So, why am I calling it Country Chicken Fried Steak? Well…it’s complicated.

First of all, there is no universally accepted explanation as to the difference between Country Fried and Chicken Fried Steak. Generally speaking, Chicken Fried Steak is double breaded in egg and flour and fried like fried chicken. And, it is served with a white cream gravy. Country Fired Steak is dusted in flour, then fried…and the oil is used to make a brownish gravy from the drippings. No one agrees,really, on all this food history blathering. Basically it depends on what part of the country you are from that determined what you call this iconic comfort food.

This recipe is a hybrid between the two. I actually bread the steak in buttermilk and panko, then make the gravy from some of the drippings. So…Country Chicken Fried Steal. Also, traditionally you will find CFS made with pounded out and tenderized round steak, a.k.a., cube steak. I used a NY strip steak here.

Have fun with it. Much of the results depends on technique, ie, frying them crispy and properly seasoning the coating and gravy. It’s all a matter of choice.


  • 1 pound beef or cube steak (flank, strip, ribeye)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • Canola oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup cream
  • Chopped parsley
  • Chopped chives


  • Cut the beef into 4 equal portions. Place on a cutting board then pound each portion with a meat mallet using the tenderizer end until they are 1/4 inch thick. If using pre-tenderized cube steak, pound them to about 1/4 inch as well.
  • Place the buttermilk in a flat bowl then place the pounded beef steaks Makie sure they are all covered in buttermilk. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or in the fridge overnight covered.
  • Place the panko crumbs in a flat bowl then add 1 tsp Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning. Mix well.
  • Heat about 1/2 inch of canola oil in a skillet to 350 degrees.
  • Remove the meat from the buttermilk. Bread each steak in the seasoned panko until they are well coated on both sides, pressing the panko into the steaks. Place on a parchment lined plate.
  • When all the steak are breaded, fry them in the oil without crowding until golden brown on the first side, about 2 minutes. turn and repeat with the other side. Remove to a wire rack over a sheet pan in a warm oven.
  • When the steaks are fried, remove most of the oil from the skillet. Add 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter then 2 tbsp of flour. Over medium heat, cook the flour, stirring with a whisk, for about 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and let it come to a simmer. Whisk in the cream and bring to a low simmer. Taste and season with more Cajun seasoning and black pepper.
  • Plate with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. Spoon some of the gravy on the steaks and the potatoes. Garnish with chopped parsley and chopped chives. Sprinkle with a little paprika.


We love Beef Stroganoff. But every once in a while we like to go meatless…and make Mushroom Leek Stroganoff. This will have the same savory, creamy stroganoff taste just without the meat. The cremini mushrooms give this dish a similar meaty texture. I substitute half the onions with leeks, and that elevates it even further.

Keep in mind that it is essential for deep flavor development to take your time with the onions, leeks, and mushrooms. In other words, cook them on low with unsalted butter for at least 15 minutes to get them near caramelized, lightly browned.

You can use your favorite pasta, but large egg noodles really are the go-to choice with stroganoff. Serve with a fresh garlic garlic bread (recipe below).


  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned, quartered, 1/8 inch slice
  • 1 cup white or yellow onion, halved, 1/4 inch slice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved, 1/4 inch slice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup brandy or dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp demi-glace
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 6 ounces large egg noodles
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley


  • Clean and dry the mushrooms. Cut them in half them slice 1/4 inch, leaving the stems.
  • Use the white and light green part of the leek. Cut in half and remove any dirt and sand then cut in quarters. Slice 1/8 inch.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, leeks, and onions and season with salt and pepper. Let them cook, stirring, for at least 15 minutes until the mushrooms have lost all their liquid and are beginning to brown slightly. Add the thyme and garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook another 1 minute. Then stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the brandy or sherry and bring to a simmer for a minute or so to cook off the alcohol. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the Demi place and let cook in for 1 minute, stirring.
  • Stir in the Worcestershire and the Dijon. Add the sour cream and heat through, stirring. Taste and reseason with salt and pepper if necessary, especially pepper. Cover the skillet, turn the heat to low, and let cook about 10 minutes while you cook the pasta.
  • Drain the pasta, do not rinse, and return to the pasta saucepan. Toss with a little olive oil.
  • When ready to serve, plate some pasta and spoon over the mushroom sauce. Season with more fresh cracked pepper if desired and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve with garlic bread.

