Broiled London Broil with Mushroom Sauce

Make no mistake about it – London Broil (a thick cut of top round) is an easy cut of meat to turn into something akin to shoe leather. If you don’t like your meat bloody, avoid – I repeat – AVOID this hunk of beef. However; hunk of meat still mooing is to your liking, London Broil is a cheap steak that can be delicious.

While the USDA recommends a minimum temperature of steak to be 145 degrees, (classified by most chefs as “medium” and by many streak lovers as overcooked) “Medium rare”, the temperature when most steaks are at their most tender and juicy, is achieved at about 130 degrees at most. (Somewhere between rare and medium-rare and no more).

No matter how you cook it  – be it pan-seared, grilled or “broiled”, the key to a successful London Broil is to create a nice outer “crust” while keeping the interior a bloody medium-rare. Not pretty and pink, but red. Once cooked, let the steak rest for ten minutes, then slice against the grain into thin cuts before serving.

London Broil with Mushroom Sauce
1 London Broil, 1 ½-inches thick
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2-4 Garlic Cloves, pressed
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Black Truffle Oil (Optional)
2 Cups Fresh Mushrooms, sliced (about 6 oz)
1/2 cup Red Onion, chopped
1 Can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/3 Cup Milk
3 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

Season London Broil with salt and pepper. Rub with pressed garlic.Place steak on the unheated rack of a broiler pan and let rest on the counter for 45 minutes to an hour. This will let the salt do its thing to breakdown the proteins and tenderize the meat. A steak broiled at room temperature will allow meat to cook evenly and quickly without becoming too dry.

Heat broiler element. Let the oven get good and hot.

Broil steak 4 inches from heat element until desired charring is reached, turning once midway through, about 18 to 20 minutes at most for medium-rare. DO NOT OVER COOK the steak or it will be tough. Charred on the outside, red on the inside – perfect. Be sure to keep your eye not only on the timer, but the temperature of the meat as well.

While the meat is broiling, melt butter with truffle oil (if using) in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions. Sauté until vegetables are tender and liquid has evaporated, about 5-8 minutes.

Add soup, milk and Worcestershire sauce. Heat through, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

When steak is done, transfer to serving platter, tent loosely and allow to rest 5-10 minutes to retain juices.

Thinly slice meat diagonally across the grain. Spoon mushroom sauce over sliced meat and serve.

Easy Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Way back in November 2014, I posted a recipe for Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy that had you make your own patties, fry ’em on a griddle; while making the gravy in a sauce pan. This created a bowl for clean up, the griddle and the skillet. Three things to wash. While that’s no big deal, especially for me since I don’t do KP duty (that’s for my guys to handle) – if we could make it easier and reduce the “mess” a little, why not?

My guys loved the new and improved Salisbury Steak. I’m not sure which they liked better; the steak or the clean up.

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Salisbury Steak
6 Hamburger Patties (preformed, not frozen)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

In a large skillet, 12″ high-sided skilled over medium-high heat, sear meat well on both sides, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer to a large high rimmed glass casserole dish. If you need to overlap patties a little to get them to all fit, that’s okay.

Image result for knorr beef flavor boostMushroom Gravy
1 Tablespoon Flour
3 Tablespoons Butter, divided
1 Can Condensed French Onion Soup
1 Cup Beef Broth
2 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ Teaspoon Dry Mustard
1 Package Beef Flavor Booster (Knorr makes a nice one)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 Cup Mushrooms

In the now-empty skillet, combine flour and 1 tablespoon butter, saute until well blended to create a roux.

Add French Onion Soup, beef broth, Worcestershire Sauce and dry mustard. Stir to blend, bring to a low boil. Add Flavor Booster. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Remove gravy from heat, blend in remaining 2 tablespoons butter until smooth. Pour over Salisbury Steaks. Top with sliced mushrooms. Cover with foil and place in oven to bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove Salisbury steaks from oven, and serve directly from casserole dish. When serving, generously spoon gravy over the steaks. Don’t forget the mashed potatoes and buttery corn!

New Mexican Filet Mignon with Sizzling Chipotle Sauce

Before I begin, I must put out this important disclaimer – this dish is HOT. As in OMG unbelievably HOT. Continue if you dare, but consider yourself properly warned. This recipe was originally shared in November 2014. It remains one of our favorite “hot” recipes. Well worth a second look.

Many years ago, Hubby and I made a road trip from our home at the time in Southern Nevada to New Mexico. It was a beautiful drive. The landscape is breathtaking. Rugged rock formations stretching up to touch deep blue skies. New Mexico is like taking a step back in time.

