Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The "Best" of Beef

Saddle up!

Today we've got Ranchers Beef Recipes (ed. Olivia Gross, 1977). I don't know about you, but I always pictured ranchers heading home to a nice platter of olive-covered Pizza Beef Loaf surrounded by sauteed zucchini.

I picked this booklet up mostly because I'm a sucker for the '70s "country" font. I also love the big article in the center of the booklet in which a beef rancher drags out folders full of newspaper clippings to prove to her city-slicker cousin that eating plenty of beef will lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels while at the same time saving the environment. (I suspect she had a few paragraphs about how people who eat plenty of beef are also less likely to suffer from alien abductions, but the editor cut those out when nobody was looking.)

Most of the recipes aren't too bad. The one for the cover picture sounds better than most meat loaves I've seen:

It even uses real tomato sauce and seasonings, not a bottle of ketchup! (The cute little drawing next to pizza beef loaf actually goes with the recipe that follows this one, but I left it on since I love drawings with half-onions that look like an eyeball with the nerves still attached.)

The fun recipes are at the end of the book in the "Best of Beef" section, with winners from the National Beef Cook-Offs sponsored by the American National CowBelles, a group of cattlemen's wives and other women with an interest in hawking beef.

I learned some interesting things about other states, such as that people in Nebraska seem to have a very tenuous understanding of Italian cuisine.

I know the meaning of "marinara" can be a little elastic, but I have never heard of ANY version that means a sauce made of ginger, beer, prunes, apricots, onions, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, and potatoes, served over a chuck roast... Well, not until now, and I'm still a little incredulous.

The CowBelles, unlike me, seem to enjoy a little sweet with their savory. You know all those fruit-and-miniature-marshmallow salads that used to be popular in the '60s and '70s? ("Uh-huh," you reply, thinking this can't possibly be headed where you think it's headed.)

Yep-- Beef Waldorf Salad! With beef, spiced apple rings, green grapes, mini marshmallows, celery, walnuts, and mayo! Because why the hell not? If you live in Maryland, you've got to make your own fun, and fun apparently involves tricking people into choking down two different salads that might have been passable on their own, but are ungodly together.

If these are the "best" beef recipes, I'm going to continue abstaining. I'm willing to take my chances on getting abducted by aliens.


  1. Not only are they adding beef to that super sweet marinara, but potatoes too! Ewww!

    1. That's true! I meant to mention it, but got caught up in all the other atrocities...

    2. Well with so much horror in these recipes, it'd be hard not to block out some of it. :)