Ramp Beef Stir Fry

Last week, I discussed the awesomeness of ramps. So, here is a recipe to utilize those delicious ramps!

Make this recipe soon. The ramp season doesn’t last long.

If you want to make this outside ramp season, you can always substitute in regular leeks (or even green onions or shallots-or a combo of them). You will just add other leafy greens (spinach, chard, collards or kale) instead of ramp leaves during that part of the recipe.

rampbeefstirfry

You will need beef, ramps, garlic, tamari, a bell pepper and some mushrooms.

ingredients stir fry

First, chop of the ramps. To do this, you cut the leaf part away from the bulbs. Set the leaves aside for later. Cut the roots off of the ramps, then dice up the ramp bulbs and stems into small pieces.

ramps1

Saute the ramps and garlic in coconut oil for a minute or two. I personally love garlic, so I put more garlic in recipes than maybe the normal person will like. So, if you don’t like garlic, you can either cut down the garlic or omit it completely. 

sauteed ramps

Once you smell the aroma of the ramps, add the bell pepper. Saute about 3-4 minutes.

yellow bell peppers

Add the butter and tamari. Once butter melts, add the mushrooms to the pan and saute for a minute or two. Push ingredients to the side of the pan.

butter tamari

Season the beef strips with salt and pepper. Add the strips of beef to the middle of the pan. Brown both sides of the beef.

beef in stir fry

Ones the beef is brown on both sides, add the water. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer.

water in stir fry

Cut of the leaves of the ramps and stir the pan.

ramp leaves

Once the leaves are slightly wilted, your stir fry is ready! Enjoy over rice.

finished ramps 2

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Slow Cooker Roast Beef with Gravy

I love roast beef. It is super tasty and fairly easy to make in the crock pot. Not to mention, it makes your house smell Ah-mazing! 

beef and gravy

Before we get to the recipe, I want to talk about the ingredients. All you need are carrots, potatoes (I like to use red), beef chuck roast, condensed cream of mushroom soup, an onion soup/dip dry mix packet, and water.

  • I also highly recommend purchasing grass-fed beef. It is better for your health and the environment. There are many reasons grass-fed beef is better, which could be a blog post all on its own. In the meantime, check out this NY Times article for a short overview.
  • For the cream of mushroom soup, I recommend Pacifica’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup. It is good quality, and I think it adds great flavor to the roast. If you don’t choose this soup, I would recommend an organic or all natural variety. (When in doubt, if you can’t pronounce the ingredient, you shouldn’t buy it.)
  • Finally, the packet of onion/soup mix I often use is Simply Organic’s French Dip Mix. It adds the right flavor to the roast. My co-op had an onion soup dry packet mix by a local producer, so I used that this time around. It also add great flavor and had high-quality ingredients.
  • I purchased organic produce. For carrots and potatoes, it is always best to buy organic to avoid pesticides on your produce.
  • Obviously, you should buy what works for your budget. However, buying quality organic/local/sustainable ingredients are not only better for the environment, but also for your health (which can lower your health care costs in the long run).

Ok, now on to the recipe! I forgot to take photos of the prep for the crockpot. Sorry, I was prepping it before work. However, everything is pretty easy and straight forward.

  1. First, wash and peel your carrots. Cut into large chunks. 1″-2″ chunks are best. Then, wash your potatoes and cut into similarly sized large chunks. Set aside.
  2. Put the cream of mushroom soup, 2 cups of water and 2/3 of the onion soup/dip mix packet in the crock pot. Stir until it is combined.
  3. Place your potatoes and carrots in the crock pot.
  4. Sprinkle the rest of the onion soup/dip dry mix on your roast. Place on top of the potatoes and carrots in the crock pot. It is best to have your roast partially submerged. You may need to move the potatoes and carrots a bit to accommodate your roast, but try not to have the roast sit on the very bottom of the crock pot.
  5. Finally, scoop a spoonful of the liquid in the crock pot on top of your roast. Cover and set your crock pot on low. Cook for 6-8 hours, until the roast falls apart and is tender. (Flip your roast at least once while its cooking if you are able.)
Fully Cooked Roast in Crock Pot
Fully Cooked Roast in Crock Pot

Once your roast is cooked, remove the roast and veggies. Cover with foil and set aside. I like to pull apart the roast, but you can also just cut it up and serve it in larger chunks. Now it’s time to use all that delicious liquid. You can strain the liquid and skim the fat. However, I usually don’t. It is partially because I don’t have one of those fancy fat skimmer/separators, so I don’t often feel like going to all the work. 

So, that delicious liquid full of soup mix, beef juices, and more. We are going to use that for our gravy. I used to always buy gravy, until I realized just how easy and quick it is to make. You can use this recipe to make any gravy. If you have pan drippings (or juice from cooking a roast in the crock pot), use that before you would use pre-made stock.

  1. First, you start with 3 tablespoons of fat. I usually do half unsalted butter and half pan drippings. If you don’t have pan drippings, use all butter (your welcome).Melt the butter with pan drippings in a sauce pan on low.
  2. Once melted, add 3 tablespoons of flour*, and whisk immediately. This will form a “rue,” which is a paste to help your gravy thicken. Heat this rue on low for a minute.
  3. Slowly add you liquid (3 cups), keep continually whisking to have your rue combine with your liquid. Turn up your burned to about medium, heat to a low boil. Then, turn your gravy back down to low immediately. Your gravy will thicken up during this whole process.
  4. If it doesn’t thicken enough for your tastes, you could add a little bit of all-natural potato flakes (Bob’s Red Mill has good quality potato flakes). The potato flakes will help your gravy thicken, while not taking away from the taste.

gravy

Once your gravy is done, top your roast and veggies with some gravy and enjoy!

potatoes

Matt and I paired our roast with Fox Barrel Pear Naked Cider. The acidity in the cider paired nicely with the savory roast beef. I don’t often like ciders, but I thought this one was pretty tasty. We served the cider in a Boom Island Brewery glass, which is an awesome local brewery in the Twin Cities.

foxbarrel

*I used Gluten-free All-Purpose flour (and onion soup/dip mix in the roast) to keep this whole recipe GF!

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