One of my favorite magazines is Real Simple -- I like the design and the quick reads.
In the most recent edition, October's, there is an article, "Organize your toughest room: 4 smart, real-life kitchen systems." The idea, as presented in the article, is to create a kitchen that works with the way you like to cook:
- "Daily cook" -- cooking any number of things every day;
- "The Sunday cook" -- spending all day in the kitchen and cooking in bulk for the coming week;
- "The come-on-in cook" -- cooking as a communal project;
- "The entertainer" -- cooking for an audience.
For quite some time I have been interested in the concept of cooking once and eating for a week, but I have yet to master it, though I have tried a few times.
In fact, after reading the article in Real Simple I decided to give it a try again.
I had a couple of roasts I'd bought during a "buy one, get one free" campaign. So, I took them out of the freezer and put them in refrigerator to thaw and went to the store and bought five pounds of potatoes and two pounds of carrots on sale (I think it came to about $2 total), plus a couple of onions (which were somewhere around 75 cents) -- pretty thrifty, even considering the roasts were probably about $7 when I bought them.
The meat did not thaw as quickly as I'd hoped, so "The Sunday cook" attempt turned into "The Monday cook" with assistance from the crock pot.
I put the roasts in the bottom of the pot, seasoned them with pepper and celery salt, washed and cut up the vegetables and tossed them on top of the meat. Then I dumped in a can of beef and onion stock, put on the lid and set the temperature to low.
I had an excellent dinner Monday night, though I decided I needed to be quite a bit more liberal with my seasoning.
Next I pulled out a couple of cookbooks I have on making one major meal to create enough leftovers to prepare dinners for a week.
Nothing I found appealed to me. So, I started thinking about all the things you can make with leftover roast.
"Post roast" recipes that are among my favorites are: sandwiches with that Dijon mustard and mayonnaise combination and sliced ripe tomatoes, plus lots of salt and pepper; and a family recipe for green chili burros.
Other things I came up with off the top of my head: French dip sandwiches, stroganoff, a casserole -- and if there is enough broth left, French onion soup.
I took my search to the Internet and on one site found more "post roast" recipes than I could count, though I copied quite a few of them.
But here's the family favorite:
Green Chili Burros
2 to 4 cups cooked roast beef, shredded (you can use round steak, London broil, etc., made in a crock pot to the point it falls apart)
1 onion, diced and sauteed (or use reserved onion from roast)
1 can Stokes enchilada sauce with pork
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can beef gravy (or 2-1/2 cups reserved beef broth from roast)
1 or 2 cans green chilis
jalapeños to taste (optional)
The sauce is on the thin side. But discussing it with my sisters the last time we had this, I thought if you made a butter and flour paste like you would for gravy, then used the beef broth as the liquid, you could get the sauce to a thicker consistency (or you could dredge the raw meat with seasoned flour before putting it in the slow cooker and get a similar outcome).
Combine all ingredients, except cheese and tortillas, and heat through.
Warm tortillas on splatter screen over 1/4- to 1/2-inch boiling water. Ladle beef mixture onto tortillas, top with cheese, fold and add more sauce and cheese if desired.
Leftover roast beef (or steak)
1 tablespoon flour
Salt and pepper
1/2 stick butter
1 diced onion
Fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 pint sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Cut meat into bite size pieces. Shake in plastic bag with flour, salt and pepper. Sauté onion and mushrooms in butter. Add meat and simmer on low heat, covered, for two hours. Add water as needed to keep moist. Stir occasionally. When done, stir in sour cream and Worcestershire sauce. Serve over buttered noodles.
If 2 hours are too long (it would be for me), there are shorter versions of the recipe.
15-Minute Beef Stroganoff
Approximately 1 pound leftover roast beef, sliced
1 cup water
1, 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons flour
Trim fat from meat. Cut meat across grain in strips 1/4 inch wide. Heat meat through. Add water and mushrooms (plus liquid); stir in soup mix, heat just to boiling. Blend yogurt and flour and add. Cook and stir until mixture thickens, sauce will be thin. Serve over hot noodles. Makes 5 or 6 servings.
There are some even simpler ways to make use of your "post roast" goodies.
Leftover Beef Casserole
2 cups diced leftover roast beef
1 cup gravy, use leftover or can make fresh
1 medium onion, diced (leftover or fresh)
2-4 carrots, thin sliced (leftover or fresh)
1 package peas, cooked
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
Combine meat, gravy, onions, peas and carrots. Put in casserole dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Using leftover vegetables would probably cut the cooking time considerably, I imagine it would be heated through in 15 to 20 minutes.
Beef and Noodles Casserole
1/2 package (12 oz.) noodles
1 cup beef gravy
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup cheese
2 cup leftover roast beef
Cook and drain noodles. Mix and heat gravy, soup and cheese. Add cut up roast beef. Mix all together with noodles and put into a greased casserole dish. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.