One thing that stood out on our road trip was the cuisine of New Mexico. It is not to be confused with Mexican or Tex-Mex. The food of New Mexico is awesome – if you are a huge fan of heat – as in chili hot heat. Sit down at any authentic eatery in New Mexico and you’ll notice that sopapilla are brought to the table with your meal, along with a big bottle of honey. And for good reason – you need the honey to cool off your mouth between bites of incredibly spicy food. As huge fans of both spicy foods and sopapillas, we fell madly in love with New Mexican Cuisine.

For those of you brave enough to give this a try, let me further put out a warning – your kitchen is going to become a disaster area – this dish creates a major mess. If you are like me, you’ll want to serve these awesome steaks alongside some delicious from-scratch Black Beans and if possible a big helping of Sopapillas, all of which will amplify the mess. (You could skip some of the mess by frying up some canned black beans and serving a chaser of Mango Sorbet). Mess aside, the end result is so worth the effort. This recipe will feed 8, with plenty of sauce left over for other uses (maybe smothered chicken or to use in a crock pot recipe with chunks of pork). If cooking for less, don’t scrimp on the sauce – just plan on more leftover for other uses. You could even freeze the sauce for later use.

New Mexican Filet Mignon with Sizzling Chipotle Sauce
Ingredients – Chipotle Sauce
¼ Cup vegetable oil
2 Small cans Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce
1 Tablespoon Chile Ancho
1 White onions, quarter
4 Garlic cloves, peeled
Salt to taste
3 Small Cans Tomatillos
½ cup Chopped Cilantro
1/2 Cup Beef Stock

P1020256Heat vegetable oil in frying pan. Add onions seasoned with Chile Ancho. Fry briefly, until onions become somewhat tender. While onions are frying, place canned Tomatillos in boiling water and boil briefly, about 2-3 minutes. Remove Tomatillos from water using a slotted spoon. Add to pan with onions. Continue to cook until everything is tender, about 10-15 minutes.

P1020257Remove from heat, pour mixture into a blender. Add cilantro and blend. (This can be done several hours ahead. Cover and keep at room temperature until ready to use).

Transfer sauce to a saucepan, add beef stock and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes. If sauce becomes too thick, add a little more beef stock. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep warm and prepare steaks.

Ingredients – Filet Mignon
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Olive oil
8 beef filets (Filet Mignon) 5-6 oz each
Salt to taste
8 corn tortillas, 4-inch diameter; fried in oil
8 slices Monterey Jack cheese, 3 oz each

Remove steaks from refrigerator. Season with salt and set aside on the counter to rest.

P1020259Heat a heavy, dry frying pan for over low heat for 25 minutes. (Cast Iron skillet works nicely). Once skillet is hot, add a little butter and oil. Allow oil and butter to heat about 2-3 minutes. Without over crowding the pan, place steaks in the skillet to sear well. (If necessary, sear steaks in two batches). Cook filets for 3-4 minutes per side, turning once. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Repeat with remaining filets. Remove second batch of filets and keep warm.

P1020260To now empty skillet add about 1/2 of the sauce. Return filets to skillet and coat with sauce. Heat for about 5-8 minutes.

Place tortillas on a baking sheet. Place a steak on each tortilla. Top with cheese and pop under the broiler until cheese melts.

To serve: Generously ladle sauce from the pan onto plates. Top with tortilla and steak. If desired, ladle additional sauce over steak. Garnish with cilantro or parsley, if desired, and serve.

P1020261

If desires, steak can be served “naked” – skip the cheese, ladle on the sauce as serve. Caution – this style of serving will be even hotter as the creamy Jack Cheese helps take some of the edge off.

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Crock Pot Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots

The best thing about all these Crock Pot Suppers is that Kiddo has been the “cook”. All I need to is the planning and shopping, the rest is up to him. Which also explains the lack of step-by-step photos. He takes a few pictures for the blog, but not the details that I like to take. Oh well, if I have a choice between getting up early for pictures or letting Kiddo do it all – I’m getting a few extra winks.

We are taking a few days to get back to the basics of Mother’s Home Cooking. What could be more home-spun than a pot roast surrounded by chunks of potatoes and colorful carrots?

I used a nice waxy potato rather than a russet. Waxy potatoes hold their form better without turning completely to mush. Great for salads and long cooks.

