Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oregon Butte- A Chicken, Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Pizza with Basil Whole Wheat Crust

Homemade Pizza is a slice of my childhood on a plate.  My mother used to make a Bisquick pizza for us.  This is that pizza's upscale cousin.  The dough is half and half white and whole wheat flour, and the pizza is our home version of a local resteraunt favorite called the Oregano Trail. This pizza features grilled chicken strips.  These are great for pizza, as you can use them frozen, and they come out perfect as the pizza bakes.

Basil Whole Wheat Crust
1 1/2 C lukewarm water
1 T olive oil
1 tsp melted butter
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried basil
2 C  whole wheat flour
2 C white flour

In a mixer with a dough hook, mix together all ingredients.  Knead for five minutes.  You may need to adjust dough by adding a little more water, or flour to get the desired consistency.  It should be a sticky dough that cleans the bowl.  In a bowl with 1 T olive oil, turn dough out and turn over to coat all the sides in oil.  Let rise 30 minutes.  Punch down dough, and cut in half.  Makes two large rectangular pizzas on baking sheets with sides.  You can bag half and refridgerate for 24 hours. 
Press the dough in the bottom and up the sides of the baking sheet, using a rolling pin if necessary. Ladle on homemade sauce:

Homemade Pizza Sauce
1 pint/can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste
In a saucepan, combine the above ingredients and simmer.  Ladle over two pizza crusts, and add toppings:

Oregon Butte Toppings for Pizza
2 C frozen grilled chicken strips
1 can drained artichoke hearts quartered
1/2 onion halved and thinly sliced
1 C smoked sun dried tomato strips 
2 pieces cooked bacon crumbled
2 C Shredded Mozarella Cheese
1 tsp oregano
Mrs. Dash original, or salt and pepper to taste

Place pizzas in the upper part of the oven on 400*F for close to 1 hour.  Loosen with a spatula, and slide out onto a cutting board to slice. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pulled Pork Enchiladas

I put a whole pork roast in the crock pot last weekend.  We had sandwiches, BBQ pork, and with the last of it, I made this dish to put in the freezer for a later date. 
When I cook a roast in the crock pot, I don't put anything else in but the roast, and some seasonings.  No liquid at all.  It will make it's own liquid as it cooks, and get browned that way.  I like to season my pork with lots of smoked paprika, Clark's seasoning (local butcher shop season salt blend), and some garlic powder. 
After the pork gets fork tender, I can pull it apart, and portion it into Tupperware according to what I will use it for.  I pour on the rendered liquid to keep the meat moist.   It can be frozen at this point, if I don't have time to use it in a recipe. 
These are super easy enchiladas.  Very few ingredients, and mild flavored.  I use my Quien Sabe sauce for these, which is also good thickened and used in place of gravy a tex mex style pot roast. 

Pulled Pork Enchiladas
4 C pulled pork
8 oz. light cream cheese
10-12 flour tortillas
Mix pork with softened cream cheese.  Place a couple of spoon fulls on each tortilla.  Roll up and place in a jelly roll size pan in which you have half of the Quien Sabe sauce.  Top with remaining sauce.  Cover with foil.  I froze them at this point.  To bake them off, thaw them first, and bake at 375*F  until bubbly, about thirty minutes.  Remove foil and top with shredded cheese, and bake another few minutes to melt the cheese. 

Quien Sabe Sauce
1 pint/can diced tomatoes
1 qt/ large can tomatillos
1 small can whole green chiles
1/2 tsp adobo seasoning
1 large onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced

In a skillet, saute onion  and garlic in butter.  Add to remaining ingredients and blend in a blender until smooth.  Pour half in the bottom of the enchilada pan, and then pour remaining sauce on top.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wagon Wheel Tuna Casserole

As I have said before, noodles are a toddler favorite.  This casserole we had today has shifted the wagon wheel pasta into the new favorite roll.  Move over rigatoni, there's a new sherriff in town!
It's been a long lousy week for me.  I haven't felt well, and it was an almost herculean effort to fix the last lunch meal before the weekend.  Besides not feeling great, my husband has been out of town due to road closures, so I am in charge of all the farm chores.  I am really glad that my work week is almost over.
This is an easy "eat it now, and have it for later" meal.  It makes a ton of pasta, and freezes well.  Even though I feel like something a coyote et and crapped over a cliff, I pulled it off. 

