Still working our way through the 40 lb of Ontario produce, I decided to make a quick, easy pulled beef dinner. I keep packets of pre-cooked meats in the freezer as quick meal starts and homemade versions of lunch meats. While some of the meat packets are left-overs, the majority of them are meats cooked then frozen specifically as quick meal starts and lunch meats. When we need a quick meal, I simply pull a packet from the freezer to reheat and add sides that usually come from the pantry.
Pulled beef or pork is very easy to make but it basically takes a day of slow cooking. You can cook the meat long and slow on the grill, in the oven or use a slow cooker. I often cook two roasts (beef or pork) at a time, one for immediate eating and the other for quick meal starts. Pulled meat is cooked long and slow usually with some type of barbeque sauce added although gravy works well too. The meat is pulled into strands using two forks. It is wonderful on sandwiches but can also be used as the meat for dinner.
I served the pulled beef with rustic mashed potatoes and French cut green beans. Rustic mashed potatoes are very easy to make. They are delicious as a side dish but also make a wonderful topping for cottage pie. Simply wash and cut potatoes and carrots into chunks. Add two wedges of cabbage then steam the vegetables until tender. Pour the cooked vegetables into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add a bit of sour cream, cream cheese, butter and milk. Sorry, I don't measure so can't give you the actual amounts. Mix until just creamy with a few lumps. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.
French cut green beans is really all about the cut. The cut is longitudinally from end to end of the bean giving long thin strands as opposed to the normal cross cut for green beans. It is a bit more work but gives a different look and textural component. Quite often if you buy French cut green beans commercially canned they come with bits of pimento (red chili pepper) and onion. I can them plain without pimento or onions.
The holiday season is the time of year you really appreciate getting a nice, nutritious meal on the table without a lot of effort or time. This meal was on the table in 15 minutes making it a very nice choice for quick meals. This is one reason to cook ahead specifically dishes that can be used as homemade yet healthy convenience.