Crock-Pot Recipe: Rancher’s Roast Beef

Is there a difference between rancher's roast beef and your typical day to day beef? Basically, the main distinction between these two is that, the former is normally topped with sour cream spiked gravy and flavored with ranch dressing mix and zingy pepperoncinis while the latter is just but plain. Other than this, it's slow cooked hence ensuring that it's more than tender and highly flavored. In case you have never had some, or would like to learn how to prepare it, here's the best crock-pot rancher's roast beef recipe that you'll ever come across:

Rancher's Roast Beef

Ingredients

When preparing rancher's roast beef for six, you'll need:

  1. a) Three pounds of beef chuck steak
  2. b) Two tablespoons of canola oil
  3. c) Two tablespoons of butter - has to be cut in small pieces
  4. d) Two cups of beef broth
  5. e) A packet of ranch dressing mix. This can be substituted with one tablespoon of homemade ranch mix
  6. f) A tablespoon of cornstarch
  7. g) Half a tablespoon of kosher salt
  8. h) Half a cup of sliced pepperoncinis
  9. i) Half a cup of sour cream
  10. j) A quarter cup of pepperoncini juice
  11. k) A quarter cup of cold water

Directions

The first step is to season your beef chuck steak with salt and pepper. Next, pour the canola oil over the skillet and let it heat over medium high heat before putting in the steak. You should leave it to sear in the hot oil up until both of its sides turn golden brown.

Take the roast out of the skillet and place it on the crock-pot. Sprinkle it with pepperoncini juice and pepper as well as the dressing mix before dotting its top with butter. Once everything is set, put the crock-pot's lid on and let it cook on HIGH or LOW for 3.5-4 or 6-8 hours respectively. Alternatively, you can let it cook up until the roast becomes fork tender.

After the roast has attained your preferred level of tenderness, remove it from the crock-pot and drain off all of the excess cooking juices into a sauce pan. To remove excess fat, skim the top.

Making sour cream spiked gravy for the roast

Add two cups of beef broth into the juices and bring the mixture to boil. While the broth mixture continues to boil, thoroughly mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with water and gently pour it over the mixture. Stir continuously up until the mixture thickens.

Finish off by removing the thickened broth from heat and stirring in half a cup of sour cream. At this point, your broth will be ready for serving.

How to serve rancher's roast beef

Normally, the above broth (sour cream spiked gravy) is served over the rancher's roast beef - sliced or shredded.

In terms of what side dishes go well with rancher's roast beef, you can choose to go with either rice or mashed potatoes.

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Stuffed Manicotti

Manicotti

Easy Stuffed Manicotti - Double Recipe

Are you looking for a classic Italian dinner recipe that’s simple to prepare and one everyone will enjoy? Italian Stuffed Manicotti is the answer. Though it sounds complicated to prepare, you’ll be surprised how easy it really is. Stuffed manicotti is very nutritious and freezes very well. Just pop it in the microwave when hungry guests unexpectedly arrive at your door or when your night is running extra long. Make your dinner time a special time with the goodness of manicotti (or large shells) and everyone will love you for it. 

Manicotti Sauce
2 pound ground meat, such as beef, sausage, veal or turkey
4 tablespoons butter

Pasta Sauce
4 tablespoons salad oil
2 medium onions, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
4 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 12-ounce cans tomato paste
4 teaspoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 bay leaf

1.  Cook onion and garlic in hot salad oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until tender, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes.
2.  Over high heat, add tomato sauce and the rest of the ingredients over and boil.
3.  Reduce the heat to a simmer over medium-low and partially cover, cooking for 30 minutes. Throw out the bay leaf when done.

Manicotti Shells  (OR purchase pre-made pasta)
2 cup all-purpose flour
8 eggs
2 tablespoon salad oil
2 teaspoon salt
2 cup water

Filling
4 cups ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 eggs
2 8-ounce packages coarsely shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare the pasta sauce and set aside. Then on low speed, use a mixer to blend pasta shell ingredients and finish by blending for one minute on medium speed.

Lightly coat a large skillet with salad oil and heat over medium-high heat. Slowly pour a large ladle of the pasta batter into the skillet and tilt pan to cover it evenly with the batter. Let it cook only until the top is set and dry and the underside looks lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Remove it to a piece of waxed paper and repeat until all the shells are complete.

In a large skillet, cook the ground meat with the butter over medium-high heat until the meat is browned. Then slowly add in the prepared pasta sauce and heat through.

Gently pour 1/3 of the hot sauce evenly among two large roasting pans about 15 inches by 10 inches or in one larger pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together all the filling ingredients, except the mozzarella cheese, until well blended. Drop a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center of each shell and then add some mozzarella cheese. Carefully fold edges over cheese and place each shell in pan(s) with seam side down. Top with remaining sauce and bake for 30 minutes. This mouth-watering dish will produce 16 main-dish servings.

Preparing & Storing Meat

Kafta Shawarma Chicken Pita Wrap Roll Sandwich

Cook, Package, and Freeze Meat Ahead for Quick Meal Preparation

Your days are full, but you can take part of the chore out of making dinner by not only planning meals but also cooking meat in advance to freeze and use later. It is possible to shorten dinner preparations considerably if you shop for meat once a month, and take a day to cook it ahead and store.

A vacuum packager makes storage easy, but cling wrap and zippered freezer bags together work well, too. The secret to storing meat is to eliminate as much air as possible from surrounding the food. This helps avoid freezer burn and preserve the flavor of the meat. Make sure to use the thicker freezer zipper bags, not the everyday bags. Season meat as you use it in your favorite family recipes, typically with salt and pepper. Other seasonings can be added when you make your dish. And if the weather is right for a BBQ, cook some extra meat to freeze.

Cooked ground beef is one of those foods that you can easily freeze for later use. Depending on the size of your family, you can store the meat in one or two pound batches, and take it out to use in tacos, casseroles, chili, pizza or any family favorites that call for ground beef.

Grilled steak is good to cook ahead and store in the freezer, too. Grill it to your family’s liking and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before putting in a zippered freezer bag. Thaw what you need and slice for Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, beef stroganoff, stew, Asian dishes, or any of your other favorite beef dishes. If you know you'll use some meat cut into strips or chunks, you may want to do this before freezing.

Chicken is another versatile meat that is great to cook ahead for quick meals. Roast or crockpot a whole chicken or several chicken breasts, and let cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes or until you can handle it. Remove all the meat from the bones and store it in double zippered freezer bags to use in your favorite soup, stir fry, wrap, quesadilla or chicken salad recipes. If you buy the value sized package of chicken breasts, they're easy to freeze individually or cubed. Cool completely and then wrap full breasts in plastic wrap and put cut up chunks in zipper bags, then each should be put in to larger freezer bags. Remember to remove as much air as possible.

For larger quantities, steak and chicken pieces do well wrapped tightly in plastic wrap bundles, and then put into a gallon-size freezer bag. You can remove just the number of servings you need and save the rest for later. Force as much air as you can from the bag before zipping it closed. Be sure to date everything, and do not store any cooked meat longer than three or four months, at the most.

Plan a weekly or monthly dinner menu that utilizes your frozen, precooked meat, and you will truly enjoy the time it saves. Thaw packages of meat for 24 hours, always in the refrigerator, and if it is still a bit icy to start, it will work fine.