Mexican Lasagna – “Saved by the Dinner” Recipe

The kids didn’t nap yesterday and I needed a “Saved by the Dinner” recipe. Why? The Cowboss worked the cows all day, our Top Ranch Hand had football practice all afternoon and our two little guys were a mess all day. Some days are just harder than others. However, a good family dinner can turn everything around. No TV, phones or any sorts of gatgets. Over a good dinner, our teenager talks to our toddler, the Cowboss and I get to catch up about our day and the baby babbles to all of us. The rule is just good things are discussed over dinner. I can’t tell you how many hard days were “Saved by the Dinner” and ended on a good note. 

Anyways, here is a 30 minute recipe that you can pull off on any hard day you may encounter! 

http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2012/09/simple-mexican-lasagna.html?utm_source=FBRC&m=1

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Texas Style Brisket

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This recipe was so good. Our family ate the whole brisket last night for dinner. I have made this dish for my cowboys the day came home from hunting. They are not exactly roughing it when they go hunting as the cabin is quite comfortable, but I wanted to have a nice dish ready for them. We did miss them and were happy to have them home.

They came home, shared their hunting stories, took showers, wanted a quick grilled cheese sandwiches and hit the bed. Well, change of plans! Brisket will be served the next night, when they can keep their eyes open.

This recipe came from the Pioneer Woman. I was catching up on her cooking show while the guys were away. It is delicious. We typically smoke all of our roasts, especially brisket, but I had to try this recipe. We have all licked our fingers and ate it all!

Ingredients:

  • 3T brisket
  • 2 sliced onions
  • 1 head of garlic – just peel it
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • Two 15-ounce cans red enchilada sauce (We like Hatch brand). 
  • 1/2 cup water (Check half way through, if your sauce needs more liquid).

Directions:

  • Put the garlic and onions into a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Place the brisket on top.
  • Sprinkle over the ancho powder and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  • Pour in the enchilada sauce.
  • Cover and cook on low until the meat falls apart, about 8 hours.
  • Check your liquid and add water, if necessary.
  • I have sliced the meat vs shredding it. We like the texture of the beef better.
  • I have served the beef with Mexican style rice, flour taco tortillas, guacamole, salsa and cheese.

Dobrou chut!

Homemade Beef Broth

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The weather is getting colder, well at least on the 3T, and the leaves are starting to change. Our favorite part of the year. Cool temperatures mean jeans, cowboy boots and long sleeve shirts, our choice of attire. Well, we kind of wear that in the summer as well to avoid sunburns while working outside, but this weather makes it more comfortable. You learn very quickly to cover up during the summer months while fixing the fence.

It also means that we are in the “crock pot” and more recently “instapot” cooking season. I have recently purchased an instapot and so far I have been impressed. Still playing with new recipes, but hoping to post a few good ones soon.

Good hearty soup and sauce can’t go without a good broth. You would be surprised how easy and delicious it is to make your own broth. I think there is a big difference in the store-bought and homemade broths. I only use beef soup bones, celery, carrots and water. I don’t include any salt or pepper. This gives me a tasty broth and I can later season the soup of sauce I’m making without the worry that something will be over salted, yet I’m getting the deep and rich flavor of the broth.

Storage: I pour my cooled down broth into quarter size plastic jugs and put it into our freezer. I also use ice cube trays. Sometimes I just want a little bit of broth and two ice cube size portions are just right. Once the broth has been frozen in the trays, pop them out and store in a freezer safe plastic bag.

Leftover meat and veggies: You will end up with really mushy veggies. I usually discard them, but right now our 10 month old little cowboy totally digs the soft veggies for dinner. You will also end up with a little bit of tender meat. Again, great baby food for older babies or you can use it in hearty soups. Don’t feel bad, if you just keep the broth and toss everything else. The goal is to make the broth.

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages of 3T Ranch beef soup bones
  • 1 lb of celery stalks – chopped up
  • 1 lbs of carrots – chopped up
  • 10-12 cups of water – you can do more or less, depending of your likings

Directions:

  • You don’t even have to defrost the bones. Just unwrap and put the bones into the crockpot.
  • Chop up your veggies and throw into the crockpot.
  • Pour 10 cups of water into the crockpot.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Check on your water levels throughout cooking. I have added 2 cups of water about 1/2 through cooking.

Dobrou Chut!

 

Smoked Tri-Tip Roast

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I have been trying to take a picture of the smoked Tri-Tip Roast the whole summer, but still no luck. The moment the meat is ready to be served it is gone in minutes! It is that good! The Cowboss smoked the roast this past weekend for our monthly BBQ with our friends. It was a hit.

I have used Chicago Steak Seasoning from Weber, but you can use any dry rub you like. Bring the roast to room temperature, let it sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes.

Here are the smoker directions from the Cowboss:

  • I like to get my smoker going at about 225 and I use a combination of hardwood lump charcoal and walnut chunks for the fuel.  A meat thermometer is handy to have as well.  I put it right on the grill of the smoker and let it go for about 3 hours and let it get to 155 or so for the inside temperature.  Then, wrap it in a foil and put it back on for another two hours, keeping the heat still at 225.  That helps soften and slow cook the meat without getting it dry.  It’s a lean cut, so the foil keeps the juices in while you’re finishing the smoke.  The times vary depending on the size of your roast, I usually do about a 2.5 pounder.  Let it rest for a few minutes when it’s done and then you’re all set for a wonderful Tri-Tip roast.  Done right and you can eat the slices with just a fork, no knife.  Enjoy!

Euro Cheeseburger 

It’s a nice cool evening outside, the sun is not beating on us and the cowboys didn’t spend all day working outside. That means I got them to eat outside! This is a big deal at our house. The cowboys spend a lot of time outside fixing the fence, gathering cows or whatever needs to be done that day. They do it in all weather conditions, sunny, windy, hot, freezing, snowy, you name it. So, the last thing they want to do is to eat dinner outside. But, not tonight! 

On evenings like tonight, we like to fire up the grill and cook some cheeseburgers. Guacamole and bacon are always great choices to go along with the burgers, but I wanted to change it up a little. I have found European Brioche Buns at the store the other day and wanted to make a tasty euro sauce to go with it. I know us Euros can be sometimes little funny, like eating French fries with mayo, but this is not the case. This pow wow sauce is just the perfect match for grassfed/grass finished beef. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 mayo 
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

I would guess, you probably have all of the ingredients. 

Give it a try!
Dobrou chut! 

Crisis turned into one heck of a tasty dinner! 1)good story, 2)tasty recipe 3)defrosting and cooking tips!

We are counting down the days for our next round of beef sales. Customers come first “they say” and it is true at the 3T Ranch. Beef orders from our customers are fulfilled first and the 3T crew’s beef package is typically last one in the freezer. I opened the freezer today and realized we were out of ground beef. I’m a big “week ahead meal planner” and cheeseburgers were on the menu. Hmm.. let’s try quickly to come up with plan B while the two small kids are still napping.

Let me tell you, it is hard to cook holding “two babies”. That is our daughter’s favorite saying these days after she wakes up from her nap. “Mommy, two babies”, which means she wants to be picked up and snuggled along side our littlest cowboy. I love that time with our kiddos, they are both still waking up from their naps and want some snuggles, but it doesn’t last long before they turned into little tornadoes. I needed to seize the situation!

I guess one good thing about running low on beef is that you don’t have to dig through your freezer to see what cuts you have. (Will talk freezer organization soon, I promise)! Roast can be grinned up into ground beef. I have found my winner, chuck roast it is! You would be surprised, but it really doesn’t take long to defrost the beef. 1) unwrap the meat from the butcher’s plastic and paper 2) put it into a ziplock bag and squeeze out the air 3)put it into a sink filled with cold water. 4) flip the roast in the water every 20 minutes. My beef was defrosted in less than an hour.

I love love my KitchenAid, I use it every day. I use it so much that my Cowboss bought me a new one to replace my “rusty old mixer”. I had the chuck roast grind up in now time without any mess or extra trips to the grocery stores.

Tips for tasty cheeseburgers: 1 pound of 3T ground beef, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard. The mustard really makes it!

Healthy version of mashed potatoes: Your choice of potatoes, 2 teaspoons of Lowry’s seasoning salt, 1 teaspoon of garlic and pepper seasoning and 1/2 tablespoon of caraway seeds. Trust me, it just works with the potatoes. Make sure to include all of the seasonings while you are boiling the potatoes. When the taters are done, save about 1/2 cup of the liquid. I have used my KitchenAid to whip the potatoes and slowly included the 1/2 of the liquid. The potatoes don’t need any milk or butter. No extra calories and you are not scarifying the taste.

I hope you will try the recipe as well as our beef!

Summer Steak Dry Rub

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We are right in the middle of the grilling season and I wanted to share with you our new favorite dry rub. It is tasty on all steak cuts, the citrus in this recipe is a nice refreshing touch. I have found that many dry rubs included sugar or brown sugar. Stay away from that sweetness! Sugar burns and you are left with a charred taste on the steak. The rub doesn’t need any sugar. The flavor of the beef and the spices are the perfect match.

Ingredients:

  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Few things to remember when cooking beef:

  • Beef should be room temperature. Take the beef out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking and rub that tasty seasoning mix on the meat.
  • Let the meat rest after cooking. Don’t cut in to the beef right away.

 

 

 

Upside-down Cheesesteak Sandwich

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Ever had a soggy cheesesteak sandwich? Not on this outfit! The key to a crispy roll is to broil your bun, melt the cheese, then loan up with veggies and steak. You will be surprised how easy and fast this recipe is!

Ingredients:

  • 3T Ranch steak – sirloin and flat iron steak are good choices – thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste or your favorite steak seasoning (3T steak is plenty of flavorful on its own). I have only used salt and pepper.
  • 1/2 thinly sliced onion
  • 1 thingy sliced green pepper
  • Pepper Jack cheese
  • Hoagie rolls
  • Arugula
  • Onion rings or fries
  • Canola oil

Directions:

  • I found that the best way to cook thinly sliced 3T meat for this dish is in my wok pan, but you can certainly use a cast iron skillet as well.
  • Get all of your prep-work done ahead of time. Slice your veggies, cheese and meat. While the pan is heating up. Keep your thinly sliced beef on a paper towel. I like the meat to get air dried a little bit. You don’t want to steam your meat. The meat should be dry before hitting the pan.
  • Coat your pan with canola oil and sauté your veggies. Once they are done, keep them warm on a cookie sheet in the oven. I keep the oven about 250 degrees.
  • Wipe the pan dry, coat your pan once more with the canola oil and let it heat up again.
  • I did my meat in batches, again you don’t want to steam up your meat by overcrowding the pan. Single layer for the meat. It literary took 30 seconds on each side for the beef to cook. Put meat in the oven to keep warm and continue with your meat batches until done.
  • Now, it is time to broil your buns, then put two cheese slices on each of the buns and melt it in the oven. Sequencing is a key with this dish. You don’t want to serve a cold cheesesteak sandwich. I even heated up my plates in the oven. It sure helps to keep the meal warm.
  • Take the meat out of the oven and chop it up into small pieces.  You can see it in the picture. I find it easier to eat it. Not as messy!
  • Time to assemble. Veggies and meat go on top of the bun with the melted cheese. This really prevents the sogginess.
  • Little bit of arugula on the top. The pepper taste of the greens pairs nicely with the beef.
  • Serve with onion rings or fries!

Dobrou chut!

 

3T Ranch Reaches 100 Cows!

The 3T Ranch has reached a huge milestone this week. Our 100th cow was born during a sunny morning earlier this week. We have had a decent amount of rain and hail, yet this little creature waited for the sun to shine through and then arrive. Mama aka “Milk Mustache” (she is all black except her white mustache) and the baby are doing just fine and have already re-joined the herd.

The Cowboss and I have started 3T Ranch about five and half years ago with 10 cows and always dreamed of having 100. Sometime people take the words “hard work pays off” for granted, but it has sure worked for us. I can’t tell you how many times the boys had to feed the cows in a snowstorm with their ski goggles on, so they can see at least a couple inches in front of them or when the Cowboss spent hours with first-time mama to help her through the delivery or when they had to fix fence in the beaming sun.. Yet, we wouldn’t have it any other way, our work is so rewarding.

We would like to say a HUGE Thank You to all of our customers who support us, watch us grow and appreciate all the work that goes into our style of ranching.