Holy Meat, Batman!

My collection of recipes is quite vast, spanning a large binder, the family recipe box, The Sisters’ recipe box, my recipe box, various cookbooks, and finally on Pinterest.  Sadly, I haven’t actually made at least half of those recipes.  Don’t worry, all of the one’s I’ve been posting are one’s that I’ve actually made, or in some cases have helped to make (as they’re sort of an everyone is helping sort of deal like the gumbo or the turkey & rice soup), and are tried and true recipes in this household.

I was thinking of, possibly later, adding recipes that I’ve always been interested in, but have not ever attempted before.  Vintage recipes, nothing new.  But, that is for another time.  Right now, I have three different meat based recipes.  One is a family recipe, the other three are newer, but are really yummy, and are favourites of mine to prepare.




Mr. Paul’s Worlds Best Jerky

I’ve already hit upon a dad recipe with what I deemed Mr. Paul’s Worlds Best Fried Fish.  If you missed that post, my dad makes the best fried catfish I have ever tasted… and I’ve tasted a lot of fried catfish.  It’s even excellent cold!  The same can be said for his jerky recipe.  I have tried a lot of varieties of jerky and his is the best, hands down!  It is an easy enough recipe, but also rather time-consuming.  I’m thinking the best things are?

  • Lean meat
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Soak meat in salt water overnight.  Pat meat dry with absorbent paper towels.  Rub spice mix on both sides of strips.  Lay close together (but not touching or overlapping) on oven racks in 140 degree oven.  Place a small pot holder in the corner area of the oven door to keep it open just a little.  Dehydrate over night, at least 10 hours.  The jerky should crack, but not break when bent.


  • Dad’s recipes are minimal, at best, as he’s been cooking them so long, he doesn’t need a recipe and does everything without thinking.  The spices are just to your taste preference.
  • Dad generally makes jerky from deer meat.  If you know nothing about deer meat, I suggest just making it out of beef.  It isn’t as fantastic as deer, but it is still better than store brand varieties.  I will eat my dad’s deer jerky, but I know nothing about hunting deer or how to handle the meat, so I can’t advise you on how to proceed with this option.
  • Any lean beef with very little fat will do.  Sirloin or eye of round are good options if you’re not proficient with meat (ahem… like me).
  • If you’re obtaining beef that needs to be cut, freezing it first will help with cutting the slices.  You want 1/4″ thick slices about 3 -5″ in length.  Always cut with the grain of the meat and never across or against it.
  • It’s an easy and basic recipe.  It’s really good and tasty, but feel free to try other spices and/or marinades.  Just be sure to check recipes because with marinades there’s all these other factors with soaking and the drying time will be shorter.





Tarragon Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers

This recipe is from the August 2015 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.  I am not a fan of turkey really, but these were phenomenal!  Whether you’re into turkey or not, I highly recommend giving them a try.

  • 2 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 lb ground turkey (80/20 fat ratio)*
  • 2 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 C red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped*
  • 1 – 2 tsp bottled hot pepper sauce*
  • 4 sandwich buns, split and toasted
  • lettuce, thinly sliced red onions, fresh tarragon leaves

In a small bowl, stir together the mustard and honey; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine turkey, half the blue cheese, the chopped red onion, chopped tarragon, and hot pepper sauce.  Shape mixture into four patties.

For a gas or charcoal grill, grill patties on the greased rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat, 12 – 15 minutes, or until 165 degrees, turning once.  Serve on buns with the remaining blue cheese, the lettuce, onion slices, tarragon leaves and drizzle with the honey mustard mixture.


  • *80/20.  You want a higher fat content for the turkey, because if it’s too lean, these burgers will be extremely dry and unappetizing.
  • *I’ve never been able to find fresh tarragon, but dry, for the inside of the burger is perfectly acceptable.  I’ve made these twice and both times they were wonderful.  And our tarragon is from the 1970s.  Some spices don’t go bad as quickly as other suggest, though some do like dried parsley or dried basil.  It is also essential to the recipe as it cuts the savory of the blue cheese in the perfect way.  Never use dried for the garnish on the burger.
  • *We never use hot sauce, like Tabasco, while I’m sure it kicks this dish up a notch, it isn’t essential like the cheese or the tarragon for flavour.
  • If you do not own a grill, or simply wish to prepare these on the stove, I can tell you how.  I always use cast-iron, either a skillet or the ridged trivet we have that sits on the burner.  A regular skillet would work fine.  Since these are on direct heat, you’ll want to cook them over medium, and work with the temperature and adjust it as needed, so their not cooking too fast on the outside, while not cooking on the inside.  Also, you’ll need to check for doneness after five minutes.  This method doesn’t take as long to cook the burgers through.
  • *If you noticed an earlier version of this post, I had only found one recipe, and it was the next one.  I was confused and figured that I only had the one recipe, but knew I’d made a lot of burgers with turkey.  Last night I found this recipe and had an ah-ha moment.  They are two separate recipes, so… sorry about that.





