When I’m able to be really organized, I plan a week’s worth of meals on Sunday, shopping for ingredients, defrosting in stages, etc. It’s a beautiful thing and I’m very proud of having my act so together. That scenario doesn’t happen very often.
At best, I scan the fridge, freezer and kitchen cabinets in the morning and come up with a plan for that night. Even then, I still feel pretty good about myself for knowing what I’m going to make that night.
Now, the reality is more like this: no Sunday planning, no time for a quick plan in the morning and suddenly it’s 4:00 and the kids walk in the door asking what’s for dinner. “Um, I haven’t decided yet” is my usual response. I hate that. It takes an already busy, stressful day and tops it off with even more stress. I scramble to come up with something (often the scrambling of eggs ends up being involved, ironically) but it’s haphazard and a tense situation.
What I need to do is come up with a list of Go-To meals (as opposed to To-Go meals!) that I can keep the ingredients on hand for and assemble quickly when need be. In the next few blogs, I’m going to share with you what I’m coming up with in hopes that some of the recipes might help you too. I know I’m not the only one with this problem. I invite you, dear readers, to share your recipes with me as well. I’d love to share them in this blog space so we can help each other out.
Here’s my first recipe, a beef ragu sauce that can be made in the crockpot (which, yes, requires planning from the morning but then it
comes together quickly at dinnertime) or it can be made using a pressure cooker in about 20 minutes. Please share your recipes in the Leave A Reply area below. Thanks!
Edan’s Go-To Beef Ragu Sauce
Note: This can be served over pasta, polenta or mashed potatoes
1 large carrot, diced finely
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste
2 14.5-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 tsp. each thyme, oregano and basil
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
2 pounds beef stew meat cut into bite-size pieces
Pasta, polenta or mashed potatoes for the sauce
Grated parmesan for serving
In a crockpot:
Combine all ingredients except pasta/polenta/potatoes and parmesan in a slow cooker. Cover and put on low for 6 hours or on high for 4. Check the liquid levels periodically to make sure it isn’t reducing too much. If it is, add ¼ cup water at a time. But no more than that you don’t want to make the sauce too runny.
The sauce is done when the meat and carrots are fork tender. Ladle over whatever base you choose and sprinkle with parmesan.
In a pressure cooker:
Brown the meat and onion, adding the minced garlic after the meat has started to brown. Add enough water to just cover the meat mixture. Put the lid on and cook over medium high heat until the pressure has clearly started to build up (how and when this happens depends on your pressure cooker). Lower the heat to medium and simmer, with lid on, for 15 minutes. Follow the directions for how to release the steam and open the lid. Drain off most of the liquid.
Put the pressure cooker back on the stove and add the tomato sauce, paste and seasonings. On medium heat, simmer until the sauce is heated through. Meanwhile, prepare your base and prepare as above.
Share your Go-To recipe under the Leave A Reply section below.
Come, E.A.T. with us!