I don't use a lot of canned cream soups, or any canned soups for that matter.  I can make a superior product in about the same amount of time it takes to heat up canned soup, and can control salt and sugar etc...I do however, always have chicken and beef stock on hand.  Either homemade, or in the box. I can make a creamed soup zip quick with stock, some cornstarch or butter and flour, buttermilk and a few herbs.  I use buttermilk because it is lowfat, and has a little tang to it.  I also hate to waste food, so I'm always looking for ways to use up buttermilk before it goes bad.

Wagon Wheel Tuna Casserole
1 box wagon wheel shaped pasta cooked and drained
2 C chicken stock
1 C buttermilk
2 heaping T cornstarch
1/2 tsp basil
1 T minced garlic
2 cans/pints diced tomatoes
2 tins tuna and their juice
1 can Italian flat green beans and their juice
2 C Velveeta cubed
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

In the pan you just cooked the pasta in, mix the chicken stock, buttermilk, basil, garlic and cornstarch, and whisk to combine.  Add in the tuna and liquid, tomatoes, Old Bay and green beans.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer stirring often, and add cheese cubes.  When cheese is melted, add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
This fed three hungry toddlers a 1 C serving each, plus Joel and I a 1 1/2 C serving.  There is enough to fill a 2 quart casserole, and it will go in the freezer for later on.  To reheat, place in a 325 F oven until bubbly, about 1 hour. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Greek Pasta Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing

Pasta salad often lives in our fridge.  It comes in handy for Don's lunches, to take to the barn when we are training, or for feeding toddlers.  Babies love anything with noodles. 
My little ones love this pasta.  It's tangy and creamy, and it has rotini, the toddler's pick for noodles.

Greek Pasta Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing

1 box rotini, cooked, drained and cooled
1 carton of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 C sliced drained black olives
1 C Feta Cheese
1 onion chopped
1/2 peeled and chopped cucumber

juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/3 C Greek plain yogurt
1/2 tsp marjoram
2 T fresh chopped parsley
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 C olive oil

In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients.  In a canning jar, add all dressing ingredients, put on the lid and shake to combine.  Because of the salty feta and olives, I dress the salad first, and then adjust the salt level.  Most of the time I don't add any salt.  Cover salad and refridgerate for a couple hours before serving.  Lasts in the fridge all week for lunches!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Turbo Cooking: Hamburger Stack Casserole, Split Pea Soup with Potatoes

My little girls were very tired this morning, and so I had a reprieve while they took a morning nap.  It allowed me to get soup on in the crockpot for supper, and and got a  roaster full of casserole in the oven to slow cook for lunch. 
Turbo cooking is putting together several dishes at the same time.  It is multitasking at it's finest in the kitchen.  I got all the dishes done, made oatmeal for tomorrows breakfast, and got lunch and dinner ready. 
I personally don't eat oatmeal, but my little kids, and my son Joel really like it.  I can go ahead and cook the old fashioned, or Scottish oats and put them in a container to cool and store for tomorrow.  When I go to make breakfast tomorrow, I'll peel and chop an apple, and add some dried fruit:  cherries, prunes, apricots or raisins.  I'll saute them in a little butter, and add milk or water just to cover to stew them.  I'll add a spoon of sugar and some cinnamon to the stewed fruit, and bring it to a boil, and then lower the heat to simmer.  When it looks like the fruit is tender, I'll add in the cooked oatmeal.  It gets topped with a pat of butter, and another sprinkle of sugar, or a drizzle of maple syrup.  This is very filling and much tastier than those little packets of mush.
While I am waiting for the water to boil to make oatmeal, I can put together lunch and dinner.  The ingredients are similar, so I save time doing it all at once. 
I am also washing dishes as I go along, so that they are all done when I finish making meals! 
Split Pea with Potato Soup

1 pkg dried split green peas that have been washed and picked through for stones
1 onion chopped
3 carrots peeled and sliced
3 stalks of celery
4 potatoes peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves diced
1 quart water
1 T ham soup base
1 T chicken and tomato soup base
1/2 tsp thyme
1 quart/box beef stock

Place all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on high for 6-8 hours.  Right before serving, blend a couple cups of the soup in a blender or food processor.  Add this back to the soup to thicken it.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste at this time.  Soup base, especially ham is very salty, so you don't want to add salt at the beginning of cooking. 

