Lazy Braisin’ Beef


Super easy braised beef is perfect for rainy days…or hey, any day will do!

So, it’s a rainy day.  And a bit chilly.  And The Hubs is working on something in the office. I won’t say I’m bored, but I’m in need of something to hold my attention for a little while.  In addition, I guess the Holidays had me thinking about my Grandma (Memaw). I can remember her and my Aunt Liney flying out to Oregon as a surprise after Ken and I moved there and fixing a seriously beefy casserole one night. It was super simple:  A mixture of ground beef, Lipton’s onion soup mix, tomatoes, and pasta. I’m pretty sure it was a food-child of the 50’s when dinners where often a conglomeration of various quick, fairly processed foods. I don’t care. It was seriously addictive.  There’s no way it should have been, but it was. Something about the super beefiness, the tang of tomato, and the caramelized flavor from dehydrated onions in the soup mix. That casserole was the inspiration for this super easy, ‘Lazy Man’s’ braised beef. It takes about 2 seconds to throw together and then a few hours of no-touch time in the oven. You do need a little patience, but not a whole lot more.


All you need is a little patience!

When it’s done, throw it in a bowl or pair it with creamy corn grits for a super treat.  It’s seriously beefy, hits the spot, and sticks with you.


Lazy Man’s Braised Beef

  • 3-4 pound,well-marbled chuck
  • One 32 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Gel Beef bouillon (Organic Beef Better-Than-Bouillon)
  • 2 TBSP dehydrated onions (in spice section)

Place your chuck in a pan large enough to hold it with a tad of extra room. Add 1/2 of can of tomatoes. Add enough water proportionately mixed with beef bouillon (read container) to come half way up beef sides. Sprinkle dehydrated onions on top.


It’s as easy as throwing everything in a pot and waiting!

Place lid and place in 275 degree preheated oven until tender but not stringy. I find this takes somewhere around three hours. If it’s not like butter with fat and connective tissue dissolved, return to oven and check every thirty minutes or so.


Look at that good business….like budda!

Once super soft, pull out the meat and reserve on the side. Place the pan with juices and tomatoes over medium high heat. Add remainder of tomatoes. Bring to gentle boil and reduce by half until flavors are intensified. Adjust seasoning if necessary (salt, pepper, bouillon addition).  Reduce heat to low. Once the beef cools to the touch, pull apart into chunks and submerge in the au jus.


Pull that beef into chunks and get ready to feast!

Feel free to add sautéed mushrooms and/or serve over creamy corn grits (don’t knock it ’till you try it!).  I’m pretty certain Memaw would’ve been proud!


Get it!




Creamy Corn Grits


Creamy. Corn. Grits. Oh my, oh my. Yeah, they go with everything.  Growing up in the South they were pretty much a substitute for pasta.  You can top them with shrimp, tomato gravy, grilled sausages and green peppers, braised beef, red-eye gravy and eggs, or even spaghetti sauce!  I remember my college roommate’s boyfriend saying they’d have pot roast the night before and dice up the left overs to put on grits in the morning. A guy I dated before I met my husband had a grandmother who would fry shad roe in bacon grease and onions and serve it over grits.  You could even get all cray cray and go all out and put fried chicken livers on top.  Shoo-wee, I’m not lyin’ when I say my mouth is watering over that!  I can remember my Great Grandaddy just pouring pork jowl bacon drippings and crumbled bits on the top of grits (hey, he lived until he was 96!). Yes, yes indeed. Give. It. Up.

Just give REAL grits a try (no, not the instant stuff in the store)–you won’t be sorry!

Creamy Corn Grits (4 servings)

  • 1 1/3 Stone ground, unbleached, yellow grits
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 stick Butter
  • 2 TBSP finely-minced onion
  • 2 TBSP finely-minced celery
  • Adding other herbs, like bay leaf, savory, or peppers can be fun

Pour your grits into your pot.


High quality stone-ground grits are essential to a good bowl of grits!

Add milk, cream, and bouillon gel.  Stir well.


Stir in your cream, milk, and gel bouillon.

Add butter, minced onions, and minced celery.


