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Beef takes away monotony of all those turkey meals

This week's recipes include Slow Cooker Pulled Beef and Szechwan Beef
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

No matter how much the family loves the smell of turkey roasting in the oven and the taste of all that turkey meat with dressing, cranberries and all the other trimmings, the plaintive cry will come a day or two after Christmas: “Oh no, not turkey again.”

The person in charge of meal planning over the holidays will have many options to offer hungry guests or family members, options that won’t involve turkey. Beef could be one of the alternatives to turkey stew, pot pies and soup.

This week’s recipes from a “Make it Beef” brochure offer ideas for holiday beef options.

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Slow Cooker Pulled Beef

2 tbsps. vegetable oil
4 lbs. boneless cross rib or blade pot roast
1 pkg. Knorr beef broth
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1-28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 pouch onion or oven roasted garlic soup mix
2 tbsps. tomato paste
2 tbsps. chili powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbsps. all-purpose flour

Heat oil in a large pot or a heavy, deep skillet over medium high heat. Brown beef all over, turning with tongs. Drain fat and transfer meat to a slow cooker.

Reduce heat under skillet to medium. Add broth, tomatoes, soup mix, tomato paste, chilli power, and peppers. Bring to a boil, stirring up any brown bits. Turn off heat and pour mixture over beef. Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 8-10 hours until beef is fork tender.

Skim fat from liquid. Remove meat. Whisk flour into 1/4 cup cold water and whisk into sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high, stirring once, until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, use two forks to pull the beef meat into shreds. Return to thickened sauce, reduce heat and keep warm. Makes about 12 cups.

Serve in taco shells or flour tortillas with favourite taco ingredients such as salsa, sour cream, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and shredded cheese.

Shredded beef and sauce may be frozen.       

Note: if a slow cooker isn’t available, simmer roast, covered, for 2-3 hours in a 325 degrees F oven with all ingredients the same as for a slow cooker. Thicken the sauce, shred the meat and return to the thickened sauce.

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Szechwan Beef

3 green onions
2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
2 sweet red peppers, cut into chunks
2 tbsps. hoisin sauce
2 tsps. rice vinegar
2 tsps. minced fresh ginger root
2 tsps. minced garlic
1 lb. grilling steak, 3/4 inch thick
1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
Sesame Noodles:
1 pkg. whole wheat linguine
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Slice green onion tops and set aside. Cut remaining onion sections into 2 inch lengths. Toss together together with peas, peppers, hoisin, vinegar, ginger root and garlic on a large rimmed foil-lined baking sheet. Set aside

Rub beef all over with five spice powder. Grill over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side. Cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes, before thinly slicing.

Broil vegetables for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred.

Cook 1 pkg. whole wheat linguine noodles according to package directions. Drain and toss with sliced green onion tops, sesame oil and red pepper flakes.

To serve, mound noodles on plates. Top with broiled vegetables and beef slices. Sprinkle with the peanuts. Makes 6 servings.

Joyce Walter can be reached at