Tag Archives: one pot meals

Beef Daube Provençal

Fall is here and I for one could not be happier! As much as I love the sunshine, I had missed the cool, crisp mornings and stormy evenings. And of course I missed pots of soup and comforting meals hot from the oven. So goodbye summer salads and hello fallish flavors and comfort food.

I suppose this is nothing more than a glorified beef stew, but it’s a top notch version of beef stew. And who doesn’t love beef stew anyway? The wine and slow cooking give this dish a rich, full flavor that really can’t be beat. And serving it over noodles? Pure genius. They soak up the extra juices, elevating this “stew” to fork food. It doesn’t take much time to throw together, but plan ahead for this one since it cooks 2-3 hours in the oven. It’s well worth the wait. And hey, if you get bored, there’s always the rest of that bottle of wine to keep you busy.

Beef Daube Provençal

Beef Daube Provençal

Beef Daube Provençal
(from Cooking Light)

2 tsp. olive oil
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (2 pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
1 cup red wine
2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Dash of ground cloves
1 (14.5) can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
3 cups cooked medium egg noodles

Preheat oven to 300°. Heat a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef to pan (you may need to do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the meat); sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add reserved garlic, beef, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrots, and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaf), and bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over noodles.

Note: To make in a slow cooker, prepare through Step 2. Place beef mixture in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or until beef is tender.

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BBQ Pork Shepherd’s Pie

In my arsenal of meals that appear well thought out and taste delicious, yet require almost no effort, Shepherd’s Pie reigns supreme.  The added benefit is it uses up leftover odds and ends.  In this case, more leftover shredded pork from a roast I cooked a couple of weeks ago that had been stuck in the freezer.

I wasn’t really in the mood for traditional shepherd’s pie.  I was actually in the mood for BBQ.  So I thought, why not make a BBQ shepherd’s pie?  And so I did.  In consideration of my über-lazy mood, I used a can of baked beans rather than mixing up my own, which made this come together in a snap.  Rave reviews from the troops quickly ensued.

BBQ Pork Shepherd's Pie

BBQ Pork Shepherd’s Pie

BBQ Pork Shepherd’s Pie

2-3 cups shredded pork (see below for my basic pork roast recipe)
3/4 (give or take) cup barbecue sauce
1 can baked beans (I used Bush’s country style)
3/4 cup pineapple
3-4 russet or red potatoes
3 tbsp. butter (2 for the mashed potatoes and 1 to dot on top)
1/4 cup milk
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup sliced green onions or chives for garnish

Peel and quarter potatoes.  Boil until fork tender.  Mash with butter and milk.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 375˚.

Heat pork in the microwave for a couple of minutes and then combine with barbecue sauce.  Spread in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Layer #1.  Shredded BBQ pork.

Layer #1. Shredded BBQ pork.

Top with pineapple.

Layer #2: Fresh pineapple!

Layer #2: Fresh pineapple!

Spread baked beans over the top.

Layer #3: Baked beans

Layer #3: Baked beans

Spread mashed potatoes over the top.  Dot with butter and sprinkle with green onions.

Layer #4: Mashed Potatoes.  Potatoes make everything even better, don't they?

Layer #4: Mashed Potatoes. Potatoes make everything even better, don’t they?

Bake at 375˚ for 30 minutes, until heated through and lightly browned on top.  Serve with corn on the cob on the side for a complete BBQ dinner in one bowl!

And there you have it.  My BBQ creation.

And there you have it. My BBQ creation.

Basic Pork Roast

Pork Butt or Shoulder Roast
1 onion, sliced or diced
2 cloves garlic
1 8 oz. can diced green chiles
Salt & pepper

Rinse pork roast and place fat side up in a dutch oven.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper, top with onion, chopped garlic and green chiles.  Put a lid on and roast at 350˚ for 3-4 hours, until tender and falling apart.  Pull apart with two forks to shred.

Alternatively you can do this in the crock pot (mine was too big this time, so I did it in the oven instead).  When I cook it in the crock pot, I turn it on high for the first hour, then down to low to cook the rest of the day.

Ready to pop into the oven or crock pot.

