If you have been reading our #LegacyCookingProject for a while, you obviously know how much I love our family and our food! While writing this blog/project I have learned so much about our family, tasted food that brought back so many memories, and I am having a ton of fun while doing it! I completely idolize Ruby’s cooking, as you can probably tell! I am not sure there is anyone better than my great grandma at using what she had to make amazing meals and keeping her family fed and happy. While Ruby may only be famous in my eyes, she was only the FIRST of the amazing cooks in our family! I think it’s a Scanlan trait to be able to just throw together a beautiful, delicious, and simple meal. Although, it’s a trait I don’t seem to have (or maybe I just need more practice?). Living with Aunt Lois and Aunt Marilyn for brief periods of time really set this in stone for me. It always amazed me how they could just go out to the garden or into the freezer and pull something out, add some seasoning, and it was always delicious! Even my dad, with his crazy pantry raids (don’t worry dad, I’ll add Noodles and Breadcrumbs to the blog soon!), can pull together a simple delicious meal! Someday I hope to have this skill too! This is the side dish you’ll see pictured below:
3 of my aunts (Ruby’s daughters) actually owned restaurants, and some of those meals are beyond famous in our family as well as the communities they were in! At the mine I work at, almost everyone knows Marilyn and John. I often get requests for Marilyn’s famous cinnamon rolls, but I still have yet to figure out how to make them as good as she does! Another famous (and I mean FAMOUS- check out the article HERE) is Aunt Punky’s Rancher Steak Tips. I’m not even kidding about how famous they are, even outside of the family! My mom and I were visiting a friend a few weeks ago, and a discussion of South Dakota started. He went on to tell a story about how his family used to visit a bar that served the best steak tips he ever had, and has never had anything like them. After a little more investigating, we found out that he was talking about the Rancher beef tips! Small world huh?
Now- the Rancher recipe is top secret. Even I don’t know it! Not that I would post a world famous recipe like that online if I did. These steak tips are often imitated, but NEVER duplicated. While I was working on the family cookbook (still a work in progress), my Grandma Betty decided there needed to be a beef tips recipe in the cookbook to honor Aunt Punky’s ranchers! A few months before she passed away, she sent me a letter. It was torn up, had notes all over it, scratches and scribbles. Grandma had tried a super simple, but still delicious recipe to make her “Filet Mignon Chunks”! Seriously guys this is a crazy simple recipe, and while it’s not Punky’s Ranchers it’s pretty good for how quick it is! I also remember Aunt Marilyn making something similar when I stayed with her. This recipe is so special to me, as it was the last letter I received from my grandma before she passed away. It meant so much to me that she knew how much this project means to me that even though she wasn’t feeling well, she still took time out to make sure our family had a recipe that we could all bite into and have memories of! I also love how the recipe is so simple that anyone can do it in a very short amount of time!
Some changes I made to the recipe:
- I LOVE soy sauce, so I soaked them in a low sodium soy sauce for 3-5 minutes.
- I added some flavoring to the flour dredge mixture, it included Alpine Touch Pepper Blend (because Montana), garlic powder, onion powder, and a little paprika!
- Make sure your oil isn’t TOO hot, or else it will burn the tips/flour and make your tips taste burnt.