June 2013 - Posts - Dollar Stretcher Guest Blogger
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June 2013 - Posts

  • Planned Roast Beef Leftovers

    by Phyllis Clish

    I started a blog, MyGreatLeftovers.com, a few months ago because not only I, but also my family and friends, felt I had some good ideas on how to use up leftover bits of food to save money and reduce waste in the kitchen.

    Today food is not only expensive, but it is time consuming to plan what to buy, purchase it, haul it home, put it away, and then ultimately cook it. The last thing in the world you want to do is throw away anything because not only have you wasted your money but your precious time.

    The other part is your goal to feed your family affordable, high quality, healthy food consistently, which requires some planning ahead.

    This idea I’m going to share with you today is on roast beef. I don’t know about you, but I love homemade roast beef and there are simply an unlimited amount of ideas as to what to do with leftover roast beef. The problem is making the roast beef in order to have leftovers or what I like to call planned leftovers. I have found an inexpensive way to have delicious slow cooked roast beef, without any additives, available in my freezer at all times, to be used in a variety of recipes that can be on your dinner table in 30 minutes or less.

    A few of the things I make with this meat include beef barley soup, shredded roast beef burritos or enchiladas, beef vegetable soup, beef stew, beef pot pie, beef with gravy over mashed potatoes or rice, hot roast beef sandwiches, and chili. I’m sure there’s many more that I haven’t thought of.

    Now where do you get this wonder meat? You plan ahead and have it in your freezer at all times with only a little effort.

    Now I have to give you my philosophy on the amounts and ingredients in any recipe. You do not need to be exact, cooking is not an exact science. Yes, like everything, there are exceptions, but in my kind of cooking, it is not, unless I make a notation to the contrary, which is rare. A little more or less to accommodate your tastes, the amount of the leftovers you have or what you have in your pantry will not usually make a huge difference. You can almost always substitute and add or leave out things that you don’t like or don’t have on hand. In truth, that is the secret to cooking your very own special recipes. Use my recipes as a starting point and enjoy the ride.

    Buy a large package of stew meat like the ones at Sam’s or Costco. It’s about half the price, per pound, of a roast. You can also shop sales at your local grocery and come up with some good deals. Of course, you are never sure which bits of roasts are included in the package, and they will vary, but that is ok. The main thing to look for is that the fat left on the meat is minimal. These packages usually average around five pounds. The other way is to buy roasts of your choice and cut into about 1 1/2 inch chunks.

    Tender Slow Cooked Beef To Have Ready In Your Freezer

    5 lb (approximate) package of stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
    1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes, or stewed tomatoes processed until broken up
    1 cup beef broth or 1 cup water with 1 teaspoon beef soup base or bullion
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 bay leaves
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon salt
    some fresh sprigs of rosemary and thyme or dried rosemary and thyme or your choice of herbs

    Brown your beef chunks in a bit of oil. (This step can be eliminated if you’re really short on time.) Put in 6 qt slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Cook on low about 8 hrs or until tender. Allow to cool. Remove any stems and the bay leafs.

    Package in roughly 2 cups per 1 qt freezer bag. Lay flat to freeze and then you can stand them on end to save room in your freezer. Be sure to write the contents and date on the bag.

    Don’t forget to check my website for easy recipes that use this meat. MyGreatLeftovers.com

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