On Sunday afternoon, i threw a thawed 4 ish lb sirloin roast into a small electric roaster. I must admit, i use this little roast unrelentingly, yet only paid $5 for the thing! It was at a church fundraising bazaar and that is the price marked on it. I did not like the noisy little fan on the air roaster, so it was simply removed and the holecovered with tape. Done and done.
Day 1: Sliced roast with smashed sweet potato and fresh salad. Not much more to say, very delicious, simple, and filling. Pictured here is one small smashed sweet potato and about 3.5 ounces of beef roast and a ubiquitous power salad.
Day 2 – Beef & Vegetable Soup – was planning something else, but my husband came up croupy and sick with a cold, so switched gears to make a cold buster soup. Mix the broth created when the roast was cooking with the cooking water from the sweet potato preparation for a nutritionally powerful base for adding sliced carrots, diced scrubbed potatoes with skins, finely chopped onion, minced garlic, sliced celery, then salt and pepper to taste. The broth is strong, but i added 2-3 oz of roast chopped into small pieces to this dish. All in all this yielded about 5 cups of deliciousness. Bring to slight boil, then simmer 20 minutes, but longer doesn’t hurt, just mind keeping on the lid so the moisture doesn’t get away. Feel free to add water for a thinner soup.
Day 3: Crumbled roast in Scrambled eggs (Egg Frittata)
This is my go to when i’m short on time for anything – don’t even need meat. Saute a finely chopped small onion in the saved fat drippings from cooking the roast. After a couple minutes, cut or chop fresh spinach into the skillet, stir those around until softened, then add as much crumbled roast as you want, then add eggs. This is one of the recipes where you can add as much or as little as you need to make the meal. Plus, dress it up even more with sliced fresh mushrooms, sliced black olives, shredded cheese. Or exchange the spinach with any leftover greens you have in the frig.
Day 4: Cubed roast beef with smashed potatoes and white sauce, steamed broccoli
Since i used all the broth for the sick day soup, white gravy made with milk will be a great substitute. Onions are for healing, so finely chopped and sauteed in the beef fat before adding flour and milk creates more robust and healthful gravy.
Day 5 – Roast Beef Salad – an old fashioned favourite
To squeeze out another power soup, use the cooking water from potatoes and steamed broccoli – chop onions, carrots, and the stems of the broccoli – add to the water and bring to a boil. Season with salt, pepper, and even parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme to boost flavour if you like. Although i seldom use rosemary or thyme simply because i don’t like them!
So, there’s a small example of roast flexibility, whatever it’s worth!
Sometimes a stumbled upon recipe in a catalogue or magazine or flyer really resonates with your family and it becomes part of the regular menu lineup. This casserole is one such that i found probably 20 years ago. The beauty of it, is that it is easily modified to accommodate your own tastes and whatever you have on hand (within reason of course!)
The original recipe is pictured way below, but the one i made yesterday included my home raised green beans and home grown grass finished ground beef. For chopping the vegetables i use a mini food chopper and even chop the green beans if i’m preparing for Sunday’s meal with Allen’s 98-year-old Aunt June. She has lost her teeth and can’t keep track of dentures – so it is what it is.
Family sized version:
2 lbs grass-finished ground beef
1 medium sized onion – chopped
3 medium sized carrots – chopped
1-2 cups Asian long pole green beans – chopped
1 24 oz jar of Eden Organic tomatoes (normally i use my home raised tomatoes, but i’ve already run out!) Eden’s brand is excellent, but, honestly, to open them, i either need my stout son, Dallas, to do it, or i go get my long handled Channel Lock pliers. It’s really ridiculous.
2 cups of your favourite cheese, divided – 1 1/2 cups to stir into veggie/beef mix, 1/2 cup to top off the casserole. Or stir in 2 cups of cheese to melt – whatever your choice!
Brown the ground beef in a 4 quart pot and add all the vegetables, including the tomato sauce, throw in maybe a tablespoon of salt (check your tomato sauce – it may already have salt in it – i try to use straight tomatoes) and a teaspoon of black pepper -whatever suits ya, and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. Add 1 1/2 cups of your favourite cheese and stir to melt.