Confession Time – Generally speaking, in the produce drawer of the refrigerator you will find whole carrots when recipes call for carrots. I like slicing, dicing or shredding as needed. This week, I was leaving Kiddo in charge of all the meal preparations.  While he knows how to slice, dice and shred, he is amazingly slow. So, I did something I’ve never done before – bought bags of already sliced and shredded carrots. The problem was, I didn’t tell him. Me bad. When it came time to cook, he looked in the produce drawer and did not see whole carrots. What he did see was an open bag of shredded carrots (remember the Quail with Vegetable Rice) – and did not see that further down was a bag of sliced carrots. He sprinkled shredded carrots into the pot. Oh my!

When I returned home and checked on dinner, I saw his mistake. No worried – I took the sliced carrots from the crisper, zapped them with butter, salt and a little garlic to serve alongside the pot roast. I wasn’t sure how the potatoes and roast would turn out with shredded carrots mixed in, but then there is a first time for everything. Oh my, the chunks of potatoes drenched in cooking juices from the roast and laced with shredded carrots were delicious!  As for the roast topped with shredded carrots – equally delicious. Just saying – sometimes a mistake is a good thing . . .

Crock Pot Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots
1 Small to medium size rump or chuck roast, about 3 lbs
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 yellow onion, sliced in slivers
1 stalk celery, sliced
2 or 3 medium to large size potatoes, cut into chunks
1 small bag sliced carrots
1 Can Beef Broth
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 envelope brown gravy mix
1 individual size serving apple sauce

Season roast with salt and pepper, sear well in a skillet with small amount of oil on all sides. While roast is searing, place onions and celery in the bottom of the crock pot.

Place roast in pot over celery mixture. Tuck potatoes around roast, then top with carrots.

Measure beef broth in a four-cup measuring cup. Add enough water to create 2 cups of liquid. Mix broth with onion soup mix, brown gravy mix and applesauce. Whisk to blend, then pour over roast and vegetables.

Set crock pot on low and let it cook for at least 8-10 hours. Longer is fine.

Cowboy Steak with Coffee-Chili Rub

Way back in the day, Hubby and I met an interesting family while traveling through Wyoming. Grandma and Grandpa came from the east, driving a mule team. When they reached Fort Casper, Wyoming, it was time to settle in. The family put down roots, laying claim to an entire mountain just outside Casper. A generation later, the family still made their livelihood along the Oregon Trail. During the summer, they provide tourists to the area with wagon ridges and horseback ridges. During the winter; the family sustains itself harvesting trees from their mountain, with the aid of horse-drawn wagons. The daughters, now third generation, continue to provide this same service.

Image result for casper wyoming wagon trailThe first time Hubby and I met the family it was for a two-hour wagon ride along the Oregon Trail. Their eldest daughter was our wagon-master. Her knowledge of the Trail and the wild life we encountered was impressive. Their wagons, while reproductions, are about as close to the real-deal as possible. The family used plans from the Smithsonian Institute; and found a man in South Dakota who built the wagons to spec using only hand-tools. Have you ever noticed in all those photographs of wagon trains that most of the people were on foot? After spending two-hours riding in a wagon, I can tell you first-hand that it is easier to walk than it is to ride.

A year or so later; we met up with them again – this time to do a little horseback riding along the trail. The morning of our scheduled ridge, we got a call telling us to meet them on the mountain rather than down at Fort Casper. A bear had come through their property, scattering the horses. The family was busy rounding up the herd, but felt confident that everything would be ready for our ride by the time we arrived. Besides, riding the mountain would be a better ride than the ruts of the trail.

The girls welcomed us to their mountain home with a breakfast of skillet biscuits, scrambled eggs and coffee so strong, you sat up in the saddle! Put Cowboy and Coffee in the same sentence and my mind immediately flashes back to that morning on the mountain.

Cowboy Steak with Coffee-Chili Rub
1 1/2 teaspoons Ancho chili powder, or other chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fine ground espresso coffee
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 pound shoulder center steak (Ranch Steak), or top sirloin, about 1 1/4-inch thick

In a small bowl, combine Ancho chili powder, coffee grounds, brown sugar, mustard, coriander, salt and pepper. Rub steak well with Coffee-Chili Rub. Let rest on counter about 30-45 minutes, long enough for steak to reach room temperature and soak in all those wonderful flavors of the rub.

Rub a  large skillet (a nicely seasoned cast iron) with olive oil until it has a nice shine. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat until almost to the smoking point.

Cook steak for 14 minutes, turning once, for medium to medium-rare.

Allow steak to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

Great with Fried Potatoes and Ranch-Style Beans.