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One Pork Roast, 3 Dinners. Day 3: Shepherd’s Pie

The grand finale of pork week was Shepherd’s Pie.  While it’s a humble dish at heart, the presentation is beautiful and it was oh, so delicious.  I’ve never made it before, but having eaten it I knew that the basic recipe was a meat something, topped with a veggie something (usually peas) and then lots of yummy mashed potatoes.  Could you go wrong with that?  I didn’t think so, and it seemed simple enough that I decided to wing it without a recipe.  I already had leftover pulled pork and it was the perfect base for my pie.  And you thought pork pies were just an English thing, didn’t you?

Interested in Day One and Two of my pork roast saga?  Click here for BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Shredded Pork & Black Bean Tacos.  If you’re stretching the dollars, these are three easy meals that were very nice to my food budget.


Shepherd’s Pie. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Shepherd’s Pie

2 cups (or so) Basic Pulled Pork
4-6 oz. mushrooms (I used a mix of button mushrooms and shiitake)
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped into 1-2 inch pieces
4-5 medium red potatoes, with skin on
3-4 cloves garlic
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp. butter
1/4- 1/2 cup milk
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Quarter the potatoes and cover with water in a large sauce pan.  Throw in the whole, peeled cloves of garlic.  Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes or so until fork tender.  Drain the water.  Add butter, milk and salt & pepper to taste and mash with a potato masher.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a skillet saute mushrooms in a little butter or olive oil with fresh thyme and a pinch of salt & pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes until softened and set aside.  Put green beans in a glass bowl with a little water, cover with a plate or plastic wrap (undone a bit to let steam escape) and microwave for a 2-3 minutes.  Drain water.  (You could alternatively boil these on the stove for 3-4 minutes if you prefer).  If your pork is cooled in the fridge, warm it up slightly in the microwave.

Preheat oven to 375˚. Assemble your pie by spreading pork (and any pork juices there might be) in the bottom of a casserole dish.  Top with mushrooms.  Then spread green beans over the top.  Pile on the mashed potatoes and spread out to cover everything evenly.  Sprinkle with green onions and parmesan.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Pop it in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until everything is hot and mashed potatoes are starting to brown on top.  Dig in!  Makes 4-6 servings.


Cutaway View of Shepherd’s Pie. Also known as my lunch the next day.

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Thai Chicken Soup

Usually when I think of Thai food my mind fills with thoughts of Pad Thai, red curry and incredible peanut sauce.  But one of my very favorite Thai dishes – and probably the one I make the most – is Tom Kha Gai, a flavorful Thai chicken soup with a coconut milk base.   It’s easy to make, satisfying and delicious.  Traditionally it doesn’t have the green veggies, and you can leave them out if you want, but I like the extra veggies and usually throw in a handful of whatever I happen to have.  I love this soup!

One of my friends served this to his son and was surprised when he wasn’t a huge fan.  As it turned out, he had eaten the big chunks of ginger and lemongrass and not enjoyed them much.  They are used just for flavoring the soup as it cooks, but aren’t meant to be eaten (though they are edible).  Now you could go through and fish this stuff out before serving it but I usually don’t.  Instead, I serve this with small bowls to discard the ginger and lemongrass as you come across them.  Second time around, the kid skipped those pieces and loved it!

Tom Kha Gai, one of my favorite chicken soups of all time!

Thai Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

1 pound chicken thighs (or breasts), cut into bite size pieces
2 cans coconut milk
4 cups chicken broth
3 inch piece of ginger, cut into slices (no need to peel)
2-3 stalks of lemongrass, cut into 2-3 inch pieces, smashed with flat of knife
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup green beans or peapods
2 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. thai chili paste
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Sriracha sauce (optional if you want an extra kick)
Cooked rice

In a dutch oven or soup pot, saute chicken in a tbsp of oil until no longer pink.  Add coconut milk, broth, ginger and lemongrass. Bring to a boil.  Add veggies, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and chili paste.  Reduce heat and simmer til veggies are tender and chicken is cooked all the way through.  Ladle over rice, garnish with basil and cilantro.  Spike with sriracha if you want it a little spicier.  Serves 6.  Serve with some small empty bowls for discarding the pieces of ginger and lemongrass.

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