Rancho Spiced Beef (1939) ★★★★

I found this neat cookbook from 1939, called New York World's Fair Cook Book: The American Kitchen. The cookbook features all sorts of interesting recipes from across the United States, organized by state/region. It's a really cool read to see the regional specialties. This recipe is from the southwest/west section, which includes the states of Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Montana.  Unfortunately this makes it impossible to know exactly which state it is from.

Original Recipe:

The Verdict:
It was pretty good. I was so scared of the amount of cayenne and cloves, but surprisingly they weren't overpowering. It was spicy, but not so much that wimpy me couldn't eat it. Actually, it was probably better than eating tacos (Yes, eating tacos is an ordeal for me. For some reason I just cannot handle spicy!). The cloves weren't overpowering either, which was nice. There was a nice crust on the outside from the spices, but the inside of the roast was pretty blah. This could be because I didn't marinate it overnight, though. If you're like me and forget to do things ahead of time, just chop your roast up a bit so that there's more surface area to get a crust. The only other alteration I made was to add the wine with the water, just because Little Y was eating it too and I wanted the alcohol to be a little weaker. Oh, and the 1 tablespoon of flour apparently didn't thicken the sauce (Mr. Man did it for me), so it may require extra. Overall, a nice and somewhat different flavour

Modernized Recipe:
(Adapted from New York World's Fair Cook Book: The American Kitchen)

2 1/2 pounds BEEF SHOULDER
1/2 teaspoon GROUND CLOVES
1/2 teaspoon ALLSPICE
1/2 teaspoon CAYENNE
SALT, to taste
PEPPER, to taste
1 clove GARLIC
1 tablespoon BUTTER, melted
1 cup WATER
1 teaspoon LEMON JUICE
1 tablespoon FLOUR

1. In a small bowl, mix the cloves, allspice, cayenne, salt, pepper, and garlic. Rub it all over the beef.
2. In the same bowl (emptied), mix together the lemon juice and the butter. Pour it over the beef. Let it marinate overnight.
3. In a crockpot, add the water and bay leaves. Add the marinated beef. Cook on high for 3-4 hours and add the wine. Cook for another 1-2 hours, or until the meat is tender and easy to shred. Add 1 tablespoon of flour to thicken the sauce.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.