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Bacon Wrapped Beer Brats
That smokey, salty flavor. That crispiness. That crunchy, yet chewy goodness. Yeah…I LOVE bacon. Can you tell?! And I really love things wrapped in that goodness. Like hotdogs in Mexico. They are the best! I can see some of your faces now. All shriveled up and saying, “gross!” Whatever! You just haven’t lived until you’ve had a dog wrapped in bacon. But if you wanna get all uppity (just kidding, brats are good too), then try this recipe. But beware, these bad boys are addicting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Bacon Wrapped Beer Brats:

1 Pkg beer brats (6 in mine) – $2.99
2 Beers, enough to cover brats in medium sauce pan – $2.00
1 large onion, sliced – $.25
Bacon Ends or half package of standard bacon – $1.25
1/4 cup brown sugar – $.25
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (New Mexico red Chili will work for more mild) – pantry
12 Toothpicks – pantry

COST: $6.74

Cut each brat in half. Place brats in medium sauce pan with beer and onions. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 15 mins. Remove brats from pan and let cool. Return liquid to simmer and add brown sugar and cayenne. Cook for 20-30 mins, uncovered. You basically want to reduce by 1/2 to 3/4. You will get a nice sweet and spicy sauce in the form of a thin syrup. Keep and eye on it. You don’t want it to burn.

When brats are cool to the touch, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wrap each brat piece with a strip of bacon, secure with a toothpick and place on baking sheet. Continue wrapping till all brats are nicely tucked in their bacon blankets and toss in the oven. Bake until bacon is brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve with your sweet and spicy sauce or stone ground mustard. A nice cucumber salad pairs well with these crispy treats.

Cucumber Salad:

1 large or 2 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced – $.75
1 can black olives, drained and sliced – $.99
2 large roma tomatoes, diced – $.65
2 Tbsp Italian Dressing – $.25
1/2 tsp pepper – pantry
1/2 tsp garlic powder – pantry
1/2 Sea salt – pantry

COST: $2.64

Mix all ingredients and toss well. Cover and allow to sit for 6 hours or more in the fridge, if you can. The olives will really make this salad so flavorful. Perfect with crispy bacon wrapped brats and baked potato!

Baked Potato COST: $.15 a piece – $.60 for 4

GRAND TOTAL: $9.98



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Mar-14-2013

Steak and Stout Pie

Posted by Renae under Beef, Easy Meals, Pie, Uncategorized

Someone once told me they give Guinness to the ill in Haiti because it is so rich in nutrients. In our house, we call it Adult Chocolate milk. It seems to be so much more than just a beer. It’s great in bread, cupcakes and even pie!! Give it a try and see what you think. So tender. So flavorful. So easy!! 

Prepared Homemade Crust/Dough:

1 1/2 cups flour - $.60
1/4 tsp salt – pantry
1 stick very cold butter - $.60
4 to 5 tablespoons ice cold water

COST: $1.20

Combine flour and salt in large bowl; cut very cold butter and lard (even if you have to freeze it) into small dices and mix with flour mixture. Use your hands and fingers and squeeze and mix till flour and butter are well incorporated. Mixture will have some small pebbles, which is perfect!

Next, stir in cold water with fork or fingers (I prefer fingers) just until flour is moistened. Form a ball with the lightly mixed dough and wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge.

Steak and Stout Pie:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds beef (stew meat, round steak or other affordable cut) – $4.69
1/4 to 1/2 medium white onion, finely diced - $.15
1/2 bag baby carrots (carrots cut in half) – $.50
2 russet potatoes, peeled and largely cubed  - $.40
8 – 10 baby bella or button mushrooms (cleaned and sliced) –  $1.00
1 can Guinness Beer - $2.00
1 Tbsp crushed or minced garlic – pantry
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil – pantry
Olive oil – pantry
2 heaping Tbsps Flour – pantry
1 to 2 cups beef broth or water and bouillon –  pantry (I use water and bouillon — 2 cubes to 2 cups water)
1 sprig Thyme or a tsp dried – pantry
Salt and pepper to taste

COST: $8.74

Place a large pot over high heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and when starting to smoke, toss in your beef.  Make sure you have sliced or diced your meat into slices or cubes no bigger than 1/2 inch. Season with salt and pepper and sear on high heat for a few minutes. Remove seared beef and set aside.

Turn same pot to medium heat and toss in sliced or diced onions and fresh herbs. Cook for around 10 minutes, or until soft and lightly golden. Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper and continue cooking and stirring occasionally.

After about 5 minutes or when mushrooms are done sweating, 2 Tbsps butter, 1 additional tablespoon olive oil,  2 heaping tablespoons of flour and mix. Cook this for 2 minutes and then bring heat up to high. Immediately add a can of Guinness beer, followed by broth or water (and bouillon) and stir.

Last, add carrots and potatoes and bring to boil. Once to boil, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 1  to 1 1/2 hours or until the sauce has thickened and the meat is tender. Stir occasionally as sauce is very thick. You can adjust your sauce if it’s too thick by adding a little more broth or water. It it’s too thin, move lid and boil off moisture.

While stew is cooking, you can make your pastry dough (see above). And don’t forget to preheat your oven to 350 degrees prior to cooking pie.

When stew/filling is done, carefully pour into a pie dish, then lay rolled pastry on top. You can brush with beaten egg if you like and place in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the pastry is a nice golden brown. Delicious and perfect for a home cooked St. Paddy’s meal!

PS. If you wish, you could always use a store bought pastry. Making the pastry dough is probably the hardest part of this entire dish. So, if pressed for time, go the easy route. It will still be the best pot pie you’ve ever tasted.

Recipe adapted from Steak and Guinness Pie by one of my favorites, Jamie Oliver

GRAND TOTAL: $9.94



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