Hamburger Stack Casserole

1 onion sliced in 1/4 inch slices
4 potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch slices
2 carrots peeled and sliced
6 frozen hamburger patties
1 quart/box of chicken stock
2 C water
3 T cornstarch
Salt and pepper to taste
2 fresh bay leaves
sprig of fresh rosemary

Grease casserole pan with butter, and add each vegetable in layers.  Tuck the herbs down in the pan, and top with chicken stock and water with cornstarch.  Salt and pepper.  Cover with a lid, and bake at 325*F for two and a half hours, or until potatoes test done.  Serve hamburgers open faced on a piece of garlic toast, with vegetables on the side, and gravy over the top.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pot Roast- so easy it ought to be illegal

My husband's all time favorite meal is beef roast with potatoes and carrots.  That tender beef that has been studded with garlic cloves and is so moist and tender you can cut it with your fork. 
I found a new way to cook a chuck roast that is so easy, it should be illegal.  It comes out of the oven with the gravy already made, and you can not believe how almost fall apart tender it is. 
I really like roast, because I can brown it and stick it in the oven, and then not be stuck in the kitchen watching over things until it's done.  I feel really good when Don comes in the door, and tells me he could smell the yummy roast before he came into the house.  It pleases me to please him!
I have several of my Dad's old cast iron pots.  I love them because they are hand hammered, and have been sized so many times, they are easy to cook  in and clean.  I have one big skillet, that must have been used for chicken frying, or such.  Not quite as deep as a dutch oven, but wider.  That is what I use for pot roast. 
It is a beautiful thing to go to the oven and pull out a roast bubbling in rich gravy and nestled with tender meat flavor infused potatoes. 

Pot Roast and Potatoes

2 T olive oil
1 3 lb (about) chuck roast
4 potatoes peeled quartered longways
1 onion peeled and cut in wedges
2 C beef stock
3 heaping T cornstarch
10 cloves peeled garlic
2 fresh bay leaves
1 stalk fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper roast on both sides.  Make slits in the meat and insert the garlic cloves on both sides.  In a large dutch oven or chicken fryer (oven safe),  brown both sides of the roast in oil.  Remove to a plate.   In the measuring cup, whisk together the beef stock and cornstarch until it is a slurry.  Add to the pan and with a spatula, scrape up the browned bits.  Turn off the burner, and add the roast and vegetables back in.  Tuck a couple bay leaves down into the broth, and top the roast with a whole sprig of rosemary.  Cover and bake at 310*F for two and a half to three hours.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Canadian Cheese Soup and Ham Rolls

This was one of those weekends that you hate to have end.  We had a great time this weekend. 
Saturday, we went to get case goods and hay in town.  It was one of those beautiful blue sky days, and we enjoyed the fact that Riverton has no snow pack like we do.  It is still very snowy at our farm lease, and since we had some Chinook winds,  the snow melted and is pretty much just a skating pond in the lane and in the corrals.  It is so slick that when I went to back the trailer up after unloading the hay, I backed into the fence and popped off the staples in one section.  It's not that I didn't stop, I just kept sliding backwards even though the brakes were on. 
In our local market, they have a case lot sale every January.  We stock up on vegetables and all kinds of canned beans.  I have to admit, I love case lot sales.  When we get home, I can arrange it all, and have full shelves for the next year.  It's a great feeling to know we are provided for. I always loved playing store when I was little, I guess it is like that for me now, too!
Sunday, we went to Pavillion to the Philleos house.  Don had a colt that he needed to put a first ride on, and there were several other people there to get help with their cutting.  It was sunny but cold, and we had a wonderful time.  Our horses got exposed to a little cutting practice, and Don got a great first ride on his little colt, with the help of JD Philleo.
My friend Sammi served up some yummy beef stew for lunch with homemade fry bread, and I brought a roaster full of ham rolls.
It was dinner time when we got home, and so I made a quick pot of cheese soup.  It is a fifteen minute meal, and I have two quarts left over for lunches this week.