Garlic Bread recipe

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix together 2 cloves of minced garlic, 4 tbsp unsalted room temperature butter, 1 tbsp chopped parsley and a pinch of Kosher salt.
  • Use your favorite French or sourdough bread. Spread cut sides liberally with the garlic butter. Sprinkle on some grated parmesan and place on a sheet pan. Bake until the bread is toasty and golden at the edges, about 10 minutes.


Full discloser…it’s the first day of Hanukkah, but I’m not Jewish. I just love latkes and it seemed appropriate to make them today.

There are many recipes out there for latkes, but I borrowed this one from Babish (with a couple minor changes). I, like he, did not use schmaltz (chicken fat) to fry them…though I would have had I found some. Canola oil worked well. This recipe will give you 5-6 latkes.

In my book, this blows potatoes traditional hash browns out of the water!


  • 2 large Russet potatoes or other starchy potato
  • 1/2 onion
  • Kosher salt and white pepper
  • 2-3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • Canola oil for frying


  • Peeled then grate the Russet potatoes and the onion at the same time. I used one of those cheap little crank things, but you can use a box grater. Do the next step immediately or your potatoes will brown quickly.
  • Place the grated potatoes on a clean kitchen towel and roll up, twisting the ends. Hold the towel over a medium mixing bowl and squeeze and a twist to get all the liquid out of them. Let the liquid go into the bowl. Let the bowl sit for few minutes, then carefully pour off the water and reserving the potato starch in the bottom.
  • Place the grated potatoes, beaten eggs, granulated garlic, Kosher salt and white pepper in the bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  • Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a medium skillet to 375 degrees.
  • Make about 5-6 “balls” of grated potatoes, place on a sheet pan, smash down to form about 1/2 inch patties. Leave the edges raggy as this will give you nice, crispy edges.
  • When the oil is hot, place the latkes in the the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy. Place them on a wire rack over a sheet pan in a warm oven while you make the remainder. Season with salt when they come out of the oil.
  • Serve with sour cream and diced green onions. Some people like to serve them with applesauce as well. Happy Hanukkah!


What’s better than Chicken Fried Steak? Chicken Fried Chicken Breast…and White Country Gravy, of course.

I love making CFS. But, it can be a little tough at times, even with my recipe made from Beef Tenderloin. This Chicken Fried Chicken Breast is a basic double flour and buttermilk breaded chicken that will work with any fried chicken. It really needs to be deep fried, in other words, completely submerged in the cooking oil. Grandma’s old-school cast-iron skillet method is similar, but just make sure the oil is deep enough to cover the chicken, AND, the oil temperature is 350 degrees to start. It will drop to about 325 degrees when you put the chicken in, so crank it up a bit when you drop the chicken. I use canola oil. Don’t use olive oil as it has a different flavor profile and doesn’t take well to deep frying. Peanut oil works well too. This recipe is for 2 people.

Note as with any recipe, it’s all about the seasoning. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I also seasoned the cooked breasts with a little Lawry’s style seasoning mix (unsalted).


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp granulated or garlic powder
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp Frank’s Louisiana hot sauce
  • Canola oil for frying

For the gravy:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half or whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp chicken base or buillion
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper Pinch of cayenne


  • Trim any excess fat from the chicken breasts then place in a large plastic bag and pound them to 1/4 inch thick.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and hot sauce and place in another mixing bowl or large flat bowl.
  • Make sure the breasts are dry. Dip them in the buttermilk mixture, then dredge in the flour mixture, then back into the buttermilk, then back into the flour. Press the flour into the breast so it is completely coasted. Place them on a wire rack over a sheet pan and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, make the gravy. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan until melted then add the flour. Stir and cook for about 1 minute, making a roux. Whisk in the half and half and let it come to a simmer, whisking the whole time. Add the chicken base and whisk in. Let it cook about 5 minutes on very low heat then add the cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
  • In a heavy skillet over medium heat, add enough oil to make it 1 inch deep. Using a oil or meat thermometer, heat the oil to 350 degrees. Lower the heat and maintain that temperature for a couple minutes before adding the chicken. Carefully lay the breaded breasts in the skillet, one at a time if they won’t fit side by side. They should be submerged in the oil. Monitor the heat to maintain 350 degrees. Cook until golden brown on the first side then carefully turn over and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove to a wire rack over a sheet pan. Don’t using the same sheet pan and rack as it had raw chicken on it. Place in a warm oven until ready to use.
  • To serve, place on a plate next to your mashed potatoes, or rice, or other starch. Spoon some gravy on the potatoes. If you soak the cooked breast in the gravy right away, it will get soggy.

