Dinners

Recipe—Crock-Pot Italian Pot Roast and Parmesan Risotto

Italian Pot Roast and Parmesan Risotto

The first time I actually made this recipe was Christmas Eve. Some of you might be thinking, who makes a crock-pot meal on Christmas Eve? The answer is, this lady! Why is it that people feel the need to spend half the day in the kitchen and half their paychecks on holiday dinners? You can have an amazing meal with minimal time in the kitchen and by spending less than $25. Thennnnnnn you can use that money you saved on groceries and buy some nice red wine that will compliment this dinner perfectly.

That Christmas Eve I just wanted to be able to fully relax and enjoy the day with my family. I didn’t want to be in the kitchen for most of the day slaving over the oven. And guess what, this dinner was just as good as many of the dinners I spent the entire day making. And best of all, my family loved it!

The meat had so much flavor and was so juicy! The sauce is a very mild tomato-based sauce that goes so fabulously with the parmesan risotto. This is probably in the top 5 recipes I have ever made. It is so filling and hearty. A perfect comfort meal for the cooler weather. I love that this recipe is “fancy” enough for a special occasion or a holiday but is quick and easy enough that you can pull it off on a Thursday night after a long day of work. Literally an all occasion dinner.

POT ROAST INGREDIENTS
3 lb beef chuck roast
1 tbsp dried minced onion
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 (.6 oz) package au jus mix
1 (.7 oz) package dried Italian salad dressing mix
2 tsp black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c tomato juice (like V8)

RISOTTO INGREDIENTS
3 tsp olive oil
1 lb arborio rice
6 c chicken broth, room temperature
1 c parmesan cheese
1 tsp onion powder
ground pepper

GARNISH INGREDIENTS
1/2 c parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

STEPS

  • Spray your crock-pot with cooking spray.
  • Place the pot roast in the crock-pot.
  • In a bowl, whisk together all the remaining pot roast ingredients.
  • Pour the tomato mixture over the top of the roast.
  • Cook on low heat for 8–10 hours, or high heat for 5–6 hours.
  • When the roast is done cooking, transfer it to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Using two forks, shred the roast and place back into the crock-pot.
  • Cover the crock-pot and keep on low.
  • While the meat is soaking in all that yummy sauce, begin to prepare the risotto by putting the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.
  • Add the rice and stir to evenly coat the rice with the oil.
  • Cook for about 2–3 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of the broth and simmer, stirring constantly, until the broth has completely reduced and the pan is nearly dry, about 3 minutes.
  • Repeat the above step incrementally using 1 cup of broth at a time. The gradual addition of broth is key to getting the rice to develop a nice and creamy sauce.
  • Once all the broth is cooked down, stir in the cheese and onion powder and season with pepper.
  • Scoop a large spoonful of risotto into a serving dish and top with the shredded meat, additional parmesan cheese, and some parsley.

 

Recipe adapted from Plain Chicken.

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Dinners, Sandwiches

Recipe—Black and Blue Sammy

Is your mouth watering just looking at this picture. Okay good. That means you are still alive. I am a sucker for beef with any kind of blue cheese. A filet with a blue cheese crust, I’m all over it. A burger with blue cheese crumbles, yes please. Just something about those flavors together is so perfect. When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. This sandwich is beyond decadent. The little bit or horseradish mixed in with mayo gives it a nice little bite and all the cheese melted over the tender beef. OMG! So good! And guess what? It is easy to boot! You cook the meat in a crock-pot allowing all those flavors to soak in and then all you have to do when you are ready to get your grub on is assemble them. Perfect lunch or dinner for these Sunday football games.

Note: I made these as meal sized sandwiches but they were super rich. If you are someone who really just wants rich food in a smaller quantity or want to feed more than four people, then consider making these as sliders. This recipe will make about a dozen sliders if you use small dinner rolls.

