frying in background whilst making carrot salad--added carrot shreds to the skillet, too!
Cooking everything in a skillet (read: frying) is an Ozark staple. It’s cooler in summer (stovetop puts out heat but not as much as an oven; for my grandparents and parents, it meant a wood-burning stove in the kitchen!), dirties less dishes and … well, I grew up doing it. You can bring home the beef and fry it up with less fat than ever before, too!
Lazy-Lean Beefy Skillet:
- 1lb 96% fat-free ground beef (alternately use “ground turkey BREAST”–“ground turkey” includes fattier cuts)
- at least 1 full-sized bag frozen veg of choice (mine was “Mediterranean” plus I added some carrot shreds)
- 2T Ranch seasoning dry mix
- 1 tin Contadina Tomato Paste
- salt and pepper to taste
Toss beef into skillet and fry, crumbling as you go. I didn’t add fat, although beef this low in fat doesn’t produce much melted-fat/ self-non-stickiness. Water will cook out, carrying tiny droplets of fat (which I drain and give to Bobby, once cooled). Drain when finished.
Whilst frying, microwave-steam (I said lazy!) veg. Drain veg when finished.
"secret's in the sauce"
Add 2T Ranch dry seasoning* and make sure it’s evenly distributed throughout beef. Add veg and mix well with seasoned beef. Taste. If it needs salt & pepper, have at it.
Add tomato paste (not sauce, see link above for more info) and 1 tin of water (we raise and can tomatoes but it’s grand to have a lazy, pre-made, thick tomato paste to add to quick recipes). Stir well, taste. Tomato paste is bitter/ strong-flavored. You may need to add some more salt or something else. When I tasted, I opted to sprinkle a tiny bit more of the Ranch dry seasoning.
Lower heat to simmer and let all of the skillet marry for 15 minutes or so. Serve.
* A gal at work mentioned a couple of years ago that she always seasons ground beef with Ranch seasoning mix — whether it’s meant for meatballs, hamburgers or lasagna! I do not like creamy stuff or hardly any condiments (unless vegetables, like hummus, pico de gallo, tahini, etc.) and I’d never heard of such a thing! I took a taste of one of her burgers and it was great. I hate sour cream, cream cheese, etc. but there’s something about a little bit of its zing that punches up beef. I haven’t tried it on ground pork or chicken. I bet it’s okay, too. If you try it, let me know!