CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Slow Cooker Roast Stroganoff

Cooking for two can be a challenging. But as the old saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way.

For me, the biggest issue is leftovers. When our grandson, Rakeem, was in town and coming over for supper two to four times a week, it wasn’t that big a deal. But now that he’s gone away for college, I’ve had to come up with some new recipes or cut back on some old ones so we aren’t eating the same thing for a week.

We had a bit of a reprieve recently when he came home for a visit. I made a couple of his favorite meals — Swiss steak and spaghetti with meat sauce — while he was here. His appetite assuredly cut back on the amount of leftovers.

However when preparing the Swiss steak, I had a pretty good chunk of meat remaining after cutting slices off a 3- to 4-pound bison roast and no plan for the remainder. That’s when I started searching through cookbooks and on the internet for recipes that might give me some ideas on what to do with the large hunk of roast.

After looking over more than a dozen recipes, I put together the following concoction, which vastly exceeded my expectations. And needless to say, the leftovers didn’t last very long.

Slow Cooker Roast Stroganoff
1 3- to 4-pound beef or bison roast
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 10½-ounce can cream of mushroom soup (If using a condensed soup add 1 can of water.)
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 14½-ounce can stewed tomatoes
¼ cup flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Sour cream
Put the onion soup mix on the bottom of the slow cooker. Brown all sides of the roast in a skillet. Remove meat and place in slow cooker.
Add soup, flour and Worcestershire sauce to the hot skillet, cook until smooth (add water if you are using condensed soup). Pour over the roast in the crockpot. Add tomatoes and mushrooms.
Cook for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the roast and cut into bite-size pieces. Stir the sauce. Mix in a few dollops of sour cream. Add the meat and mix. Serve over egg noodles tossed with butter or mashed potatoes. Sprinkle some dried dill on top of stroganoff and noodles or potatoes along with a few more spoonfuls of sour cream.

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — French Dip

A good beef roast always makes for tasty leftovers. For that matter, so does pork. And if you want to take a walk on the wild side, consider venison or elk.

newfrenchdipAnother meat that ranks right up there is buffalo or  bison. I know this for a fact because once or twice a month we cook a bison roast, which we purchase from Siouxland Buffalo west of Grand Forks, N.D.

Most of the time, I just place the roast in a Dutch oven with some potatoes, carrots and an onion, along with a little red wine and water. I’ve also sliced a roast and made Swiss steak.

But I tried something new Sunday. I cooked a 4 1/2-pound bison roast in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, the same way we did up a chunk of prime rib beef on Christmas Day.

I placed the meat, which had a healthy coating of Applewood Rub — one of several rubs made by McCormick — and four strips of bacon in a oven preheated to 475 degrees for 1 hour.

At that point, I lowered the temperature to 300 degrees and proceeded to cook the roast another 30 minutes or so.  The internal temperature was about 140 degrees, which and gave us juicy meat that was medium (a little pink in the middle) to well-done.

I had placed about a cup of water in the baking dish at the start of cooking, and that combined with the juices from the meat, it provided a great au jus. And that’s where the leftovers come in.

We’re planning on thinly slicing the remaining roast and placing it and some Provolone cheese on a baguette for dipping in the leftover au jus, which has been enhanced with a little Worcestershire sauce.

French dip sandwiches don’t get any better than this!