Hunk of Meat Monday: Creamy Italian Sausage Soup

There is only one reason I can appreciate old man winter. ONE. And it is soup. I love soup. And I love eating soup when the weather is cold outside. This cream Italian sausage soup is officially my new favorite soup.

Creamy Italian Sausage Soup is a twist on chili or lasagna soup. So good and feeling. Plus easily low carb and gluten free.This soup is one of those things that just leaves you wanting to clean up the bowl with a crusty piece of bread. Or lick it clean. Whatever you prefer. And, honestly, you can have this soup on the table in 30 minutes or let it simmer in the crock pot all day long. Your choice!

bowl of creamy Italian sausage soup

The most important thing about this soup is the pork. I used ground pork and added Italian sausage seasoning. I added a tablespoon of seasoning to a pound of ground pork. Plus a teaspoon of And these days I don’t make any soup without two pounds of meat. Don’t have ground pork at your grocery store? You can also buy Italian sausages or brats and just remove the casings. Either way, you are bound to get the flavorful Italian pork sausage base.

Italian Sausage Soup Base makes the soup full of flavor. If you want to cut calories, the soup at this point is delish without the added creamy, cheesy goodness.

Once the pork is browned you can start adding the sauces. I used a big 24 ounce can of garlic and herb tomato sauce. Then added a can of diced tomatoes. I added fire roasted tomatoes because that is what I had. Again, add whatever kind of tomatoes you have on hand. I then added The combination of just the pork, sauce and tomatoes makes an amazing soup base full of flavor. You honestly could stop now. But why would you want to stop now. Keep going. It just keeps getting better.

Creamy Italian Sausage Soup has five ingredients and endless flavors.

If you want to cut calories, the soup at this point is delish without the added creamy, cheesy goodness. But, how about you add the block of cream cheese now. Stir the cream cheese into the tomato and meat base till completely melted. So, now the secret ingredient comes to play… Wait for it…

Two tablespoons of brown sugar. Yep. Suuugggaaaaarrrrrrrrrr. Trust me and add it.

And again you have choices. I ate a bowl without pasta. But I am feeding a bottomless pit, so I added pasta to the soup. I would recommend a bow tie or another wide type noodle to catch sauce easily. Add the al dente pasta when the cream cheese is melted. Add more water if you want the soup to be thinner. I sort of like my soup to be more stew like. Stoups are my favorite.

Big Pot of Creamy Italian Sausage Soup is my new go-to recipe for cold, winter days.

Creamy Italian Sausage Soup

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6 servings

This cream Italian sausage soup recipe is simple with just a five basic ingredients with a super sweet secret ingredient.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of ground Italian Sausage or ground pork with 2 tablespoon Italian sausage seasoning
  • 1- 24 ounce can of garlic and herb tomato sauce
  • 1 -15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups of water
  • 1 - 8 ounce block of cream cheese
  • 8 ounces of bow-tie past cooked till al dente
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes - optional
Instructions
  1. Brown the sausage or pork with seasonings. Drain any excess grease. Return to soup pot
  2. Add red pepper flakes, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes along with salt and pepper. Add one cup of water. Simmer till just starting to bubble.
  3. Stir in cream cheese into the tomato and meat base. Add the brown sugar. Continue to simmer on low heat.
  4. Add pasta. Stir to combine and serve with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Get other great recipes over at The Country Cook’s Weekend Potluck!

Hunk of Meat Monday: Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops

Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops have just three ingredients but will leave you with flavorful, juicy pork chops for dinner.Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops have just three ingredients but will leave you with flavorful, juicy pork chops for dinner. I will make these any day of the week. With the drippings from the crock pot, you can create a quick gravy and serve with mashed potatoes.

The three ingredients are simple: pork chops, butter, and ranch dressing mix. That is it. It is that simple

Crock Pot Ranch Pork ChopsButter you ask? Well, when everyone went all health crazy, they wanted to cut fat from their diet. So, today we have very lean pork. Too lean personally, but we are healthier thanks to the lean pork, right? Well, maybe not. So when ever I cook a lean piece of pork like the pork chops that normally have minimal fat around it I add fat. It is no different with these pork chops.

Season the pork chops generously with the ranch seasoning. I used three tablespoons total. I buy bulk dressing mix, however one envelope would also be the equivalent. I used a stick of butter but you could safely use just four tablespoons of butter.

Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops have just three ingredients but will leave you with flavorful, juicy pork chops for dinner.Then it is all up to the crock pot. I cooked on low for 6 hours. You could go a pinch longer. Again pork chops can be easy to dry out, even with butter, so don’t let them cook for 12 hours unless you planning on them being closer to a pulled pork type meat.

