Thursday, July 11, 2013

Roast and Potato Hash

Beef and Pork Roasts were staples at my house growing up. My mom would put a roast, salt, pepper, and either cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup in a crockpot early in the morning, set it on low, and by dinner time, the roast was ready to eat. For whatever reason, our grocery stores do not package roasts in packages that feed 4-6 people; they package them in packages that feed 8-10 people. 
 
Partially for that reason, they were usually the main course at any dinner meetings held at our house. I can remember one of the men exclaiming at one of our AWANA planning meetings, "Wow! Do you people eat like this all the time?!" Everyone thought the roast was super hard to make; the reality was - Momma and I made the easiest thing we knew how to make, and then cleaned the house with all of that extra time.
 
For regular, weeknight family meals, roasts can be a bit more expensive than ground beef or chicken, but you can get not one, but two meals out of them! I always liked roast better the second time around when Momma would make hash out of the leftover roast. Hash is almost a roast and potato stew, and it is sooo good. I actually made The Best Danged Beef Roast from When the Dinner Bell Rings this time, and used the meat leftovers of that recipe to make my hash. Here's how to make it:
 




Step One: Chop up the leftover roast from your favorite roast recipe into bite-sized pieces, and chop up one onion.   









Step Two: Heat about 2 T. bacon grease over med-high heat in a large high-sided skillet. (I know that it is difficult to tell that there is bacon grease in there because it is already heated, but it is there! Sorry the pan is stained. It happens! :)) If you don't want to use bacon grease, you can use vegetable or canola oil, but bacon is always better. I was raised right - I always save bacon grease! Bacon grease begins so many wonderful Southern recipes.
 
Step Three: Cook onions until translucent (not pictured).
Step Four: Add the roast, and let it cook with the onions a bit...for a minute or two.
 
Yeah, I must confess...I did not wait until the onions were translucent before adding the roast. Patience and food do not always go together...






Step Five: Add potatoes! I like the yellow potatoes best, but you use whatever kind of potato you would like. (I would NOT recommend wax potatoes, such as red skin potatoes, for this dish. The soft starchy ones are best for this dish.)





Step Six: Add water until the potatoes are covered. Boil on medium-high heat until the potatoes are super soft.
 
I'm going to make a common sense statement, but sometimes common sense statements need to be stated so that you will know that what seems like common sense is actually ok. Make sense? If your water level gets very low, and the potatoes are not soft yet, add more water and continue to cook until the potatoes are soft. :)

See the super soft potatoes? :)













Step Seven: Add flour. Ok...Here's another confession - Adding flour like I added flour in the picture is not the best way to do it. I added the flour that way because that's  how my momma does it. Sometimes when you add flour like this, though, the flour does not completely dissolve correctly. To ensure that all flour dissolves put a little bit (3-4 T) of the cooking liquid in a small bowl with the flour, and stir until will combined. Add that mixture to the hash mixture, and stir well.

Step Eight: Add ketchup, and stir to combine.
 
So, one time, my mom forgot the ketchup. I had never made hash before or paid any sort of attention to how she made this beloved dish so I had no idea that ketchup is supposed to go into it. When she handed me a bowlful, I frowned. She said, "What's the matter?" And without really thinking about it said, "It's not the right color." She frowned, then laughed. She dumped my bowl of hash back into the skillet, turned the heat back on, squirted in some ketchup, and stirred it. I stood in awe of the power of ketchup!
Step Nine: Add salt and pepper to taste. I do not like it when I cannot tell you an exact amount, but the amount of salt and pepper you use will vary based on the original roast recipe you used.








Hooray for hash!













Roast and Potato Hash
Click here for printable version
1-2 T. bacon grease
2-4 c. leftover roast, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 T. ketchup
2-4 potatoes, chopped into 1 1/2" pieces
1 T. flour
salt and pepper
water

Heat bacon grease in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add onions, and cook until translucent. Add roast, and cook with the onions 1-2 minutes. Add potatoes. Cover all with water, and continue to cook on med-high heat until potatoes are soft, adding more water as needed. Stir together 3-4 T. cooking liquid and flour in a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the hash mixture, and stir to combine. Stir in ketchup, salt, and pepper, and then cook 1-2 minutes more.
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Simple, Perfect One Batch of Cookies

 
I'M BACK, and I bring you an awesome go-to cookie recipe! I cannot take credit for these. My momma made up this recipe. They are buttery sugar cookies with only FIVE ingredients! I just got married a few weeks ago, and we are painting and sprucing up our house. There is stuff EVERYWHERE, and cooking had not been the priority...until last Wednesday. I started thinking about these cookies, and I could. not. stop. I desperately needed to finish painting the base coat in our living room, but I wanted cookies SO much! So I put a stick of butter on the counter, and said that I would make cookies as soon as I finished painting. I painted faster and better than I have ever painted in my whole life! In thirty minutes, I had cookies. YUM.
 
This recipe only makes one batch. In fact, that's what Momma named these cookies - One Batch of Cookies. (She's so creative, isn't she? We also had a cat named "Kitty" when I was little. She blows my mind with her naming skills!) Even though this recipe only makes one batch, it is super easy to double, triple, quadruple, etc, and the cookies are so simple that you can add anything to them you want if you need a change. I've rolled them in cinnamon and sugar before baking, dunked them in powdered sugar after baking, drizzled them with chocolate after baking, added sprinkles before baking, stuffed cream cheese filling between two cookies after baking...the possibilities are endless. Goodness, I'm drooling.  



Step One: Put room temperature butter and sugar in a bowl... 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...and cream them together. Basically, you "squish" them together...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 ...until they are all mixed together like this. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 Step Two: Add one egg, and mix well. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Step Three: Add one vanilla...
 
(I think I should let you know that I spilled some of the vanilla when I measured it...this is more vanilla than the recipe calls for...but extra vanilla never hurt anyone :), right?) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...and mix well.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Step Four: Add flour... 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
...and mix well.
 
(I should let you know that my mother stops at this step to eat some of the cookie dough to "make sure it is ok." I cannot recommend that you eat the raw cookie dough because there is raw egg in it, but if you eat it at your own risk...I can't stop you!) 
 
 
 
 
 
Step Five: Roll dough into about 1 inch balls and place about two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 12 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden.
 
(Notice how smooth the cookie dough balls on the right are and how porcupine-like they are on the left. If you are more patient and take the time to put a little flour on your hands, it will cut down the stickiness factor and will make smoother cookie dough balls. I put the pan in the oven just like this...and notice in the next picture that all the cookies look the same.)
 
YUM! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Isn't it beautiful? My mouth is watering. I know how buttery soft and sweet it is...was... 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The cookies lasted on this plate only long enough to have a couple of pictures. My husband and I ate the entire batch in a matter of maybe fifteen minutes. I needed these cookies :). Now if you'll excuse me...I'm off to make cookies!
 
CAUTION: Make these simple, perfect cookies...and yours will disappear, too! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Simple, Perfect Cookies
Click here for printable version
1/4 c. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. self-rising flour
1/2 t. vanilla
1 egg

Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in egg until well combined. Stir in vanilla. Stir in flour. Roll dough into 1” balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 – 12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
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