Spice Rubbed Tri-Tip Pot Roast

We are enjoying a nice break from the triple-digit heat. Hubby wanted to take off and do something outdoors. The problem with that is Sundays are a big cooking day. You know, make something that takes hours, such as a nice roast beef or chicken. Something wonderful that can’t be usually can’t be prepared during the week. Generally speaking, crock pot meals can be left on the counter to simmer up something wonderful at the end of a long day at the office. However; it also must be something that can come together quickly in the morning – ten or fifteen minutes tops. Weekday mornings are hectic enough – coffee to brew, lunches to pack and all the other “get ready to face the day” routines. From the time the alarm shatters the tranquility of a dreamy morning to hitting the door running, it’s just about forty-five minutes. Lately, my butt has really been dragging, and I can’t seem to add start dinner in the crock pot into my morning routine unless it involves very little effort.

Soaking wood chips, making a parchment-paper pouch, rubbing meat with a spice-rub (not to mention mixing up the rub) – what can I say – that would require more effort than I was willing to do. However; have a cup of coffee unhurried, then get the pot going, yeah, that would be okay. While the tri-tip was “smoking” in the crock pot, there would be time enough to enjoy our Sunday. If I timed my morning just right, the crock pot would be going and breakfast would be hitting the table by the time my guys were ready to brave the day. All would be right with the world.

UPDATE: The original recipe was called Spice Rubbed Crock Pot Smoked Tri-Tip. However; that is NOT what the end result produced. For one thing, the pepper was way too heavy, and the juices in the pot way too strong of red wine with very little hint of smoke. I’ve reduced the pepper; added beef broth and liquid smoke to the final phase of cooking. Now what I have is a flavorful Pot Roast. Hence, the name change. Had I known, I would have planned mashed potatoes and green beans or some other vegetable. Winging it, I made potato cakes. My guys (being meat and potatoes kind of guys) were pleased. I’ll make this again, with a different approach.

Spice Rubbed Tri-Tip Pot Roast
Smoked Tri-Tip
3-4 lbs Tri-Tip
1-2 cups mesquite wood chips (depends on size of crock-pot), soaked
1 Large Sheet Parchment Paper
1/2 cup of Red Wine
1/2 Cup Beef Stock
1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke

Soak wood chips in water for at least 30 to 45 minutes. While chips are soaking, mix dry rub.

Once wood chips have soaked, drain from water. Depending upon size of crock pot, cut a large piece of parchment paper. Place wood chips on parchment paper. Fold paper over chips to create a package. Place directly on bottom of crock pot, seam/fold down to hold in place.

With small scissors or paring knife, cut small holes here and there in the top of the paper to allow “smoky” steam to escape.

Unwrap tri-tip and place directly on top of paper.

Add wine to the pot, cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.

Remove tri-tip from crock pot,  set aside. Remove parchment packet from pot and discard. Add beef stock and liquid smoke. Return tri-tip to crock pot. Increase to HIGH and continue to cook another 30 to 45 minutes.

Remove meat from pot, slice. Spoon juices from pot over meat and serve.

Rub Mix
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Chile Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Chipotle Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Powder
2 Teaspoons Mustard Powder
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder

In a small bowl, mix together seasonings for rub mix.

Rub all sides of the tri-tip with dry rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit on the counter to soak in the seasonings.

Crock Pot Chuck Roast with Creamy Pot-Dripping Gravy

As pot roasts go, I really like a boneless chuck roast. It holds together well while slow-cooked in a crock pot and has a nice, beefy-flavor. That is not to say a chuck roast won’t cook up fork-tender – it will. Unless you take a fork and shred the roast, it will stay together. This is important – especially when transferring the roast from the crock pot to a serving platter. I would much rather serve nice big pieces of roast beef that you can really sink your teeth into than shredded meat more fit for a sandwich.

This recipe is awesome. The chuck retains its great savory beef flavor while the pot juices have an independent flavor all their own – influenced by the beefy roast and complimented by the blend of dried mixes.

When Hubby peered into the pot, his eyes sparkled. Pot roast is one of his favorite. Wouldn’t expect anything less from a mid-western meat and potatoes kind of guy. My mother-in-law was a decent; old-fashioned cook. Nothing too fancy or complicated. While we did not visit her often, when we did she always made a great pot roast. This roast reminded me of hers – very old school, traditional and straight forward.

Comfort food. No doubt about it. Pure comfort food.

