Cook Once, Eat Twice: 4 Rib-Sticking Winter Meals

shepherds-pie

Preparing and enjoying hot, hearty meals can be a reality in your house! Try these recipes for “cook once, eat twice” meats. You prepare the main ingredients once and then enjoy them a second way.

Meal #1: Hearty Venison Stew

This is an ideal dish to cook on the back of the stove in your cast iron Dutch Oven

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds venison cubes – inexpensive cut works best (you can substitute beef or lamb)
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoon oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed
  • 6 carrots peeled, cubed
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled, diced fine
  • 4 white turnips peeled, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • Flour

Method:
Dredge meat in flour and brown well in oil. Season with salt and pepper; cover with stock or water. Simmer until nearly tender (for 1 to 1 ½ hours.) Add peeled vegetables (except tomato paste and peas). Simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add tomato paste and simmer 10 more minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon flour to 1 Tablespoon water and make a slurry. Stir into stew, add peas and bring to a gentle boil for 10 minutes to thicken.

Set aside 2 cups of stew for Shepherd’s Pie.

Meal #2: Shepherd’s Pie

A quick, hot, comforting meal for the nights on the run.

Ingredients:

  • 6 potatoes, peeled, cubed, cook until tender. Mash well (or use leftover frozen mashed potatoes)
  • 2 cups venison stew

Method:
Grease a 9X9 baking dish. Preheat oven to 425° F. Microwave leftover stew to warm it, or warm up on stovetop. Line baking dish with half the hot mashed potatoes – be sure to come up the sides of the baking dish. Fill the center with hot stew. Cover with remaining mashed potatoes. Place in oven 15 minutes or until potatoes are browned.
Variation: Add 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar on top. Bake until cheese is bubbly

Meal #1: Easy Cast Iron Browned Chicken

Make plenty – this chicken is awesome cold or hot! This recipe serves 8.

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 pounds of bone-in cut up chicken breast and legs – I buy them already butchered but you can do it yourself
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ½ cup canola, peanut or vegetable oil – you may need to add more depending on how many servings you are making

Method:
Preheat oven to 450° F. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large cast iron skillet with oil over medium heat. Very carefully place chicken in hot oil – skin side down in the pan. Cook 5 – 8 minutes or until a crispy crust forms. Make sure it doesn’t burn! Place browned chicken in oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes. Pierce chicken with a fork in the thickest spot of the chicken pieces – if juices run clear, chicken is done.

Set aside half of the fried chicken for Chicken Cacciatore.

Serve remaining chicken as a main dish with your favorite sides – rice, potatoes, vegetables, salad, etc.

chicken-cacciatore

Meal #2: Chicken Cacciatore

So delicious your family won’t realize it is made with leftovers. I use a large, deep cast iron skillet that has a fitted cover. You can adjust the seasonings depending on your choice of sauce.

Ingredients:

  • Reserved fried chicken pieces
  • 1 quart tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti – cooked according to package directions

Method:
Put your water for your spaghetti on to boil. Place tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into your cast iron skillet and stir to combine. Heat on medium until bubbly. Gently add your chicken pieces. Cover and cook chicken through on low heat 15 – 20 minutes – just the right time for your pasta to be done!

These hot, hearty meals are perfect for supper when you need a meal ready for your busy family.

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.