When making stews or chilis, do not brown cubed meat first; just go ahead and put it into the water. Result: it will be tender instead of tough! If browning flavor is desired, use a roux (or brown gravy mix) instead to add the flavor rather than browning the meat.
Lean hamburger is best browned over a medium heat, keeping covered to retain the juices. If it is too dry, a little water or olive oil may be added.
Garlic powder, salt, pepper
1 package brown gravy mix.
Prepare roast by generously sprinkling with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides. Dredge both sides with brown gravy mix. Place in roaster, add water in bottom (about 1/2 cup is sufficient). Cover with well-fitting lid and bake at 300 for 4-6 hours until roast is well done.
Can add sliced onions, potatoes and carrots for pot roast if desired.
If you prefer, you may omit the gravy mix and instead dredge the roast in flour then brown it on all sides in a skillet before roasting.
Crock pot fajitas
Slice one onion and one to two bell peppers into bottom of crock pot. Add one package stew meat (or other meat sliced into chunks) and up to 1 c. water. Season well with your favorite fajita seasoning. Cook on high for 4-6 hours in crock pot; or cook on low all day.
Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder (not garlic salt) or finely chopped fresh garlic. Grill to desired doneness. If steaks begin to dry, brush with a small amount of olive oil or melted butter.
Use for Filet Mignon, Beef tips with rice and gravy, or shish-kabobs. It's also great for simple stir-fries!
Chicken Fried Steak: salt, pepper and garlic meat; dredge in flour, then dip in a 50-50 mixture of egg and mixed that have been well-whisked. Fry until golden brown. Gravy can be made with the drippings.
Besides hamburgers and typical American casseroles, we make several Mexican casseroles:
Fideo con carne y papas
1 med. onion, chopped finely
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium potatoes, in 1/2" cubes
1 box fideo
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. comino (or less or more to taste)
1-2 Tbsp. mild chili powder, to taste
jalapeno or serrano if desired, finely chopped, to taste
1 can tomato sauce
Brown meat, onion and garlic; remove from pan and add potatoes and brown them in a little more oil if necessary. In separate pan, brown fideo in oil until golden, then mix with meat. Add fideo to meat mixture; cover with water (about 2 cups) and add tomato sauce. Simmer until potatoes and fideo are both done., about 15-20 minutes.
This recipe can be adjusted, leaving out fideo and potatoes and instead adding a can of green peas--use same spices. Sounds weird, but it is wonderful!
It can also be made with round steak or stew meat; if so, cube meat into 1/2" pieces. Adding chopped fresh cilantro and even mixing in some Velveeta or sour cream will lend a different flavor, too
1# ground beef, browned and seasoned to taste (as above) with comino, garlic, oregano and chili powder.
red enchilada sauce (canned or recipe below)
grated cheddar cheese
finely chopped onions if desired
1 c. chicken bouillion
Roll beef into tortillas which have been moistened in bouillion, lining them into casserole dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake (or microwave) until cheese is bubbly. Enchiladas may be stacked instead of rolled.
Pole Line Chili
Our favorite chili recipe! Originally from The Cowboy's Cookbook, published by the Society for Range Management and submitted by Vicky and Dan Kipp of the the Butler Ranch in Aundale, Colorado. We have changed the recipe slightly to our taste.
2 # beef
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 bottle Shiner Bock (or other beer)
1/2 red chili powder (try to get the freshest possible!)
4 med. cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped (we use 1019s when possible)
1 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1.5 tsp. ground comino (we sometimes use the seed instead)
1.25 tsp. salt
3/4 Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
Mix meat, tomato sauce, beer and spices; stir to blend. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer 1 hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Taste--adjust seasonings. Simmer uncovered another hour. Stir in cheese. Can be made in crock pot--just add cheese at the end of the day.
Sliders with Chipotle mayonnaise
1# ground beef, made into eight two-oz. patties
salt and pepper
1 c. mayonnaise
juice of 1 lime
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, with 1 tbsp. of sauce added.
Slices of your favorite cheese.
Grill patties 4-5 minutes on each side and just before done place a slice of cheese on top of each.
Mix mayo, lime and chiles well in food processor; spread on buns; top with cooked patties.
If desired, lettuce, pickles, onions, tomatoes and other topping may be used.