Crock Pot Chuck Roast
1 Chuck Roast, 3 lbs
⅓ cup water
1 tablespoon Brown Gravy Dry Mix
1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Dry Mix
1 tablespoon Italian Dressing Dry Mix

Mix Brown Gravy Dry Mix, Hidden Valley Dry Mix and Italian Dressing Dry Mix together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Place chuck roast into crock pot. Add ⅓ cup water to prime pot with liquid.

Sprinkle Dry Mixture over the top of roast.

Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours or until tender.

Remove from pot, place on a serving platter. Cover to keep warm.

Make gravy and serve.

Creamy Pot Dripping Gravy
1 Cup Drippings from Pot
1 Cup Milk
4 Tablespoons Wondra Flour
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine juices from crock pot with milk.

Whisk Wondra Flour into sauce pot 1 tablespoon at a time, making sure each tablespoon is fully incorporated before added next tablespoon. Continue to whisk until smooth. Let simmer until desired consistency is reached, whisking periodically as needed.

Taste and adjust seasoning with a little salt and pepper as needed.

 

Slow Cooker Cubed Steak with Golden Mushroom Sauce

I have no idea why I have been excited to try this new recipe I picked up while visiting Joyously Domestic. The recipe was originally posted to her blog back in 2013; which shows you how behind I am at working my way through my vast collection of recipes. Once my collection reached over 4,000 recipes; I quit counting. (But not collecting). Anyhow; when it came time to sit down and put together the meal planner for the week, I came across this recipe and suddenly I was excited. It’s simply, cooks in a crock pot, and yet there was something magical about it. Maybe it’s the use of Golden Mushroom Soup. The very idea of cubed steak smothered in not one but two Campbell Mushrooms soups is so . . . dare I say it . . . retro.  And therein lay that magical comfort in a world that at times seems spinning out of control. An old friend was returning – Campbell soup – and the thought got my heart to pitter-patter.

Growing up, nearly everything we ate was truly from scratch or home-grown.  However; when I ventured out on my own for the first time, a great deal of what I cooked came from a recipe found on the side of a can of Campbell’s soup. Working nights, attending school during the day, with two small children in the house, I needed all the short-cuts I could find.  This recipe reminded me of my younger days gone by, and that warmed my heart.

This dish is definitely a throwback to comfort foods of the past. It is saucy, beefy and simple. Very reminiscent of Shepherd’s Pie when served over a bed of mashed potatoes. Yeah, Shepherd’s Pie up-side-down would best describe the taste and texture. My guys really enjoyed the flavors, and that’s always a plus in my book.

Slow Cooker Cubed Steak with Golden Mushroom Sauce
2 pounds (approx.) cubed steak
Kosher salt
Black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup flour
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can golden mushroom soup
3 cups whole milk
4 oz button mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 Cups Hot Mashed Potatoes

Season both sides of each piece of meat with salt and pepper.  Pour the flour into a gallon-size plastic bag.  Season flour liberally with salt and pepper.  Seal and shake to incorporate.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet set to medium-high heat.  Lay bag containing seasoned flour flat on the counter, open end toward you. Working in batches (about half the steaks) place 1 cube steak at a time into the bag and dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Place into skillet to brown. Repeat until skillet is full without being over-crowded (about 4 steaks). Brown for about 3 minutes, turn and brown other side for about 3 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add the other 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet.  Allow to melt, then repeat the browning process with the remaining steak.

Once all steaks are browned, return the now empty skillet to stove top and add in both cans of soup.  Stir with a wooden spoon to combine, then add in milk.  Stir to incorporate and bring to a gentle simmer.  Be sure to scrape up any brown bits remaining in the bottom of the pan from browning steaks with your spoon.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the sliced mushrooms.

Lay half of the steak in the bottom of the slow cooker in a single layer. Pour about half of the soup mixture over the steak. Lay remaining steak over the top of the first layer and pour remaining mixture over them.

Cover and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours.  Serve over mashed potatoes.

Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Three-Bean Supreme

This recipe has been on and off my weekly planner for a while now. Not really sure why I kept pushing it from the “planned” stage back to the “try soon” stage. It’s not as though it’s all that complicated. Maybe it was the whole “cook on low for 4-hours” thing. I love slow-cooking, crock pot suppers after a long day. However; my weekday hours spent away from home are a heck of a lot longer than four hours – that’s a weekend cooking time-frame. Yet when I cook on the weekends; I like to do things in stages, or create something spectacular. After all, weekends are my only time to “shine” in the kitchen. I could not bring myself to using that precious time on such a simple dish. Don’t get me wrong, like just about everyone else, I’m a huge fan of simple dishes.