Ham Rolls

Ham rolls are not really what I'd call a recipe.  You get one of those half a boneless ham packages in the grocery, and put it through the meat grinder on the larger grind setting.  Then you grind about two and a half pounds of cheese, a whole peeled onion,  and 1 cup of pickles (I used bread and butters).  To this mixture,  you add 1/2 C grainy mustard, and 2 C mayonnaise.  This is great filling, and also great served at parties on crackers, or as lunch meat in sandwiches. 
I grew up on this recipe, only we used roast beef, ground bologna or wild game in place of the ham.  We called it "lunch meat", and it was what our sandwiches were made of. 
To make ham rolls, I purchase hard rolls from my local bakery, and with my index fingers, open up a pocket in the end of the roll so I can spoon in the ham lunch meat filling.  It's like making a jelly doughnut.  Then they get wrapped in foil, and put in the roaster or oven at 350*F for half an hour, or just until the filling gets hot enough to melt the cheese and crisp the bread.  This makes enough filling for about three dozen hamburger bun size hard rolls, so it is great at family gatherings, or for branding crews.  You can make the rolls hours ahead of time, and just turn on the roaster at the last minute.  I make them when Don teaches a clinic for the participants.

Canadian Cheese Soup

1pkg Canadian bacon diced (about 4-5 pieces)
1 bag frozen potatoes O'Brien
1 onion sliced
4 jalapeno peppers seeded and diced
2 tsp chicken and tomato bullion
1 large package Velveeta cheese cut into chunks
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, saute onions, bacon and jalapenos in oil.  Add frozen potatoes and enough water to cover, about 4 cups.  Add bullion and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, and add cubed cheese, stirring until the cheese is all melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stretching a Buck: Pork and Chard Stirfry, Chunky Pork and Vegetable Chili

We had a serious reduction in salary this last month.  That made for a hard Christmas season, but also hard on my household budget. That's the bad part about working for yourself;  if you don't work you don't get paid.  My little daycare kids got Mono, and not at the same time, so they didn't come for most of the month. 
I don't mind being short occasionally, I actually see it as a challenge. So, I put my thinking cap on and figure out ways to stretch whatever I have to buy in the store.  We drink less orange juice, buy less fresh produce, and use less of the protien we buy at the store in each meal.  It is amazing how much you can really shave off the total cost of groceries if you really need to, without compromising nutrition. 
I have a freezer full of lamb (that we raise) and various cuts of meat that I've bought when it's on sale.  When I do buy protien in a budget crunch situation, it has to meet two criteria:  cost less than $2 a pound, and can be used to make two meals per pound. 
Boneless pork ribs are what fit in my budget this time.  Boneless pork ribs are my meat of choice for stir fry.  If they are chilled, you can slice them very thin, which works well for marinating, and produce a juicy, tender meat in these types of quick cooking  dishes. So, half of my one pound package of meat goes towards the stir fry dish, and the other half gets cut into half inch cubes for my chunky pork and vegetable chili.  If your source of protien is limited, then it needs to be either cut thinly, or in small pieces so it doesn't look skimpy on the plate. 
We eat lots of fresh greens, and I will not skimp on that part of our grocery budget.  We have swiss chard often, along with spinach and collards.  Swiss chard is easy to prepare, and such a vitamin powerhouse of a vegetable.  It is delicious prepared with plain boiled potatoes, or quickly stir fried with some mustard seed and vinegar and oil,   It is delicious paired with eggs for a weekend frittata, or added to minestrone soup in place of spinach. 
When you cook with swiss chard, you must treat it as two vegetables:  the fibrous stalks, and the tender quicker cooking leaves. When I stir fry chard, I pull all the leaves from the stems and dice the stem to cook the same amount of time as onions, only adding in the leaves the last bit just long enough to wilt them.  The same is true for boiling them with potatoes.  The stems go in with the cold potatoes and water, and then the leaves just get added right before draining the water off. 
Whenever the meat is limited, I can bump up the amount of vegetable or starch to make it seem filling.  I made a sweeter version of pork chili, and added what's on hand, mainly celery, carrot and onion. These are vegetables that have a constant place in my pantry of goods.  They last well in long storage, and provide good nutrition and value for my dollar.
I have an aresenal of dried beans and peas that can provide good protien and take up the slack for more costly vegetables and meats in my recipes.  I also have cans of beans on hand at all times.  I buy them when there are case lot sales, and they are 50-60 cents a can.
These two recipes have jalapenos in them.  With the seeds removed, they are mild and tasty.  For some reason, the cost of green peppers has skyrocketed in the last few years.  I just buy whatever pepper or chile is cheapest, and in the best condition.  In the middle of Wyoming where everything this time of year is trucked in, you take what you can get.  Sometimes I buy anahiems, or serrano, and jalapeno. If they all are wrinkled up with age, I will use canned chopped green chiles in their place. 

