Tonight was a milestone for us – my 11 year old son cooked dinner – from scratch – for the first time. With the exception of a few technical issues he did amazingly well. He had very little help from me and managed to pull of the perfect meatloaf; Granny’s Meatloaf to be exact.
My sons interest in cooking started sometime last year. He started watching a lot of Food Network shows and quickly became fascinated with the world of preparing food. He started spending more and more time with me in the kitchen, acting as my sous chef. He would peel potatoes, slice veggies, stir the pots etc..
Tonight he begged to make dinner. Since I was in no mood to cook myself (we’re packing for a move) I gave in to his pleading. I asked what he wanted to cook and he immediately said “Granny’s Meatloaf!” That’s his favorite food and pretty darn easy to make. I reminded him that him making dinner meant doing all of the work, not just the easy parts. He only groaned a little when it came time to mix the meat!
Since he was cooking dinner I let him choose the sides to go with the meatloaf. He chose mashed potatoes and corn on the cob; I love my son! He peeled the potatoes, de-husked and de-silked the corn and cooked all of that. I couldn’t’ believe how amazing he did.To say I’m proud of this boy would be an understatement; I’m in awe of how far he’s come and how grown he is getting!
So, here’s the recipe for Granny’s Meatloaf. Maybe you can bring your kids in the kitchen and let them help out – If they’re anything like mine I’m sure they’ll love it!
30 minutes for a complete meal – start to finish – may seem like a pipe dream to some of you. Let me assure you it’s possible and yummy! My normal beef stroganoff takes much longer to prepare, but I was running short on time tonight so I whipped this up Easy Beef Stroganoff and it received rave reviews.
This Easy Beef Stroganoff will easily feed a family of 6 leaving more for tomorrows lunch or dinner. The key to making it taste amazing is in the seasoning. Smoked paprika is in the lead for champion, followed closely by the no-no ingredient – a packet of brown gravy mix. I know, I know – packaged gravy is evil. But there are some times when it comes in handy; like tonight.
I like to keep 1 or 2 packets of brown gravy mix on hand just in case my homemade gravy doesn’t turn out or I don’t have the means to make a homemade gravy. The last part is especially true for lean meats – not much drippings to lend to flavoring gravy.
So here’s my recipe for an Easy Beef Stroganoff that is ready in under 30 minutes. No thanks necessary 🙂
If you ever spent Christmas at my house during the 80’s you’d swear my parents, especially my mother, were Whovillians. From the end of Thanksgiving until the 2nd week of January our house was non-stop Christmas. From the decorations and music to the food and parties. Don’t get me wrong; they were great times but they were intense and some things stuck. Like Roast Beast.
I don’t know what my step-father was thinking, but for the first 15 years of my life he never once said Roast Beef. It was always Roast Beast. And for 15 years that’s what I called it. “What did you have for dinner last night?” “Roast Beast, and it was the best!” I got a few odd stares each time I answered like that but I chalked it up to having some left over in my teeth.
If there’s one good thing that came out of that experience it was the ability to roast the best beast you’ve ever tasted! That’s right; my mom could take the cheapest piece of beef in the store and make it taste like nothing of this world. In fact the cheapest piece of beef makes the best roast beef. It’s usually fatty and offers tons of flavor and juice.
So, how do you go about making the perfect Roast Beef? No, it doesn’t take all day. No, there’s no hard work involved. Yes, it does take around 3 hours. Did I answer your questions? Okay then, moving forward.
To start you need a 2 – 3½ pound piece of beef. This will feed around 5 people – go for a bigger piece if you’re feeding more people. I use an eye round roast.
Next up you need to preheat your oven to 375°. Rub your roast with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder (or you can use garlic cloves – cut 5 – 6 slits into the roast and stuff the cloves in.) I rubbed this one with salt, ground chipotle pepper, ground black pepper and garlic flakes.
Now, I use a roasting pan, but my mom put her roast right on the rack with a pan on the rack underneath to catch the drippings. Whichever you decide to do is fine – placing it right on the rack leads to a more tender roast. Make sure the fat side is up and drizzle some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) on the top – this builds a delicious crust on the roast.
Brown the roast at 375° for 30 minutes and then turn the heat down to 200°, or as low as your oven will go. Roast at this low setting for 1 ½ – 2 hours then remove from the oven and cover with a tin foil tent until ready to serve.
That’s it! It’s that easy to make tender, juicy Roast Beef, or Roast Beast if that’s what you prefer.