Grilled Herb Hamburgers

This recipe is from a Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.  I’ve already cut this one down to size to fit in my binder, so I do not know which issue.  Does that even matter, really?  These burgers are half beef and half turkey.

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 C onion, chopped
  • 1/2 C Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 C snipped fresh oregano and basil*
  • 1/4 C ketchup*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground turkey*
  • 8 ciabatta rolls, split
  • 16 slices tomato

In a large bowl, combine egg, onion, cheese, oregano, basil, tarragon, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Add ground meats; mix well.  Shape mixture into eight 3/4″ thick patties.

For a charcoal grill, place patties on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals.  Grill for 14 – 18 minutes or until no longer pink (165 degrees), turning once halfway through grilling.  Toast ciabatta rolls on the grill.

For a gas grill, preheat grill, reduce to medium.  Place patties, then ciabatta rolls on grill rack over heat.  Cover and grill as above.

Serve burgers on toasted ciabatta rolls with tomato slices and mayonnaise, and if desired, with additional fresh oregano and basil.


  • *Herbs.  If you can’t obtain fresh herbs, you may use 2 tsp each of dried oregano and basil.  But if you don’t have fresh, do not garnish with dried at the end.  It won’t be good.
  • Also, the recipe initially calls for 1/4 C ketchup, which I felt would not be good, so I’ve never used and the burgers are fantastic sans ketchup.
  • *Ground turkey.  Since even really lean beef has a higher fat content than turkey, you can go leaner on this recipe with the ground turkey if you wish.
  • For cooking in a skillet on the stove, see the notes for the Tarragon Blue Cheese Turkey Burger.
  • I tried them on ciabatta rolls the first time, and that is an excellent option.  If you don’t have that, any hamburger roll will do just fine.  And obviously you can dress it out however you want, but with the taste, I would skip ketchup and mustards (as I don’t think they’d go well with the herbs supplied, but that’s just me), but any greens or veggies and any style mayonnaise, even avocado, I think would do nicely.





Tamale Pie

This is a recipe that I found on Pinterest.  I have several boards for all various types of recipes and one for dishes that I have actually made and liked.  This one is pinned in that last board.  It’s easy and delicious.  You may choose to use this recipe or the family cornbread recipe that I supplied in a previous post.  I’ve made this recipe with both types of cornbread before.


  • 1/2 C cornmeal
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C milk
  • 2/3 C flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 3 – 4 Tbs oil
  • 1 egg
  • bacon grease

Whisk together cornbread ingredients and put into a heated, greased cast iron skillet.  Enough bacon grease to coat the bottom evenly.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/4 C enchilada sauce*
  • 2 C shredded cheese

Saute beef and spices over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Drain.  Reduce oven to 350, poke holes in cooked cornbread with fork.  Pour enchilada sauce over the top of cornbread and top with meat and then cheese.  Cover with tin foil and bake 20 minutes.  Remove tin foil and cook an additional 5 – 10 minutes, or until cheese browns.  Cool 5 – 10 minutes and then serve with toppings.


  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa




*Enchilada sauce.  It should be easy to find in my town, but it really isn’t.  However, The Sister has an excellent and easy recipe for it which she found on Pinterest.  So, if like me you can’t find it, or you simply want to make it from scratch, here it is.

  • 1/4 C oil (vegetable, canola, or coconut)
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 C chicken broth or stock
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbs packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

In medium sauce pan, over medium heat, whisk to combine the oil and the flour.  Whisk in remaining ingredients.  Adjust spices to taste.  Store leftover sauce in air tight container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.



Measurement Guide:

I always see recipes with varied measurement abbreviations.  I always use the standard form, but if you are not familiar with that, it is as follows.

  • C = cup(s)
  • Tbs = tablespoon
  • tsp = teaspoon
  • oz = ounces
  • lb = pound

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