Beef Birds

Preparation info

  • 6

    • Difficulty


Appears in

New York Times Menu Cookbook

New York Times Menu Cookbook

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1966

  • About


  • 1 pound very lean beef, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound lean beef, ground
  • 1 teaspoon potato starch or cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ pound marrowbone
  • 1 celery rib
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups boiling water


    1. Pound the beef slices until paper thin, using a cleaver or the flat side of a heavy knife.

    2. Into the container of an electric blender put half of the ground beef, half of the starch, half of the ginger and cloves and half of the milk. Cover and blend on high speed for one minute. Empty into a bowl and repeat the process, using the remaining ground beef, starch, ginger, cloves and milk.

    3. Spread each slice of beef with some of the beef purée, roll into tiny rolls, and tie with thread. Put the birds into a skillet containing one inch of water. Add the marrowbone, celery and onion. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the water has cooked away. Continue cooking until the meat is browned on all sides. Remove the birds from the pan. Discard the marrowbone.

    4. Add the flour to the juices remaining in the skillet and stir to blend. Gradually stir in the boiling water and cook, stirring in all the brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pan.

    5. Remove the celery and onion from the pan and place them in the container of the blender. Add one-half cup of the gravy and cover. Turn the blender on high speed. Remove the cover and, with motor on, gradually add the remaining gravy. Pour the gravy back into the skillet. Remove the threads from the beef birds and return the birds to the gravy. Simmer, covered, for one hour. Serve in a deep dish or stack pyramid-fashion.