INKLINGS: Family dinners

  • Thursday, August 2, 2012

Most often when our family gets together for a meal, the menu is pot luck. This is not only easier on the hostess, but gives us all variety and often results in recipe exchanges. We met last Friday night at our daughter Cathy and her husband Todd’s for a casual supper to watch the Olympic opening ceremonies in London. There was lots of nostalgia to go around. We visited that city many times during Jim’s USAF assignment in England and delighted in seeing familiar sites. We supped on English bone china. Todd’s father Tom, while working in London, picked this blue and white floral pattern for his wife, Dorie.
Keeping to the British theme, Cathy served beef. Her main course was not the traditional British joint with Yorkshire Pud, but an Americanized version of hot sandwiches, so flavorful – that I had to find out how she did it. As I alluded to Todd’s tamponade last week and have gotten requests for same, a recipe sharing is in order.
Todd is a wonderful cook and like others of his ilk, often originates and adapts recipes and (sigh) less often writes them down. So here in his own words, I give you:
TODD’S TAMPONADE
“Gather equal amounts of olives: black, Greek (seeded) and Spanish. I remove the pimento stuffing – but that’s just a personal choice. Add a head of cauliflower, and a roasted red pepper (jarred or homemade). Then I chop up these ingredients with my handy new mini-chopper (here he paused to give me a hug because we gifted him with this recently). After all the ingredients are chopped and placed in a large bowl, bathe the whole shootin’ match with olive oil enough to bind.” Then he places the tamponade in jars and keeps a stock in his fridge, presenting them frequently to appreciative family and friends. As the Brits would say, it’s “brilliant” on crackers or toasted bread. I particularly like to use it as a spread on cheese sandwiches, cold or toasted.
 
CATHY’S ROAST BEEF SANDWICHES*
          Beef roast, chuck or shoulder, 3-4 lbs
          Beef broth, about 2 cups
          3 heaping tablespoons Italian Seasoning
          1 teaspoon salt
          ¼ cup water
          ½ 16-ounce jar pepperoncini peppers, with ½ the juices
          Buttered, toasted deli rolls (Cathy used Earth Grains French Rolls)
          Provolone cheese slices
          Place beef in crock pot, add broth and water to nearly cover. Add peppers and juice. Stir liquids to mix. Cover and cook until meat is fork tender and falling apart. (Cathy made this dish the day before and put in the fridge, then removed the hardened fat before shredding and reheating.)
Slice buns lengthwise, butter and toast under broiler. Remove meat with slotted spoon, place on buns, and top with cheese. Return to broiler to melt cheese. To serve, split buns in half diagonally for easier handling. (I think the leftover meat juices could be frozen and would make a grand soup or stew base.)
The meat was so flavorful and so tender. This was easy and delicious – two of my favorite culinary attributes. It’s the kind of thing that can be served all year long.
*This recipe began with the website: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/02/drip-beef-two-ways/, which includes two versions. Cathy made both, preferred the spicier one and naturally – adapted each.

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