Frost Manor chef turns to resident-favourite meal for contest entry

Made-from-scratch beef patty with mushroom sauce is also a dinner Jeff Nedeljkovic enjoys preparing

Jeff Nedeljkovic didn’t have to look far to find a meal to enter in OMNI Health Care’s first annual March Madness recipe contest; he went with a favourite among the residents of Frost Manor.

And the meal Jeff chose, his beef patty with mushroom sauce, is also a dinner he enjoys preparing for residents. Everything that goes into this version of hamburger steak is homemade as well, he says.

“I chose this meal because it is a favourite among our residents, and I like to make it extra special for them,” Jeff, the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home’s nutritional care manager, says in his submission form.

“Everything is from scratch.”

To make this meal, Jeff mixes fresh ground beef with onion, eggs, bread crumbs and ground black pepper. He then shapes the meat mixture into patties.

What makes this dish extra special is the sauce that covers the meat. Jeff makes a roux from flour, garlic powder and melted margarine, and then adds beef stock to give the sauce a rich flavour.

Chris Weber, OMNI’s operations manager of nutrition and food service, says the March Madness contest, which saw 16 recipes compete in a bracket contest where votes were cast each week between April 14 and May 6, was close.

The winning entry was a Mediterranean omelette, created by Josephine Goddard at Country Terrace, which won “by a very thin margin,” Chris says.

OMNI launched the first annual March Madness recipe challenge in March in recognition of Nutrition Month in Canada.

Chris came up with the idea to encourage nutritional care managers and cooks to showcase their most-loved recipes and to highlight the high-quality meals served in OMNI homes.

Throughout March, nutritional care managers and cooks prepared their favourite meals, plated them and took photos that were sent to head office. The photos were accompanied by the name of each meal and its recipe.

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