February 26, 2012

Cooking at Home - Easy Recipes - How to Cook a Roast Dinner - Easy Gravy - Easy Soup - Frugal Living-

An oven roast meal is the easiest to make.  Use an oven to cook larger meals and/or larger cuts of meat.  Put the meat in a pot or pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper; cover with lid.   

With a dry cloth, rub dirt off potatoes (rinse them if you can spare the water) and stab them twice with a knife. Put the roast in the middle of the oven surrounded by the potatoes making sure they aren’t touching each other.  Turn the oven to 350F, no need to preheat it.  Cook the potatoes until a fork goes in the flesh easily, and the meat until the juices run clear when poked with a fork. Watch out for the steam when you open the pot lid!

Transfer the meat to plate.  Let it cool a bit before you cut it.  While it is cooling, put the pot on a burner turned to medium.  Scrap the bottom of the pot with the bottom of a fork to blend the drippings. Put two tablespoons of cornstarch in a cup of cold water, mix well and add to the drippings, mix together well and bring to a boil.  This is gravy!  If it is too thin add more cornstarch solution, if too thick just add water.

Put frozen vegetables in a pot will a lid, sprinkle with salt, cover and cook over medium.  Watch them carefully, stir them often, they will cook very quickly.  Cook the vegetables at the same time as the gravy so everything will be ready at the right time.

Most fresh vegetables are easily cooked in a frying pan.  Put a cast iron pan or stainless steel wok on the burner, turn the temperature to high, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil or butter.  When the oil is hot, before it smokes, add food cut in bite size pieces.  Stir vigorously with a fork, then turn temperature down to medium.  Sprinkle with salt and sugar, then stir with fork to blend.  Turn off heat and eat. 

Turn the vegetables and gravy off. Cut the roast.  The fibers in meat can be long and hard to chew, but if we cut the fibers short the meat is easier to chew.  If there are strings on the roast your cuts will be parallel.  Without strings, remember the fat will be on the outside edge of each slice.  A pork chop or steak is a slice of meat cut against the grain. 

When the meal is over, put the bone from the roast in the gravy pot and put in the fridge, this will become soup the next day.  Fill the pot with water to cover bone, with the bone, to three quarters full, add three good pinches of salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and slowly good the bone for three hours or so.  An hour before you are going to eat, take the bone out and let cool.  Add to the broth, either a chopped up potato or two or a half cup of rice, and an onion and some celery chopped up.  Cook for a half hour or until soft, then add a cup of vegetables you have fresh or frozen, and herbs like parsley, and a tablespoon of sugar and soya sauce.  Taste your soup, it will taste bland if it doesn’t have enough salt; you would be surprised how much salt is in soup. 


  1. The nutrition factor for making and consuming bone broth goes way beyond anything the health store can peddle for strengtening joints or bones. Making a pot roast dinner can yield at least 2-4 extra meals beyond the first night. There's hash made with the leftover potatoes, meat and gravy, perhaps a roast beef sandwich, and of course, soup. It's really one of the most economical cuts of meat .. more bang for your buck :) Again, good simple directions even a novice cook can employ. Keep up the inspiration!

  2. Ruth, I've been enjoying all the posts about food preparation - they are good preparation for the hard times ahead! This whole series, starting with the one about there not being enough food next winter, really resonate.

    I have spoken with more and more people lately who sheepishly admit to having acquired "survivalist" tendencies. I am quick to point out that even the CDC recommends that people keep at least two weeks of food and water in their homes, before moving on to the topics of things like gardening, canning, and Mormon-scale food storage. I forget to include "home cooking" as an important topic, but your posts are my reminder!

  3. aww thanks, your words are music in my quiet world, peace