Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Beef, 3 times!

This is totally random - but if you're interested in making next week's grocery store trip a little more economical, and don't really feel like spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen preparing dinners, I have a recipe for you to try.  3 actually.  The idea is that you buy one 4 lb rump roast at the beginning of the week, acquaint it with your crock pot, and squeeze 3 tasty dinners out of it.  I would only recommend this if you have small children who don't eat a whole lot - it has been perfectly portioned so far for Rob and I with a little left over.  So far I really like the flavor, and paid extra attention to the cooking of the beef in the crock pot, since you know I have a love/hate relationship with it.  I still don't know how I manage to burn things in the crock pot.  It's a rare gift.

I wish I could take credit for these 3 great recipes but I can't - I found them on someone else's blog.  Here they are, with my little notes at the bottom.  I'll update the last 2 recipes with my suggestions once I've worked through them.  Enjoy!

Night 1: Beef Roast with Shiitake Mushroom Sauce

3.5 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 (4lb) boneless beef rump or tip roast, trimmed of fat
1/4 c hoisin sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c cold water
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp sliced green onion

Place mushrooms in large (4 quart) slow cooker; top with beef roast.  Spread beef with hoisin sauce; sprinkle with garlic and salt.  Cover, cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.

About 10 min before serving, remove beef from slow cooker; place on serving platter and cover to keep warm.  In medium to large micro-safe bowl, blend water and cornstarch until smooth. Pour juices and mushrooms from slow cooker into cornstarch mixture; mix well.   Micro on high for 2-3 min or until mixture boils and thickens slightly, stirring once halfway through cooking.

Cut roast in half; set one half aside (you're going to use the other half for the next two meals).

Cut remaining half into thin slices; place on serving plate.  Reserve 1 1/2 c sauce (or more).  Spoon remaining sauce over the beef or just serve it on the side.  Sprinkle meat with onions.

Ashley's note:  Don't be tempted to use regular button mushrooms; the Shiitakes add great flavor to the sauce.  I used 5 oz of mushrooms b/c I love them, 3 cloves of garlic instead of 2, and Kosher salt.  I ended up with a larger volume of juices in the bottom of my crock pot than the recipe said I would, so I had a ton of gravy... probably 2 1/2 full cups left over after the first meal.  Also, if you want to cook the meat on high in the crock pot for 4 hours, just keep a close eye on it.  You only get one shot to make it awesome, otherwise you're stuck eating dry meat for the next 2 nights.  I served the beef with freshly smashed potatoes (adding butter, sour cream, and S&P) with some of the beef sauce as gravy, and glazed carrots.

Prepping for Meals 2 and 3

Divide reserved roast into 2 portions.  Slice each; cut slices into 2-inch strips. Divide strips evenly into 2 plastic storage containers.  Add 1 c sauce to 1 container (this one is for Beef and Asparagus over Noodles).  Add 1/2 c sauce to the other container (this one is for Beef and Broccoli) and throw them in the fridge.

**Like I said, I had more sauce left over than the recipe said I would, so I just added it to each of the containers, but I did reserve more sauce in the container designated for the Beef and Asparagus meal.  Probably doesn't matter.

Night 2: Beef and Asparagus over Noodles

3 c uncooked medium egg noodles
2 c cut fresh asparagus spears (1 1/2 inch pieces)
1/2 c water
Leftover Beef with sauce (the one with 1 c of sauce)
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp pepper
8oz (about 1 cup) sour cream

Cook noodles as directed on package; drain.

In large skillet, combine asparagus and water.  Bring to boil over high heat; reduce to medium and cover, cooking 3-4 min or until crisp-tender.  Add beef/sauce, Worcestershire sauce and pepper; mix well.  Cover; cook 3-4 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Stir in sour cream.  Cover; cook 3-4 min or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Serve over noodles.  Can be topped with a dash of paprika or parmesan cheese.

Night 3: Beef and Broccoli over Rice

2 c uncooked instant rice
2 1/4 c water
Leftover Beef/Sauce (the one with 1/2 c sauce)
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 tsp ginger
14 oz pkg frozen broccoli florets

Cook rice in 2 cups of water, as directed on package.

In large skillet, combine beef/sauce, remaining 1/4 c water, soy sauce and ginger; mix well.  Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Stir in frozen broccoli.  Cover, cook 5-6 min or until broccoli is tender, stirring once.  Serve over rice.

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