Crock Pot Ranch Pork ChopsServe up with some mashed potatoes and make some quick gravy. To make the gravy, I took 1/4 cup of the juices from the crock pot and mixed a heaping tablespoons of corn starch with a cup of milk. Simmer over a medium heat till thickened. You could also use two tablespoons of flour to make a roux with the crock pot juices and slowly add the cup of milk. Add more milk if you want a thinner gravy.

Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops
These Crock Pot Ranch Pork Chops just have three ingredients that will leave you with flavorful, juicy pork chops that everyone will love.
Ingredients
  • 4 thick cut pork chops, bone-in or boneless
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) of real butter
  • 1 package of Ranch Dressing Mix (3 tablespoons)
Instructions
  1. Coat the pork chops with ranch mix.
  2. Place two pork chops in the crock and place two tablespoons of butter on top of the pork chops.
  3. Place two additional pork chops on top of the pork chops.
  4. Top each with two tablespoons of butter.
  5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

 

20 Go-To Beef Roast Recipes

20 Go-To Beef Roast Recipes

It is the time of year when grills get used less and less and slow roasting beef roasts happens more and more. So, since I have started searching for the beef roast recipes my family loves as well as a few new ones, I thought I would share 20 go-to beef roast recipes I plan on making sometime soon as well as a few pointers.

  1. Go buy a Crock Pot. Slow Cooker.
  2. When you are making a recipe that calls for a specific kind of roast, most of the time it can be interchangeable. For example, if the recipe calls for a chuck roast but you have a rump roast, as long as the pounds are similar go for it.
  3. Do Not trim all the fat off the beef roast before cooking it. Fat is a flavor conductor. You can peel the fat off after it cooks and also drain any fat off for gravy if you need it. Trust me, keep the fat on!
  4. Go for bone-in roasts. I think bones also add more flavor. After a beef roast has slow cooked all day, the bone falls right off the meat. So go ahead and buy that bone-in roast. No need to pay extra for having it removed. So, now onto the recipes!

Slow Cooked Chipotle Shredded Beef

slow cooked chipotle shredded beef

 Reuben Sliders

Reuben Sliders

Italian Beef Sandwiches

crock pot italian beef

 Best Ever Slow Cooker Beef Roast

Best-Ever-Slow-Cooker-Roast1

Italian Beef in a Bucket

Crock Pot Beef and Noodles

beef and noodles in the slow cooker

Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast

Mississippi Pot Roast

 Another Version Of Italian Beef Sandwiches

Italian Beef Sandwiches (with graphics, thecountrycook.net)

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

DSC_0430

Easy as 1-2-3 Crock Pot Beef Roast

Crock Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches 

Crock Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches

Easy Make Ahead Beef Roasts to Freeze

Make Ahead Beef Roasts to Freeze

Crock Pot Pepperoncini Beef

Pepperoncini Beef Sandwich

Dr. Pepper Slow Cooked Beef

Dr. Pepper Crock Pot Beef

Shredded Beef TacosShredded Beef Tacos (all rights reserved, thecountrycook.net)

Slow Cooked Italian Pot Roast with Parmesan Risotto

Italian Pot Roast and Parmesan Risotto

 Mexican Beef Roast

Red Wine Beef Roast with Mushrooms and Onions

Slow Cooked Beef and mushrooms in red wine

 Slow Cooker Roast Beef

slow cooker roast beef

Philly Cheesesteak Sliders

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Texas Queso Dip

Sometimes it is an eat chips and queso kind of day. This crock pot Texas Queso Dip is not that different from the Sausage Queso I have shared before. The main difference is spicy or hot seasoned sausage instead of ground pork or mild pork sausage.

Texas Queso DipThe recipe is out of the 303 Simple & Satisfying Recipes from Gooseberry Patch. And it is a cinch.

Simply brown a pound of hamburger. If you want to do it quick, be sure to check out my quick tip on browning hamburger. Just place a two-pound block of Velveeta, a can of tomatoes and chiles (or a can of diced tomatoes plus a can of chiles like I did) along with a half a cup of milk.

Crock Pot Texas Queso Dip

Just let the mixture cook on low for two hours in a slow cooker or crock pot. Stir occasionally to avoid it burning around the edges. Serve with tortilla chips.

Crock Pot Queso Dip

Texas Queso Dip
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. hot ground pork sausage, browned and drained
  • 32-oz. pkg. pasteurized process cheese spread, cubed
  • 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • ½ c. milk
  • white corn tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Combine the sausage, cheese, tomatoes and milk in a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for two hours until cheese is melted.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips.

I received the 303 Simple & Satisfying Recipes for free. The recipe ingredients are all on me. The opinions are all mine.

