1-1/2 cup yellow onions, finely chopped
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 pounds ground beef, 80/20 ratio
2 tablespoons beef seasoning
2/3 cup liquid eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable or light olive oil
In a large stainless steel or glass bowl, thoroughly mix together the onions, bread crumbs, ground meat, beef seasoning, eggs, milk, salt, and black pepper until uniform.
Then a scant handful at a time, begin rolling out the meat mixture into oval-shaped “logs,” placing them on top of a sheet of parchment paper that’s been placed in the bottom of a large sheet pan.
Next, slide the pan into a 325-degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the “logs” begin to brown slightly (it’s okay to turn them over one time so that all sides brown evenly).
When they’re done set them aside on the countertop until the gravy is made.
The Spicy Brown Gravy
1/4 cup vegetable or light olive oil
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup onions, medium-diced
2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet, as desired
4-6 cups concentrated chicken stock
10-ounces Rotel tomatoes with chilies
2 tablespoons beef seasoning
Sea salt as desired
Coarse-ground black pepper as desired
In a 5-quart Dutch oven or oval roaster, bring the oil up to sizzling over a moderate flame.
Then, a little at a time, begin sprinkling the flour into the pot, whisking vigorously as it’s added. When the flour turns a rich, shiny brown color, remove the pot from the fire and drop in the onions, stirring them into the flour to stop the browning action (and residually cooking the onions at the same time).
After the flour and onions are evenly mixed, add in the Kitchen Bouquet, the chicken stock, the Rotels, and the beef seasoning.
Now whisk the resulting gravy well, making sure all the roux is blended into the stock. With the pot over a medium-low heat, slide on the cover and allow the gravy to simmer gently—stirring occasionally—for about 20-30 minutes.
At that point, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper; then drop the “beef logs” into the pot, taking care that they are all completely covered with the gravy.
When they’re all in the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot again, and let the “logs” continue to cook gently for another 40-45 minutes (or until light and tender).
The Egg Noodles
10-quart stock pot
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons Cajun seasonings
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
24 ounces broad egg noodles (2 packages)
1/3 stick softened butter
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 cup finely shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese
1 dozen pistolettes
After bringing enough water to cover the noodles to a rapid boil (about 8 cups), stir in the olive oil, the Cajun seasonings, and the salt until they are uniformly blended into the mixture.
At that point—again with the water at a rapid boil!—drop in the noodles and stir them briskly for a few minutes so that they don’t stick to each other.
When they show signs of beginning to soften, allow them to boil rapidly for about 10 to 12 minutes or until they turn “al dente” (still firm to the tooth).
After the allotted boiling time, drain them through a colander; then transfer them to a large Pyrex baking dish and toss them with the softened butter and the teaspoon of black pepper.
At this point, scatter the cheese mixture evenly over the noodles and slide the baking dish into a 200-degree oven to keep warm until you’re ready to serve.
Oh—I recommend you place the pistolettes into the oven as well to keep them warm.
When you’re ready to eat, serve up the noodles in deep soup or pasta bowls, rest a couple or three beef logs on top of the pasta, and generously ladle the brown gravy over everything!
Be sure to have a couple of hot pistolettes handy for your dinner guests so that y’all can do a lot of soppin’!