(55) Hearty Beef and Tomato Stew

Brace face strikes again! I thought this would be soft enough, but I underestimated the joy of new braces! Soooooooooo, I didnt really eat this, which makes me sad! But my husband and daughter both sucked it down, so I’d say it was a hit. Not hard to make, just a little time consuming to get everything chopped. I’d make this again! (And sorry, no picture on this one…)

Hearty Beef and Tomato Stew

Source: Cooking Light, October 2006
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups stew and 1 tablespoon parsley)

The ingredient list may look lengthy, but this recipe involves mostly measuring and adding ingredients to the pot to simmer. To trim prep time, look for prechopped onions in the produce aisle. Serve with crusty slices of a baguette. A double-dose of lycopene comes with tomato paste and canned tomatoes.

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 pounds sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
4 cups cubed red potato (1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups sliced carrot
3/4 cup pinot noir or other spicy dry red wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 (16-ounce) package frozen pearl onions
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove beef from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add broth; bring to a boil. Return meat to pan. Add potato and next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 1 hour and 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Discard rosemary and bay leaf. Stir in salt and pepper. Top with parsley.

CALORIES 329 (21% from fat); FAT 7.5g (sat 2.6g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.4g); IRON 4.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 51mg; CALCIUM 93mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33.3g; SODIUM 630mg; PROTEIN 31.1g; FIBER 4.1g

(48) Beef in Red Wine Gravy

I have a confession to make.

My nose is SO STOPPED UP that I can’t taste a darn thing. Which is very disappointing to a foodie like me 🙁 Blah. So I ate this meal (and the next one I’m going to post), but I can’t give you an accurate grade on how good it was! I will say that what I could taste was a little ‘boozy’. My friend Sam made the same recipe and she submitted a similar comment, so I’m going to roll with that. If you are not into wine flavors, go for 1c beef broth and 1/2 cup red wine (I used merlot).

But you can’t beat the ease of this dish! It ended up only serving 4 servings (and a little one for the baby), which was fine. I will definitely make it again when my sense of smell/taste has recovered!

Beef in Red Wine Gravy

Yield: 6 servings (but in my opinion it’s more like 4!)
Source: Better Homes and Gardens Slow Cooker Meals

1-1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium onions, cut up
2 beef bouillon cubes or 1 envelope (1/2 of 2-ounce package) onion soup mix
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups dry red wine
Hot cooked noodles (optional)

1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine beef stew meat and onions. Add bouillon cubes or dry onion soup mix. Sprinkle cornstarch, salt, and pepper over beef and onions. Pour red wine over beef mixture in cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.

3. If desired, serve over hot cooked noodles. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 211, Total Fat (g) 4, Saturated Fat (g) 1, Cholesterol (mg) 67, Sodium (mg) 430, Carbohydrate (g) 8, Fiber (g) 0, Protein (g) 24

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(45) Chicken and Vegetables with Herbs

I just got a new shelf for my cookbooks (pictures coming shortly…) and this allowed me to actually organize my collection vs having it look like Barnes & Noble threw up in my family room. One of the things I found was this slow cooker magazine/cookbook! Yes! I’m feeling like slow cooking this week as things are gonna be a little crazy! So tonight was chicken. Chicken legs (thigh + drumstick) are on sale at Publix this week for CHEAP, so that was a double bonus on this meal!!

This recipe was a cinch to prepare. The picture in the magazine shows these beautifully intact chicken legs, but that was NOT the case here! The chicken completely fell apart so I ended up spooning it out in a pile and shredding/chunking the chicken and removing all of the bones. The baby was going to eat this, too (she loved it!), so I figured the boneless method was safest all around.

The flavor on this dish is very ‘comfort-y’. It’s not a strong, WOW flavor, but it was quite good! My only comment is that I think it needed a pinch of salt at the end, so use your tastebuds and add some if you think it needs it. I served over mashed potatoes (egg noodles would be good too!) for a totally comforting Sunday dinner.

Chicken and Vegetables with Herbs

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Better Homes & Gardens Slow Cooker Meals

While fresh pearl onions need to be blanched and peeled, you can skip those steps with the frozen ones.

8 ounces mushrooms, halved
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf (you gotta know I skipped this….)
4 small chicken legs (drumstick-thigh portion; skinned) (2 to 2-1/2 pounds total)
Chicken broth (optional)
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Hot cooked mashed potatoes (optional)
Fresh parsley sprigs (optional)

1. In a 5-1/2- or 6-quart slow cooker, combine mushrooms and pearl onions. Stir in the 1/2 cup broth, the wine, tomato paste, garlic salt, rosemary, thyme, pepper, and bay leaf. Add chicken legs to cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours.

