Having already eaten most of my dinners from the frozen dinner swap, I was left with the laborious task of preparing dinner last night. I love to cook, but weeknight cooking is a different story. I look at weeknight dinners in the same manner a mobster approaches a hit -- I want it to be quick and easy with minimal clean-up. I apologize for my criminal reference, I'm having withdrawals since the season finale of "Boardwalk Empire" two Sunday's ago.
I thought this might be a good time to try one of the new recipes I received from the swap, and I was lured in by two key words in Jill DePhillips' (my sister-in-law's sister) recipe: crock and pot. I don't use my crock pot very often, but it's always magical when we get together. My crock pot is like a beloved friend I reunite with only once or twice a year. We always manage to pick up right where we left off.
I dare to say that I've never made beef tips at home. If I have, it obviously wasn't very good or memorable. Again it always seemed too laborious. But thanks to my old friend the crock pot and this recipe, beef tips have been reduced to an easy weeknight dinner. Here's the recipe:
Crock Pot Beef Tips
In a crock pot, add the following:
2 lbs of beef stew meat (season meat with crushed red pepper, black pepper, salt, garlic powder and onion powder)
Add 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
One soup can full of water
5 beef bouillon cubes
1 large can of sliced mushrooms
Add a few dashes of Kitchen Bouquet
Stir ingredients together and let cook 6-8 hours on medium in your crock pot. Serve over rice.
Warning: After you combine your ingredients before leaving for work that morning, it won't look pretty or delicious. But when you return home 8 hours later, you will be greeted by a wonderful aroma and a bubbling pot of something like this:
It's rich and flavorful and doesn't need a dash more of spice. The mushroom soup gives it a hint of creaminess and creates a wonderful sauce, which jazzes up the "beefiness" of this dish.
As Jill and I discussed yesterday, there are two options for enjoying this dish. Mine and Jill's preferred method is to put a minimal amount of rice in a bowl and spoon lots of sauce, mushrooms and beef tips on top, like so:
However, both of our guys prefer to go heavy on the rice and cover it with an equal layer of beef tips and sauce, like so:
Another option, is to pour it over a pile of mashed potatoes. Now that's comfort food! Regardless of how you dish it up, I'm sure you'll enjoy this easy weeknight meal as much as we did.