• Steak Salad

    Sliced Little Lakes Ranch steak (use sirloin, strip, or flank)
    Fresh arugula and spinach
    Toasted pine nuts
    Shaved parmigiana or pecorino Romano cheese
    Chopped grilled artichokes
    Mini fresh tomatoes slices in half

    Dressing: Balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, equal parts whisked with salt and pepper to taste

  • Sarah Friedmann’s Swiss Steak

    1 large Little Lakes Ranch round steak, ¼-½ inch thick, bone in optional
    1 large onion, chopped
    34 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ bell pepper, chopped
    ½ cup chopped parsley
    1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
    1 cup water
    1 can beef broth
    Bacon drippings
    1 dash Salt, pepper and flour

    Trim all flat and connective tissue from steak. Cut into serving size portions. Roll in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Brown in small amount of bacon drippings or olive oil. When browned on all sides add onion, garlic, bell pepper, parsley, tomato sauce, water, and beef broth. Bake at 350 degrees until meat is fork-tender (about 1-3 hours).

    A good salad to accompany this dish is a combination of iceberg lettuce, fresh spinach, and leaf lettuce. Slice a small red onion and add to greens. Fry three or four lean slices of bacon till very crisp; drain, then crumble over greens. Reserve 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings; heat these drippings with about ⅓ cup vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour over greens, toss, and serve immediately.

    Serve with baked macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes.

  • Lasagna

    2 lbs Little Lakes Ranch ground beef blend
    2 16oz jars of your favorite tomato spaghetti sauce
    1 16oz ricotta cheese
    2 8oz blocks of mozzarella cheese, sliced evenly, roughly ¼ inch thick
    12 tbsp fresh garlic
    Parsley, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper to taste
    Lasagna noodles
    1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
    Optional: onions, green peppers and mushrooms

    Sauté the ground beef over medium heat with fresh garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, stirring periodically to keep the beef as a ground mixture. When meat is cook through, add the onions, green peppers and mushrooms if desired. Then, add enough tomato sauce to keep the mixture well saturated, but of a consistency which is similar to chili (i.e. not too runny). Let the mixture simmer for 20 mins, adding more tomato sauce when necessary to keep the right consistency.

    Separately, boil enough lasagna pasta noodles to cover a large oblong baking dish with 2 layers of noodles (we suggest preparing the noodles “al dente” to keep them firm in the lasagna once baked). Rinse with cool water and set aside.

    Place a thin layer of the meat sauce mixture onto the bottom of the baking dish. Place 1 layer of lasagna noodles on top of the meat sauce in the pan, and then lay down another layer of meat sauce mixture over the noodles to cover them thoroughly, but not overwhelm them. Next place 1-2 TBSP of ricotta cheese, 3x/row, in a grid pattern over the meat sauce. Put 1 mozzarella slice on top of each pile of ricotta cheese. Then place another pasta layer down over the mozzarella and repeat the layering as above.

    Once the final layer of mozzarella is placed on the ricotta, sprinkle the grated Parmesan/Romano cheese over the whole lasagna. Then sprinkle with fresh oregano.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. When finished remove the lasagna from the oven and cover it with a dish towel for 10 minutes prior to serving. The lasagna can also be cooked a few hours in advance and reheated when ready to serve.

  • Mama Versaggi’s Meatballs

    3 lbs Little Lakes Ranch ground beef (or 1 lb each, ground beef, veal, and pork)
    3 slices day-old French or Italian bread
    1 tbsp Milk
    1 tbsp fennel seeds
    1 tbsp black peppercorns
    12 cloves garlic
    1 tsp thyme
    1 tsp salt
    3 eggs
    1 cup hard cheese (Parmesan, Asiago, Pecorino, Romano)
    ½ cup fresh parsley
    2 large Spanish onions
    2 cups tomato purée
    6 cups chopped tomatoes
    1 cup strong beef stock
    2 cups robust red wine
    1 tsp oregano
    2 tsp sugar
    ½ cup fresh basil leaves

    In a large mixing bowl, soak bread in enough milk to cover. With a pestle and mortar grind together fennel and pepper. Grind in garlic, thyme and salt. Pour off any excess milk from the bread and beat in eggs one at a time, until the bread is a smooth paste.

    Grate cheese finely and stir into bread with spice mixture. Work in the meat with hands. Mince parsley and add to the mixture.

    Using your hands, form into walnut-sized meatballs. Brown them thoroughly on all sides in hot olive oil, ¼ inch deep. Keep the meatballs warm in a slow oven.

    Reserve ¼ cup of drippings. To it add minced onions and stir until lightly browned. Add purée and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add chopped tomatoes including juice from the tin, stock and wine (use Chianti, Barolo, Rubesco, etc.) and stir until the sauce is well combined. Add oregano, sugar, and the basil leaves, finely minced. Stir well and add the meatballs.

    Simmer gently but steadily for two to three hours. Every hour or so, add ½ cup more stock, wine or water. Take care to stir the sauce gently so as to minimize damage to the meatballs. Serve over steaming linguine or the pasta of your choice. The meatballs are unrivaled when used in Lasagna. If you prefer, rosemary may be happily substituted for oregano in the sauce. Mushrooms are always a happy addition.

