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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

W4DW-Italian Beef Roll

As promised, I have another What's For Dinner Wednesday for you, but first let me address the video that was released yesterday by HSUS.  My family takes great pride in caring for our animals.  We would never abuse them or cause physical damage to them.  Our cattle harvest grass for us, and provide us with our livelihood.  Abused animals are not productive and above all abusing animals in not ethical.  Please do not think that all livestock producers treat their animals in this manner.  Just as I do not assume that all parents abuse their children, do not assume that all farmers behave in the manner that was seen on this video.  The people in this video would never have a picture in their family album that look like this:
 Yes the calf has a custom made coat and insulated barn to keep her warm.

Or This Picture:
Yes, these calves are in my house and ended up spending the night inside as it was too cold outside.

Or This Picture:
Taken at 5:00 am.  Apparently, the future cattleman couldn't sleep either with sub zero
 temperatures outside and came to check on the patient before he went back outside to mama.
Also, inside my house.  Calves and adults cattle on our farm are treated with the utmost respect!

OK Now off my soap box and on to the post I promised and already had ready before yesterday morning.  A recipe your mom might even enjoy for Mother's Day!

May is Beef Month and the second recipe I have chosen to share with you is my Italian Beef Roll.  This is a recipe I used when I competed in the Beef Ambassador Contest when I was in High School.  It is like an Italian flavored meatloaf with cheese rolled in the middle.  Another Beef Ambassador recipe you might enjoy is Porcupine Meatballs.  Yummy!

1.      Start with 1 pound of lean ground beef.  Add ¾ cup oatmeal, 1 egg or ¼ cup egg substitute, 1/3 cup chopped onion, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon pepper, and 1 clove of garlic or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder.  Mix well.  Beef is the #1 food source of zinc in the diet.  It is responsible for growth and development and maintenance of the immune system.

I feel I need to back up a step here and talk about the garlic.  I love to use fresh garlic.  I sold Pampered Chef products for a few years before I had kids and ran into a few people who didn’t know how to use fresh garlic and were a bit afraid of it or had used way too much of it.  So here is my tutorial on Fresh Garlic.

This is a bulb of garlic:

The piece I have pushed out with my finger is a clove of garlic.

A clove of garlic is a small piece of the bulb that easily separates itself.

I like to use a garlic press to get the garlicky goodness out of a clove.  You can peel it and chop it, but then your hands tend to smell like garlic for a while.  You just put the clove in the press and squeeze to release the flavor.  Has anyone ever been to a garlic farm?  I wonder if the smell is overwhelming.

2.       Mix the tomato paste and water together.  I use tomato paste mixed with water in place of tomato sauce.  Tomato sauce is actually quite high in sodium and the contest I competed in judged how healthy your recipe was, so either works fine.  Add a 1/3 cup of the tomato paste mixture to the ground beef mixture and mix well.  Reserve the remaining tomato paste and water for later.  The cattle on our farm are cared for with the utmost respect.  We handle them with a calm, quiet manner and don't even own an electric cattle prod.  We truly believe in the words "Take care of the cattle and the cattle will take care of you."

3.       Now here is where you need to work efficiently and now get distracted by your kids.  Place a piece of waxed paper on top of a cutting board at least 9 by 12 inches.  Shape the ground beef into a flat rectangle about 8x10 inches on the waxed paper.

4.      Sprinkle ½ cup of Mozzarella cheese evenly over meat.

5.       Roll up like a jelly roll, using the paper to help hold the meat together.  You have to work quickly, because the meat starts to soften the waxed paper and it will tear if you take too long.  This was easier to do when I was in high school and didn’t have little boys who needed help with homework in the middle of fixing supper.

6.       Press the seams together and push the ends to seal, so the cheese doesn’t melt out of the roll. 

7.       Now, place a 7x11 baking dish over the top of your cutting board. 

8.       Flip the cutting board over, so your meat roll is in the baking dish and remove the waxed paper.

9.       Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Beef is an excellent source of iron.  The type of iron in beef is Heme iron, which is 3-5 times more easily digested than the iron found in other foods.  For example, much of the iron in spinach is not available to the body unless the spinach is eaten with meat.

45 minutes was long enough for us to feed the bottle calves and do a little heat detecting on the heifers that are ready to be bred.  All chores are done before we eat each night.  The boys understand that the animals rely on them for all their food and that the animals should come before their own wants.

10.   Pour remaining tomato mixture over the roll and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.  Beef is an excellent source of zinc, iron and protein.

11.   Bake an additional 15 minutes.  

12.   Let cool and slice.  Enjoy! 

  Agriculture is my life’s calling, and I take pride in producing food that is safe, nutritious and affordable. I feel confident in knowing that consumers can go to their local grocery store or restaurant and purchase food that is safe and wholesome for their family, which is the same grocery store I go frequent to buy food for my family.

   I understand that contemporary agriculture doesn’t look like it did when my and my husband's grandfather's farmed (and probably yours as well), but like many other industries we have had to become more efficient to survive. The production practices we use are ethically grounded, scientifically verified and economically viable. They allow me to maximize efficiency and meet the growing demand for food.

    A Proud Kansas Farm Mom

Italian Beef Roll
1 lb. ground beef
¾ cup oatmeal
¼ cup egg substitute or 1 egg
1/3 cup onion, chopped
½ t. oregano
1/8 t. garlic powder or 1 clove garlic
½ t. pepper
6 oz. can tomato paste
½ cup water
4 oz mozzarella cheese, grated

Combine ground beef, oatmeal, egg substitute, onion and seasonings.  Mix tomato paste and water and add 1/3 cup of mixture to beef mix, reserving the remainder for later use.  Mix well and shape into a flat rectangle about 8x10 inches on waxed paper.  Sprinkle ½ cup of cheese evenly over meat.  Roll up like a jelly roll and press seams together.

Carefully place into a 7x11 inch baking dish.  Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Pour remaining sauce mixture over the roll and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake an additional 15 minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes and slice.