Locked Down Cooking: Raiding the Freezer

I’m trying to clean out the freezer, using up items before my weekly shopping trip. Since I can’t run out to pick up something I may have forgotten, I’ve had to get creative as I cook. Here are two meals made from what was in the house on those days.

My favorite Oven-Baked Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes, with a little twist: smoked brisket gravy. The thing about oven-baked chicken is there’s not enough drippings to make a good gravy. But in my freezer, I had little secret ingredient to make a great, smoky gravy: burnt ends. These were leftover from my very first smoked brisket

I heated up the burnt ends with a bit of water on medium-low, until they were soft and falling apart, added butter, 2 tbsp flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, 1 cup of milk and a bit more water (or chicken broth – I was out at the moment) and cook until thickened.

I had bought some round steak, with plans to make a big batch of Portuguese Beef for friends and family. Since that was not going to materialize anytime soon, I decided to use the round steak in a different manner. It took two tries (luckily I had plenty of round steak), but I perfected a delicious Instant Pot  Steak, Peppers, and Onions. It can be served over rice or on toasted fresh-baked sandwich rolls.

First, I sliced slightly frozen round steak ( you can use sirloin, London broil or strip steak) very thin. I then thinly sliced up onions and peppers.  I liberally sprinkled all of it with salt and pepper.  That’s all the seasoning this ever needs.

In the Instant Pot, I heated oil on the saute feature and then added the onions and peppers and let them cook for a minute. I added the beef and stirred everything for 2-3 minutes until the beef was browned. I add about 1/4 cup of water, turned the setting to beef for 5 minutes, closed the lid, and let it pressurize.

The 5-minute setting was just enough to tenderize the round steak without making the entire mixture mushy. It’s great for this type of cut. And just enough “gravy” to serve over rice or on a toasted bun.


2 thoughts on “Locked Down Cooking: Raiding the Freezer

    • Thank you. My mom only ever made oven fried chicken and I’m always working at changing up the recipe, but staying true to her rice crispy chicken.


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