Luettel “stirs up” tasty beef dishes for patrons

Elgin Review news 2022 Boone County Stirred Pot Luettel Albion
Area "foodies" find something a little different at The Stirred Pot. Jacque (left) and Curtis Luettel operate the out-of-the-ordinary food truck on the east end of Main Street in Albion.

Kurt Vonnegut, an American writer, once said, “You can’t just eat good food; you’ve got to talk about it too.” Following these wise words, in honor of May being National Beef Month, I traveled to Albion, Nebraska in search of some really good food worthy of talking about.

Located at the end of main street, just east of the Thriftway Grocery store sits a small gray trailer adorned with various rustic decor and a hand-painted wooden sign which reads, “The Stirred Pot.”

Owner Curtis Luettel and his mom Jacque had just wrapped up another successful lunch hour when I arrived for the interview. Curtis was busily working on an upcoming special, cutting up a large beef chuck roll to be used to create Birria tacos. . . He explained, “When it comes to cooking the beef, it is all about the technique . . . low and slow. I am going to cut it up and let it simmer away in some tomatoes and some smoked peppers until we go to serve it and shred it up on the tacos.”

As I listen to Curtis describe the dish and the process involved in creating it, the love he feels for cooking is apparent . . . a love that began many years ago. He recalls, “I discovered my love for cooking when I was back in middle school. My parents canceled our satellite television with the hopes we would spend the summer playing outside, but on crappy days with limited television, I would sit inside and watch infomercials on Ninja Blenders and other cooking things. When school started again, and we got television back, I found myself drawn to the Food Network. I watched Alton Brown, Rachel Ray, and Emeril Lagasse. I would think that looks fun; I want to make this. Soon I began handing my mom a grocery list of foods.”

Contributing to this memory, Jacque added, “I remember walking in the door, and he had something on a spoon and told me to taste it. I think it was a pasta sauce of some kind; I remember it was good.”  For the complete story turn to this week’s Elgin Review.