Slow Cooker Beef Tips

It’s that time again for the Secret Recipe Club.  This month I was introduced to Shari from My Judy the Foodie.  Her blog is basically a chronicle of how she is finding her way through the kitchen and through a collection of her mother’s recipes.  Her mother, Judy, was a fabulous cook and I’ve really enjoyed reading through her blog this past month.  That’s the part I love about the Secret Recipe Club, I am introduced to many blogs that I may have never come across.

I’m always a fan of comfort food and that’s exactly what this meal is. First of all, I hate running around trying to get dinner and have everything ready at the same time. You still have to prepare and make this meal, but it all goes in one pot and then you can go about your business for the rest of the day. As soon as dinner time rolls around, all you have to do is set the table and enjoy the meal… totally comforting in my book! Second, the slow roasting of the meat makes this dish incredibly tender and it’s layered over noodles – one of my favorite carbs.

I made a few small changes to the recipe.  First of all, I browned the meat and sauted the vegetables in a cast iron skillet before adding them to the crock pot.  I wanted to develop a nice rich flavor, but you can certainly skip this part.  I also didn’t have any green onions on hand, so I substited a sweet onion.  I like a lot of pepper, so I bumped that up a notch and left out the tomato paste.  Instead of adding the wine in the last hour of cooking, I used it in the beginning to deglaze the pan and I wanted it to be able to cook with the meat for a long time. 

Slow Cooker Beef Tips
4-pounds sirloin tips
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
8-ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cups beef broth, plus 1/4 cup broth, seperated
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons of flour
1-pound yolk-free egg noodles

Instructions:

  1. Salt and pepper the beef cubes and then toss them in the flour to coat thoroughly. 
  2. Using an iron skillet that’s on high heat and coated with olive oil, brown the meat for a couple minutes on two sides until nicely browned.  Set in crockpot.
  3. Using the same iron skillet, add the onions and mushrooms and saute for a few minutes until they are soft.  Add the wine, and work up the brown bits in the bottom of the skillet.  Add everything to the crock pot. 
  4. Next, pour 1 1/2 cups broth over the beef and vegetables, and add the worcestershire sauce.
  5. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours.
  6. One hour before serving, turn to the high setting. Whisk together 1/4 cup beef broth and 4 tablespoons flour to make a smooth paste; stir into crock-pot, mixing well.
  7. Cook noodles according to package directions.  Pour beef mixture over top noodles and serve immediately.

Recipe is adapted from My Judy the Foodie.  

Secret Recipe Club

 
Be sure to check out more of the recipes below! 


Baked Blueberry French Toast

I’m normally not a breakfast person.  It’s not that I don’t like breakfast foods, because I actually love them and could eat them any time of the day, it’s that I’m just not a morning person.  On the weekends, I’m perfectly content with a bowl of cereal, which I eat while sitting in front of the TV usually watching a Food Network show.  I like to have time to “wake up” before I do much of anything, including getting into the kitchen.  When I do want to have a special breakfast, or need to make something for company, this lazy man’s breakfast is just for me.  It comes together in less than 10 minutes the night before.  All you have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning and then make the syrup.  It takes no time at all.

I fell in love with these french toast cups at first bite!  They resemble a stuffed french toast, because right in the middle is a layer of blueberries and gooey cream cheese.  Deliciousness!  I was smiling with every bite.

Not only is this recipe quick and easy, I also love that it is easily adjustable.  You can change the quantity depending on the number of people, or even individualize it according to people’s taste.  Just figure 1 piece of bread, 1 egg, 1/4 cup cream, and 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar per person for the basic custard.  You could easily substitute the berries for whatever fruit you have on hand, or leave it out altogether for someone who might not care for it.  And if you don’t have individual ramekins you could bake it in a casserole dish.

Baked Blueberry French Toast {print recipe}
French Toast
4 pieces thick Italian or Sourdough bread
1 cup light whipping cream
4 eggs
Juice of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
powdered sugar, for garnish

Syrup
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Grease 4 9-ounce ramekins lightly with butter.  Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes {about 16 pieces per slice}.  Set aside.  In a bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla bean seeds, vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Take the bread piece and dip into the liquid mixture, thoroughly coating all sides.  Let the bread sit for about a minute to soak up some of the liquid {some of the liquid will be leftover}.

Figuring about 1 piece of bread {cubed} per ramekin, divide 1/2 of the bread among the 4 ramekins {about 8 cubes each}.  Next, layer 1/4 cup blueberries, per ramekin, over the cubed bread.  Cut the cream cheese into small cubes and layer 1-ounce of the cheese over the blueberries in each ramekin.  Top each with remaining pieces of bread.  Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.  At this point, depending on the consistency you desire for your french toast, you could pour some of the remaining liquid into each ramekin.

Before baking, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.  Then bake, uncovered, for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread is toasted.

While the mixture bakes, prepare the syrup by mixing the cornstarch and water on medium high heat until smooth.  Add the blueberries, lemon juice, zest, and maple syrup and cook until the sauce thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

When the french toast has finished baking, top with the blueberry syrup and dust with powdered sugar!

Recipe is adapted from Taste of Home via The Realistic Nutritionist.

Meyer Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

To say that winter has been a little depressing this year is an understatement.  I’m happy to see it go and spring forward to some brighter and warmer weather.  I’m usually the one defending winter and trying to sway others, who complain about the cold, into seeing how great it really is.  First of all, snow is a beautiful part of nature and I’m glad that I live in a northern state where I get to enjoy and be surrounded by it’s beauty.  Secondly, I personally think, and argue, that winter sports are the better than any other season.  Snowmobiling is a serious hobby of mine, and I like to think that I can ski, even though I have learned that this is not the case.  And lastly, I’m a teacher… so snow days are just a bonus!  However, winter has failed me in all of these areas this year – there has hardly been any snow, I have not been snowmobiling once, and snow days were scarce.  Plus there have been other things going on that just hasn’t made it good all around.

On the other hand, I have recently been enjoying the citrus fruits that winter has to offer and these meyer lemon bars are a direct result.  The citrus flavors and bright colors have me aching for spring.  I never used to be a fan of lemon, but have come around as of lately.  I’m glad that I did!  In the past I would have turned my nose to these lemon bars, even though they have cheesecake, which is my favorite, written all over them {the recipe calls for 4 packages!}.

These are a little tangy, which is perfectly balanced out with the sweetness and richness of the cream cheese.  They have a soft shortbread-like crust with coconut flakes, topped with a thin layer of raspberry jam on top.  These were right up my alley!  And of course, if it’s a different time of the year, or you don’t have meyer lemons, regular lemons will work as well.  These little guys are just hard to pass up when they are available!

Meyer Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars {print recipe}

Crust
3/4 cup butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt

Raspberry Layer
1 1/2 cups raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Filling
4 {8-ounce} packages low-fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
4 eggs
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest, freshly grated
powdered sugar, for garnish

For the crust, cream together the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.  Combine the flour, coconut and salt.  Gradually add to creamed mixture.  Lightly press dough into a greased 9 by 13-inch baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.

Begin to prepare the raspberry layer while the crust is baking.  Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.  Combine mixture with raspberries in a small saucepan over low heat.  Add the lemon juice and water; bring to a low boil.  Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until mixture reduces and thickens.  Remove from the heat and cool {mixture will continue to thicken as it cools}.  Blend mixture once it is cooled to the touch.  Spread over cooled crust.

For the filling, beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour until fluffy.  Add the eggs, freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest until just blended.  Carefully spoon over the raspberry filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until center is almost set.  Cool on a wire rack.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Recipe is original to easy.everyday.eats.

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