Super awesome Steak and Potatoes

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A few years ago, which my belt insists was far too long ago, my family staged an intervention on my blood-pressure and Cholesterol. For a good long while after that, I exercised a lot and cut 90% of the red meat out of my diet. Hell, I cut out 100% of beer and even got close to being able to run a half-marathon. It was awesome. I felt good, my clothes fit nicely and I had lots of energy. Of course, what I didn’t have was much time. Fast forward to today, I killed my gym membership because I couldn’t make time to get down there and am struggling to get my ass out of the chair and, if nothing else, keep my weight from getting even worse.

The one change I made that I’m holding pretty well too is the near complete elimination of red meats and far more careful intake of unhealthy foods. I’ve been slipping on he unhealthy food front, but I’m holding firm on red-meat. Of course, this is super easy to do when I walk into the grocery store and peruse the meat section. I just can’t justify spending $20 for a meal of red meat. I mean, hell, who can afford that shit? (If you happen to be one of those people, I don’t want to hear it.)

Anyhow, when we do eat steak, I generally don’t, except for Christmas dinner, in which I eat a 4oz portion. I even get turkey burger when we grill in the summer. It’s seems pretty unfair for my family to have to adhere to the same standards of food intake because they don’t have problems with high-blood pressure. That’s sort of a ‘me’ issue. A good work around thus far that minimizes my intake of red-meat, reduces the cost of red, meat AND gets my family a tasty steak and potatoes meal, PLUS (and this is the real bonus) It’s a one pan meal ONE PAN. One pan means less dishes, which, you know, my wife gets stuck with most of the time, but you know, I’m looking out for her too.

What you need:

  • 4-8 Potatoes, depending on size. I like the smaller Yukon gold, you’ll want to use upward of 8 of them.
  • 1 – 1 ¼lb Steak chopped into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Parsley
  • ½ Large yellow onion, diced
  • ¼ tsp dill weed
  • 4Tbsp olive oil (or 2 Tbsp olive oil 2Tbsp lard)
  • 1/2Tsp Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2Tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 C. Red wine
  • 1 12-oz bottle Stout beer
  • 1 8oz package sliced mushrooms
  • Montreal steak seasoning (it’s got salt, pepper, dill seeds, and some other stuff in it.)

Directions

Rub the Montreal steak seasoning into the diced meat and brown in a well-seasoned 14” iron skillet with 2 Tbsp of olive oil or 2 Tbsp lard. Pull the meat off the skillet and set aside.

Dice the potatoes into relatively small pieces, roughly ½” or smaller. This will help them cook faster. Put them into a large covered bowl with onions, 2 tbsp oil, salt, pepper, and the dill. Mix well and put into the Iron skillet. Cook until the onions start to get a bit translucent. Add the Beer, red wine, Worcestershire sauce. Allow that to bubble off and once it’s cooking well again, add in the rest of the ingredients. Cook until the potatoes are soft, but not mushy, and the sauce has thickened into a gravy.

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Some Kinda Chicken Thing

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I’m starting to think that Sunday is really the only day I’ve got the stomach or attention span to cook. Not that I don’t have the stomach or attention span to eat the rest of the week, it’s just that when you’re in a household with children and two working parents, there just isn’t time to enjoy cooking, or cook, or think about what to cook. Most days you roll in the door at quarter after 5, and set to getting something resembling a meal on the table by about 6. That’s like 45 minutes to actually prepare. I’m not even sure you can routinely get a batch of hamburger helper to cook up in that span of time. Do people still eat that? It was basically a child-hood staple for me and I haven’t eaten it in over 20 years.

I can almost always have dinner on the table when it’s plain noodles – which my children and wife are generous enough to allow me to pass off as a perfectly acceptable option. It gets dicier when I try to get fancy. In the summer, I’ve got the luxury of tossing some chicken on the grill and nuking some canned green-beans, that goes over reasonably well because I can alternate between barbecue sauce, various non barbecue marinades, or olive-oil and spices. Winter is a little more difficult. I can still get away with chicken in the oven, but it takes a lot longer and roughly 94.2% of the time, I’ve forgotten to either pull the chicken from the freezer or ask my wife to before she leaves for work. Without defrosted chicken, it’s either Dave’s special ‘Damn-near everything from a can’ tacos, or plain noodles, which you can only do once a week each.

Last week was no exception to this rule. I cooked ham on Sunday, spaghetti on Monday, fast-food on Tuesday, Wednesday was crock-pot day, so my wife threw leftover ham and beans into the crock-pot, and Thursday I didn’t even bother with a meal. So, today, I decided that we needed something approximating nutrition, or at least a dinner that resembled a home-cooked meal. Unfortunately, I also wanted to wallow in self-pity over my failure to get a book published, avoid house cleaning, and play a bit of classic video games. The obvious way to manage all of these, and still end up with good food at the end, is the crock-pot. I selected a recipe from the chicken book, modified it to include only ingredients I have on hand, adding a few others for good measure, and converted the whole thing into a crock-pot meal. Here is what I came up with:

Ingredients:

  • A bunch of chicken (I used like 5 Thighs and about as many drumsticks)
  • 3 cans of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup pitted & quartered kalamata olives
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup wine (use a nice one, I prefer Black Box)

Directions:

Throw all that stuff into the crock pot, I didn’t even bother defrosting the chicken. Cook on low for 7.5 hours and serve over jasmine rice. That’s it. It took longer to work out what ingredients we had than to prepare and cook it. Cheers!