There have been some changes in our family dynamics of late – Kiddo is no longer part of the working force. Through no fault of his own and an entanglement of corporate rules and regulations, he got the short end of the stick recently. Details are not necessary, and we’d like to think of this as a good thing – time for him to reevaluate where he wants to go with his life. What does that have to do with this slow cooker supper? I’ve decided to take advantage of his spare-time and put him to work in the kitchen. This is going to be his posting. Oh sure, I’m writing it – but Kiddo is responsible for the prep; execution and the photos for today’s offerings.

When Hubby and I walked through the door, the house smelled wonderful. It was a blend of smoky-spicy-sweet tomato scents that danced across the kitchen to greet us. Now, I will confess, I was just a tad worried. It’s been a while since Kiddo prepared a meal completely on his own. Not since high school has he been completely in charge. When we went off to work this morning, I had left the canned goods on the kitchen table alongside the recipe, camera and a note that read “Please have dinner in the crock pot by 2 – should be home by 6“. That was it. He was on his own.

Wow – everything seemed perfect (except the pile of dishes in the sink). I tossed the mail on the table and immediate checked the cooker. A beautiful, bubbling cross between soup and chili peered back at me. Grabbing the camera, I snapped a picture before dishing up the first bowl. Oh my, delicious. Just one more little change to the recipe and we would achieve perfection. All that was missing was a little grated sharp cheddar cheese. The final touch. Yeah, we had an awesome dinner and a few lunches for later in the week. I’m a happy camper. Hope you enjoy this wonderful supper as much as we did.

Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Three-Bean Supreme
1 (16 ounce) Whole Pinto Beans, drained
1 (15.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15.5 ounce) can Italian White, drained
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 pounds ground beef
1 small can green chilies
1 (10 ounce) can diced Fire-Roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can tomato soup, undiluted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (4 ounce) can Button Mushrooms, drained
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Open and drain cans of pinto beans, kidney beans, Italian White beans. Set aside.

Chop onion and garlic, set aside.

Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. When pan is warm, brown ground beef with onions and garlic, breaking meat into small pieces and incorporating the onion and garlic into the meat. Drain meat well. Place in slow cooker.

Add beans, green chilies, fire-roasted tomatoes, soup and spices. Stir to blend. Add Worcestershire Sauce.

Open and drain mushrooms. Add to slow cooker. Stir in liquid smoke. Cover and let cook on LOW for 4 hours.

Ladle finished Supreme into soup bowls. Garnish with Cheddar Cheese, if desired.

Shepherd’s Pie Style Meatloaf Muffins

Hubby is a big fan of Shepherd’s Pie. I think that might be a combination of his love for meat and potatoes with his love for foods cooked in a gravy. While the muffin style meatloaf lacks the traditional gravy-like moisture of a traditional Shepherd’s Pie, both are topped with a beautiful Mashed Potato “crust”.

Kiddo likes green beans just fine, just not necessarily cooked in with his meat, which might explain why he isn’t a fan of Shepherd’s Pie. By serving the green bean on the side, both my fellows are happy. As for me, I like the look of the muffin and the flavor of the baked mashed potato topping. If you happen to have some leftover mashed potatoes or want to take the time to whip up your favorite mashed potato recipe, by all means please do. If you are looking for an easy short cut, use instant mashed potatoes. My favorite for this recipe is Betty Crocker Butter & Herb.

Shepherd’s Pie Style Meatloaf Muffins
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb Ground Sausage (breakfast sausage)
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Carrots
3 Slices Bread, torn into small pieces
1 envelope Dry Onion Soup Mix (Lipton)
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1/2 Cup Water
1 Egg
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Cups Mashed Potatoes (Boxed, instant or the real-deal)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. LIGHTLY spray 12 muffin cups with non-stick spray.

Using a food chopper or small food processor, finely chop carrots to the point of minced. The carrots will add flavor to the loaf while retaining that smooth finish to the muffin.

In a large bowl, mix together everything EXCEPT mashed potatoes.

Divide meat mixture among 12 muffin cups. Push down the center of each “muffin” to create a well (this will help the meat cook through). Smooth tops with the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Make mashed potatoes according to directions. Place mashed potatoes on top of each meatloaf muffin, filling the well and rounding out the top (about 2 tablespoons per muffin).

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let rest muffin tins for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of each muffin to loosen. Transfer muffins directly to individual plates and serve with desired vegetable on the side.

My family likes their muffins with a side of green beans or buttery corn.