Beef and Gravy with Mashed Potatoes

This meal tastes way more complex than it is to make – thanks, in great part, to the use of a packet of Au Jus Gravy mix (if you don’t want to use a prepacked mix, feel free to make gravy as you normally would). While I didn’t put mushrooms in this dish (my youngest doesn’t care for mushrooms), it would be delicious with mushrooms.

I started with one thinly sliced onion and some garlic. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – most delicious things start with onion and garlic! I cooked the onion and garlic in a hot pan, with a bit of olive oil and butter. I let them cook until soft.

Then I added in the meat – I used beef stew meat and it worked great – and browned it. Then I added in the remaining butter and stirred through, before adding in the Au Jus mix and broth.

I let the broth come to a boil, then I reduced the heat to a simmer, covered the pan and allowed it to simmer for 45 minutes.

To finish the gravy, I added in some heavy cream and let it thicken. If it isn’t as thick as you’d like – you can also do a simple slurry to thicken it.

I served it over mashed potatoes (I’ve blogged about my mashed potatoes before – when I made Cheeseburger Pie – I’m very particular about mashed potatoes). You can check out the recipe for the potatoes on that blog post.

Paired with some asparagus, and it was a fantastic meal!

Beef and Gravy with Mashed Potatoes

Total prep and cooking time approx 1 hour 15 minutes

2 – 2 1/2 lbs beef tips (or beef stew meat)
1 onion, sliced thin
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 pack Au jus gravy mix
1 1/2 cups stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp olive oil

Mashed Potatoes – you can find my recipe for mashed potatoes as part of this blog post.

  • In hot pan, add olive oil and 1/2 of the butter
  • Add in the onion and garlic, cook until soft
  • Add in meat and brown, add in the remaining butter and stir through
  • Add in the au jus gravy mix and then the stock, lower to a simmer – cover and cook for 45 minutes
  • Add in cream and allow to thicken (if it doesn’t thicken as much as you’d like, you can make a slurry and stir in until it is to your desired thickness)

Serve over mashed potatoes (Or rice, is you prefer!)

Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

The other night, I made a pork chop skillet, which I served with pan roasted brussel sprouts. We love brussel sprouts and this is a quick and easy way to make them!

We do occasionally buy fresh brussel sprouts, but more times than not I buy frozen ones. On the bag, it says to steam in the microwave (and we do cook them that way a lot), but in my opinion pan roasting them is even better!

Just let them thaw out a little bit, then slice them in half.

In a hot skillet, add the brussel sprouts and some avocado oil, salt and pepper. Let them sit for a bit, to get some browning and then toss them a bit, to allow for more browning. Cook until they are warmed through and have good color.

Easy Peasy!

Meatless Monday: Hearty Lentil Stew {vegetarian}

Yesterday, we decided to (mostly – not counting lunch, which was leftovers and had meat) do a Meatless Monday! A hearty lentil stew seemed appropriate. Loaded with lots of vegetables and bright flavors, this stew hits the spot.

I knew I was going to use celery, carrots and potatoes. When I found myself at Trader Joe’s today and saw that they had Delicata squash, I decided to add that in. Then when I got home, I remembered that I had a few baby bella mushrooms, so decided to use those too.

Once all of the veggies were chopped, I put them (all but the potatoes) in a medium-high heat dutch oven, with a bit of olive oil to saute. I cooked them for about 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables started to soften.

Then I added in the can of diced tomatoes, with the juice, vegetable stock, potatoes and seasonings and brought it up to a boil. I then, reduced the heat – covered the pot and simmered for 15 minutes.

I then added in the lentils and the quinoa and cooked for another 20 minutes.

Finally, I added in the spinach and the lemon juice and let it simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes more.

Serve with finely grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese.

Hearty Lentil Stew

Total Prep and Cook time: 1 hour 20 min

2 cups lentils
1/3 cup quinoa
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
6 oz fresh spinach
4 red potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1 winter squash (I used delicata), chopped
5-6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
6 cups vegetable broth
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning

  • Chop all vegetables to similar size
  • In large dutch oven, or pot, put small amount of olive oil – heat over medium – high heat
  • Add chopped veggies (all except the potatoes) and saute until veggies start to get soft
  • Pour in canned tomatoes, vegetable stock and potatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce heat
  • Add in seasonings, cover and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Add in lentils and quinoa and allow to cook for another 20 minutes
  • Add in the spinach and lemon juice and simmer for 5-10 more minutes
  • Serve with finely grated parmesan or asiago cheese

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

When making Brunswick Stew, I bought and cooked a 4.5 pound Boston Butt roast, so – clearly, I had leftovers. And, I still had some of Biz’s Skinny Pizza Dough from when I made my Blueberry Pizza. Having both of those things, I decided to make a pulled pork BBQ pizza.

I decided to keep the ingredients pretty simple: Biz’s Skinny Pizza Dough, pulled pork, Alouette Garlic and Herb spreadable cheese, Monterey Jack Cheese and Sweet Baby Ray’s Mustard BBQ sauce.

I rolled the dough out into something, loosely, resembling a circle. Then added the Alouette Garlic and Herb cheese as the base.

Then I added some of the pulled pork. It was cold, fresh from the fridge – no need to heat it up, since it is going into a very hot oven! Next, the pizza was topped with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. And, lastly, drizzled on some of the BBQ sauce.

I cooked it on parchment paper (on top of a pizza stone) in my oven, for 20 minutes, at 500 degrees.

Biz’s dough crisps up so well and really can hold a topping!

The savory flavor of the Alouette garlic and herb cheese, coupled with the tangy sweetness of the BBQ sauce was AMAZING!! So good!!

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

Biz’s Skinny Pizza Dough
Pulled Pork
Alouette Garlic and Herb Spreadable Cheese
Monterey Jack Cheese

  • Roll out the dough (doing it on parchment paper makes it easier to put it in and take it out of the oven)
  • Add Alouette Garlic and Herb cheese to the top of the dough
  • Top with pulled pork and Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Drizzle on the BBQ sauce
  • Cook for 20 minutes in 500 degree oven

** Note I didn’t measure anything when I was making this, so just kind of eyeball it, depending on how much dough you use.

Banana Pancakes

I’m not a huge pancake person, but my family loves them. We had some bananas that needed to be used, so I thought ‘banana pancakes’ (well, actually, I thought ‘banana pancakes or banana waffles?’ and decided on pancakes.).

Only a handful of ingredients are needed for these pancakes: a banana, 2 eggs, flour, sugar, milk, butter and cinnamon.

Prep started by whisking the eggs and adding in the other wet ingredients and mixing with everything but the flour and bananas.

I, then, mixed in the flour. After the mixture is well incorporated, I whisked in the bananas, making sure to not over mix.

I used a hot griddle and poured the pancake batter out in 1/4 cup portions. I flipped them, once the batter started to bubble and once the bottoms are golden brown, your pancakes are done.

** Note: the extra sugar from the bananas will result in a more golden pancake.

Banana Pancakes

1 ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cup self rising flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
Oil for griddle

  • Mash banana in small bowl
  • In large bowl, whisk eggs
  • Add milk, butter cinnamon, sugar and cinnamon to bowl and mix well
  • Add in the bananas and mix well
  • On a hot griddle, pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake
  • Flip pancake when the batter starts to bubble
  • Remove pancake, when bottom is golden brown.