Once the mix is ready, pour into a 9×13 inch pan, level it off, then top with biscuits. I make my own, but you can buy some to use. Then sprinkle about a cup of shredded cheese on top. Then add a sprinkling of parsley, basil, or oregano if you like.
Bake in a preheated oven of 375 F for about 28 minutes until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden brown. This makes 6-8 servings. Takes about an hour to make and bake, but if there are leftovers, it’s still a time saver. What does it cost? that will totally depend on the quality of ingredients you purchase.
Well, buggers, both my husband and son are sick with the croupy head and coughing junk. Dallas has had it for nearly 10 days, my husband got hit yesterday, but woke up with it already down in his lungs – he sounds bad. If he feels bad in the morning, he’s gonna go ahead and make a doctor appointment.
Since we are nearly out of beef in the freezer and completely out of bones, I stole the big bones that were intended for the dog that i had the butcher cut from our own grass finished cow to make broth! (thankfully, i was able to get a cow booked in to the butcher on the 6th of February).
The bones are kind of big, but thankfully, they still fit in the pot. I pack the bones in the pot and fill to 2 inches to the top of the pot. Bring to a boil, but watch it or it will boil over and make a mess, then turn it down and let slow boil for 3-4 hours.
With tongs, carefully lift out all the bones. I then set the entire pot outside to cool so the saturated fat will float to the top and solidify. Yes, a little fat is good, but these bones will make a lot of fat, it’s really overwhelming in our opinion. Once solidified, i remove it from the top and put into a tub with lid for later use.
Warm the remaining liquid. Now, you can just eat it this way for clear broth – maybe add some salt or pepper OR what i did tonight, was to the 1 gallon of broth is one large onion chopped and sauteed in some of the beef fat, 1/2 cup dried parsley, 1/4 cup dried sage, 2 tablespoons celery salt, and about 3 cups of sliced carrots. Slow boil until carrots are softened to however you like them, maybe 20-30 minutes. Ready to serve.
Sunny, but frosty out this morning and although we are expecting a high of 45F, warm soup will feel mighty good today.
1 lbs grass-finished ground beef (browned)
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 chopped onion
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups water or soup stock
1 cup diced celery
2 teaspoons salt (if desired)
1 teaspoon black pepper (if desired)
One pot directions: brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon olive oil until no longer pink, add all the other ingredients and simmer. The longer you simmer it, the more the flavours will meld and veggies soften.
Be creative in ingredients – celery substitute could be the leaves off the back of a head of cauliflower or chopped kohlrabi, leeks would work. Instead of carrots, maybe turnips, swedes, or rutabaga. I use my own frozen tomatoes from my garden and since i don’t really cook them down, there is plenty of water in with them, therefore i don’t add more water. Recipes like this are perfect for emptying the frig or freezer.
Since both sons are still croupy and sick, and it’s still bitterly cold outside, another batch of soup is on the menus today.
Last night, a 1 lb package of boiling beef was set out to thaw in the kitchen sink, then this morning, I dropped the meat into a 3 quart pot (I like my old copper bottom Revere Ware, but beware of the thin new stuff, it won’t sit flat on the burner for long) and added about 2 quarts of water and set to boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn down the heat to simmer for 2-3 hours. Meat will become very tender. Take out the meat and let cool. While it is cooling, I add about 1 1/2 cups of chopped celery, 1 cup sliced carrots, and 1 chopped medium size onion. I know that’s a lot of onion, but onions are supposed to have curative properties, so I push the limit. Also, I add up to 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, 4 tablespoons dried parsley, 2 teaspoons dried sage, and 1 teaspoon powdered thyme along with a teaspoon of black pepper and 1-2 tablespoons Real salt. Pull the beef off the bones and any sinew and pull apart into bite sized pieces and add back to the pot. Let simmer for a while, once the veggies are cooked through, it’s ready, but even longer will allow the flavours and spices to meld, so enjoy leftovers!
Use organic ingredients if at all possible! Adjust and substitute to your family’s tastes.