Red Meat

Mama Blechnoyvan's Pasties

For the Crust

  • 3 cups ice cold vegetable shortening or butter
  • 9 cups all purpose flour
  • Dash of salt
  • Ice cold water

For the Filling

  • 3 pounds of sirloin or round steak diced to 1/2" pieces (top sirloin, baby!)
  • 2 1/2 cups diced onions
  • 12 cups russet potatoes, peeled and diced to 1/2" pieces
  • 2 1/2 tablespools salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pat of butter for each pasty
  • Egg wash


Combine the meat, onions, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and refrigerate overnight. Allow the flavors to marry. You may want to stir the mixture a couple times. The salt will bring out moisture from the steak and onions. Drain that moisture off in a colander before making the pasties.
The crust mixture is a large quantity so you may want to split it into two batches. Cut the shortening or butter into the flour until it looks like corn meal. Add just enough ice cold water to bring the dough together. You can also make the dough in a food processor. Once the dough is made, divide it into several smaller balls, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Peel the potatoes and soak them in water to keep from oxidizing. As you dice the potatoes, add them to the drained steak and onion mixture and combine to make the filling. Once the mixture is ready, begin rolling out the crust. Roll out the dough to a round shape and place a mound of the steak, onion and potato mixture on one side of the dough. Place a pat of butter on top of the filling. Pull the dough over the top of the filling, crimp and roll the edges of dough to seal it. Poke a few holes in each pasty so steam can escape while baking.

Place pasties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush each with egg wash. Bake the pasties at 425 for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 and bake 30 minutes then rotate the baking sheets between top and bottom racks. Bake 30 more minutes - 60 minutes total baking time at 325.
* Jeri - use more steak and less potato next time. Maybe 10 1/2 to 11 cups of potato.

Potato Kielbasa Skillet


  • 1 pound red potatoes, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled


  • Place potatoes and water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes or until tender; drain.
  • In a large skillet, saute kielbasa and onion in oil until onion is tender. Add potatoes; saute 3-5 minutes longer or until kielbasa and potatoes are lightly browned.
  • Combine the brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, thyme and pepper; stir into skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Add spinach and bacon; cook and stir until spinach is wilted. Yield: 4 servings.

Tacos al Carbon

Although "al carbon" means to cook over charcoal, bring this dish indoors by sautéing steak, onions, and peppers to make a one-pan taco filling reminiscent of fajitas. The piquant flavors of lime and garlic in the dressing enhance almost anything, so feel free to substitute chicken, lamb, or shrimp for the beef.


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 tablespoons fat-free sour cream


  • Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bell pepper to pan, and cook 4 minutes. Add onion to pan, and sauté 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Place pepper mixture in a large bowl; cover and keep warm.
  • Add beef to pan; cook 7 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Add to pepper mixture. Add chili powder, juice, oil, salt, and garlic to bowl; toss to coat.
  • Heat tortillas according to package directions. Spoon steak mixture evenly over 8 tortillas. Top each taco with about 1 teaspoon cilantro and 2 1/4 teaspoons sour cream.

Teriyaki Marinade


  • ½ cup Soy Sauce
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 slice fresh Ginger (not Mary-Ann—even though she was way hotter--or use the equivalent amount of the powdered stuff like the rest of us)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced—or use the equivalent amount of the powdered stuff if you don’t have any fresh)
  • ½ cup Water
  • Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • Optional--A bit of Whiskey to tenderize the meat that you will be soaking in the marinade (and to tenderize yourself while you are grilling the meat that was soaked in the marinade)
  • Optional--½ handful of chopped Green Onion (I like to use them)

Dump everything into a large container that can be covered. Mix until the sugar is pretty much dissolved.

Put what ever meat you want into the marinade (make sure the meat is covered), then put it in the fridge. Soaking times will vary, depending on the meat used. With big prawns, go a couple of hours; with chicken, go 6 hours or so; with steak, go overnight.

I usually buy 3 or 4 pounds of flank steak, cut it into 1/8 inch thick strips, then marinade it overnight (you will want to double the marinade recipe if using more than 2 pounds of steak). On the day of the festivities, skewer the strips onto bamboo sticks that have soaked in water for a while (it reduces their tendencies to burn), then cook them on the grill. It can be a bit time-consuming to skewer the steak, but you will have a lot of company standing around the grill saying nice things to you, getting you more drinks, and generally sucking up, because these things are extremely pleasing to the taste buds when they are hot off the grill.