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September 23, 2014 / Asimplemother

Fall Harvest Dinners

Fall is my favorite time of the year…the colors, cool nights and the food.  Oh my the food!  But it’s really more than the food. It is the company and environment in which we get to enjoy the food.  Farmers and their loved ones are a few of the lucky ones who get the opportunity to enjoy dinner in a recently harvested corn field, on the tailgate of a pick-up truck or standing next to a grain bin and elevator in the dusty evening light.  Unfortunately I could go on and on, but no words will ever allow those not part of this elite group to experience what we lucky ones live for every fall.

Yes, there are long nights, early mornings and really no weekends.  But some of most cherished memories of growing up on  a farm include having dinner brought to the field for me by my mom.  I’m not sure what specific elements contributed to cheeseburgers tasting more delicious or cookie bars melting in my mouth but every meal consumed in the field always tasted better than those consumed any other place.

Continuing this tradition, I am reminded every year as I watch the corn transition, the soybeans become “ready”  and all of husband’s conversations include harvest updates that I should get my recipes out, stock up on disposable utensils and prepare the kids for the fun!

I always have my standby recipes: cheeseburgers, sloppy joes, and chilli.  I then have to add in some new ones to challenge my cooking skills, but more importantly, my kitchen-to the car-to the field delivery skills.

This year, I will be making these Italian Beef Sandwiches.  I can start them before leaving for work in the morning and assemble them just in time for dinner.  Try them for yourself.  Better yet, make and take them to a local farmer and enjoy dinner in a field!

Italian Beef Sandwiches


4-5 Pounds of Top Round Steak, Slightly Thawed

12 Medium Tomatoes, Rough Chopped

2-8 Ounce Packages of Fresh Mushrooms, chopped

1-12 Ounce Bottle of Hard Apple Cider

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

2 T. Sun Dried Tomato Seasoning

2 Green Peppers, Sliced

1 Large Yellow Onion, Sliced

12 Bakery Buns (Hamburger Bun Size)

1 Stick of Butter, Softened

2 T. Fresh Minced Garlic

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tsp. Garlic Salt

12 Slices of Fresh Mozzarella Cheese


Coat a 6 quart electric roasting pan with cooking spray.  Place tomatoes and mushrooms in pan. Place Top Round Steak on top of tomatoes and mushrooms. Season with sun dried tomato seasoning.  Pur Hard Cider and Vinegar over steak.  Cook at 150 degrees for 8-9 hours.  Turn off.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix butter, garlic, powder and salt together.  Split buns and spread butter evenly inside tops and bottoms.  Lay open on two cooking sheets.  Cook at 425 degrees for 17-20 minutes until lightly brown.  Remove from oven. Preheat oven to broil.  Meanwhile heat a fry pan over medium heat coated with cooking spray. Add pepper and onions.  Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Remove meat from pan, drain liquid from tomato mixture, reserving 1/4 cup.  Return tomato mixture to pan, along with meat and reserved liquid.  Using 2 forks, shred meat. Stir well.  Evenly distribute meat on the bun bottoms, top with 1/12 of pepper/onion mixture and one slice of cheese.  Repeat for remaining buns.  Leave buns open face.  Place one pan under broiler until cheese melts, about 1-2 minutes, remove from oven and repeat with remaining pan.  Close sandwiches and enjoy…or wrap in foil to deliver.  Serves 12.




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