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.
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.
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.
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.
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!