INGREDIENTS
2 lb beef chuck roast
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp celery seed
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 bay leaf
1/4 c soy sauce
4 large sandwich rolls
1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 oz blue cheese crumbles
1/4 c mayonnaise
2 tsp prepared horseradish
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 c butter
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp dehydrated onion

STEPS

  • Place your roast in a crock-pot that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray. (This helps with cleanup.)
  • Sprinkle with the sugar, thyme, celery seed, and garlic.
  • Add the bay leaf and soy sauce to the crock-pot.
  • Cook for 4–5 hours on high of 7–8 hours on low.
  • Remove the meat from the crock-pot and shred using 2 forks making sure to pull out any fatty bits.
  • Add the prepared meat back to the crock-pot and keep on low heat.
  • Preheat oven to 375º.
  • Cut your dinner rolls in half and lay the bottoms on a baking sheet.
  • Using tongs grab a heap of the shredded meat and squeeze out all the excess juices and place on each bun bottom.
  • Sprinkle each meat pile with a bit of the shredded mozzarella and blue cheese crumbles.
  • Combine the mayonnaise with the horseradish and spread on the underside of each bun top.
  • Place the lids on the sandwiches.
  • Melt the butter in a small bowl and mix in the Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and onion.
  • Brush the butter mixture evenly over the tops of the sandwiches.
  • Cover the baking sheet with foil and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Chow down!

 

Recipe adapted from Heather Likes Food.

Dinners

Recipe—Crock-Pot Barbacoa Tacos

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants when I need a quick fix has got to be Chipotle. You can get quality flavor packed food in a jiffy. My go to is their carnitas and my husband can’t resist their barbacoa. It is kind of funny, Chipotle’s barabcoa meat literally makes him sweat when he eats it. But he still loves it! I can’t help but laugh as soon as the sweat starts to bead up on his forehead. Does anyone else do this when they eat something with a little kick? I swear it reminds me of something from a cartoon. I love that guy.

I made this recipe and it is without a doubt a near perfect match of Chipotle’s barbacoa meat. It is a tender, juicy, flavor packed meat perfect for burritos, tacos, or even nachos. I personally love it with a side of my Cilantro Lime Rice. Muy bien!

Note: This meat definitely has a bit of heat in it from the chiles in adobo sauce so if you have a member of your household that doesn’t like heat I would either cut back the chiles or leave them out completely.  

INGREDIENTS
3–4 lb beef chuck roast
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 yellow onion
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp, garlic, minced
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2–3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3/4 c beef stock

SOME FABULOUS GARNISHES

cotija cheese
, crumbled
chopped green lettuce
diced tomatoes
diced onion
guacamole or sliced avocado
sour cream
pico de gallo
chopped cilantro
lime wedges 

STEPS

  • Trim excess fat off of the roast.
  • Spray your crock-pot with cooking spray (this helps a good deal with cleanup).
  • Place roast in crock-pot.
  • Place all of the ingredients, except for the chuck roast, in the blender and puree.
  • Pour the pureed sauce over the roast.
  • Cook on low for 8–10 hours, or high heat for 5–7.
  • When the roast is done cooking, transfer it to a large cutting board.
  • Using a large fork shred the meat and place it back in the crock-pot to soak up some of the tasty sauce.
  • Serve in a warm tortilla with your favorite taco toppings.

Recipe adapted from Unsophpisticook.

Dinners

Recipe—Crock-Pot Shredded Beef Tacos

How about some delicious tacos to go with the Mexican red rice recipe I recently posted? These are the easiest most flavorful shredded beef tacos ever! And best of all you cook them in the crock-pot. I love my crock-pot! What’s not to love about coming home from work to a house that smells like an authentic taqueria where dinner is practically done when you walk through the door? This recipe gives you the most tender, moist, flavor packed meat. The meat literally falls apart when it’s done cooking. These tacos are definitely at the top of my list of favorite meals. I love loading them up with all my favorite toppings. Serving these with a lime wedge to squeeze over your tacos is a must! The bite of tangy lime just makes all the flavors come together. Serve these tacos with my Mexican red rice and a side of beans and you will feel like you are dining in Mexico. Don’t forget the pitcher of margaritas! 😉

Note: No need to limit yourself to just using this shredded beef for tacos, it is incredibly versatile and can be used for enchiladas, tacos, burritos, you name it!

