Kaye Dacus

posted Jul 27, 2009, 9:55 AM by Natalie Duvall   [ updated Aug 3, 2009, 8:15 PM ]
Kaye Dacus -- Roast Beef and Gravy... and Fruit Cobbler!
One of my favorite "writer meals"---because it doesn't take a lot of time to cook and is really yummy. Roast Beef & Gravy:

3 pound shoulder or rump roast
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use the low-fat/low-sodium kind)
1 envelope dry beef-onion flavored soup mix
Beef broth (optional)

Place roast in slow cooker. Pour mushroom soup over meat; sprinkle dry soup mix over top. cover and cook on high 4 to 5 hours, or on low 6 to 8 hours, or until meat pulls apart easily with a fork. Remove meat from crock pot and stir together soups and drippings. Transfer gravy to serving dish. If thinner gravy is preferred, it can be thinned with beef broth. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

With this, I like to serve mashed potatoes (the heat-and-eat kind you can get in the dairy or meat section of the grocery store are great) and a steam-in-bag frozen vegetable like cauliflower or broccoli. So the roast pretty much cooks by itself all day, then it takes about ten minutes to finish putting the meal together.

But we can't have a meal like this without dessert. Here's my mom's fruit cobbler recipe:

1/2 cup (one stick) salted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk
16 ounces fresh or frozen sliced peaches (unsweetened) OR 16 ounces fresh or frozen berries (if frozen fruit is used, do not thaw before using, and cooking time may be slightly longer)
Ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Melt butter in bottom of a 2-1/2 to 3 quart tall-sided baking dish; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Stir in milk until just combined. Drop batter by spoonfuls into baking dish. DO NOT MIX with butter. Distribute fruit evenly over batter; DO NOT STIR. Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown and center is set (it won't jiggle when shaken slightly). Let cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.