January 10, 2009

What's for Dinner?

This recipe is from Don't Panic- Dinner's in the Freezer: Great Tasting Meal You Can Make Ahead. The premise of the cookbook is that it doesn't take much longer to make two, three, or more dinners than one. Thus for each recipe the authors give not only the ingredient list for one meal but multiples. They also give instructions for "cooking day" and then "serving day." Lots of tips on how to freeze are also included. I prefer this style of cooking because if you use this cookbook once or twice a week, and make enough for three meals each time, in just a few weeks a mom will have a nice stockpile of frozen meals waiting for those days when time just does not permit cooking. The authors also point out that if a dinner serves six and you have a family of three, just by doubling the recipe you will get four dinners.
This meal is one of Hannah's favorites. I will give the recipe for one meal and then my variations at the end. It is also really quick and easy. We had it this week when our new carpet was being installed and we were going to be gone all day.

Woodland Park Italian Beef
serves 8-10
2-3 pound roast (rump, chuck, or pot)
1-2 large onions, sliced
1-2 green peppers, diced or sliced
1-2 16 oz. jars Pepperoncini peppers, sliced
1/2 - 1 cup water
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper, sprinkled on top of roast
French rolls, sliced
provolone or mozzarella cheese slices
Cooking Day Instructions:
Cut roast into approximately 4x4 chunks. Put meat into crockpot with onions and green peppers. Sprinkle with the pepper and pour the entire jar/s of Pepperocini peppers over the meat. Cook on high for one hour and on low for eight hours. The last hour or so of cooking shred the beef. This can be done by taking the chunks out and tearing them apart with two forks or using the forks inside the crockpot.
Serving Day Instructions:
Thaw meat and gently reheat. Place rolls open on baking sheet. Place a slice of cheese on each half of roll and place under broiler until melted. Top with beef and serve.
We like to eat potato wedgies with these.
My variations:
  • We only use one jar of Pepperoncinis and that makes it plenty spicy. I think you could even use less. I've also always used the whole Pepperoncinis and just been too lazy to slice them. But finally I found Mezzetta Deli-Sliced Pepperoncinis at Safeway and they were actually less than the whole on sale.
  • Everywhere you see underlining like rump indicates what I used.
  • I started this recipe at 8 a.m. and we ate dinner at 6 p.m. I actually never used the high setting this time. You can't overcook this one, thus I would suggest it can be cooked on low for 8-10 hours. If you don't prepare it until noon or so just cook it on high for a lesser amount of time.
  • When I made this the other day, I had forgotten to purchase green peppers. So I only put in the beef, Pepperoncinis, pepper and water. While shopping I bought a bag of frozen sliced peppers at Trader Jo's for $1.99. When I got home, I quickly sliced an onion while some olive oil was heating in a saute pan on the stove. I threw the onion, and semi-thawed peppers in the pan and let them cook till they were turning golden brown to black on the edges. This was delicious! And that bag of pre-sliced peppers was a huge time saver for this occasion.

1 comment:

Hopefull said...

yummy - Ive made something similar to this, but this looks better.