We’re still feeling the heat of summer and traditionally, that means we’re still trying to eat lighter, do more grilling, serve more main dish salads, and generally avoid firing up the oven. But the other day, my husband said, “I know it’s 90 degrees out, but I have a hankering for a pot roast with potatoes, parsnips, onions, carrots and gravy-the whole shebang!” to which I replied, “Are you kidding? It’s 90 degrees out and I am not turning that oven on!” But then I remembered I could use my slow cooker which would sit happily on my countertop, cooking away for me all day without the kitchen’s temperature going up even one degree. I’ll tell you, that was one delicious meal and was a nice, hearty, cozy meal that we really enjoyed, even on a hot, summer’s day.
The folks at “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.com and The Beef Checkoff” have been helping me learn the ins and outs of making the most of lower-cost cuts of beef, to stretch our grocery budget while still feeding the family yummy meals. In a previous blog, I shared tips for marinating which helps flavor and tenderize tougher cuts of meat such as Chuck Pot Roast, Round cuts and Brisket. Here, we’re talking about braising and slow-cooking.
Slow-cooking less expensive cuts of beef is what our parents and grandparents did so it just makes sense to carry on those cooking traditions. I remember the smells of a delicious roast or beef stew filling the house all afternoon when I was growing up. We couldn’t wait to eat dinner! I wouldn’t mind teasing my family with the tempting smells of dinner from the moment they walk in the door from school…
Ideas and recipes:
Chuck Pot Roast—Because this cut needs to be braised or slow-cooked, some time will be involved. Try a “set it and forget it” recipe like Slow-Cooker Pot Roast Soup that will be ready when you get home from work. Make this cut feel a little more special for a weekend meal by preparing Autumn Pot Roast with Root Vegetables. It makes its own sides and sauce for a one-dish meal.
Beef for Stew—By definition, stew typically takes a long time. Use your trusty slow-cooker to create a savory Italian Beef and Bean Stew using only five ingredients for a busy Wednesday night. When Sunday rolls around and you’ve got a little more time to pay attention to a recipe (and to stir), try Slow-Cooked Beef Risotto. Here’s a recipe for a beef stew that would be great in the autumn with really unique ingredients I wouldn’t have thought to put with beef stew.
- Here are the three simple steps for braising/pot roasting.
Do you have any tips for making the most out of less expensive cuts of meat? Any favorite recipes you’d like to share? We’d love to have them. Just respond in the Comments section of this blog or post it to our Facebook page.
– That’s IT Mom Courtney