Sunday, November 8, 2009

Recipes for Crockpot Grass-Fed Beef - with beans, gravy, or as lasagna



I know that all this writing about naturally pasture-finished beef recipes has probably put on pounds just in the research. But I could hardly wait to bring these to you.

Beans and beef have been a staple on this continent ever since settler times. These recipes - even the lasagna - are for easy cooking and delightful dining - especially for those of us on a hectic schedule.

Now note: today, I'm bringing ones you may want to try over the weekend, when you don't have to be away from your kitchen all day. After all, you can smell the delicious aroma's through the whole house - so coming in after some morning exercise or sports will make lunch a true treat. Or maybe a quick dinner for friends you've been out with all afternoon...

Again, I'm recommending a crockpot for these first few grass-fed beef recipes, as it helps lock the moisture in and further tenderize the beef.

CROCKPOT BEANS
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3/4 lb. fried crumbled bacon
  • 1 c. chopped onions
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. hickory smoke flavoring
1 lb. can each pork and beans, lima beans, butter beans, and kidney beans
-Cook on low in crockpot for 4-8 hours. The longer it cooks, the smokier it tastes.


CROCKPOT BEEF AND GRAVY
  • 2-3 pounds roast cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 packet Lipton's Onion soup mix
  • 2 cans Cream of mushroom soup
Place pieces of roast in crock pot. Sprinkle packet of onion soup on meat. Cover with cream of mushroom soup. Let cook up to 9 hours. Stir about 1/2 way through cooking (but I'm sure you could just stir at the end). Serve over mashed potatoes or pasta.


CROCKPOT ALMOST LASAGNA
  • 1 box rotini (or ziti), any fun, flavorful pasta will do
  • 2 - 28-oz jars pasta sauce(one with tomato chunks works well)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb sausage
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 C. parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 C italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 bag mozzarella cheese
  • 16-20 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C. parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
  • dash salt & pepper
Grease crock-pot, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Cook rotini according to package directions, drain. Brown and drain meat. Toss pasta with olive oil. Add pasta sauce to mixture, toss well. Stir together parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, 1/2 bag mozzarella cheese, and browned meat. Can sprinkle lightly with garlic powder. Beat together ricotta, 2 eggs, parmesan, parsley, salt & pepper. Pour half of pasta/sauce/meat mixture into crock-pot. Spread entire ricotta mixture over first layer of pasta. Cover ricotta layer with remaining pasta mixture, and cover with remaining cheese. Cover, and cook on low 4-6 hours.

And now we again visit La Cense - those Montana grass fed beef experts - for a chili recipe specifically designed around the incredibly flavorful natural beef they raise: 
Chili Con Carne

Ingredients
  • 1 pound La Cense Ground Steak Burger
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-14 oz can pureed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 cup beef broth (optional)
  • Salt, cayenne and pepper to taste

Instructions
Brown meat in large heavy pot on medium high heat, drain excess fat if desired. Add onions and garlic and saute until soft (about ten minutes). Reduce heat and add tomatoes and spices. Salt and pepper to taste, if you like your chili hot add cayenne pepper (1 teaspoon for medium and 2 teaspoons for hot) but be careful!

- - - -

While I raise my own grass-fed beef here in Missouri, I suggest you try a vendor such as La Cense Beef if you want to sample some truly wonderful, Montana-raised grass fed beef.