Crock Pot Chipotle Shredded Beef

Naturally when I am reviewing a new cookbook I am drawn to the Mexican inspired recipes. When the recipe includes a beef roast and a crock pot, I am sold. Gonna try the recipe. This crock pot chipotle shredded beef did not disappoint anyone in the family.

slow cooked chipotle shredded beefThe recipe called for a chuck roast, but here is the deal, use whatever beef roast you have on hand or is on sale at the grocery story. It will all work the same. Place the beautiful beef roast in the crock pot.

beef chuck roast in crock pot

The original recipe called for cans of diced tomatoes, green chiles and chipotle sauce. I however had enchilada sauce instead of chipotle. It also called for chili powder and cumin. I had Penzey’s Chili 9000 which has cumin and other yummy seasonings and herbs. So, I used two tablespoons of it instead. Topped the roast with sliced onions and the canned goods before letting it slow cook all day. I omitted the beef broth the recipe called for originally.

Chipotle Beef Ingredients

After it has slow cooked all day, you should be able to peel any excess fat off the roast and then shred with two forks. Don’t trim the fat before cooking. Remember fat is the flavor conductor. You want it to cook with the meat all day to add flavor.

crock pot chipotle beef
 The meat should be fairly juicy. Which made me relieved that I didn’t add the two cups of beef broth. You will get quite a bit of beef. This is a great recipe to eat twice.

slow cooked chipotle shredded beef

The cooked meat will freeze nicely to pull out later or go ahead and make some beef enchiladas and use the meat for tacos or on top of Mexican Risotto.

Chipotle shredded beef risottoThe recipe is from 303 Simple & Satisfying Recipes which is the combination of three cookbooks from Gooseberry Patch. I will be giving this cookbook away the second week of September 2014. Be sure to check back to register to win and see what other great recipes I made.

Slow Cooked Chipotle Shredded Beef
Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 lb. beef chuck roast, trimmed
  • 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 7-oz. can chipotle sauce or medium red enchilada sauce
  • 4-oz. can diced green chiles
  • 1 onion, slice
  • 2 T. chili 9000 from Penzey's or 2 T chili powder and 1 t. cumin
Instructions
  1. Place roast in a slow cooker. Top with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.
  2. Once it is completely cooked, remove any excess fat. With 2 forks, shred the beef roast in slow cooker. Add beef broth if there is not much liquid.
  3. Serve on tortillas with favorite taco toppings, on a bed of lettuce for a salad or in a bowl with Mexican rice.

I received the 303 Simple & Satisfying Recipes for free. The recipe ingredients are all on me. The opinions are all mine.

Hunk of Meat Monday: Bowtie Pasta and Sausage

Have you ever become obsessed with something? So obsessed it makes the people you life with crazy. This bowties and sausage recipe brings to light two obsessions in the Beyer household: a pot and smoked sausage.

Bowties and sausage | Beyer BewareThe pot is my obsession. It is the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 3-1/2-Quart Round French Oven in cherry. Big enough for a one pot wonder for a family of 4 but small enough that I can actually lift it up with a meal in it. Obsessed. You may remember if you follow me on Instagram when I lost my mind at the Le Creuset outlet.
Le Creuset Outlet in South CarolinaAnd the smoked sausge…that would be my daughter. She is a healthy eater who finds higher end meats more desirable. I can’t say I blame her. Except for smoked sausage. She could eat her weight in smoked sausage. So, when I saw this recipe in the Good-For-You Everyday Meals Cookbook from Gooseberry Patch, I knew that at least one person in my family would be simply in love. And boy was I right. Big hit at the dinner table and once again it was a quick prep.

smoked sausage with onion and pepper
Simple ingredients with the smoked sausage, onions and peppers. Slice them all up and get them going in the skillet. Notice I have cheese filled sausage. Use what you like. All beef, jalapeño, skinless, not skinless, all will work just fine. Slice the sausage, pepper and onion up and get sautéing.

Sausage with onions and peppers While the sausage and veggies are cooking, get your pasta cooking. I have a favorite gluten free pasta that I used. The original recipe called for bowtie pasta. Again, use what you have on hand.

My favorite gluten free pastaCook according to the package directions, drain and add to the sausage and veggies.

Gluten free pasta with sausage onions and peppersAdd beef broth to the pot and stir together. Serve to your hungry family with some buttered bread and big glasses of milk.

pot of pasta and smoke sausageLove this recipe and want some more like it? Go check out the giveaway for the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook!

Bowties and Sausage

Rating 

This quick and easy bowties and sausage recipe is one of my daughter's favorites. Serve with some buttered bread and fill your family's bellies.
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces of bowtie pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 pound of Italian pork sausage or smoked sausage cut in ½ inch pieces
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat and add sausage, onion and pepper. Cook until sausage is fully cooked and vegetables are tender.
  2. Drain any grease or fat and return to pan.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions while sausage and vegetables cook. Drain.
  4. Add beef broth to sausage and vegetables and bring to a boil.
  5. Stir in cooked pasta.

