Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Slow Cooking: Beef Dishes

Beef roast, steaks or stew meat have been expensive for quite some time now, and I never buy it unless there is a good sale, even if it's a special occasion. Sometimes I have to get creative as you'll see in these recipes. If roast isn't on sale, but steak is, then I use that instead. This is one reason I love cooking in the crock pot. Cooking any cut of meat all day long makes it very tender, even if it's on the tough side. I admit that I'm thrifty, but I've had to be over the years, and I can't imagine being any other way. These recipes will feed about four people, depending on how many are teenagers:)

Slow Cooked Beef Roast

3-4 lb. chuck roast
1 cup water
1 cup beef broth
1 tsp. garlic powder OR
1 or 2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
4 potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
2 cups carrots, baby or full sized, sliced
1 sweet onions, sliced very thinly

Place beef in crock pot. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder or garlic. Saute the onion in a skillet until soft. Add the onions to the crock pot. Place the one cup water into the skillet, heat to stir up the bits of brown, then add the liquid to the crock pot. Place the vegetables around the roast. Add the cup of beef broth. Cover and cook on high for about 5 hours, or low for 8 to 10 hours.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

2-3 pounds beef roast *see notes
1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. beef broth
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cups carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 onion, quartered

Cut the beef into one inch cubes. Brown in a large skillet with the onion. Place meat and onion in crock pot and sprinkle the flour over all. Stir to coat meat. Add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce. Stir. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. Cook on low 10-12 hours or high 4-6 hours. Serve with noodles or rice.

Notes: Stew meat is often fairly expensive. Any cut of beef can be turned into stew meat by cutting it into cubes. Use ranch or chuck steaks, chuck roast, or any type of roast for this recipe.

Mexican Beef

3 1/2 lb. chuck roast
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
1 cup beef broth
1 packet dry taco seasoning mix
2 tbsp. corn starch

Brown roast on all sides, then place in the crock pot. Add tomatoes, chiles, taco mix, broth together in a bowl. Mix well, then pour over the beef. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. The roast should be tender. Use a meat fork and knife to slice up or shred the beef. Do this 45 minutes or so before serving, add the corn starch, stirred into about a 1/2 cup of water. Stir it into the beef, then cover again and cook for the additional 45 minutes. Serve the beef over rice or in tortillas with cheese, lettuce, green onion and salsa.

Slow Cooked Beef Burgundy

1 lb. bacon
3 lbs. beef, cubed
1 bottle red wine
1 lb. onion, diced
1 lb. carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 bay leaf
Ground black pepper

Cook the bacon in a large skillet, remove when cooked to a plate and set aside. Remove all but about 1/4 cup or so of bacon grease. It doesn't have to be exact. In a pie plate or bowl mix flour that has been seasoned with black pepper. 2 cups flour is plenty. Coat the beef cubes in the flour, then brown in bacon fat on all sides. Transfer meat to a crock pot. To the same skillet, add the onion, saute until softened. Add to the crock pot with the garlic and carrots. Pour about a cup of wine into the skillet and loosen the brown bits from the pan. Add to the crock pot. Add bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste plus one more cup of wine. Cover and cook on low 8 to 12 hours or high for about 6 hours. Serve over noodles or rice.

This is a fun article I wrote awhile back with Greek recipes for OFL: