Melt In Your Mouth Brisket Sandwich

Guys, it’s officially brisket day! In honor of this yummy day, we’re giving you a damn delish brisket sandwich that’s drool-worthy. No need to give up your crock pot just yet. These melt-y, gooey sandwiches are really worth it. Trust me. And they’re perfect for company (or, you know, when you throw a party for brisket day). We’ve started a Tuesday night tradition with some friends to watch Game of Thrones (obsessed), and with these cooking all day while I’m at work they’re super easy to throw together before show time.

If you’re starting this in the morning before work in the morning, give yourself a little extra time as you need to pre-cook the meat. I had three false-start mornings because I was trying to do this while running out the door.

  • 3 tbsp oil (olive or vegetable)
  • 2 lbs. beef brisket
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 4 medium potatoes, quartered
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • Enough water to cover
  • Burger buns (potato buns are the best)
  • Thinly sliced swiss (parmesan would be amazing too)

Over medium heat, add the oil to a skillet. Really lay on thick some salt and pepper to the beef, then place in the pan. Brown on both sides (but don’t cook it, the crock pot will do that). Place all of the ingredients in to the crock pot, with the brisket on top and cover with all of the liquids (broth, wine, and water). Cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 6.

When you’re ready to make the sandwiches, set your broiler to low. Using two forks, begin to pull apart the beef right in the crock pot. Scoop out the beef on to the buns. (If you’re feeling adventurous, you can put some carrots and potatoes on the sandwiches too.) Lay the swiss cheese on top and place in the broiler until melted. In small bowls on the side of each plate, spoon out the beef broth from the crock pot to use as the “au jus”.

French Dip Sandwich

Happy Eating, XO.

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Empanadas

Ok so I am in a Latin state of mind. Not to brag, but I am going to Panama in February. So I am totes all about exotic food right now in anticipation of my travels. I mean don’t be jealous, you can get a taste of those countries at home with this muy rica comida! (translates to “very tasty food”, you silly goose). Anyway, I digress. Host a tapas night, or serve as a game time snack, or even pack some for lunch one day with a side salad. This is one delish dish that is worth the extra time. Oh and for those of you that don’t know what an empanada is: its a meat-filled pie. Portable, popular street food and just plain old yummy!

 

1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (any puff pastry or pie dough would work this isn’t a shameless Pillsbury plug, Pepperidge Farm can get a holla too. Anyway, I made these two ways once with pie crusts and once with crescent roll dough to see which I liked better. Listen don’t judge Philly had a snowstorm and I had cabin fever & decided to keep busy by finding you guys the yummiest way to make these. No clear winner though: the crescent dough is harder to work with, but more fluffy. The pie crust was easier and flakier. So you decide whatever you like best. Ya, I have double the empanadas. So in reality I AM THE WINNER) & 1 egg, beaten

Chicken and Cheese Filling-

  • 2 tbsp butter & 2-3 tbsp. flour (a roux)
  • 1 medium Spanish onion chopped small
  • ½ cup white wine (feel free to leave out if you don’t have any on hand).
  • 2 chicken** pieces, skin removed & shredded/chopped. (I used a store bought rotisserie & kept the remaining for a chicken salad, obvi)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Mexican blend, shredded cheese (maybe even less)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (garlic powder also because I am a freak)

**(Another option is to brown some ground turkey or ground beef with some taco seasoning and use that in place of the chicken. Get creative folks! Use what you have lying around…don’t be running to the store more than once a week if you don’t have to).

Anyway, back to the cooking part: heat the butter/flour (roux) & add the onions saute over medium heat until translucent, around 4 minutes. Add the white wine and allow to evaporate until ½ of the liquid is left and to deglaze the pan. Add the chicken & the milk, a little at a time until well incorporated and the sauce is thick.  Mix constantly, lastly you can add in the salt and pepper to taste (I also added garlic powder).

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pie crusts from pouches; place flat on work surface. With 3 1/4-inch round cutter, cut 8 rounds from each pie crust. I don’t have a cutter so I used a martini glass, because I am hood like that. Spoon filling evenly onto half of each dough round. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the filling. A pinch of cheese people, don’t over stuff the empanada. Brush edge of crust rounds with beaten egg. Fold crust rounds in half; press edges with fork to seal. Place on foiled cookie sheet. Brush tops with egg. Bake 14-17 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool & serve immediately.
While the empanadas bake, you can whip up this easy, beyond delish dipping sauce. Any person can serve it with store bought salsa, a real foodie, makes even the accompaniments fresh! Check out the avocado cream recipe under Sauce Boss.
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Happy Eating, XO.

Hot and Homey Meatloaf

Now that we’re getting in to the thick of cold winter nights, (the forecast said 10 degrees tomorrow night. What?!), I’m really  getting in to the thick of hot, homey, comfort food. And nothing says hot and homey (that’s homey, not horny, people…get your minds out of the gutter) like meatloaf with red sauce.

I got this classic recipe from the back of a box. For those of you who don’t know about Lipton’s Onion Mix, trust me, you need it in your life. Consider it a hand-me-down. My mom told me about it, now I’m telling you.

  • 1 package of Lipton Onion Mix
  • 2 lbs. of ground beef (seeing there’s only two of us, I tend to only buy a pound. It comes out just as tasty.)
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 water
  • 1/3 cup Heinz ketchup (ok, you caught me. The recipe doesn’t call for the Heinz brand per say, but we’re from Pittsburgh. Gotta rep it.)

Now listen closely – preheat the oven to 350 degrees, mix all ingredients together, and shape it in a baking pan (I give you license to get creative with your meatloaf shapes). After an hour, you’re done. Not only do you get a delicious meal, it also makes your home smell just like mom’s cooking.

Something to note: my husband hates ketchup (you can read about it here) so I tend to leave it out. But, the recipe can work with or without it.

For a different spin on meatloaf, be sure to check out our turkey meatloaf!

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Happy Eating, XO

Aunt Cindy’s Crock-Pot Beef Stroganoff

Now that the weather is getting cooler and I no long need to worry about squeezing in to a bathing suit, I gladly welcome the season of comfort food! I kicked it off recently with a crock pot recipe from my Aunt Cindy. Super simple ingredients and super easy to make. I usually throw it together a few minutes before leaving for work and come home to the house smelling like moms cooking! Dust off your crock pot and let’s get going.

  • 1 family size package beef cubes
  • 1 can family size mushroom soup (Any brand you want works. I tend to go with whatever’s on sale/cheapest)
  • 1 envelope of Lipton beefy onion mix (I highly suggest keeping this in your kitchen at all times. It’s gotten me out of a jam many a times.)
  • 1/4 cup flour (if you want thicker gravy, feel free to add more)
  • 1 medium can of mushrooms
  • 1 bag extra wide egg noodles

With the exception of the noodles, put everything in the crock pot. I suggest cooking it on low for 8-10 hours to get the meat the most tender and flavorful, but for those who need something a little quicker use the high setting for 4-5 hours. When you’re ready, boil the noodles and viola! You have a tasty, comfy meal.

Happy eating, XO.

Beef Stroganoff