Because of food allergies, recipes at my house are pretty simple. A lot of cooking I learned from my mom, who had few recipes but made simple, traditional meals, adding ingredients “until they look right.” I recently came up with this no-fail recipe for beef and vegetables that is easy and can be adapted to one’s tastes. Why no fail? Amounts don’t have to be measured – just
estimate and throw in what looks right. You can bake it at a lower temp and longer if you need to be away for the afternoon, or higher and quicker if you’re short on time.
1-2.5 pounds of beef, either sirloin, round steak, chuck or shoulder roast, depending on the size of the group you wish to feed and the time you have available. Sirloin is the quickest cooking time
Frozen, cut green beans about 1 cup
Baby carrots, about 1 to 1 1/2 cups
Celery, about 2-3 stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
4-6 unpeeled red skin potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
2-3 cups water (may use part beef broth and/or wine if desired)
2-4 small onions, whole
spices to taste preference : I used 1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground pepper, and
a sprinkling of oregano and thyme, about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon each. Other spices you might like are rosemary, tarragon, garlic, or a splash of dijon mustard.
Secret sauce ingredient – Williams Sonoma Beef Demi-glace, about 2-3 teaspoons
Corn starch for thickening – 1-3 tablespoons depending on amount of liquid
Place the meat in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Cover with the vegetables, potatoes and onions.
Sprinkle seasonings. Pour in 2-3 cups liquid – enough to moisten everything, but does not have to be covered.
Add the secret sauce ingredient to the water. Place pan uncovered in oven; bake at 300-325 degrees for half an hour; cover with lid and bake an additional 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the beef, until everything is done. If you want the sauce thickened into gravy, add 1-3 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup of cold water about 30 minutes before serving. Serves 3-6 people, depending on the amount of meat used.
Variations: For a southwest flare, add 1/2 to 1 cup of salsa. May use sweet potatoes in addition to or instead of white potatoes. May add any kind of vegetable that you like that will tolerate long, slow baking. May vary oven temperature depending upon how much cooking time you have available. If you need to be gone for the afternoon and leave it in the oven unattended, may go as low as 275 to 300 degrees. Or put it in a crock pot for the entire day on low.
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