If living in an all-male house has taught me anything it’s this: boys eat very differently than girls do. They eat a lot, usually emptying the fridge as soon as you stock it with new groceries. They eat often, casually standing in the kitchen filling their faces with food as dinner simmers on the stovetop. And it isn’t uncommon to get a request for leftover steak for a snack at 10:30 p.m. just as you’re thinking about closing the kitchen for the night.
In addition to the quantity of food they require and their desire to eat at all times, they also like a different set of food then woman do. Or rather, what I should say is that they like similar foods, but they prefer it to eat it in different quantities. For me, beef is something I really enjoy eating once or twice a week, but the boys in my house would happily eat it once or twice a day if it were available. It’s their most requested meal when I ask what they’d like for dinner—steak! roast beef! burgers!—and while I like it too, I prefer to balance my beef with other less meaty options throughout the week.
My friends at Canada Beef recently launched a new app, and I was very happy to take it for a test drive, knowing how much beef I cook in my house. “The Roundup” is a pocket guide to buying and cooking Canadian beef, and takes a lot of the guesswork out of any beefy confusion you may have when it comes to cooking your meat. From the opening menu you can choose how you want to navigate your meal making by selecting one of the nine options you’re greeted with. My three personal favourites are Beef Cuts, Cooking Methods and Recipes.
The “Beef Cuts” option is a touch-screen poster that breaks down the different kinds of beef you might consider purchasing, and then takes it even further by giving you a list of common and uncommon cuts of meat that fall under a particular name. I often come across recipes that call for a “chuck” roast, but my grocery store tends to label it differently. By using the app, I can quickly see that “chuck” may also be referred to a blade pot roast or a boneless cross rib pot roast. Insanely useful for those who might be less familiar with the various cuts of meat, don’t you think? I feel certain it will also inspire me to try a new cut of beef that I don’t usually purchase, which is good news for the boys in my family.
The “Cooking Methods” option is great for when I need to plan my menu around how my meat gets cooked instead of what type of meat I’m making. For example, in the nice weather I typically want to get the grill going, but in the dead of winter roasting is my preferred cooking method. The app allows me to select which technique I prefer and from there I can either choose to receive cooking instructions or flip through a recipe database to select something for dinner.
Lastly, the “recipes” folder is full of encouraging new dishes to try, but my favourite thing about them all is how they are categorized. I love having the option of clicking through to the kid-friendly options, the slow-cooker/hands-off meals, or the dinner party dishes, depending on my needs for the day.
Ultimately, the app made me a more knowledgeable about beef in general, and there is no doubt it’s a treasure trove of information for the home cook, regardless of their culinary expertise. It also inspired me to make the slow-cooker pulled beef dish you see below. I’ve been giving my big boys a little extra time and attention the past few weeks as we lead up to the baby’s arrival, and placing bowls of roasted spiced potatoes topped with shredded beef, jus and cheese curds—in other words, poutine—on the table definitely made their day. I even made sure to have leftovers for snack time later in the evening.
Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Poutine
Adapted from Canada Beef
This super-simple crowd pleasing recipe used basic pantry ingredients that come together in a snap, leaving you free to play all day as dinner simmers in the slow cooker.
For the pulled beef:
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- ¼ cup beef stock or red wine
- ¼ cup steak sauce
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 onion, cut lengthwise into quarters
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3lbs. beef blade pot roast
- Salt and pepper
For the poutine:
- Roasted spiced potatoes
- 1 cup cheddar cheese curds
- 3 green onions, thinly slices
- Sour cream, optional
1. Combine the barbecue sauce, beef stock or red wine, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion, and garlic in a slow cooker. Season the roast beef on all sides with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker, turning once with tongs, coating the entire piece of meat evenly with the sauce mixture.
2. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours (or 4 hours on high) or until the beef is fork tender.
3. Transfer the beef to a plate and remove any twine. Use two forks to pull the roast into shreds. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the temperature to medium-low and simmer until reduced by half.
4. Serve the beef over the roasted potatoes and top with cheese curds and some of the sauce. Garnish with green onions and sour cream, if desired.
Note: If you aren't up to making the poutine, serve the beef on buns, smear it over pizza or toss it with some rice. Fill you freezer with any leftovers and use them in a variety of ways for dinner or lunches.
This post was generously sponsored by Canada Beef, however all opinions expressed are my own.