POT ROAST WITH CARROTS AND MASHED POTATOES

Serves 4 (or makes 4 meals for 2).

Note: Turn one pot roast into four very different dinners, with leftovers for beef and barley soup, beef with caramelized onions, and shepherd's pie (the additional ingredients in the other recipes will be sufficient for 2 servings of each). Use a chuck or rump cut. Be sure to keep the heat to a low simmer and do not cook it forever (it will get tough). Avoid brisket for this combo as it has more fat and is harder to turn into leftovers. From Beth Dooley.

• 21/2 to 3 lb. chuck or rump roast

• 3 garlic cloves, cut into slivers

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

• 1 large onion, chopped

• 2 carrots, chopped

• 1 rib celery, leaves included, chopped

• 1/2 c. red or white wine

• 1 c. beef or chicken stock

• 1 bay leaf

• 3 sprigs fresh thyme

• 1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Cut slits into the roast with a thin-bladed knife and insert the garlic slivers into the cuts. Generously season the roast with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or heavy pot with a cover. Brown the meat well on all sides, allowing about 20 to 25 minutes to thoroughly sear all sides of the roast. Remove the meat and set aside.

Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release all the brown nubs and cook until the wine is nearly evaporated. Add the stock, bay leaf, thyme and parsley and return the roast to the pot. Reduce the heat to very low simmer, cover and cook, turning the meat every 15 minutes until it is very tender, about 11/2 to 2 hours. Add a little more stock if necessary.

Remove the meat from the pot and tent with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Skim the fat from the surface of the liquid. Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf. Increase the heat to a slow boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Slice the meat and serve with the juices and vegetables over mashed potatoes (see recipe).

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 583 Fat 33 g Sodium 172 mg

Carbohydrates 9 g Saturated fat 12 g Calcium 86 mg

Protein 54 g Cholesterol 182 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 7 medium-fat meat.

 

SIMPLE MASHED POTATOES

Serves 4.

Note: Perfect with the pot roast, the leftover mashed potatoes become the topping for Shepherd's Pie. From Beth Dooley.

• 2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

• Water to cover

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1/2 c. milk, whole or 2 percent

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Put the potatoes into a pot with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch and add the salt. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain all but 1 inch of water from the pot. Return to the heat and mash with a potato masher or fork, adding in the butter and enough milk to reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 245 Fat 7 g Sodium 170 mg

Carbohydrates 42 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 53 mg

Protein 5 g Cholesterol 18 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 1 1/2 fat.

 

BEEF, BARLEY AND VEGETABLE SOUP

Serves 2.

Note: This hearty dinner soup is easy to portion into single-serving containers to freeze. Purchase nice rolls to go alongside and wrap them individually to freeze. They thaw and crisp up nicely in a low oven. From Beth Dooley.

• 1 tsp. unsalted butter

• 1/4 c. chopped onion

• 1 small carrot, diced

• 1/4 c. instant barley

• 2 c. beef stock or mix of beef stock and pot roast juices

• 1 tbsp. tomato paste

• 1/2 c. cubed cooked beef

• Several dashes Worcestershire sauce, to taste

• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Directions

In a medium pot, heat the butter and sauté the onion and carrot until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the barley, stock and tomato paste, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the barley is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beef and season to taste with the Worcestershire sauce and then stir in the parsley.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 206 Fat 8 g Sodium 270 mg Saturated fat 4 g

Carbohydrates 20 g Calcium 46 mg

Protein 14 g Cholesterol 36 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 bread/starch, 1 lean meat, 1 fat.

 

SHEPHERD'S PIE

Serves 2.

Note: Here, the leftover mashed potato thickens the filling and then becomes the topping for the pie. From Beth Dooley.

• 1 tsp. unsalted butter

• 1/4 c. chopped onion

• 1/2 c. beef stock

• Pinch nutmeg

• 1 tsp. fresh thyme

• 1/2 c. cubed pot roast

•1/4 c. carrots and juices left from pot roast

• 1/3 c. mashed potatoes

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the onion until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the stock, nutmeg and thyme. Cook for 3 minutes until the liquid is reduced a little. Stir in the leftover pot roast, carrots and juice. If the mixture is too thin, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons mashed potatoes.

Turn the meat filling into 1 or 2 individual pie tins. Spread the leftover mashed potatoes over the pie to form a crust. Bake until potatoes are browned and the filling is bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes.

To freeze, wrap the unbaked pies in plastic, then place in a heavy zip-top bag and freeze for up to 6 months.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 170 Fat 10 g Sodium 155 mg Saturated fat 4 g

Carbohydrates 9 g Calcium 38 mg

Protein 11 g Cholesterol 39 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 1/2 bread/starch, 1 1/2 medium-fat meat, 1/2 fat.

 

CARAMELIZED ONIONS AND BEEF CASSEROLE

Serves 2

Note: When making this, be patient. It's important to take the time to thoroughly caramelize the onions. Panko bread crumbs are lighter and bigger than the traditional crumb. This dish freezes beautifully and is delicious served with bakery rolls -- ciabatta, potato, rye, whole wheat. Wrap them up individually and freeze. They heat up well in a low oven. From Beth Dooley.

• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1 small onion, thinly sliced

• 2 tbsp. red wine

• 1 c. beef stock

• 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

• 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• 1 c. shredded cooked beef

• 1/4 c. dry bread crumbs or panko crumbs (see Note)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and sauté the onions until soft and turn caramel brown, about 30 minutes. Stir in the wine, stock, parsley and thyme. Cook over low heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour a layer of the onions into 2 individual pie tins, then cover with a layer of meat, top with the onions, then the meat, layering until you've reached the top. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Bake until filling is hot and bubbly and the topping is crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.

To freeze, wrap the unbaked pies in plastic and then place in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 340 Fat 20 g Sodium 240 mg

Carbohydrates 14 g Saturated fat 10 g Calcium 74 mg

Protein 22 g Cholesterol 86 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 3 medium-fat meat, 1 fat.