Pork and Chard Stirfry

1/2 pound boneless pork ribs chilled and sliced in thin slices
1/4 C low sodium soy
1 T grated fresh ginger
zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp sriracha hot sauce
2 garlic cloves minced
2 bunches red swiss chard stems diced and leaves chopped and divided
1 bunch green onions diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery diced
1 onion diced
canola oil

In a medium sized bowl, mix sliced meat with soy, ginger, lemon zest and juice, and sriracha hot sauce.  Set aside. 
In a hot wok,  stir fry onions and swiss chard stems with green onions, celery, jalapenos and garlic in oil.  Remove to the serving platter. Remove meat from marinade with tongs, and stir fry.  While the meat is removed from the marinade, add two heaping T of corn starch to marinade liquid and stir to combine.    When meat is browned and still tender, add vegetables back in, and add swiss chard leaves.  sprinkle with extra soy sauce to start to steam the chard.  As the chard wilts, add in marinade and corn starch mixture.  Cook until juices thicken and are clear.  Pour back into serving dish, and serve over the top of hot cooked rice.  This made a meal for three, plus breakfast for me the next day.  Yes, I eat Chinese take out for breakfast!

Chunky Pork and Vegetable Chili

1/2 pound boneless pork ribs cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 onion diced
4 stalks celery diced
4 carrots peeled and diced
4 jalapeno peppers seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 T olive oil
1 can/pint diced tomatoes
1 pint/ small jar salsa with corn and chipotle
2 cans black beans rinsed and drained
2 C V-8 or tomato juice
3 Tchili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp adobo seasoning
2 T sugar or stevia

In a large stockpot, brown pork in oil.  Remove and reserve.  Brown onion, celery, carrot and jalapenos.  When the onion is translucent, add garlic, and remaining ingredients.  Return browned pork to the pot, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover the pot to simmer for 45 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  If chili is too thick, add water to get it to desired consistency. 
This made a meal for three, plus two and a half quarts for other meals.  Due to it's mild flavor, the day care babies ate it  for lunch one day and loved it. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mandarin Chicken Salad

The last of this week's rotisserie chicken chopped and made into a low fat salad with fresh Cuties (that needed used up) some celery(also needed used) and other ingredients to make a delicious meal for lunchtime.
I always have a pot of stock going it seems.  I save the carcass when I buy rotisserie chickens, or turkey breasts from our grocery store's deli.  I happen to have a whole turkey carcass this time, because I cooked turkey for the holidays, so I have that cooling, ready to be picked, and soup made for supper, plus several quarts of stock for the freezer, or to be pressure canned if I have time. 
In another stock pot, is the carcass of the chicken mentioned above.  I gleaned all I could from the chicken, and put all the skin and bones, along with a couple bay leaves, and a handful of peppercorns in and covered it with water. I have a simmer burner on my stove, and it's bubbling away back there while life happens, and I don't have to worry about it.
The best part of making your own stock is that it makes your house smell like you are busy cooking, even if you are not! 

