Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: beef

Sicilian Pot Roast

They had rump roast on sale last week and I picked one up undecided what I wanted to do with it.  While I was searching through some recipes over at Tasty Kitchen, I came across one that had received all positive reviews and looked delicious, so I gave it a try.

It’s different than the typical pot roast I make with potatoes, carrots and onion.  I was looking for something different so this worked out perfectly.

The tomato and garlic really does something different to this dish in a very good way.  The meat was fork tender and the sauce was tangy and filled with garlic.  I added some thyme and rosemary to the dish, which the original recipe did not call for, but it turned out wonderfully.  Other than that, I kept the recipe the same way.

Here is the link to the recipe Sicilian-Style Pot Roast if you want to give this a try.  I highly recommend it!

I served this with some Roasted Potatoes
and asparagus.  It was a perfect Sunday dinner.



Beef Barley Soup

Do you love soup as much as I do?  I could eat soup three times a day, everyday for a month and never be sick of it.

My husband has another opinion.  He likes soup, but for him it’s a lunch item accompanied by a sandwich.  For me, it’s a meal.  For my children it means grilled cheese, because soup for dinner has to be shared with grilled cheese sandwiches or they won’t eat it.  My family is fickle and they make me crazy sometimes.

If you checked out my Smothered Roast Beef recipe from the other day, I hinted that the leftovers from that dish would be used in another recipe.  This is that recipe. 

And before any of you balk at this I’m going to tell you upfront that some of the gravy from that roast beef is used as the base of this soup.  Don’t go thinking that is weird, gravy in soup, because if you remember that gravy was made with a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup.  So really, it’s only fitting for it to be in this soup.  And it works.  Very well, I might add.

I make this in the slow cooker and it works out perfectly fine.


  • 1 1/2 Cups Diced Leftover Roast Beef
  • 4 Cups Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 1 Cup Leftover Gravy
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 1 Stalk Celery, diced
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3/4 Cup Small Pearl Barley
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in the slower cook leaving out the barley.

Stir well, season accordingly, cover and set to low.  Allow to cook on low for 4 hours.  At the end of 4 hours, stir in the barley and cover.  Allow to continue cooking for an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until barley is tender.

Serve up with some grilled cheese. 


Smothered Roast Beef

I make roast beef several different ways and this is just one of them.  This, to me, is the ultimate comfort roast beef which is simple to make and delicious to eat.  And I do something special with the leftovers I will share with you in another post.

This is a cross between a roast beef and a pot roast.  It’s slow cooked and tender like a pot roast, but instead of reaching that point where it falls apart when you take it out of the oven, this method keeps it able to slice but still super tender. 

And I will warn you now, it uses condensed cream of mushroom soup.  Don’t turn your nose up, believe me it adds to this dish and it makes a perfect gravy for the final dish.

Begin by taking your roast (I used a bottom round roast) and placing it inside a large size roasting bag placed in baking dish.  Season the roast with salt and pepper.

Take 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and spread it all over the outside of the roast.

Mix up 3/4 cup of cold water with 1 packet of brown gravy mix until well combined.  Pour over and around the roast.

Seal up the bag and place in a 275 degree oven on the middle rack and allow to roast for 3 1/2 hours. 

Once done, remove from oven and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.  Open bag, remove roast to a cutting board and pour the gravy into a serving bowl.  Slice against the grain and serve.

Smothered Roast Beef

  • 4-5 lb. Bottom Round Roast
  • 1 Packet Brown Gravy Mix
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup
  • 3/4 Cup Cold Water
  • 1 Large Reynold Oven Roasting Bag
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Place a large roasting bag into a baking dish.  Add the roast and season with salt and pepper.

Spread an entire can of cream of mushroom soup on top and sides of roast.

Mix 3/4 cup cold water with the packet of brown gravy mix until well combined.  Pour over and around roast in the bag.