  • Beef Stroganoff

    2 lbs Little Lakes Ranch filet of beef, strip loin or sirloin cut into thin strips, sprinkled generously with salt and pepper (then let stand for 2 hours in a cool place or in the refrigerator)
    1 tbsp flour
    2 tbsp butter
    2 cups beef stock
    3 tbsp sour cream
    2 tbsp tomato paste
    3 tbsp shallots or onion (chopped or grated)
    12 tbsp Cognac
    12 cups mushrooms (sautéed)
    Paprika to taste

    Blend 1 TBSP flour with 2 TBSP butter in a saucepan over low heat until the mixture bubbles and is smooth. Gradually stir in 2 cups beef stock and cook mixture until it begins to thicken. Boil it for 2 minutes and strain it through a fine sieve into a large saucepan. Add 3 TBSP heavy sour cream alternatively with with 2 TBSP tomato paste, stirring constantly. Simmer the sauce very gently, without boiling it. Add 1-2 TBSP of Cognac.

    Sauté the mushrooms in butter and set aside. Sauté the strips of beef in a skillet in 3 TBSP butter with 3 TBSP grated onion or chopped shallot. Add the contents of the skillet to the sauce, taste for seasoning, and simmer the meat gently without boiling, for 20 minutes. Add paprika to tast.

    Serve at once with a side dish of boiled rice or potato balls and thin slices of dark bread generously buttered.

  • Ginger Lime Marinade for Beef

    2 lbs Little Lakes Ranch flank steak
    2 garlic cloves, sliced
    1 cup canola oil
    1 ½ cups soy, ginger, and lime marinade

    4 limes
    ⅓ lb fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (include measurement in cups too)
    1 cup scallions sliced, (both white & green parts)
    2 cups soy sauce
    2 tbsp honey

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the whole lime on a small baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes, until the skins have softened. Set aside to cool. When the limes have cooled, cut them in half and squeeze to extract as much juice as possible. In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, ginger, scallions, and honey. Stir the lime juice into the soy mixture until well blended.

    In a shallow dish, combine the garlic, oil, and marinade. Place the steak in the dish and turn to coat both sides of the meat. Spoon a few tablespoons of the marinade on top of the steak, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Marinate the steak for at least 6 hours (or even overnight), turning the meat over once. Prepare a medium-hot grill. Grill the room temperature steak to desired doneness. After the steak had rested for about 5 minutes, slice on the bias and serve.

  • Sauerbraten

    5 pound beef top or bottom round roast
    2 cups dry white wine
    2 cups white vinegar
    2 cups water
    3 large onions, sliced
    6 carrots, sliced
    4 shallots, sliced
    8 black peppercorns plus freshly ground black pepper
    12 cloves
    4 bay leaves
    1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    6 parsley sprigs
    5 tablespoons flour
    ¼ tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons sugar
    ⅓ cup gingersnap crumbs

    Combine wine, vinegar, water, two-thirds of the sliced onions, carrots, shallots, peppercorns, six of the gloves, three of the bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of salt, mustard seeds, and parsley sprigs in a nonreactive saucepan. Broil to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool the marinade. Place the beef in a large nonreactive bowl, pour the marinade the roast in the refrigerator for four days. Turn the beef once a day to be sure the roast marinates evenly.

    Remove the roast from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade through a sieve into a bowl, pressing the vegetables with the back of a spoon to extract all of their liquid before discarding them. Set the marinade aside.

    With a sieve, dust 2 tablespoons of flour over the roast, coating all sides. Heat the oil in a heavy 5- to 6- quart casserole. Add the beef and cook over moderate heat for about 20 minutes, or until it is well browned on all sides. Remove the roast from the casserole and pour off all the fat. Return the roast to the casserole, add the remained sliced onion, 6 cloves, 1 bay leaf, and 2 cups of the marinade. Bring the marinade to a boil over moderate heat, reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole, and simmer the beef for 3 hours.

    In a small skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat. Stir in the suar and the remaining 3 tablespoons of flour, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is a rich brown color. Pour the cooking liquid from the casserole; strain it and return it to the casserole. Stir the sugar-flour mixture into the cooking liquid. Cover the casserole and continue cooking over low heat until the roast is very tender- about 1 hour more.

    To serve, transfer the roast to a heated platter. Stir the ginger-snap crumbs into the gravy remaining in the casserole. Using a whisk, cook, and stir for two or three minutes, until the gravy is smooth and thick. Taste it and add more salt and a few grindings of pepper if necessary.

    Carve the meat into fairly thick slices and arrange them, overlapping the slices, on a heated platter. Spoon some of the gravy over the beef, and present the rest in a sauceboat.

