In a challenging economic atmosphere many want to eat ethically and healthy but email us that they just can’t afford it. Others, write to tell us how hard it is to change from the convenient “pick up on the way home” food to real cooking using real food because they just don’t have the time.
You can have the best of all worlds . . . healthy more ethical food, convenience and economy
You can feel good about eating comfort food that is good for you plus share food with those you love without breaking your bank. At the same time, you can make the same food very easy and convenient. It just takes a little advanced planning.
We have a large family but not all of us remain home for all meals. For example, 4 of my family ate one roast for most of a week, or at least 4 meals worth! However, what I will share with you works for even couples or single households.
Start with one awesome and lower cost cut of grass fed beef. In this case it was a 3 lb arm roast. The retail price of a grass fed roast runs about $6.99/lb (varies by retailer and area). So the 3 lb roast costs $20.97. You will be amazed at how far this stretches.
Season the roast simply with salt and pepper. You will be adding lots of flavor and the grass fed beef tastes wonderful.
Preheat a large cast iron skillet until very hot. Add a touch (very small amount) of olive oil and when it begins to smoke place the beef in the bottom. Sear the beef on each side to caramelize or brown each side.
Sear to seal in juices. Put the roast into a crock pot. Place roast in crock pot to slow cook.
Now decide on what aromatics you want to add. I typically add carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Actually I see what I have on hand and coarsely chop then dump it in the pot. I love to add mushrooms and bell pepper but today I did not have any.
Toss the veggies into the crock pot and add a generous amount of prepared beef broth. Reserve the excess to use later.
Set the timer for the crock pot to cook on low for 8-10 hrs. If I am going to be out for the day I prepare this in the morning before I leave or the night before and put in the refrig so all I have to do in the morning is turn on the crock pot.
When you come in at night you have the welcome-home savory smell that brings a smile to your face and that of your family. Your roast is ready to sit down and enjoy. I add mashed potatoes, rice or noodles and another veggie to complete the dinner.
Home cooked, real food that is easy, healthy, ethical and on a budget!
The next day or so you think of how to use the left overs of the 3 lb roast. Figuring our first meal used portions of 4-6 oz per person we have considerable beef left over.
Logan’s, my youngest son, favorite is the sandwich we make using the roast beef. I honestly think he likes this better than the first meal of pot roast. Slice the beef thin and place on a bun or toasted bread. Just add your favorite slices of cheese, maybe caramelized onions or experiment with any veggies on hand. Then heat, toast or put in a sandwich press. Add some of the beef broth if you like French Dip.
I go ahead and take the small amount of beef remaining and cut it up into chunks for making vegetable beef soup.
This is great to use on another busy day / slow-cook all day / have ready when you come home meal. In the crock pot I add a can of diced tomatoes, the rest of the beef broth I didn’t use when I cooked the roast, some tomato paste, a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Remember, I said sometimes we opt for convenience. With the same idea, I add half a bag of frozen southern style hash brown potatoes. Less than 10 min prep and set the crock pot to be ready when you get home.
A wonderful home-made soup is ready when you come home.
The soup usually makes enough to serve for two meals.
So how did we come out? Our grass fed roast cost $20.97. The shopping list for the rest of the meal items was a mere $12.37. So our total spent was $33.34. Figuring a minimum of 12 meals that is $2.78 per meal!
Feel good about making the right choices. Start with grass fed beef you can feel good about eating and feeding, be creative about using left overs.
These ideas are offered to help you be creative and not as a specific carved-in-stone recipe. Yet, if any of you would like, I will gladly send the full ingredient list and recipes. Just let us hear from you.
Now, because I am convinced that you can cook using real food and find it easy to do I want to give away one of our grass fed beef roasts for you to try.
To enter this giveaway, just answer the following questions in the Comments section of this post or on facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rain-Crow-Ranch-American-GrassFed-Beef/269603993083851.
“What is your favorite comfort food?” Let us hear what brings out your smiles and memories of good food and good times. What food wraps you up in the warmth of good feelings?
Of course, would love to hear you say Rain Crow Ranch beef, pork and chicken but you’re still entered if comfort to you is a super-sized order of McDonald’s French fries!
One entry per person
Winner will be drawn Monday morning April 30.
We will announce the winner on facebook and ship directly to your door.