For the Country Green Beans:

  • 2 cups of thin French green beans (Haricot Verts), we get ours at Trader Joe’s always
  • 2 thick slices of bacon, 1/2 inch chop
  • 1/2 cup white onion, sliced into slivers
  • Kosher salt and Black pepper
  • Blanch the haricot verts in boiling water for about 5 minutes then drop into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Do this early then set aside at room temperature.
  • Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the chopped bacon. Let render down and begin to brown, don’t let it get crispy, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the onions to the saucepan and cook with the bacon until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper, salt is probably not necessary because of the bacon.
  • Add the blanched green beans and cook, saute, stirring, until the beans are heated through and finished cooking, about 10 minutes. Keep warm or serve right away.


Risotto is a simple dish, but not easy to make. Does that make sense? Here’s why. Simple ingredients (arborio rice and stock) but requires constant attention at the stove for a good 40 minutes.

There are few things to do to make your Risotto successful. Start with arborio rice, a short grain rice. Do not rinse the rice as with some other rice dishes, you need the starch to make it creamy. Start with your stock hot. Ladle the stock into the rice 1/2 cup at a time and stir constantly. Here is where your attention is required. I made this batch with 1 cup of rice and 4 cups of low-sodium chicken stock. It took me about 40 minutes. Here are my ingredient for Mushroom Risotto with parmesan cheese. I served mine with a little pan-seared halibut filet.


  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • Olive oil
  • 3 tbsp shallots, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3-4 ounces of white mushrooms, 1/4 inch slice
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay)
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesn
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley


  • Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Keep hot.
  • Using a large saucepan over medium low heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the arborio rice and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring.
  • Add the wine and bring to a simmer, let reduce until almost gone. Start adding the stock one 4 ounce ladle at a time, simmer and stir until the liquid is almost gone. Then add another ladle and so the same until most of the hot stock is gone. This should take at least 30-45 minutes depending on how much you are making. You should be stirring constantly or the rice will stick to the pan. When the rice is cooked al dente. Turn off the heat and add the peas and the grated parmesan and stir in. Cover and keep warm. When ready to serve, add more stock if it is dry.


There is nothing more satisfying than finding the right salsa recipe then using home-grown tomatoes to make it.

I have made my own salsa hundreds of times over the years, and they just didn’t cut it. This one finally does.

Keep in mind, we like this ratio of the standard salsa ingredients. If you want it spicier then use more jalapeños or Serranos. Less sugar, more salt…here is where it is up to you. Also, how much you process it will determine how chunky it is. Chipotles perhaps?

It will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days if you store it in a container with a tight fitting lid. I use a large canning jar. You could also do the whole canning process, but that involves cooking the salsa…and we prefer to leave it fresh and just use it within a few days.

Those tomatoes are from our garden. If you don’t have that, buy the vine rip tomatoes on the vine. Do not use canned diced tomatoes, it will taste tinny.

And, of course, make your own corn tortilla chips! We are smoking a Santa Maria Tri Tip tomorrow…this salsa was made for that.


  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored
  • 1 medium jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, rough chop
  • 1 cup white onions, rough chop
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large garlic clove, thin sliced
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  • Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have your desired chunkiness. Taste and reseason if necessary.
  • Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
  • It can also be frozen in plastic freezer bags or plastic containers.

(Why did I make) FRIED CHICKEN?

The easy and obvious answer to that question is “Because it tastes so damn good!” How great is fresh-made-at-home fried chicken? My mother made fried chicken a lot when I was growing up. And that provided leftovers the next day or a staple in our picnic baskets. But, let’s face it…it always made quite a mess of the stove. Despite that, my poor Mom made it quite often.

I own 3 consumer deep fryers. All of which suck! Why? Because they are a pain in the ass to maintain and clean…that’s why. Also, sometimes they hold temperature, sometimes not. So, recently, I decided to step back a few years in my culinary journey and try an old method. No, not a cast-iron skillet. But a heavy bottomed enameled cast-iron Dutch oven. Oh, and, of course, an oil thermometer that hangs on the side of the pot.