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2–3 lb tri tip or chuck roast
14 oz can beef broth
2 limes (1 for juicing and 1 sliced to be served with finished tacos)
tortillas

SOME FABULOUS GARNISHES

shredded cheese
chopped green lettuce
diced tomatoes
diced red onion
guacamole or sliced avocado
sour cream
pico de gallo
chopped cilantro

STEPS

  • In a small bowl combine chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Spray your crock-pot with cooking spray to make cleanup a breeze!
  • Add your roast to the crock-pot and rub the seasoning into the meat. It’s okay if any extra seasoning is loose in the crock-pot.
  • Pour broth around roast and squeeze the juice of one lime over the roast.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 8–10 hours.
  • Remove the roast from the crock-pot and place on a cutting board.
  • Using a large fork shred the beef and return it to the crock-pot.
  • Cover and continue to cook on low heat for 30 minutes. This allows your beef to soak up all those yummy juices.
  • Using tongs remove the shredded beef and place directly on tortillas or into a serving dish.
  • Serve with lime wedges and some of your favorite garnishes.
Dinners, Sandwiches

Recipe—Crock-Pot French Dip Sandwiches

When I was a very young girl I wasn’t a picky eater, but I certainly had my favorites. Whenever we went to a deli I ALWAYS ordered a ham sandwich with mayo on white bread. Yeah I was pretty adventurous. One day my dad took me to an Italian deli and I was devastated when they told me they didn’t have ham or white bread. I know what you are thinking, a deli with no ham or white bread?!? I looked at my dad with big eyes and I was at a complete loss as to what I should order. My dad made a decision and ordered me a French dip. I ate the whole thing in record speed and it was delicious! From that day on I had a new favorite sandwich.

If you have never had a French dip then you are missing out! A French dip is a hot sandwich made up of tender thinly sliced roasted beef on a roll and served with a cup of flavorful juice called au jus. You dip each bite of the sandwich in the au jus and take a bite of the juicy flavor packed beefy sandwich. Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering as I write this! This recipe takes my favorite popular sandwich and makes it cheap, easy, and convenient by cooking it in the crock-pot. The meat is incredibly flavorful and tender. It was a huge hit with my family. My hubby actually went back for seconds and then tried to snag our toddlers leftovers too. And I will say, my son was not having it. I only wish I made more because I would have loved to have some leftovers the next day.

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2–3 lb chuck roast
garlic powder
Kosher salt and pepper
3 c beef broth
1 (10.5 oz) can condensed French onion soup
3/4 c red wine
French rolls
sliced provolone cheese (optional)

STEPS

  • Trim any excess fat from the meat.
  • Season the roast with garlic powder, kosher salt, and pepper.
  • Spray crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray. (This makes clean up a breeze!)
  • In the crock-pot stir together broth, French onion soup, and red wine.
  • Add the seasoned roast to crock-pot.
  • Cook on low heat for 7–8 hours.
  • Remove roast from crock-pot and place on a cutting board.
  • Allow roast to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Using a ladle transfer half of the liquid (au jus) to a small saucepan.
  • Slice the roast (mine was falling apart tender so I ended up shredding it with a large fork) and return meat to crock-pot.
  • Continue to cook on low heat for an additional 30 minutes while the meat soaks up some of the flavor packed juices.
  • Heat the au jus you removed from the crock-pot in the saucepan over low heat.
  • Lightly toast your rolls in the oven while meat is soaking and au jus is heating.
  • Using tongs squeeze excess juice from the meat and place on toasted rolls.
  • Top with cheese if desired.
  • Serve sandwich with a side of the au jus in a small bowl or ramekin for dipping.
  • Enjoy while hot and juicy!