Oven-Free Friday on Saturday :)

As I said in the Saturday Odds-and-Ends post earlier today, I missed Oven-Free Friday yesterday.  I still almost missed getting a photo today.:)  What I did get is not in any way amazing food photography, but a pretty bad Instagram pic.  But it'll have to do. :)

I'm hoping the recipes will make up for the poor photo.  Anyone up for a couple of super-easy, super-yummy crock-pot recipes?  One can't ever have too many.  And these are just about as easy as they come. 

And I might as well get out of the way the fact that neither of these are original to me.  The first came from a message board friend, and the second from my husband.   Have I ever mentioned that he is a fabulous cook?   :)

Saloon Beef

(Note:  This sounds impossible, I know.  Trust me.  If you follow the directions exactly, it really will work.  And your taste buds will be ever-so-grateful. :))

1. One roast - the cheapest cut you can find.  Seriously.  That's what the original recipe said.  I do not know cuts of beef, so when I started making this I literally went to the store and picked out the roast that had the lowest price-per-pound.  It's always been wonderful.  Twice I've ended up with a better cut of beef because that was all that was available (for instance, today I had a roast from the freezer that I'd bought on sale at a local meat market which was a much "better" roast than I normally buy).  Both times it's been edible, but not its usual tender, juicy, delectable self.  

2. One package Au Jus mix.   It's with the other packaged sauce mixes, but not all stores here carry it, so you may have to look a bit.  I bought four packages when I found it yesterday because I can never remember which stores have it and which ones don't, and it's frustrating not to be able to find it when I need it.)

3. One package Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix. 


1. Spray or grease crock pot well (or use a liner).
2. Put roast in crock pot.
3. Pour dry Au Jus mix and dry Italian dressing mix over roast. 
4. DO NOT add liquid. 
5. Cover and cook on low until done and falling apart.  (Depending on size/shape of roast, I usually cook it 8-9 hours on low.)
6. Shred beef and serve on buns. 

Seriously easy and seriously good. 

Billy's Ridiculously Easy/Ridiculously Good Crock Pot Mac-and-Cheese

Warning:  This is NOT a diet recipe.  If processed cheese, real butter, and heavy cream offend you, then please skip over this recipe. If Paula Deen and Pioneer Woman are your heroes...read on...

(Note:  Neither Billy nor I are the "exact measurements" kind of cooks.  We're more the "tad, pinch, dollop, and taste" kind.  So...for those of you who are "exact measurements" kind of cooks...I'm sorry.  If it's any comfort, it's pretty hard to mess this up.  Billy's done several versions...and I've done a few myself...and nobody's complained yet. :))

1. Pasta. (Billy used two different kinds of pasta that needed to be used up tonight....the equivalent of 1 1/2 boxes, I'd say.  Use whatever you like, in whatever quantity you need to serve your family and fill your crock pot to an appropriate level.)

2. White Velveeta.  (We usually use regular Velveeta.  Tonight we were out of regular, but had half a loaf (1 pound?) of white.  We may never use the regular again.  Yum.)

3. Butter.  (This is really going to depend on how much pasta you use.  Half a stick will probably work.  Billy put a whole stick in tonight's batch.  Move over, Paula Deen. :))

4. Milk/Cream.  (Here again, this varies.  He usually uses half milk and half heavy cream.  Tonight we were completely out of milk so he used all heavy cream.  Best. Mac-and-cheese. Ever. YUM.  I would say about a cup and a half of liquid?  I wasn't watching him tonight, and I always just eyeball what I think will work.)


1. Boil pasta according to instructions, removing from heat and draining a bit before al dente stage.  You want it a bit firmer than usual because it's going to sit in the crock pot for a while.

2. Spray/grease crock pot.  

3. Add cooked/drained pasta, Velveeta, butter, and milk/cream to crock pot.  Cover and cook until melted and cooked through, stirring occasionally.  (I think we usually cook it a couple of hours on low?)

4. Stir well and serve.  

Oh, my goodness...roll-your-eyes-back-in-your-head rich, but oh, so good.  I suggest small portions...a little goes a long way, especially if you use the full-cream version.  

More Recipes:

Cornbread-Hating Yankee-Converting Cornbread 

Hit It Out of the Park Chicken and Rice 

Crock Pot Lasagna

{Vintage Eats} Daddy's Mexican Cornbread

No-Bake Granola



t marie said...

I giggled all the way through these recipes. It was as if you were reciting them to me over the phone! I SO want to try both of these. (Preferably while sitting at YOUR table!)

Life at the Lake said...

Hmm, I think your recipes might need to be tried this week...especially that mac and cheese!!