Retro Favorite: Dried Beef Dip

Time to bring it back!  I know you remember this classic dip made from the chipped beef in the little glass jar. In its day it was seen on every coffee table on Saturday night.  Why? Because it was a delicious, satisfying, comfort food that somehow reminded veterans of SOS.  They still sell it in the little glass jar so you can bring back memories for your friends.

  • 2 eight ounce blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 of a cup of sour cream
  • 1  five ounce jar of chipped beef, minced
  • 1/2 of a bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 of an onion, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of pecans, toasted and chopped

Mix first six ingredients well, spoon into a stoneware baking dish and sprinkle pecans on top.  Place in a 300 degree oven until it enthusiastically bubbles.  Tastes great with Triscuits! 



Corned Beef and Cabbage Spread

corned beef

What a spectacular spread for a cold winter night
and an informal gathering of close friends.  We
had this very delightful dish as part of a bowl
game cocktail buffet and it was the star of the evening.


1 16 ounce can of sauerkraut, well-drained
8 ounces of Swiss cheese, grated
1 pound of corned beef, cooked and chopped
1 cup of mayonnaise
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire Sauce
3 tablespoons of spicy brown mustard
4 tablespoons of horseradish
½ cup of onion, finely minced

Mix all ingredients and bake in an oiled
casserole dish at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Then, stir and bake 10 minutes more.
(Serve with chunks of Irish soda bread or  sliced rye bread.)

Arrachera (Thinly Sliced Grilled Beef) on Sweet Potato Rounds

I once knew a Flamenco dancer in Guanajuato

who made me an aficionado of the dance to

the point I seriously considered a summer in

Granada to learn the finer points. That would

have been an embarrassment to all, but this

lovely lady, besides being a serious

international competitor, was also a culinary

force to be reckoned with. This dish was

inspired by one she often served as an

entree. Ole’!

2 or 3 large and narrow sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ pound of thinly sliced and pounded rare beef

2 cups of cooked or canned black beans

1 poblano pepper, minced

4 green onions, sliced finely

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of lime juice, freshly squeezed

For Chipotle Mayo:

2 teaspoons of canned minced chipotle in adobo sauce

¼ cup of sour cream

¼ cup of mayonnaise

Slice sweet potatoes into thin rounds and roast

in a single layer on an oiled cookie sheet at 450

degrees for ten minutes on each side or golden

brown. Sprinkle with sea salt and set aside.

Combine beef with beans, pepper, onions, olive oil,

and lime juice. Top potato slices with beef mixture

and finish with a dollop of Chipotle Mayonnaise.

Beef Tartare

This recipe comes down to us from the

Barbarian hordes that terrorized Europe.

It is said they ate as they pillaged and

plundered and tenderized the meat they

consumed by placing a fresh steak under

the saddle. Fortunately, we have a more

civilized approach to a truly delicious dish.

Serve this fresh with a relish of minced

tomatoes and onions that have been

dashed with salt and cider vinegar.

1 pound of beef tenderloin

3 anchovy filets

1 teaspoon of coarse ground mustard

1 teaspoon of red pepper sauce

2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon of brandy

1 egg

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Process the tenderloin until it is finely ground,

along with the anchovies. Place in a bowl and

fold in the remaining ingredients. Form into a

mound for spreading and serve with the relish

and a basket of warm toasts.

Barbecue Biscuits with Two Sauces

Sometimes you need substantial party food that will be

popular with everyone. Barbecue fills the bill but it can be

messy and complicated to prepare along with the expected

accompaniments. We have been very successful with

commercially-prepared pulled pork and small frozen tea

biscuits. If you have the time to smoke your own beef, pork,

or chicken and bake homemade biscuits, all the better,

but our guests forgave our taking short cuts by consuming

the entire offering. Set out a large basket of warm biscuits,

a vintage stoneware platter with barbecue, along with

small bowls of chopped onions and dill pickles and these

two sauces:


Tennessee Valley White Barbecue Sauce

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

½ cup of sour cream

½ of a small white onion, grated

1/4 cup horseradish

¼ cup of white vinegar

1 lemon, juiced and zested

Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Combine and refrigerate for several hours

before serving


Mentone Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

¾ pint of cider vinegar

1 quart of Louisiana Hot Sauce

2 ounces of Tabasco

1 cup of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of black pepper, freshly ground

1 tablespoon of dry mustard

2 tablespoons of chipotle pepper, ground

2 lemons, juiced and zested

¼ pint of bourbon

Combine all but the bourbon and bring to a low simmer

for about half an hour. Remove from heat, let cool slightly,

and add the bourbon. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yum Yums

This appetizer is known by many names but we have

termed them Yum Yums since about 1970. We never

found anyone who disliked these savory hot canapes

and they are easily frozen after they are prepared to

pull out of a bag and serve in minutes. Try them,

you’ll like them.

1 pound of hot bulk sausage

1 pound of ground chuck

1 pound of Velveeta cheese

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

Freshly ground black pepper

Party Rye, presliced

Brown the sausage and beef, drain well, and combine

with other ingredients while warm enough to thoroughly

incorporate the cheese. Spread generously on the rye

bread slices and bake at 375 degrees for ten minutes.

If you would like to freeze them, place uncooked yum

yums on a baking sheet and freeze. When ready, store

in a freezer bag. Bake at the same temperature until

cheese bubbles.

Alambre de Res

Mexican beef is flavorful but rarely tender and if

you want to use it you must create dishes that will

work with thinly sliced filet. Alambre translates as

“wire” but is a common term for any food prepared

as a shish kebab or on a skewer. 

This is a great grilled hors d’oeuvres that should go

from the fire to the cocktail buffet as soon as it is

ready. Of course, if you are near a butcher with

quality meats, all the better. If you are dealing with

lesser cuts, consider thinly slicing the meat and

tossing it with chunks of papaya, leaving the steak

in the fridge for about an hour to tenderize it.
1 pound of beef filet mignon, thinly sliced

Garlic powder

2 large poblano peppers, seeded, ribbed, and cut into

   1X2 inch cubes

1 pound of manchego cheese, sliced thinly into strips

Sea salt
Soak four inch wooden skewers in water for a half

hour before you are ready to assemble Alambre de

Res. Combine a strip of cheese, a cube of pepper, and

wrap tightly with a beef strip. Thread on a skewer and

dust lightly with garlic powder. Place on a hot grill and

cook for no longer than six minutes, turning once.

Alternatively, the skewers may be placed on a foil-lined

baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for no longer than eight

minutes. Salt lightly before serving and offer red pepper

sauce or Worcestershire sauce on the side.