Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Week 17: Shredded Beef and Fancy Macaroni

Brad loves shredded beef sandwiches and whines that I can't make then as well as his grandma. This is due (at least partially) to my irrational fear of crock pot cooking. Long days at work plus a crock pot with a faulty thermostat plus meat without much fat plus not enough cooking liquid has led to many burned dinners and impromptu nights out. That, however, is another story.

I tried this beef recipe in hopes of making Brad smile. He didn't say it was better than his grandma's (or even as good as his grandma's), but he did eat two sandwiches.

I served it with Ree Drummond's Fancy Macaroni - which I was simply looking for an excuse to make. And, I baked the macaroni and cheese in my new Le Creuset Mini Cocotte's.

Shredded Beef Barbecue
12 servings
Taken from: Taste of Home

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 - 10 hours (slow cooker)

1 beef sirloin tip roast (2-1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup each ketchup and water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons chili powder
12 kaiser rolls, split

Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. In a nonstick skillet, brown roast in oil on all sides over medium-high heat; drain.

Transfer roast to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine the ketchup, water, onion, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, celery seed and chili powder; pour over roast.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender. Remove meat; shred with two forks and return to slow cooker. Spoon 1/2 cup meat mixture onto each roll.

One sandwich equals 313 calories, 9 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 2 g fiber

My review: The sanwiches were fine. The meat wasn't fatty (one of my frequent complaints about shredded meat sandwiches), and it was flavorful (no extra BBQ sauce required).

Fancy Macaroni
6 servings
Taken from Pioneer Woman

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

2 C Macaroni
4 Tbsp Butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Cut In Half And Sliced Thin
5 slices Regular Bacon
1/2 Tbsp Bacon Grease (reserved From Bacon Slices)
1/8 C All-purpose Flour
1 C Whole Or 2% Milk
1/4 C Half & Half
1 whole Egg Yolk, Beaten
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/4 C Grated Gruyere Cheese
1/4 C Grated Fontina Cheese
1/4 C Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
2 oz, weight Chevre (soft Goat Cheese)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook macaroni for half the time of the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Fry bacon until slightly, but not overly, crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Reserve grease.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and saute onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. Set aside.

In a pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 1 minute. Pour in milk and half & half, then cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick. Reduce heat to low. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Beat egg yolks and drizzle 1/8 cup hot mixture into the yolks, stirring constantly. Stir to combine. Pour egg mixture into sauce and cook for another minute.

Add cheeses and stir until melted. Add onions and bacon and bacon grease and stir. Taste for seasonings and add more salt if needed. Add cooked macaroni and stir to coat.

Pour into a baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until sizzling and hot.

My review: This was labor- and dish-intensive. I bought and shredded way too much cheese (the left-overs were frozen). The bacon, butter, and cheese led to a dish that was plenty salty; I didn't add any additional salt. Also, I'm not a huge onion lover. Next time I will cut the onions at least in half. And, I'm not sure that I'd bake it in small dishes again. It was a little dried out. And, I don't know that I'd use the full amount of noodles the next time, either. How's that for a rambling review?


  1. Mac with BACON GREASE! If Justin could eat cheese he'd be hooked. ;)

  2. I was thinking about you while I made the mac with bacon grease. . . I think the bacon and grease could be eliminated to make it Em-friendly. Elminiating the cheese to make it Justin-friendly might not be particularly tasty (noodles, onions, bacon, and grease).