I am not much of a beef eater. That includes the meat and the gin. I have simply never had much of a taste for it, so after being traumatized by Fast Food Nation a few years ago, red meat wasn't hard to give up.
The boys love a good steak or tacos made with ground beef instead of our usual shredded chicken. So occasionally I make an exception. This recipe would be one of those instances.
Last week I took the plunge and bought a new Crock Pot (Target has them for $10 off). It is shiny, has multiple settings, and a digital timer. I love it dearly. I won my last one at my high school's grad night and it had seen better days (that may have been a while ago). The knob was missing, it's capacity was a little small, and the two temperature settings were often a problem when we couldn't be home for 10 hours. Still, it was hard letting it go. This post is for you, my friend.
Meal planning doesn't come naturally to me. But boy do I love simplified evenings. I bought a slow cooker cookbook a couple weeks ago (and scooped up another for a quarter at Sally Arms last week), and hope that using my Crock Pot will make it even easier to keep up this most helpful habit. With our evenings as hectic as they are this semester, coming home to a ready-made meal is pretty awesome.
My first go at the new slow cooker was these super easy french dip sandwiches. I got up early Saturday morning, did about 15 minutes of prep, and let it do it's thing. It was really good! Thumbs up all around. Now if only I could find a chicken version...
Simple French Dip Sandwiches
- 3 - 3 1/2 pound boneless beef bottom round roast
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 large sweet onions, cut into thin wedges
- 2-14 ounce cans seasoned beef broth with onion (I used 3-10oz cans of Cambell's French Onion soup)
- 0.6 ounce envelope au jus gravy mix
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6-8 hoagie buns, split and toasted if desired
1.Trim fat from meat. In a large skillet, brown roast on all sides in hot oil; drain off fat.
2. Place onions in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place meat on top of onions. In a bowl, whisk together broth, gravy mix, and pepper. Pour over meat in cooker.
3. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 11 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 5 1/2 hours. Transfer meat to a cutting board. Slice meat across the grain and return to cooker to keep warm. With a slotted spoon, remove meat and onions and serve on hoagie buns. Serve with bowls of cooking juices for dipping.
I have also seen some ideas on Pinterest for prepping even further ahead. You prep, bag, and freeze until the day of then simply toss all the ingredients straight into the Crock Pot. Anyone try this? Several hours spent assembling meals on a Sunday would be worth it if this works.