Get yourself some butter and don’t be afraid to add spices that compliment what you’re serving on top of the grits!

Place over medium heat. Stir occasionally in the beginning.


Watch closely and stir as needed to avoid sticking to the bottom. cook until the grains are tender but the grits aren’t gluey.

As heat rises off of the grits, stir more often. You may need to decrease the heat to medium low if you find the grits are sticking to the bottom.  Once the grains are tender (not mushy or gluey), serve with your favorite fixin’s!


Yeah, grits are GOOD!


Practicin’ for St. Patty’s (or better Corned Beef)!


Practicin’ for St. Patty’s!


St. Patty’s is a big deal in our house. It’s the beginning of Spring, a good excuse to come out from under the winter weather (yes, the whole two months of it!), and to celebrate with good friends.  And then there’s Corned Beef. I’ve always loved Corned Beef.  That being said, Good Lord bless me, I’ve usually had the type you’re familiar with:  Boiled to bejesus and somewhere close to rubbery. In fact, I’ll never forget my friend  Jennifer looking at me a bit exasperatedly and saying, “um, but it’s pickled meat!”.  Indeed, it is. It’s actually pickled beef brisket.  Although I’m in no way close to starting the project from scratch and pickling my own fresh brisket, I’m down with creating a much better Corned Beef than I’ve had in the past.  After all, it’s well past ‘Half Way to St. Patty’s Day’ and I’m just gettin’ on it!

Note:  This Corned Beef isn’t watery, or blubbery, or chewy.  It has tons of flavor and is soft like butter. However, it can’t be done in a hurry. It’s like any other tough meat…low and slow is the way to go. I actually used a ‘Texas Crutch” about half way through cooking when it seemed the meat chunk was just stalling at the tough stage. Think about how long it takes to cook a brisket…it’s pickled cousin isn’t much better. Good news…do a big enough batch at a time and you can have corned beef and cabbage, Reuben sandwiches, and homemade corned beef hash.


Better Corned Beef:

  • Corned Beef Brisket (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 head of cabbage
  •  A Handful of carrots
  • 2 large onions
  • Seasoning packet that comes with; Or
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 TBSP mustard seeds
    • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
    • 2 cloves of garlic, mashed and minced
  • 1 Sierra Nevada Porter
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Get yourself a big ol’ pot. Coarsely chop your cabbage and cut up your carrots and onions (not too small since they’ll be in the pot a while).


Chop your cabbage coarsely…it’ll stand up better to longer braising times.

Place 1/2 of your coarsely chopped cabbage in the bottom of the pot. pour your spices (packet or otherwise) over the top.  Add 1/2 of your carrots and onions.  Place the Corned Beef brisket on top.


Add 1/2 of your cabbage, onion, and carrots to the pot. Place your Corned Beef on top.

Add the rest of the cabbage, onions, and carrots.


Your sweet little 4 pound baby Corned Beef brisket is nestled in a bed of cabbage, onion, and carrots.

Pour in your beer and stock. Place a tight-fitting lid and set pot over a medium-low heat. Start up The Big Lebowski (well, you have to have something to do while you wait!). Braise for around three hours. At this point it should accept a fork easily but not be near falling apart and still give a fair resistance.

Take the brisket, place on a double layer of foil, add about 1/2 cup of the braising liquid, and wrap tightly.  Place in a 275 degree oven until a fork slides in like butter (about 1.5 hours). I have no other way to describe this other than the fork truly slides in like a a hot knife through butter. In the smoking arena, I’ve found this usually equates to between 195 and 205 degrees. Pull your little package out of the oven and let it rest for about 30 minutes on the counter. Then unwrap and slice across the grain.


Mmmmmm…pickled brisket never tasted so good! God bless the Irish!



Serve it up with some of your cabbage and carrots and a little bit of broth. Get crazy and add some masked potatoes or for a Southern flair, some creamy stone ground corn grits.

For a super, duper treat…fry up an egg over easy and eat your leftovers in the morning!


Corned Beef is a great friend for eggs over easy. Better yet? Add some tasty potatoes for a homemade Corned Beef hash (no one should EVER eat that weird stuff out of a can). Breakfast never looked so good!