Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meat and Potato Meals

Cottage Pie

I learned this from a dear friend on Sunday that "Cottage Pie" has beef, "Shepherd's Pie" has lamb...as I am a Tennessee Farmer's daughter, I firmly believe that God gave us Sheep for Sweaters - NOT for dinner! Keeping that in mind, here is my spin on a one dish meat and potato meal!
1 1/2 lb Ground Beef (brown into crumbles and drain)
1 onion (chopped) or 2 Tbl Onion Flakes if you prefer
1 can Corn (whole kernel - drained)
1 can English Peas (drained)
1 can Diced Carrotts (drained)
1 stick butter
1/2 cup beef broth (store bought is fine)
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (hope I spelled that better than I say it!)
2 lbs Potatoes (peeled, chopped, boiled and drained)
While those potatoes boil, saute the onion in 2 Tbl butter (if using onion flakes, omit this step). Add onions to drained vegetables. Brown beef into crumbles, add salt and pepper to taste along with Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Let the liquids reduce for about 10 minutes while beef continues to simmer. Mash cooked potatoes with butter, add salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Mix beef and vegetables, add to greased baking dish. Top with potatoes and bake for about half an hour at 400*. Pop the broiler on for the last 3 or 4 minutes to lightly brown the potatoes for a pretty presentation. If you really like to pack in the veggies, add chopped celery to the onions and saute them too. Use the veggies of your choice - it's YOUR dinner!

Pulled Pork

Super simple, and freezes wonderfully for a quick sandwich dinner on a night when you are to busy to breath!
1 Pork Loin
salt and pepper
BBQ Sauce of your choice
Yep, that's it! Season the pork loin with salt and pepper (rub it well by hand). Place pork into a large crock pot, cover with water (don't wash off the seasonings) and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. You'll know it is done when it falls apart when you try to turn it with a fork. Remove pork and shred it with a fork (use a light touch or you'll have chopped pork! It will be THAT tender!) Taste to see if you want to add additional salt and pepper (I always do). You can serve it plain or add your favorite BBQ Sauce. I prefer to only sauce what I am serving immediately. I like to freeze the left overs plain. Those left overs make awesome pork nachos for game night!

Sweet Potato Fries

Now I know that not everyone is a Sweet Potato fan but these fries are really good and you'd never guess it's a Sweet Potato except for the color. The vitamin content is amazing and very low fat!
5 Sweet Potatoes, slice length wise or crinkle cut with a crinkle cut knife for cute shapes that kids like (and does a dandy job at holding ketchup)
2 Tbl Olive Oil
1/4 c Seasoned Salt
1/8 c Garlic Powder
1/8 c Black Pepper
1/8 c Paprika
Mix all spices together. Toss potatoes in Olive Oil until lightly coated. Dust potatoes lightly with spice mixture, place on a greased cookie sheet (leave plenty of space between them) and bake at 450* for about 20 minutes (until golden). Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Never Fails Pot Roast

1 large Beef Roast (ask the butcher to trim the fat off as much as possible)
1 parcel Celery
3 lbs Potatoes (new or Idaho)
2 lbs Baby Carrots (I like a lot of carrots)
Season Salt
Extra Large Baking Bag (Turkey size)
Peel and chop potatoes. Wash and chop celery. Baby carrots are ready to go so just wash and drain them well. Rub roast with season salt and pepper (rub with hands). Place in the center of the baking bag in a large roasting pan. Surround roast with vegetables. Add 4 cups of water (careful not to pour directly on meat as it will wash off the seasonings). Add salt and pepper to the veggies and tie as directed on baking bag package. Poke holes in the top of the bag as vents. Bake for 3 - 4 hours at 325*. Your house will smell heavenly and the left overs (not that we ever have any of this left over) makes a great Beef Stew. Just chop the bites small and add some beef stock for a second dinner. Serve with fresh baked bread and it's all over but the compliments!

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