Bar none, one of my favorite things about harvest is eating together in the field. My mother-in-law, Sharon, will smack me upside the head when she reads this because, my word, the work.
(That's right, it ain't easy making a nice meal, packing it up, hauling kids, plates, cups, coolers, crockpots and more to a dusty field location. And then someone asks for the salt and 'doh! The one thing I forgot…)
But this is the time in the day when my kids finally see their dad. It's time for them to soak up with him, and it's time for him to get off the equipment and stand still for a few moments. It's a chance to rest, and it's a break from the work of the day. Consider that breakfast came at 6:30 a.m., lunch was from a cooler packed that morning, and supper doesn't come till early evening. That's a long day. (Though my mother-in-law has been known to leave a candy stash in the scale house for them. Shhh.)
So with that, I'll share my favorite field recipe. It's nothing fancy, but it hits the spot - even with those on the field crew who don't favor spicy food. And complete confession: it's a Pioneer Woman recipe. Also: go beef.
Chuck roast, 3-4 pounds
1 can beef broth
3 heaping tablespoons of Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
¼ c water
1 jar (16 oz) pepperoncini peppers, with juice
Combine all ingredients in a heavy pot or dutch oven. Stir lightly to combine seasoning with the liquid.
Cover and bake in a 275 degree oven for 5 to 6 hours, or until meat is fork-tender and falling apart. If meat is not yet tender, return to oven for 30 minute intervals till it's tender.
Remove from oven. With two forks, completely shred all meat, leaving no large chunks behind. Serve immediately, or keep warm over a simmer on the stove. Or take it directly to the field. Or make it the day before, stash it in the refrigerator, then throw it in the crockpot for a few hours on low before taking to the field.
Serve on buttered, toasted rolls. Top with provolone or mozzarella cheese slices. Serve with juice for dipping. (That's if you're eating at home…in the field, it's likely a regular un-toasted roll. Hey, we can only do so much here.)
The archives: 30 Days on a Prairie Farm
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