One of the considerations will also be to filter and save the oil properly. It takes a lot of oil to deep fry anything, so I would like to cover my losses in the canola oil department. A metal funnel lined with a coffee filter or cheese cloth will do, as well as a 1 quart canning jar or two for storage. Having worked in the restaurant industry for many years where the friers get an incredible workout on a daily basis, they filter their fryer oil least twice a day or more, depending on the amount of use it gets…sometimes.

Getting back to title of this post: (Why did I make) FRIED CHICKEN? when I could just drive through KFC? I like KFC chicken. And depending on how well they adhere to their corporate instruction books, it tastes great. However, getting back to the oil filtering…it is never done as often as is prescribed…I guarantee.

One of the other caveats to making fried chicken at home is this: It’s not easy to find a “fryer” chicken anymore. What’s a fryer chicken? It’s a young chicken that weighs in a 2 1/2-3 pounds. Today’s chickens run between 5 and 6 pounds, and that makes each piece too unwieldy to fry properly without burning the skin before the interior is cooked. They are just too big. I opted for some small, skin-on thighs here. Small drumsticks are also available as well. I snuck in some chicken tender pieces this time too.

I will include the recipe for my flour seasoning as well as the buttermilk mixture below. But first, a few tips for frying chicken at home:

!. Use small pieces. Cut the big bone in breast halves in half.

2. Using a heavy pot deep enough to handle about 2 1/2 inches of oil, start frying when the oil reaches 350 degrees. When you drop the chicken pieces the temperature will immediately drop to about 325 degrees. Try to maintain that temperature. Any higher and the coating and skin will burn before it gets done cooking inside.

3. Thoroughly season the flour (recipe below).

4. Double coat the pieces. After soaking in the buttermilk mixture for at least 2 hours…coat with the seasoned flour…then back into the buttermilk…then into the seasoned flour again for a final heavy coating of seasoned flour. Let the pieces sit a few minutes before frying.

5. Depending on the oil temperature and the size of the pieces, cooking times will vary. A thigh or drumstick will take about 7-8 minutes on average. A breast will take less time. Cook to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Drain and keep warm in the oven on wire rack over a sheet pan.

6. Don’t crowd the pan or the pieces will stick together and not cook evenly.


For the seasoned flour:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

For the buttermilk mixture:

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Frank’s Hot Sauce

For the chicken:

  • About 3-4 pounds of chicken pieces.


  • Place all the chicken pieces in a large bowl or freezer bag with the buttermilk mixture and let it sit at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator about 1 hour before cooking.
  • Use vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil.
  • Use an oil thermometer. Start frying at 350 degrees and maintain 325 degrees.
  • Following the directions and tips for frying above.


These meatballs are tender and light, not dense. The marinara sauce is fresh-made with fresh tomatoes. The poblano polenta is creamy and cheesy with Pepper Jack cheese. A winning combination that deserves your consideration.

Of course, you can use your own marinara or a jarred sauce, but don’t if you have the time. It only takes a few minutes to get going and 30 minutes to cook.


For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 ground sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil

For the marinara:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, thin sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 medium, ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped or 1-14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp chicken base

For the polenta:

  • 1/4 cup minced poblano chile
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups whole milk + more for later
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese

For serving:

  • 3 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • Chopped chives
  • Chopped parsley


  • In a large bowl, add the ground beef, ground sausage, ricotta, grated parmesan, panko crumbs, granulated garlic, egg, parsley, 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Mix all ingredients well and form into four 4-ounce meatballs. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Place a small saucepan over medium low heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 7 minutes until the onions and garlic are soft and translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, oregano, chicken base, and white wine. Bring to a simmer over low heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the sugar, parmesan, and blend with am immersion blender. Taste and reseason if necessary.
  • To a medium saucepan, add the milk, the stock, salt, and minced poblano. Bring to a simmer, turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. Bring back to a simmer and slowly add the polenta until it is all gone, stirring for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When ready to serve, add the Jack cheese, the butter, and as much milk as needed to make it cream, about another 1/5 cup. Stir until all the cheese has melted and the polenta is creamy. Taste and reseason if necessary. Keep warm.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • For the meatballs, heat a medium oven-proof skillet over medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs, 2 at a time and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate when two are done and cook the remaining two. Drain the skillet of all the oil. Let the skillet cool slightly then add the marinara sauce to the skillet then add the meatballs. Baste the meatballs with the sauce then place in the oven until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 165 degrees.
  • Place 1 tbsp of shredded mozzarella on the meatballs the last 1 minute of cooking.
  • To serve, ladle some polenta on a plate or flat bowl. Place a meatball on the polenta with more sauce. Add some grated parmesan to the meatball. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Garnish the polenta with chopped chives.


