A slow cooker can be a cook’s best friend. All you have to do is combine ingredients in the slow cooker, turn it on, and walk away.
Let’s face it: we’re all in a hurry these days, so we’re often tempted to run through the nearest drive-thru after a long day of work. But it doesn’t have to be that way. My weekly meal game plan begins in the grocery store. I look for meats that are on sale.
My great-grandma Strahan taught me how to buy a large cut of inexpensive meat and create several meals out of it. I put my own spin on this method by cutting roast into cubes before cooking (but you can also ask your butcher to do it) to create different meals. Then during the week when you don’t have the time to make dinner, let your slow cooker or a roasting pan do all the work. You’ll end up with tender meat that will please even the pickiest of eaters. My son, Miller loves roast and the tender cubes make it easy for him to pick up and eat.
My seared beef tips can be used to create several different meals. Here are a few ideas:
Beef Tips over Rice (or cauliflower rice) or Mashed Potatoes
Banh Mi Sandwich (recipe in New Southern Table cookbook)
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
Seared Beef Tips
1 (4-pound) bottom round or chuck roast
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 cups beef stock
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
Remove the layer of fat from the bottom side of the roast, in one piece if possible. Do not discard. Cut the beef into about 3⁄ 4-inch cubes, and place them in a 6-quart slow cooker.
Add the garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the beef. Add the beef stock. Place the sliced onion on top of the beef, then position the fat cap over the onions.
Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours. Turn the heat off, and let stand for 30 minutes. Discard the layer of fat. You can keep the onions if you like. Transfer the beef to a baking sheet, and set aside.
Use a spoon to remove the layer of fat from the top of the liquid. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Season the cooking liquid with salt to taste. Pour the liquid into a saucepan, and keep warm over low heat.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the canola oil, and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. With paper towels, pat the cubed beef dry, and then add to the pan. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook until seared on all sides, tossing occasionally. Transfer to a serving dish. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil, and cook the remaining beef.
Serve the seared beef tips over mashed potatoes or rice with the pan juices.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.