 

Quick Spicy Beef Burritos

We can all pretend that we are always ready to whip up a meal for our starving kids. But, after being on the road or on a plane for a month straight, I would rather everyone just make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

When I came across the recipe for quick spicy beef burritos in my latest Gooseberry Patch Cookbook I am reviewing on the way home from a week on the beach, I knew even my kicking and screaming bad attitude towards cooking right now could handle it.

Quick Spicy Beef burritos on corn tortillasThe great thing about this recipe is Beyer pantry friendly ingredients.

Quick Spicy Beef Burritos Recipe

Don’t we all have refried beans, diced tomatoes and chilies and taco seasoning in bulk? Or just me?

Taco Meat add ins

Of course, I always have literally hundreds of pounds of meat just laying around in one of my two chest freezers. I get the frozen pound of ground beef going with a quarter cup of diced onions.

Browning beef for burritosOnce the beef is browned, drained of any excess grease, add those tomatoes, beans and seasoning.

Quick Spicy Beef Burrito FillingsStir to combine and let simmer for several minutes. And I dare you not to steal a bite.

Beef Burrito FillingYou will notice my spoon is missing from my awesome Fighting Illini spoon rest.

Quick Beef Burrito filling with Illini spoon restNow, stop sneaking bites and start assembling. For a healthier option, grab whole wheat tortillas. If you are gluten free, go for the corn. If you are me and you are going with what you have, you will use run of the mill flour tortillas for the family.

Quick beef burritos

Add shredded cheese and roll up tortillas and serve.

Quick Spicy Beef burritos on corn tortillasNotice, I have some corn tortillas in the mix. And if you like more filling in your burritos, go for it. Add some guacamole. It’s healthy!

Quick Spicy Beef BurritosLooking for healthier ideas for any night of the week? Come back tomorrow and register to win this Good-For-You Everyday Meals Cookbook from Gooseberry Patch. Or go buy it now!

Quick Spicy Beef Burritos

Serves: 5

Serving size: 1 burrito

Lovers of Tex-Mex food looking for a change of pace from regular tacos will fall in love with these quick spicy beef burritos.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • ¼ c. diced onion
  • 1-1/4 ounce package of taco seasoning
  • 16 ounce can refried beans
  • 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • Flour or corn tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, brown beef with onion.
  2. Drain off any excess grease and stir in the taco seasoning, beans and tomatoes and chilies. Simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Warm up flour tortillas or crisp up corn tortillas and fill with beef filling.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese and then roll up and serve immediately.

This recipe is from a cookbook given to me by Gooseberry Patch. The recipe commentary and opinions are mine.

Low-Carb Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I love creamy casseroles in the winter time. The problem now is for the most part they have flour in the sauce or the pasta. But, this chicken cordon bleu casserole creation can be completely flour free.

Chicken Cordon Bleu gluten free

Now, of course, the bread crumbs I put on part of it have flour, but almond meal can be substituted for the bread crumbs or completely omitted. The sauce is a creamy, cheesy sauce that doesn’t have a lick of thickener in it. Simply mix cream cheese, butter, milk or cream and parmesan cheese together for the base of the sauce.

flourless alfredo sauceNow start layering the casserole. Start with shredded or cubed cook chicken. This is about 2 cups worth or 4-5 boneless skinless chicken thighs. Followed by 1 cup shredded swiss cheese. You can use monterey jack or mozzarella also. Then layer ham. The next time I make this, I will cut up the ham. Feel free to use cubed ham or lunch meat. Just make sure you cut the lunch meat up. Followed by the incredible sauce.

chicken cordon bleu casserole layersNow, I am sure some of you notice breadcrumbs. Don’t want the carbs or can’t have the gluten, substitute almond meal. Or just leave off completely.

Low-Carb Chicken Cordon Bleu CasseroleRegardless, enjoy this comforting casserole.

Low-Carb Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
This chicken cordon bleu casserole is full of flavor but yet low carb and even gluten free if you need it to be.
Ingredients
Casserole Layers
  • 2 cups cooked diced or shredded chicken
  • 1 cup diced ham or sliced ham lunch meat
  • 1 cup shredded swiss, monterey jack or mozzarella cheese
Alfredo Sauce
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 cup milk or half and half
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
Optional Topping
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
Instructions
  1. Layer the chicken in the bottom of a deep dish casserole pan.
  2. Layer shredded cheese on top of the chicken follow with the ham and then pour alfredo sauce over top of it all.
  3. To make the Alfredo sauce, mix the cream cheese, butter, milk, parmesan cheese and garlic powder together over a low heat in a small sauce pan.
  4. Stir constantly until it is all melted and just begins to bubble. Remove from heat.
  5. For added flavor and texture mix breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and butter together. Sprinkle over the alfredo sauce.
  6. Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes or casserole is bubbling.
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