That 70’s Dinner

If you grew up during the 60’s and 70’s (especially in the Midwest), there’s a good chance you saw your share of chopped beefsteak with mushroom gravy, real mashed potatoes and blue lake green beans.  Here is that iconic comfort food made with local pastured beef, wild mushrooms, just-dug potatoes and Meredith’s homegrown green beans..

Chopped Beefsteak with Mushroom Gravy

For the Beefsteak (serves 2)

12 oz freshly ground pastured beef with at least 15% fat
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1/3 wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons pastured butter, divided
2 oz burgundy
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon demi-glace
1 bunch of thyme, tied
sea salt and freshly-ground pepper

Form the ground beef into 2 oval-shaped patties about 1 inch thick.  Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms in half of the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until well browned, about 5 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon the transfer the vegetables to a plate, then turn up the heat to medium-high and sear the patties to rare, using additional butter if needed.

Transfer the meat to a plate, then de-glaze the pan with the wine, scraping up all the brown bits with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add beef stock and thyme and cook until reduced in volume by 1/3, about 15 minutes.

Whisk in demi-glace, then add the meat and vegetables (except the garlic, which is for the potatoes) back to the pan, reduce heat and simmer until meat is medium-rare to medium, about 5 minutes.

For the Potatoes

1 1/2 cups red potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 oz pastured butter, room temperature
1/3 cup fresh cream
3 cloves garlic, roasted and minced
sea salt and freshly-ground pepper

Slowly boil potatoes in salted water over medium-high heat until fork-tender.  Drain and return to pan set over low heat and allow to dry 5 minutes.  Cut the butter into small pieces, then whisk into the potatoes.  Stir in the garlic and cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Beans

16 5-6 inch blue lake green beans, trimmed
1 quart filtered water
1 teaspoon pasture butter
1 teaspoon salt
bowl of ice water
2 pieces uncured, applewood smoked bacon
1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Plunge green beans into rapidly-boiling salt water and cook 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, then transfer beans to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Brown bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat until almost done.  Pour off grease and add butter and green beans. Sauté, turning often until tender, about 3-4 minutes.  De-glaze pan with vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.