Seal the bag with the twist tie provided in the box of bags, cut 2 or 3 slits for venting in the top of the bag. 

Place in oven on middle rack and allow to cook for 3 1/2 hours. 

Remove roast from oven and allow to sit in bag for 10 minutes.  Remove roast from bag, slice against the grain on a cutting board and serve with the gravy from the bag.



Shepherd’s Pie

This is another favorite in our family.  Well, my husband doesn’t like it.  And neither does my middle son.  But the rest of us like it.  It’s a cinch to make and a great dish for a busy night.  Which is what we had the night I made this so it worked out great all the way around.

The first time I had Shepherd’s Pie it was when my husband and I were dating.  There was an Irish Pub in the next town over from where I grew up that my husband and I visited often.   On one of our frequent visits I saw Shepherd’s Pie on the menu and decided to try it.  I fell in love with it instantly.  Their serving of it was much prettier than the version I make but much of that has to do with the fact that each serving was served in individual pie dishes, and the whipped potatoes were beautifully swirled on top.

A few years ago I was craving this dish.  Hubby and I headed out for a date night without the kids, pulled up out front and found the Irish Pub we loved to visit while dating was now a biker bar/pool hall.  I wasn’t a happy camper.  And that is further evidence of how much I hate change!

If you live relatively close to a Stew Leonard’s try their made in store Shepherd’s Pie.  It’s delicious!

Here is my simple version of this dish.  I like to make this sometimes when I have some leftover mashed potatoes I want to use up.  Makes it even quicker to throw together!

Shepherd’s Pie:

Serves 6 (with some leftover)

  • 2 lbs. Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 1 lb. Bag frozen mixed vegetables (green beans, corn, peas and carrots)
  • 1 Packet Brown Gravy Mix
  • 1 Small Onion Diced
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 5-6 medium to large Russett Potatoes

Bring a pot of salted water to boil for your potatoes.  If you have mashed potatoes leftover you can skip this part and just make the rest of the filling.  If not, wash and peel all the potatoes and cut into even sized chunks.  Pour into the boiling water and cook until tender.  Drain and beat together with some butter, milk, salt and pepper and place to the side.  I’m not giving measurements on this because it’s simple enough to just add enough of each ingredient to get that mashed potato texture.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef.  Once browned well, drain and return to the skillet. 

To the ground meat add the packet of gravy mix, the diced onion, 3/4 cup of water, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and the frozen mixed vegetables.  Mix together well until heated through. 

Pour the ground meat mixture into a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish and spread it out evenly.  Then top the ground beef with the mashed potatoes and spread out evenly across the top.

Place the casserole into a preheated 350 degree oven, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the bottom is bubbly and the top has browned slightly.   You don’t want a deep browning on the potatoes, just a little golden will do ya!


Pot Roast

I was undecided what to cook this past weekend.  I’ve been trying to be more organized about planning meals, at the least, a few days ahead of time.  I could be like those organized people who plan a week ahead, but trust me, I’m so far from organized it’s not funny. 

Looking through the sale circulars on Sunday for our local food stores decided it for me.  Pot Roast.  My favorite store had Chuck Roast on sale for $1.49 lb. so there you have it.  Sunday dinner.  Much like meat loaf, there a million and one recipes out there for pot roast.  And I have never followed a recipe for it.  I usually make it somewhat different every few times I make it.  The one thing I don’t change is the cut of meat.  I prefer a Chuck Roast.  To me, it is the ultimate cut of meat for a Pot Roast.  Sometimes I make it in the slow cooker, other times in the oven in my “look-alike-Le Creuset-oval-because I’m not paying $150 for one pot-dutch oven”.  That’s what I chose to use this time around.

First thing I do is salt and pepper the roast generously on both sides.  Then I get my “look-alike-Le Creuset-oval-because I’m not paying $150 for one pot-dutch oven” on the stove and pour in some canola oil.  I let it heat up a bit and then I brown all sides of the roast nicely.  You want it nice and brown so it leaves those delicious crusty brown specs on the bottom of the pot.

