French Dip Sandwiches


1 2.5-3 lb. beef roast (you can use a frozen roast if you want)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 1-ounce packages dry onion soup mix
2 c. water
2 cans beef broth
6-8 large buns (or more…6 would be VERY generous servings!)
Swiss, provolone, or mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced.


Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and rub roast with salt and pepper. When very hot, carefully place roast in pan and sear on all sides. You’re not cooking the meat, you’re just browning it quickly on all sides to add flavor and seal in the juices. Oh, and it smells so good–just like Grandma’s house on a Sunday afternoon.

Place in crockpot and sprinkle with onions soup mix. Pour water and beef broth over roast. Cook 8-10 hours on low or cook 4-5 hours on high and another 3-4 hours on low. It’s hard to screw this part up; basically, the longer it cooks, the more tender it will be. But you know it’s done when you pop a fork in it and the meat just falls apart. When meat is ready, shred with a fork.

Place meat in crusty rolls. Top with cheese and broil open-faced in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes, until bread is golden and cheese is melty. And don’t even think about walking away–things can go from lightly-toasted to on fire within a matter of seconds when you’re using your broiler. Ladle juices into small cups for dipping and enjoy!

Source: Our Best Bites

Spaghetti Sauce


5 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole large yellow onions, diced
2 whole green bell pepper, seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine (or low sodium beef broth if you prefer)
2 cans (28 oz. size) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz. size) crushed tomatoes
1 can (4 oz. size) tomato paste
1-2 jars storebought marinara sauce (use 2 if you like the sauce to be more saucy than meaty)
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon ground thyme
4 whole bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley (or 3 tablespoons parsley flakes), more to taste
1 whole rind from one wedge parmesan (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)


IMPORTANT: This recipe can easily be halved! I just like to make a ton so I can freeze it.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until totally browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. Set aside.

Discard any grease in pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the diced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute.

Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce. Stir to combine, then add oregano, thyme, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper (if using). Stir, then add cooked ground beef and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or some low-sodium broth if it needs more liquid.

After an hour, add the minced parsley and the rind from a wedge of Parmesan (or grated Parmesan if you prefer–or both!) Stir to combine, then put the lid back on and allow it to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Shepherd’s Pie


For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds potatoes
1/4 cup milk
2 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
extra Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over top

For the meat filling:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels or 1 can creamed corn


Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the milk, butter, salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion salt, and Parmesan cheese and continue to mash until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the meat filling. Place the canola oil into a large pot and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on colour, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn (if frozen) to the beef mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. If using creamed corn, spread a thin layer of corn on top of the beef layer. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a fork. Place several pats of butter on the top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place on a cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Turn the oven on broil for the last few minutes to get the potatoes nice and crispy on top. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Alton Brown

Roast Beef


joint of beef
medium onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tbsp. flour
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 450°F. Pour olive oil over the joint of beef and rub it in with your hands. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the joint and rub that in. Sprinkle the flour over the top beef fat and pat it with your hands. This will crisp up the fat when it’s cooked. Peel and chop the onion and sprinkle the pieces under and immediately around the beef.

Calculate cooking time based on the weight of the meat. If you want your roast beef rare, cook it for 17 minutes per 450 g of meat. Add an additional 15 minutes for medium or 30 minutes for well-done meat. Cook for 15 minutes at 450°F, then lower the heat to 375°F and cook at this temperature for the remaining amount of time.

While the beef is cooking, baste it at least twice. Take the meat out of the oven, tip the juices to one end and spoon them all over the meat. This helps to keep the joint moist when cooking.

When the beef is cooked, cover it with foil and let it stand. This will enhance its flavour and make carving easier. For a 450 g (1 lb) joint, 20 minutes standing will be enough. For larger joints, let the meat stand for 40 minutes.

From Cook UK

Three Cheese Stuffed Shells


8 ounces, weight jumbo pasta shells
30 ounces, weight whole milk ricotta cheese
8 ounces, weight parmesan cheese, grated, divided
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1 whole egg
12 leaves basil, chiffonade
2 tablespoons minced parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 whole medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground beef or Italian sausage
1/2 cup red wine or beef stock
1 28 oz. + 1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced parsley


Cook pasta shells for half the cooking time; make sure not to overcook. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add Italian sausage and brown, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Pour in red wine and let it cook for a minute or two.

