Food & Swine

One Roast : Three Dinners

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One Roast = Hot Beef/Pork Sundaes, Beef & Noodles AND Crispitos…

Sitting around the family dinner table seems to be a lost art to some folks. The amount of activities that our children are involved in and our society’s growth and technology has inhibited the crucial time the generations before us spent each evening, breaking bread together.  I’ve found myself clinging onto this time for dear life now that my daughter has embarked on her first of many adventures away from my constant mothering.  Kindergarten has treated her so well.  She loves school, riding the bus, being line leader so she can hold her teacher’s hand and hot lunch. I get to volunteer in the classroom this week and I can’t wait!

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I love making meals that can be turned into other meals in the subsequent days after making the first one.  My solution: Make one big crockpot roast and create 3 different meals out of it.  You can use beef or pork easily.  My recipes serve 4-6 people.  If you have some tremendous eaters in your house you may want to bulk up on the amounts a bit. 

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I love these Crispito knock-offs! More like a chimichanga.

*Full recipes at the end of post.

Make (3-4 lb.*I do closer to 3) beef or pork roast in the crock pot.
After cooked: shred roast, divide into 3 portions.
Meal #1 with Portion #1: Hot Beef/Pork Sundaes (Like the ones you can get at the Iowa State Fair) Layers of mashed potatoes, corn, shredded beef/pork, cheese, gravy. After supper, create the next 2 days’ meals.
Meal #2 with Portion #2: Beef/Pork and Noodles (Meat with a smooth cream sauce and chives, over garlic butter noodles)
Meal #3 with Portion #3: CRISPITOS!  Do you remember these from school lunch?  This does involve frying, but you can bake these as well if desired. (Flour tortilla with remaining shredded meat, salsa, cheese and beans *if you want them, wrapped up and fried.  Garnish with lettuce, sour cream and salsa!)

You’ll need:
To Make the Roast:
1 Beef or Pork Roast (chuck or pot roast for beef, shoulder/butt for pork)
1 1/2 TBSP seasoned salt or other ‘rub’ of choice
1 tsp cracked black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 can of regular cola, chicken broth or water (I do not use beef broth)
Rub roast with seasoned salt and pepper, all over.  Toss in crock pot on low setting with bay leaves and cola.  Cook on low for 8 hours or until tender.  Remove from crock pot, shred meat, divide into 3 even portions and reserve juices. 

Each of the following recipes will include 1 portion of shredded meat.

Hot Beef/Pork Sundaes
6 C of mashed potatoes or 2 regular packets of Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes, prepared (seriously, sometimes convenience is KEY!)
3 C canned corn, drained and seasoned or try my Freezer Corn, drained and seasoned
1 portion of shredded beef/pork + 3 TBSP reserved juices from crock pot, strained (mix these together)
3/4 C shredded cheese (we like Colby jack, to make it official!)
6 cherry tomatoes
In bowls, evenly spread 1 C hot mashed potatoes, top with 1/2 C corn, shredded meat + juices from crockpot, cheese and cherry tomatoes.  Serve with a salad.  Makes 6 generous Hot Beef/Pork Sundaes.

Beef and Noodles
Remaining reserved juices from crock pot (minus the 3 TBSP you allowed for the Sundaes above)
2 TBSP Butter
3 TBSP corn starch or flour (for thickening)
1-2 cans of mushrooms, drained or 1-2 C sautéed mushrooms, *optional (this extends the meal for little cost)
3 C chicken stock (again, I don’t use beef because for me it has a tin-ny taste sometimes)
1 portion of shredded meat
1 C sour cream or flavored sour cream such as my fave: AE CHIVE Sour Cream!
1/4 C chopped chives or chopped green onion tops
To a large stock pot over medium heat, add remaining juices from roast preparation, add butter, stir well.  Sprinkle corn starch on the warm fat.  Whisk well for 1 minute or until thickened.  Add mushrooms *if using.  Stir well.  Add chicken stock, return to boiling and simmer until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in meat. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream, chives/green onion tops. Remove from heat, place in glass bowl, cover and keep in refrigerator until next night for serving.  Warm in microwave. The night of serving, prepare pasta fresh. Serve meat/cream mixture over Garlic Butter Noodles, recipe below.  Serve with green beans and fruit.
Garlic Butter Noodles:
Prepare 1 box of pasta (you’ll have leftovers, possibly) to directions, al dente.
Strain and remove from heat.
Stir in 2 TBSP butter + 1 tsp olive oil
Sprinkle with Tone’s Garlic Salt to taste.

School Lunch Crispito AKA: Easy Chimi
4-6 Large taco shells
1 can of refried beans *if desired
1 portion of shredded meat or 1 lb. ground beef if you just want to make this separately sometime!
3/4 C salsa
1 C shredded cheese (we use Colby jack)
3 C peanut oil
shredded iceberg lettuce
sour cream
salsa
taco sauce
Lay 4-6 large taco shells on counter.  Spread with 1-2 TBSP refried beans, if using.  In a bowl, mix the meat, and salsa.  Scoop equal portions of meat/salsa mixture over beans in a long line down the middle of the tortilla.  Add cheese.  Roll up snugly.  Roll in aluminum foil and place in refrigerator until ready to use, up to 3 days.  When ready to cook: heat oil over medium to medium low heat (350 degrees) in large skillet.  Fry ‘crispitos’, two at a time in oil until golden on each side. (Oil is ready when a small piece of tortilla sizzles).  Serve with shredded lettuce, sour cream salsa and taco sauce.  Serve with chips and guacamole or Mexican style rice.

My full-time sous-chef now:

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