3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and vegetables to a serving platter. Discard bay leaf. Cover chicken and vegetables and keep warm.

4. For sauce: Skim fat from cooking liquid. Measure 2 cups of the cooking liquid, adding additional chicken broth, if necessary, to equal 2 cups total liquid. Transfer liquid to a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, stir the 1/4 cup broth into the flour; stir into liquid in saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 1 minute more. Spoon some of the sauce over chicken. Pass remaining sauce. If desired, serve with mashed potatoes and garnish with parsley.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 304, Total Fat (g) 9, Saturated Fat (g) 2, Cholesterol (mg) 159, Sodium (mg) 548, Carbohydrate (g) 9, Fiber (g) 1, Protein (g) 43

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(42) Coffee-Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions

I feel like I’m on a never-ending quest for THE pot roast. I have one that I prepare in the crockpot and I really like it, but I don’t feel like it’s the one. So I’ve tried quite a few pot roast recipes in the last year and I’ve found lots of good variations. (This is one of them!)

I like the concept of cooking it with all the onions and making a gravy. That means that the meat and the onions are the star of this dish! I roasted some potatoes and carrots to go along side of the meat because I always feel like pot roast needs veggies. Anyway, the gravy was delish and we both give this two thumbs up!

Coffee-Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions

Source: Eating Well Magazine – Fall 2004
Yield: 10 servings, about 3 ounces meat & 1/3 cup gravy each

This recipe is reminiscent of a pot roast made with onion-soup mix, but the flavors are true and puree–and nobody misses the excess sodium. (For a slow-cooker variation, see below.)

1 4-pound beef chuck roast, (see Ingredient note), trimmed of fat
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced (4 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.

2. Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, turning from time to time, until well browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add onions, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in coffee and vinegar; bring to a simmer. Return the beef to the pot and spoon some onions over it. Cover and transfer to the oven.

4. Braise the beef in the oven until fork-tender but not falling apart, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer beef to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, skim fat from the braising liquid; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, whisking, until the gravy thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Season with pepper. Carve the beef and serve with gravy.

Slow-Cooker Variation: In Step 2, transfer the browned beef to a slow cooker. In Step 3, use just 1/2 cup coffee. Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker. In Step 4, cover and cook until beef is tender, 4 1/2 to 5 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low. In Step 5, pour the liquid into a medium saucepan and continue as directed.

Nutrition Per serving : 252 Calories; 6 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 6 g Mono; 67 mg Cholesterol; 4 g Carbohydrates; 32 g Protein; 0 g Fiber; 99 mg Sodium; 49 mg Potassium

Tips & Notes

* Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
* Ingredient Note: Although it is not the leanest cut of beef, chuck is still our choice for pot roast because it doesn’t dry out during braising. You will find pockets of fat as you carve it, but they are easy to remove.

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(116) Classic Beef Pot Roast

I normally make my pot roast in the crockpot and I use a slightly different flavor/veggie combo. I liked this in the oven because we didn’t have to wait all day for it! It’s a knife and fork kind of pot roast. It was tender, but it was not falling apart like my crockpot version does.

I will make it again but will make a few adjustments. First, I will leave out the potatoes and instead do more carrots, some onion chunks, and whole mushrooms. We love mushrooms 🙂 I will also serve it over noodles or mashed potatoes. There was so much delicious sauce, it needed something to soak it all up!

PS: I’m not sure this makes 10 servings….

Classic Beef Pot Roast

Cuts of beef that perform well for pot roasting go by many different names: Blade roast, cross-rib roast (or shoulder clod), seven-bone pot roast, arm pot roast, and boneless chuck roast are all acceptable cuts for this traditional recipe.

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 3 ounces roast, about 3/4 cup vegetables, and about 3 tablespoons cooking liquid)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, October 2006

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 cup dry red wine
4 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
4 large carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
Fresh thyme leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chuck roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove roast from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender.

Return browned roast to pan. Add the red wine, thyme sprigs, chopped garlic, beef broth, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover pan and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until the roast is almost tender.

Add carrots and potatoes to pan. Cover and bake an additional 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf from pan; discard. Shred meat with 2 forks. Serve roast with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 307 (31% from fat), Fat: 10.4g (sat 3.5g,mono 4.8g,poly 0.5g), Protein: 28.6g, Carbohydrate: 23.7g, Fiber: 2.8g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Iron: 3.9mg, Sodium: 340mg, Calcium: 34mg

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