Having made Pot Roast dozens of times, I thought I would change it up just a bit.

First, I have always braised chuck roast for several hours, usually in a stock and wine liquid with vegetables. For this one, I decided to, #1, use my new Instapot…and, #2, I threw in some chopped poblano chile and a couple southwestern spices. It reduced normal cooking time from 3 hours to about 1 hour, and, didn’t have to heat up the stove or the oven. The little red potatoes went in after 55 minutes and took another 15 to cook. Putting potatoes in a pressure cooker, or braising pot for that matter, for the whole cook time gives you mushy potatoes. They came out just right.

One of the other things I do when I “braise” is doing it the day before I plan to serve it. Pot Roast is always twice as good the next day, so why not just plan it that way?

When the initial cooking has finished, I fish out the chuck, potatoes and carrots and strain the liquid, discarding the braising vegetables. The next day, when ready to serve, I heat up the liquid and meat in a saucepan and let the liquid reduce a bit. Remove the roast and vegetables and finish the sauce with a little cold butter pats to make it velvety smooth. The Pot Roast is buttery tender and the sauce is incredible!


  • One 2-pound chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, rough chop
  • 1/2 onion, quartered
  • 1 large carrot, rough chop
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
  • 1/2 medium poblano chile, seeded and rough chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 8 small red potatoes
  • 2 tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • Chopped parsley


  • Heat the Instapot pot on SAUTE and 1 tbsp olive oil. Season the chuck roast with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the meat and brown thoroughly on both sides. Remove to a plate. Add the celery, onion, carrots, garlic, and poblano to the pot and saute, stirring, for about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir in for 2 minutes.
  • Add the wine to the pot and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add the stocks, herbs, and bay leaf and seal the Instapot. Pressure cook for 55 minutes.
  • When done, release the steam manually. Then add the red potatoes, reseal, and cook for another 15 minutes. Let the steam release naturally.
  • When complete, remove the potatoes and the meat to a plate. Strain the liquid to a saucepan and reserve the carrots. Discard the vegetables.
  • Place the meat, potatoes, and carrots in the saucepan with the liquid and place overnight in the refrigerator uncovered.
  • The next day, scrap off any fat from the surface of the liquid. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook, uncovered, until the liquid reduces by about half. Remove the meat, potatoes, and carrots to a large bowl for serving. Add 2 tbsp of cold butter to the liquid and stir in until melted and emulsified.
  • Plate some Pot Roast, potatoes, and carrots then spoon over some of the reduced sauce. Season with fresh cracked black pepper and garnish with chopped parsley.


Bacon Cheeseburger Soup. It’s got everything a Bacon Cheeseburger has except the lettuce, and, I have seen recipes where they put lettuce in it! Arrrgh! Can you say, “Ewww…soggy lettuce?” Onward.

Two of the methods in mine that are different from most recipes are : #1 – I cook the ground beef like a smashburger to get that green brown crust on the beef, and #2: I “minced” the vegetables and the bacon in a food processor before sautéing. My cheese of choice are Velvetta and cheddar, however here is where you can experiment with your own favorite cheeses…I’m trying smoked Gouda and Gruyere next time!

Have fun with this recipe. It’s a little cut down in size…add more ground beef and potatoes if you want. And, it is definitely a full meal soup…maybe a salad on the side and a slice of garlic bread.


  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 thick slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, cubed, and cooked potatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup Velvetta, cubed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • Garnish: shredded cheddar, chopped tomatoes, diced green onions


  • Place the onions, carrots, celery, and bacon in a food processor and pulse a few times until it is minced.
  • Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add1 tbsp butter then the vegetable and bacon mix. Sautee until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic powder. Add 1 more tbsp of butter then sprinkle in 2 tbsp of flour. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the stocks and bring to a simmer, cover, lower heat and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Mold the 12 ounces of ground beef into two balls. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef balls and smash like a smashburger. Cook until crusty then flip and repeat. Remove to a plate a chop.
  • To the saucepan, add the cheeses, the cream, and the sour cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until all the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are combined and smooth. Add the cooked potatoes and the cooked ground beef and heat through. Taste and reseason if necessary.
  • To serve, ladle into bowls an garnish with shredded cheddar, chopped tomatoes, and diced green onions.