I've been there...I understand.
But there are other days...days when you want something easy and economical...days when you want your belly to be full and you don't care what the meal actually looks like.
Those days call for comfort food. Hmmmmmm....comfort food.
We finally had some fall weather this weekend, and I felt like comfort food. Normally when I get that craving, I make chili or cornbread or chicken fried steak.
This time, though, I wanted to try something new. I pulled out my Gooseberry Patch Flavors of Fall cookbook and found it...beef & noodles. It was simple, made a zillion servings, and wouldn't break my budget. Don't you just love meals like that?
First, you sprinkle a 3.5 pound roast with salt and pepper and place it in a slow cooker. Add 3 tablespoons of vinegar and 3/4 cup of water, and let it cook on low for 8 hours. Easy, easy, easy...
Once it's cooked, shred the meat and place it in a stock pot or Dutch oven. I love how tender it is after slow cooking all day!
Add the juices from the slow cooker to the beef along with about 48 oz. of beef broth (I used one box and one can) and 1/2 cup of butter or margarine. You could obviously omit or reduce the amount of butter to cut down on fat...I don't think it would make too much of a difference.
Bring everything to a boil, and then reduce the heat to let it simmer.
Meanwhile, whisk 3 tablespoons of flour into 3/4 cup cold water. Gradually stir this mixture into the pot and bring to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes or so...long enough to let it slightly thicken.
Then, throw in a 16 oz. package of noodles. You don't even have to cook them first! Easy, easy, easy...
Let everything simmer until your noodles are soft. Voila! Comfort food.
This dish isn't much to look at, I know. It isn't even full of crazy spices, although you could add them if you like. It's just simple, warm, filling, and delicious...and I loved it.
Topped with a dollop of sour cream and served alongside a salad, this dish was the perfect way to ring in the fall. :-)
Before we get to the recipe, some other comfort food recipes you may enjoy...
Beef and Noodles
Adapted from Gooseberry Patch's Flavors of Fall
salt and pepper to taste
3 T. vinegar
3/4 cup warm water
48 oz. beef broth
1/2 cup butter
3 T. flour
3/4 cup cold water
16 oz. uncooked noodles
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the roast and then place in a slow cooker. Cover with vinegar and warm water and cook for 8 hours on low. Remove beef from slow cooker and shred. Place in a large pot or Dutch oven along with the juices from the slow cooker, beef broth, and butter. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer. In a separate bowl, combine flour and cold water. Gradually stir into stockpot and boil for 5 minutes. Add noodles and simmer until noodles are soft. Serves 10.
Gluten-free variation - use gluten free flour and pasta
IBS variation - use chicken breasts and chicken broth
Note on nutrition: the stats aren't wonderful in terms of fat and calories, primarily because of the beef roast (over 500 calories and 30g fat per serving). That's why I'm eating very small servings and kicking myself for not calculating the nutritional information before I made it. Argh! If you are concerned with cutting fat, I would suggest cutting down the size of the roast that you use. That's what I would have done if I were smart...
PS - Gooseberry Patch didn't ask me to review their book or this recipe...I'm just doing this because I love it! Hope you love it, too!