb beef, 1⁄2 lb veal, 1⁄2 lb pork, ground 1 14 oz Campbell’s tomato soup
  • 5 –6 slices of bacon
Instructions
  1. Place the first seven ingredients into a 1 1⁄2– 2-quart mixing bowl. Stir briefly. In a small saucer lightly beat the egg. Pour into the mixing bowl. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the Panko crumbs. Mix thoroughly.
  2. You need a meatloaf mixture of meats, which is generally agreed to be 1 lb ground beef, 1⁄2 lb pork, and 1⁄2 lb veal, 2 lb in all. Frequently grocery stores don’t have the veal and will give you a mixture of beef and pork. Go with it. Place the meatloaf mixture in the mixing bowl. Knead the spice mixture in thoroughly. Don’t overwork the mixture.
  3. Form the resultant meat mixture into a rectangular solid shape in a rectangular Pyrex casserole dish, say 11⁄2 quart, 6"×10". Pat it to get out the air. You want a rectangular shape, like a flat loaf of bread. Leave room on the sides for the grease and water, which will cook out of the meatloaf.
  4. Cover the meatloaf with 5–6 strips of bacon on top and sides. This is just a little extra garnish and can be omitted. This is how my mom did it.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 11⁄2 hours.
  6. About 20 minutes before the meatloaf is done, carefully drain the fat and juice from the meatloaf dish into a bowl. To do this use pads, one to hold the dish and one to hold the meatloaf from falling out. You can use the original bowl since it is now empty. Place a can of tomato soup in the bowl with the juice mixture. How much juice is up to you, but I usually pig out and add the entire amount, it is mostly water anyway, not fat. Heat the mixture and whisk it until it is smooth. You can add a few dribbles of milk if you like. Keep the mixture hot until ready to serve in a warm gravy ladle.
  7. Meatloaf leftovers keep well in the icebox if wrapped. The gravy can be reheated. The gravy goes well with mashed potatoes.

Beef Stew

Beef Stew
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs beef stew meat or chuck cut in 1⁄2"-1" cubes (bite-sized) 1⁄2 cup flour
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic  minced
  • 1 141 ⁄2 oz can beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine Gallo Hearty Burgundy will do 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt some like more, I can skip it
  • 1 tsp  sugar
  • 1 ⁄2 tsp paprika
  • 1 ⁄4 tsp pepper
  • dash ground allspice
  • 1 medium onion  sliced
Instructions
  1. Slice the meat to bite-sized pieces. Place flour in a plastic shopping bag along with the meat. Shake the bag to coat all pieces. Remove meat from bag, shaking off excess flour.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil and garlic in a heavy Dutch oven. Don’t get it too hot or the garlic will fly all over the place. Brown the meat thoroughly on all sides, turning often. You may want to do the browning in batches.
  3. When all the meat is browned, add the red wine. Cook for a few minutes. Add the beef bouillon and all the remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least 21⁄2 hours, covered. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  4. Flour will form a crust on the bottom and sides of the Dutch oven. Use a metal spatula with a flat front blade to scrape the cooked flour into the stew. Do this at the very beginning of the cooking cycle and then again from time to time as new crust forms. This will form the base of the resultant gravy. Some recipes call for you to add a flour/water mixture at the end, but I find dredging the beef in flour initially works just as well and tends to eliminate any flour balls. Just make sure to scrape the cooked flour off the sides and bottom of the Dutch oven.
  5. This stew works well on rice or noodles, serves an army, and lasts well in the refrigerator. If you want vegetables in the stew, add these after the first 11⁄2 hours of cooking.
  6. 6 carrots, pared and quartered
  7. 1 lb small white onions
  8. 4 potatoes, pared and quartered (you might forego the pasta)

Skillet Sirloin with Mushrooms

Skillet Sirloin with Mushrooms
Ingredients
  • 11 ⁄4 lb sirloin steak
  • 1 tsp  salt
  • 1 ⁄2 tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 ⁄2 cup reduced sodium beef broth 1⁄2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 ⁄2 tsp thyme
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle steak on both sides with salt and pepper. Cut into 4 pieces.
  2. Heat 2 Tbs of the vegetable oil in a wide skillet over high heat until very hot.
  3. Add the mushroom. Spread them out, but do not stir for three or four minutes, or until they start to brown. Stir several times, then spread them out again and cook another three minutes. The mushrooms should be turning a golden brown rather than the muddier brown of canned mushrooms. Transfer the mushrooms onto a bowl or platter.
  4. Add the remaining Tbs of oil to the pan. Tip to coat the pan. Let the pan heat up before adding the beef. Spread the beef in the pan and allow it to cook for four minutes or to let it brown very well. Flip the steak and cook another three minutes to give it a good brown color. Transfer to the mushroom platter.
  5. Add garlic to the pan. Let it cook several seconds to turn golden. Add the wine now and let it boil vigorously two or three minutes before you add the broth and thyme. Boil the liquid until it reduces to about a cup or so. Add the mushrooms and steak and heat through to serve.
  6. Serve with potatoes roasted in a hot oven with olive oil and green beans. Serves four.

Here are a couple of Apps I use often:

Roger Keyserling

Whaz Up Today


Recipes For The Main Course was originally published in eCom Tips on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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