  • Osso Buco

    2-3 lbs.Beef shanks – cut into 3-4 inch pieces, if desired.
    1/4 C butter
    2 T. minced garlic
    1/2 large white onion – sliced into rings.
    2 medium carrots – chopped.
    1/2 C dry white wine – or chicken stock to deglaze the pan
    1 -18 oz. can diced tomatoes
    1/2 C beef stock
    Salt and pepper

    Dredge the beef shanks through flour to coat them
    Melt the butter in a large oven-safe braising pan over medium to medium-high heat.
    Fry the beef shanks in the butter until browned on the outside.
    Remove the beef shanks to a plate and keep warm in oven
    Add the onion slices. Cook and stir until tender.
    Add in the garlic and the carrots. Fry until the garlic is fragrant.
    Pour in the white wine. Deglaze the pan.

    Stir in the beef broth & tomatoes
    Return the beef to the pan. Make sure the shanks are submerged in the sauce.
    Place the lid on top and cook the shanks in a 300 °F for 4-5 hours.
    For stove top, cover and simmer on the stove top over low heat for 2-3 hours.

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    1 ½ pounds lean boneless beef round or rump, cut into 1-inch cubes
    1 pound grass fed beef kidneys, healved, peeled, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
    1 teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    ¼ cup flour
    ¼ cup rendered beef suet or lard, or 3 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 cup thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
    ½ cup chopped onions
    1 ½ cups water
    ¼ cup pale dry sherry or dry red wine
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
    ¼ teaspoon crumbled dried thyme
    ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    Short-crust pastry dough for a 1-crust pie
    1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream

    Preheat the oven to 425 F. Pat the cubes of steak and kidney dry with paper towels. Season them with salt and pepper. Put the flour in a large bowl, drop in the cubes, and stir to coat them evenly. Tap off the excess flour.

    In a heavy 10- to 12- inch skillet, heat the suet over high heat until it splutters. Brown a handful of the cubes at a time, turning them frequently and regulating the heat so that the meat colors quickly and evenly without burning. Add more fat, if necessary. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cubes to a heavy 2-quart casserole about 4 inches deep.

    Add the mushrooms and onions to the fat in the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, for two or three minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms and onions to the casserole. Pour the water into the skillet and bring it to a boil over high heat, scraping in any brown particles clinging to the bottom of the pan. Pour it over the meat in the casserole, and add the sherry, parsley, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir together gently.

    On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rough oval about ¼ inch thick, and cut strips about 12 inches long and ½ inch wide. Lay the strips end to end around the rim of the casserole and press them firmly into place. Moisten them lightly with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Then drape the remaining pastry over the rolling pin, lift it, and carefully unroll it over the casserole. With a small knife or scissors, trim off the excess dough, and secure the edges to the rim by crimping them tightly with your fingers or the tines of a fork. Make two parallel cut each about 1 inch long in the center of the pie.

    Reroll the scraps of dough and cut them into simple flower and leaf shapes. Moisten their bottom sides with the egg-yolk-and-cream mixture, and arrange them attractively on top of the pie. With a pastry brush, paint the surface with the yolk mixture.

    Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for another 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Serve at once, directly from the baking dish.

  • Pot-au-feu

    23 lbs Little Lakes Ranch round or chuck beef roast
    2 tbsp Butter
    2 onions
    2 carrots, halved
    1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped coarse
    Bouquet garni, tied together: 4 parsley springs, 1 bay leaf, and 1 leek (white part plus 2 inches of green top)
    ½ tsp crumbled dried thyme
    6 peppercorns
    1 tsp salt
    2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

    In a 10- to 12- quart saucepan or stockpot, combine the beef, marrow bones, knuckle, and beef stock. The stock should cover the meat by about 4 inches; and more stock or water if needed. Bring the stock to a boil over moderate heat while skimming off the scum that rises to the surface.
    Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy 6- to 8- inch skillet, and cook the whole onions and halved carrots over moderate heat, turning them often, until they are lightly browned.

    When the stock comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and add the browned onions and carrots, chopped tomato, bouquet garni, thyme, peppercorns, and salt. Partially cover the pot and simmer slowly, undisturbed, for two and a half hours, until the beef is almost tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.

    Transfer the beef to a plate. Remove the bones from the stock, and scoop out their marrow with the point of a knife before discarding them. Set the marrow aside in a bowl.

    Strain the stock into a bowl through a fine sieve lined with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth. Discard the vegetables and skim the surface fat from the stock. Wash and dry the pot, then return the stock and meat to the pot, and add the garnish of carrots, turnips, parsnips, and the leeks. Bring the stock to a boil and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 30 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are tender. If the vegetables cook faster than the meat, remove them from the pot and cook the meat until it is tender; then return the vegetables to the pot and heat them through.

    Blanch the cabbage by plunging it into boiling salted water and cooking it over high heat for eight minutes. Drain the cabbage and add it to the meat and vegetables in the pot after they have cooked for 20 minutes. Boil the potatoes separately.

    When the meat and vegetables are done transfer the meat to a carving board, remove the strings, and carve the roast into ¼-inch slices. Arrange the slices attractively, overlapping slightly, on a heated platter, surrounded by the vegetables and potatoes, cover the platter loosely with foil, and set aside. With a spoon, skim as much fat as possible from the surface of the stock. Chop the marrow into fine dice and add it to the pot. Serve the stock, sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley, as a first course, then present the meat and vegetables.