Once this is achieved I remove the roast to a plate and pour in beef broth and then use my wire whisk to scrape up all the bits off the bottom of the pan.  I then add in the roast, some carrots and onion, a bay leaf and that’s it. Cover up that puppy and put it in a 275 degree oven for the next several hours.  When it’s done it looks like this:

And this:

At this point, the meat will be so tender you can barely lift it out of the pot without it falling apart.  You won’t need to slice it.  Just get it on a cutting board and begin pulling it apart with two forks. 

At this point you will probably be tempted to start shoving tender morsels of this meat into your mouth as you are breaking it apart.  I was the same way.  Notice the past tense I used.  Past tense because I once worked with someone who told me her mother was stealing pieces of pot roast from the cutting board one day as she was breaking it up to serve for dinner.  All of a sudden this girl saw her mother begin choking and immediately performed the hymelic maneuver on her.  Luckily her mother survived and the tender piece of meat came sailing across the kitchen when it was dislodged from her throat.  Now I have this sick phobia of me choking to death on a piece of tender meat I was quietly trying to shove down my throat, in my kitchen, all alone, and being found dead by one of my children or my husband.  Who would then proceed to step over my immobile body to begin scarfing down their own tender piece of meat before acknowledging the fact that I was lying blue and lifeless on the floor below them. 

Oh. Sorry for the blurriness.  I was being mauled by this while I was taking these photos.

Well, not really “mauled”.  More like being affectionately rubbed against in the hopes that I would notice he was there and waiting for a little morsel of meat to suddenly fall on the floor.  I guess me missed that splotch of gravy on the floor to the left of him.  I never said he was the smartest cat, just the most affectionate.  And, he thinks he is more canine than feline and actually begs for food like a dog.

Just a side note.  See that little bend at the end of his tail.  Know how he got that?  I accidentally rolled over his tail in my wheelchair a few years back when I was healing from a broken leg and the surgery endured to correct it.  I felt terrible, and his tail never returned to normal.  Almost five years later and he still has that little bend to it.  Sorry, Max.  I never meant to maim you with my wheelchair.  I feel terrible about it and you remind me of it every time I look at you.  So of course, I had to drop him a morsel of tender meat to feast on.  He earned it.

Sorry.  I’m easily side tracked.  Back to the pot roast.  I don’t have any specific measurements, but I will do my best to make it look like I do and post the recipe for you. 


  • 3-4 lb. Chuck Roast
  • 32 oz. Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 1 Medium onion
  • 4-5 Carrots peeled
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Packet brown gravy mix
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Salt and pepper the roast on both sides.  Pour a few Tbsp. of Canola Oil into a dutch oven on the stove and get it nice and hot.  Place the roast in the pot and brown it nicely on all sides. 

While it’s browning, rough chop the onion and peel and cut up your carrots and place them to the side.

When the roast is nicely browned on all sides, remove it from the pot and place it to the side.  Pour in your beef broth and use a wire whisk to scrape up all those brown bits from the bottom of the pot.  Add the roast, carrots and onions to the beef broth in the pot and make sure it is submerged in the liquid.  Place the cover on it and put it in a 275 degree oven and let cook and become tender and delicious.

This was between 3 and 4 lbs. so I let it cook for a good four hours.  After the first three hours, I shut off the oven and left it in there, still covered, for the last hour. 

Once done, remove the roast carefully to a cutting board and break all the meat apart.  With a slotted spoon remove the carrots and the onion to a bowl.  Now stir in the one packet of brown gravy mix until well combined.  The sauce/gravy will be thin, but this is the way we prefer it.  You can always thicken it with some flour if you like a thicker gravy.

I like to serve this with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.  There you have it. An entire meal cooked in one pot and  you barely had to do anything.  Enjoy!

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