Anyway, I made this salad for me, because I love Mandarin Chicken Salad.  I may hide it in the back so Don doesn't take it in his lunch. 

Mandarin Chicken Salad

2 C cooked diced chicken
1 C diced celery
1 bunch scallions diced
1 T roasted black sesame seeds
3 Mandarin oranges (Cuties) peeled and broke up into sections
a handful of chopped almonds

Asian Dressing
1/4 C Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Juice of 2 Meyer lemons
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 T sugar or splenda
pinch of red pepper flake
2 dashes of sesame oil

Note:  sesame oil can be overpowering.  Use sparingly
Mix all salad ingredients.  Pour on dressing, and toss to coat.  Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hamburger Helper Can Kiss My Ass, or Swedish Hamburger Stroganoff?

When we were first married and lived so far from town, we relied on deer meat, antelope, and the beef provided as part of our wages as our protien sources.  When our portion of beef was delivered, I tried to use the best of what we had first, and then the lesser cuts of meat.  This is an old practice so that you are always serving the best of what you have, but also very smart, as the best, highest cost cuts were used before they could get freezer burnt.  The nice steaks, and big roasts were used up, then the brisket, the stew meat, and finally the ground meat. 
The same was true of the wild game we had.  At the end of the meat, while we waited for the next butchering, or for hunting season, we were stuck eating a lot of beans, macaroni and ground meat.
It was tempting to buy prepackaged mixes like Hamburger Helper to use up the ground meat.  You can only eat so much meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs, and hamburgers before you tire of them.  With little ones, it was nice to have one dish meals that included some kind of pasta and vegetables, and was easy to eat for kids just starting to eat "real" food, instead of baby food. 
I quickly learned that so called convenience food isn't all it's cracked up to be.  It NEVER looks the same as the picture on the package.  It's always over salty, and often the pasta is broken and old.  You can't get whole wheat pasta either, and dehydrated vegetables are just for show, not for nutrition.  With my well stocked pantry, freezer and fridge, I can prepare a much superior fresh product in the same amount of time, and for pennies to the dollar for what prepackaged foods cost.
We had this one dish hamburger stroganoff for supper tonight, and it is very tasty and filling.  after feeding the three of us, we have two quarts of it left over:  one for lunches for Don and the babies, and one to stick in the freezer for nights when I don't want to cook.  Other than the pound of hamburger, I had all the other ingredients either in the fridge or the pantry.  
(I bought the hamburger because it was on sale for $1.99, but I could have used ground turkey, or ground lamb that I have in the freezer.)
This is a method of cooking, you can use this method to make all sorts of ground meat meals.  For instance, I have made it with rigatoni, mixed with a bechamel sauce (milk gravy) and topped with a bolognese sauce (I call it Lasagna Casserole), or you could use taco seasoning, and a sour cream, enchilada sauce type gravy.  It also works with stir fry vegetables and soba noodles.

I can't decide what to name it.  What do you think? 

Hamburger Helper Can Kiss My Ass, or Swedish Hamburger Stroganoff

1 package cooked and drained whole wheat egg noodles
1 pound ground beef
1 onion diced
3 celery stalks diced
4 carrots peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp minced rosemary
salt and pepper
While you make the meat mixture, boil and drain the pasta, and reserve it for later.  In a large dutch oven or skillet, saute the celery, carrots and onions until the onions are translucent.  Add the ground beef, garlic and seasonings.  When the meat is all browned, remove to a bowl and in the empty pot, make a rue.  Add:
2 T butter
2 T flour
Cook flour and butter with a whisk until butter is melted and flour is slightly golden and smells nutty.
1 1/2 C beef stock
Add the stock a little at a time, whisking to stir out the lumps, and adding more stock as it comes together and tightens up. 
2 C buttermilk (or regular milk is fine)
1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Add the milk slowly also.  Cook stirring constantly over high heat until it comes to a boil and thickens to a heavy gravy consistency.  Turn off the heat, and add the meat and vegetable mixture, and add:
1 C light sour cream
1 T worchestershire
3 T chopped fresh dill
Combine with the cooked pasta. 

I hope you'll try it, it's delicious!  It tastes a lot like my mother's Swedish Meatballs.