Beef – It’s what’s for dinner…and dinner…and breakfast…

Beef Fajitas
(Picture found along with recipe, here)
Yahoo recipes had this yummy looking fajita dish on their weekly meals plan the other day, and I decided to try it. What I didn’t really realize was just how much the recipe made. I knew there’d be leftovers, just not how much. So, the first night, I made the recipe as is.

Shredded Beef, Bean, and Corn Fajitas

Shredded Beef
* 3 to 3-1/2 pound boneless beef chuck pot roast
* 2 large onions, cut into thin wedges
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 14-oz can beef broth
* 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
* 2 tsp. dry mustard
* 1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Trim fat from beef. If necessary, cut beef to fit a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Place onions and garlic in the cooker**. Top with beef. In a medium bowl, combine beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, dried thyme, salt, and cayenne pepper. Pour over beef in cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 11 to 12 hours, or on high-heat setting for 5-1/2 to 6 hours. Remove beef and onion from cooker, reserving juices. Using two forks, shred beef, discarding any fat. Skim fat from juices. Add onion to beef; add enough juices to beef to moisten. Place 2-cup portions of beef in airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Makes 6 cups.

** I don’t have a slow-cooker. I was traumatized as a child by our crock pot, which I will not go into here, and I don’t like them. Don’t try to convince me. I don’t like to freeze meat either. Get over it. It’s not worth your time. So I followed the directions, except I used my much loved dutch oven. I first browned the meat, then I put in the rest of the ingredients, and put it in the oven at 200 degrees for about 6 hours. It was gorgeous.

Next, use about two cups of the beef to make your fajitas.

* 1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges (1 cup)
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 Tbsp. olive oil
* 2 cups Shredded Beef
* 1 14.5-oz. can Mexican-style stewed diced tomatoes, with juices
* 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
* 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
* 2 tsp. chili powder
* 1/2 cup seeded and chopped cucumber (1 small)
* 1/2 cup peeled and chopped jicama
* 1 Tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro
* 6 7- to 8-inch flour tortillas, warmed*
* 1/2 cup dairy sour cream and/or purchased guacamole

In a large skillet, cook onion and garlic in hot oil over medium heat about 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in shredded beef, tomatoes and their juices, corn, beans, and chili powder. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until heated through and desired consistency.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together cucumber, jicama, and cilantro. Divide beef and vegetables among tortillas. Top with cucumber mixture and sour cream and/or guacamole. Makes 6 servings.

I liked this dish, though it was quite mild. Could be the tortillas just weren’t right…we’re adjusting to whole wheat tortillas around here, and Ted and Maya are adjusting better than I am. Truth be told, store bought tortillas just aren’t as good as homemade, or the ones they have at Chevy’s for that matter, but I don’t know how to make them myself, and I’m not sure I’m up to the task. All of that rolling. Anyway, it was good, and I liked the variety of the corn, the beans, the jicama, and the cucumber. Unusual fajitas. Maybe it needed a bit of salsa.

The next day, I had to figure out what to do with some of the leftover shredded beef. I thought about making sloppy joes, but decided instead to make a variation of a Philly Cheesesteak. That night was one of those nights when I had to pick Maya up from volleyball, come home, shove some food in our faces, and get out the door, so a sandwich sounded perfect. You can’t get authentic Philly hoagie rolls out here, so I decided to make them California style, and use sourdough rolls instead.

(not my cheesesteak…mine doesn’t have bell peppers or mushrooms. Looks good though, right? Picture found here.)

J’s California/Philly Cheesesteak

* Leftover shredded beef and onion mixture
* Sourdough sandwich rolls
* Sliced Provolone Cheese
* Hot or sweet peppers, as desired

Split open your roll, and fill with desired amount of beef and onions. Cover with a slice of cheese. Put under broiler or in toaster oven until cheese is melty, and some beef hits the heating element, stinking up the house in a kind of delicious way for the next two days. Remove from oven, add peppers, and enjoy while hot. Serve with salad, doing your gut a favor in the process.

This was quite good. The missing oomph from the fajitas was gone, as cheesesteak isn’t supposed to be particularly spicy. I didn’t miss the rude attitude of the Philly steak vendor either.

But there’s still more shredded beef in the fridge. Some with corn, etc., for fajitas, and some without. So I decided to slap some of the fajita mixture in a pan, and make breakfast out of it. Kind of like huevos ranceros, but without the tortillas, and with meat. What would you call that? I’ll call it ‘huevos y la carne de vaca’, which, loosely translated (since I never took Spanish), I think means ‘eggs and meat from a cow’. Yum, huh?

Mmmm. Egg.

Huevos y La Carne de Vaca

* Leftover fajita mixture (beef, onions, corn, black beans, etc.)
* Eggs (or egg, depending on how hungry you are)

Put a large spoonful of fajita mixture in a small skillet. Use the back of the spoon to make a little well. Crack egg into well. Cover and cook over medium heat until the egg is done to your liking. I like my whites cooked, and my yolk kinda runny. Mmmm. Eggs.

This may have been my favorite of the three dishes. I just love eggs cooked this way. I love huevos rancheros, both made my lazy way or the nice way in restaurants. I love the carnitas at Chow. Love. This was really good.

There’s still a bit of each type of leftover beef in the fridge. Tonight we’re taking a beef break (our guts say, ‘Thank you!’) and having shrimp. But if it doesn’t get eaten for lunch tomorrow, I may throw them together with a can of tomatoes and serve it over pasta. Can’t let that tender juicy meat go to waste.

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6 thoughts on “Beef – It’s what’s for dinner…and dinner…and breakfast…

  1. OH MY!!! I’m going to have to try this! Looks sooo yummy! Hmmmm…and, we do have beef since Hubby’s a beef farmer! 🙂

  2. I really shouldn’t read this before breakfast. My stomach was growling about midway through your post.

  3. FWIW, in Mexico, beef prepared in this manner is usually called ropa vieja. Yes it’s true — old clothes is shredded beef.

    But if one were inclined to indicate the bovine origin of a meat, one would more colloquially call it carne de res. Steak would be bisteca.

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