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There's an old saying that suggests that March is a month that comes in like a lion and out like a lamb -- or that we begin the month in what seems like the dead of winter and have found spring by the time the month is over. Well, whether or not that is the case this year, there is certainly something to be said for taking an opportunity to enjoy the foods of both seasons.
Now, in this day and age, you can find most any food during any part of the year. However, there are some tried and true favorites that simply call out for the best of a given time of year. Most people don't crave light and airy salads in the chilly months or lust after hot stews in the middle of the summer. So, in the spirit of the season ... or, rather, seasons, I'm offering a selection of recipes that allows us to bid a fond farewell to Old Man Winter and set a place at the table for Spring.
We begin, as is appropriate, with a couple of recipes that inspire you to cozy up with a blanket in front of the fire and enjoy them. These hearty recipes both prominently feature beef and would be perfectly accompanied by winter staples like mashed potatoes or roasted yams. Both take a while to cook, but also allow you to take advantage of long baking times or the day or so that the slow cooker recipe gives you to play with. Enjoy them in the spirit of all the good things that winter has offered us this year.
This simple meatloaf gets added fiber and vitamins with the addition of diced and shredded vegetables. It's simple to make, freezes well and the addition of barbeque sauce makes it a real crowd-pleaser.
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 c. shredded carrot
1 c. toasted bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 c. barbeque sauce, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, pepper, onion, carrot, bread crumbs, egg, seasonings and 1/4 c. barbeque sauce using your hands. Once the mixture has been well mixed, form it into a loaf shape and carefully set it into a loaf pan. Spread the remaining barbeque sauce over the meatloaf and bake it for 40-50 minutes or until the meat is cooked and the barbeque sauce is bubbly.
There's something about slow-cooked beef that makes one think about the winter months. And, as a nod to St. Patrick's Day, it only seems appropriate to use a slow cooker to prepare a tasty corned beef brisket.
2 medium onions, sliced
3 carrots, cut into 3" pieces
3 lb. corned beef brisket, trimmed
1 c. apple juice
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. finely grated orange peel
2 T. prepared mustard
Place the onion and carrot in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the beef over the vegetables.
Combine the apple juice, brown sugar, orange peel and mustard. Pour over the meat.
Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 8-10 hours or the HIGH setting for 4-5 hours. If desired, serve with sauteed cabbage.