Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mum's Potted Beef & Gravy

This isn't that stuff that you buy in a can. It's nothing like that. At least I don't think so. I've never tried canned potted meat.

My mom used to make this all the time growing up. It was one of my favorite meals. It included Mum's awesome gravy... and all of those are winners with me!!

I can remember every time she'd make it, my dad would say it tasted like bear meat. I never really knew if he was serious. So I called Mum when I made it last week to ask. She said that he did think it tasted like bear meat. While my dad was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska in the late 50s or early 60s, he befriended a guy named Baney. (I'm guessing that's a nickname) Baney was a homesteader and hunted for all of his meat and apparently bear was on his menu. Unfortunately Baney died hang-gliding in the 60s. Widow Baney... if by chance you are reading this... I'd love to hear from you!!

Anyway... back to Mum's Potted Beef. I also just found out it was originally Nana's recipe and Mum learned to make it for my dad.

This is probably a little different than Mum made it and her's is probably a little different than Nana's.

Mum's Potted Beef
1 - 1.5 lbs stew meat (or steak tips)
1/4 - 1/2 C Worcestershire sauce
beef broth
8 carrots cut into thirds (or equivalent baby carrots)
flour (enough to thicken broth)

First season the meat with salt & pepper.
Then brown the meat in a pot.
Add Worcestershire sauce (about 1/4 to 1/2 C), carrots and cover with beef broth.
Simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours.
Remove meat & carrots.
Thicken broth with flour slurry (about 1/4 C flour shaken with about 1 C water).
Add salt & pepper to taste.
Serve with mashed potatoes.


Some gorgeous stew beef stopped me in my tracks and made me decide to make this.

Season meat with salt & pepper and brown in a pot.

When meat is browned, add carrots.

And Worcestershire sauce. I definitely use closer to 1/2C... although I never actually measure it.

And LOTS of black pepper.

Pour in enough beef broth to cover meat & carrots.

Cover and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half.

Fast forward 1.5 hours....

Scoop the meat & carrots out of the broth and set aside.

Now time to make the slurry. My mom has this ancient Tupperware gravy shaker. I've looked online bunches of times for it and always come up empty. But I happened to spy it as part of a Tupperware Sales Kit from the 50s! This thing is wicked old! But she still uses it and it still works great! (this isn't Mum's... hers looks well used!)

By the time I was out on my own, they didn't make these anymore. I'm sure you've all seen the newer (still old!) ones with the pour spout in the top. Anyway. I never had one (old or new), so the gravy part was always a challenge for me.

In Mum's gravy shaker you put flour in the lid (it holds about 1/4 C) and water in the base (about 1 C) and shake. No measuring, just use that cool contraption from the 50s.

So I put measured amounts of flour & water into a plastic container and shook it.


Plus water...

Equals thick gooey slurry...

Whisk the slurry into the broth.

It makes thick gravy very quickly. Just season it to taste with salt and pepper.

Now it gets served... meat & carrots with gravy and mashed potatoes!

Now ever since I was little... I always mashed my carrots with my fork.

And mixed them with my mashed potatoes.

Then I flood my plate with gravy!

YUM!!! In addition to my mashed carrot/potato/gravy combo... I have to have a piece of buttered bread...

And drench it in gravy.... *drool*

I'm not a big sweets fan... but pass the bread & the gravy boat... and I'm in heaven!


Mom on the Run said...

I love the story of this recipe! The pictures also make a great touch!


Michele said...

Yummy!!!!! That gravy looks soo good! I'd love to dip a slice of bread in it! It seems like potted beef is like beef stew but the potatoes are in a seperate dish. Looks great!!!

Donna-FFW said...

This looks so very good the way you did it. LOVE the bread! WITH the gravy!

Spryte said...

Thanks Mom on the Run!!

Thanks Michele! People always want to make this into stew... but that's not how I've ever had it. hehehe

Thanks Donna!

Bob said...

That looks wicked good. Can't go wrong with beef and gravy! I would be interested in trying bear meat, too... :)

tamilyn said...

Hmmm, bear meat. That may be too exotic for me. I'll stick to the mooing variety. I do the same with my corn-it goes in the pile of spuds with (a lot of) butter, salt and pepper on top. Yum!

Tangled Noodle said...

I'm curious about the taste of bear meat but even more, I'm curious as to why this is called 'potted' beef? The gravy shaker is great - I wonder how many neat but obsolete gadgets are out there? It's a good excuse to go flea marketing or yard sale shopping! This looks like a wonderfully hearty meal!

Spryte said...

Bob... agreed!

tamilyn... I love to mix stuff with my mashed potatoes.

Tangled Noodle... the only reason I can think that this is "potted beef" is that it's made in a pot! Since my dad passed away more than 20 years ago, I sent an email to a couple of aunts asking if they remember this dish. I'd like to hear more about it from when Nana made it!

noble pig said...

Love that gravy shaker and the potted beef sounds great.

Bear meat...hmmmmm?

Deborah said...

I've never had potted meat before, and it does look good!

Natashya said...

Good liberal use of Worcestershire sauce! I love it too.
Looks like a great Sunday dinner.
I used to squish peas with my thumb.

Debbie said...

Looks very, very good and tasty! I love old tupperware and pyrex too!!

Vicky said...

I can almost smell and taste this "potted" beef. It looks so delicious.

My mom has the same Tupperware gravy shaker in yellow!

Bradley said...

The potted beef looks sooo good. The carrots are definitely a great part of the recipe. I love cooked carrots. I would agree with Bob about trying the bear meat.

Anonymous said...

I actually have everything I need to make this right now. I just have to pull the stew meat out of the freezer. Now I have dinner for tomorrow night. Thanks!

Selba said...

Looks delicious! The gravy must be really tasty...

Spryte said...

Cathy... I'd love to find that gravy shaker!

Deborah... *grin*

Natashya... the Worcestershire sauce makes the carrots sooo tasty too!

Thanks Debbie!

Cool! I've never seen another one Vicki.

Thanks Bradley!

I hope you like it ArtsyGirl!

Thanks Selba!

Lara said...

I can already tell my husband would go crazy over this yummy looking dish and if I told the kids it tasted like bear meat...well I'd have to make it once a week. :)

Heather said...

OMG, I totally have those same plates from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Beef, carrots, and mashed potatoes/gravy is a perfect plate of food.

Spryte said...

Lara... If you have a meat & potatoes guy... this is for him!!

Heather... don't the plates weigh a TON??!! I thought they'd pull the cabinet off the wall!

The Mathematician said...

Hey, I just wanted to thank you for this blog. It has inspired me to try to cook more (we'll see how long that lasts), and this is the first recipe I'm trying.

Spryte said...

Yay!! Cooking is good!!

Are you Daniel?

Patti T. said...

How funny is that, I always do that with my carrots also, hubby usually laughs at me.