Celebrate May Beef Month with Weekly Meal Plan
Many of us who live in rural areas probably were “meal planning” without even realizing it and before it was trending! After all, we aren’t going to drive five to 10 miles for one missing ingredient. We either plan ahead or make do with what we have on hand by substituting ingredients.
Some of my friends make elaborate monthly menus like what my school printed in the newspaper when I was a kid. (I’m dating myself, but I remember my mom cutting out the school lunch menu and posting it on the refrigerator. Each morning I would look at the school lunch menu to see if I wanted to pack my lunch.) My friends who make these elaborate menus are very much about sticking with what’s on the menu for each specific date. They’ve learned what works best for them. I’ve also learned that I can’t stick to a strict schedule.
Because my husband travels frequently and our kids’ activities often take us away from home, I make a list of seven meals and side dishes before I do my weekly grocery shopping. I have a general idea of when I plan to serve each of the meals, but we can flex our meals when the situation arises.
I typically make sure we have a variety of dishes that use pork, beef and poultry with an occasional meal of fresh catch or grilled salmon. In celebration of May Beef Month, this week I put together a week’s worth of beef recipes based on recipes we’ve featured on “The Field Position” blog:
- Monday – Prime Rib Roast (in the crockpot), steamed green beans and peaches with cottage cheese. I once read on a food blog you should make Monday’s supper the easiest meal of the week. After all, “it’s a Monday!” (Please tell me you’ve had “one of those days,” so you understand what I’m talking about.) Mondays are a great time for crockpot meals or freezer meals, so you can start the week off right.
- Tuesday – Beef Stew or Beef & Noodles, using leftover roast and the broth/juice in the crockpot from the Mock Prime Rib. Consider serving stew with fresh beer bread topped with homemade jam. We like beef & noodles served over the Best Dang Mashed Potatoes with a side of steamed peas and canned pears. (Val, who blogs at “Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids, suggests using frozen veggies to save time. Click here for more of her time-saving tips.)
- Wednesday – Baked Tacos. This recipe makes it easy to make quick and delicious supper. Since the homemade taco season recipe makes enough for two pounds, I brown two pounds of hamburger right away. You can always freeze the other pound for later. Consider serving these tacos with sides of frozen corn and fresh fruit with Mexican Fruit Dip.
- Thursday – Lasagna with garlic bread and a tossed salad. (Please don’t dismiss this meal idea without reading recipe. It’s as easy as it is delicious!)
- Friday – Fire up the grill! Hamburgers on the grill are one of our family’s favorite meals. I particularly enjoy grilling on Fridays because it’s a good way to wind down at the end of a work week. That means fewer dishes, less time cleaning up and more time chilling out. Consider serving grilled burgers with sides of Sweet & Spicy Hog Wild Baked Beans or Calico Beans and slices of fresh melon.
- Saturday lunch – Farmer Favorite Maid Rites with skillet mac and cheese. Sometimes a person just needs some good comfort foods! I would serve this with apple crisp or apple-rhubarb crisp.
- Saturday dinner – Sour Cream Meatballs. You can serve it over rice with a side dish of fresh asparagus or steamed broccoli.
We knew we had a winner on our team the first time Kurt Ludwig, graphic designer for Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, brought Bourbon & Bacon Meatballs to our company’s holiday potluck. This recipe takes meatballs to a whole new level! You could even serve this as appetizers for a Derby-themed party… once the Kentucky Derby and other large group gatherings are allowed again.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has altered many a plans and cancelled many events, it’s not stopping us from celebrating May Beef Month. Go ahead and have a ball this weekend!
Bourbon and Bacon Meatballs
- 6 bacon strips
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- Place bacon into a food processor and process until bacon is finely ground up. Add in the onion and process until onion is finely chopped and mixed in.
- Spoon bacon and onion mixture into large bowl. Add ground beef, breadcrumbs, parsley, egg, chili powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Scoop out the meat mixture and roll into balls using your palms, should make about 24 1 inch meatballs.
- Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Place the meatballs into the sauce pan and cook, turning every couple minutes to ensure all sides cook evenly. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until fully cooked.
- Remove the meatballs and set aside. Add the barbecue sauce, water and bourbon to a crockpot. Stir to mix the sauce together. Add in the meatballs and allow them to simmer in the sauce for at least 10 minutes.