Pour in cans of crushed tomatoes and stir. Add sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasonings; can add crushed red peppers if you like a little heat.

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, half the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper, basil, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir until combined.

To assemble, coat the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. Fill each half-cooked shell with the cheese mixture. Place face down on the sauce. Repeat with shells until cheese mixture is gone. Top shells with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on extra Parmesan.

Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

From The Pioneer Woman


Steak and Ale Pie


3 tbsp. plain flour
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper, freshly ground
675 g braising steak, lean, cut into pieces
3 tbsp. sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 medium carrots
115 g button mushrooms, halved
3/4 cup beef stock
3/4 cup brown ale
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. tomato purée
350 g puff pastry, ready-made
1 egg, beaten


Season the flour to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the beef in the flour, shaking off any excess. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the steak in batches over a high heat until browned on all sides. Transfer the steak to a large saucepan. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots and mushrooms and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently.

Transfer the onion and mushrooms to the saucepan along with the stock, ale, bay leaf, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato purée. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat and vegetables to the pie dish. Reserve 150 ml of the gravy and pour the rest over the meat mixture. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/8″ and 2″ larger all round than the dish. Cut a 3/4″ strip from around the pastry, brush the rim of the dish with water, and place the strip on the rim. Brush with water. Place the pastry over the dish and press the pastry edges together to seal; trim off the excess with a knife. Crimp the pastry edge. Use the pastry trimmings to decorate, if liked. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and make a hole in the middle for steam to escape. Place on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and dark golden. Serve immediately, with the reserved gravy served separately.

From Ocado Recipes

Classic Lasagna


12 lasagna noodles
1 lb. Italian sausage
2/3 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup minced flat-leaf parsley, divided
3 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
15 oz. tomato sauce
2 cups water
1½ tsp. Italian seasoning
1½ tsp. basil
1½ tsp. oregano
15 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 large eggs
2 tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, until al dente.  (I always add a couple extra noodles, just in case one breaks during cooking.)  Drain and set aside.  (I like to lay out the noodles so that they are flat and separated, to avoid them sticking to each other or curling up.  It makes the assembly process easier.)

In the meantime, in a very large skillet or saucepan (12-14 inches), crumble the Italian sausage and cook over medium-high heat until it just begins to brown.  Add the onion, garlic and 1/3 cup of the parsley to the pan and continue cooking until the sausage is completely browned and cooked through.   Mix in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, Italian seasoning, basil and oregano.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining parsley, ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, eggs, garlic salt, and pepper.  Mix well until blended.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Spread 2 cups of sauce in a thin layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Layer with 4 lasagna noodles.  Top the noodles with half of the cheese-spinach mixture and spread evenly to a thin layer.  Top with about a third of the remaining sauce mixture, and sprinkle with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella.  Layer again with 4 more noodles and the remaining cheese-spinach mixture.  Spread half of the remaining sauce mixture over the top, and sprinkle with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella.  The final layer will be 4 noodles, the remaining sauce, and a layer of shredded mozzarella.  Cover tightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and return to the oven for 10 minutes more.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

From Annie’s Eats

Shepherd’s Pie


For the potatoes:

1.5 pounds potatoes, washed and chopped roughly
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion salt
salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

For the meat:

1 pound ground beef
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, if needed
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 onion, diced
3/4 cup diced carrots (about 2 large carrots)
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
3/4 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large can cream corn


To make the potatoes, place the potatoes in water and bring to a boil, allowing to boil for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. When cooked, drain and mash together with the butter, milk, garlic powder, onion salt, cheese, salt, and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the beef, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and flour. Stir and cook the beef in a large pot until no longer pink (but don’t overcook it). With a slotted spoon, remove the beef to a separate bowl and set aside.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in the pot, if needed, then add in the diced onions and carrots. Cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and add in the wine if desired, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, and thyme. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Re-add the beef, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced significantly. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

When the meat is reduced, remove from heat. Spoon the mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish. Spread the potatoes on top, fluffing a bit with a fork if needed and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

Adapted from Crepes of Wrath