50 Great Budget Dinners
20. Classic Meat Loaf
Combine 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 1 grated onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 egg, 3/4 cup marinara, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup milk, and 1/4 cup bread crumbs. Form into a loaf on a baking sheet; cook at 375 degrees F. for 1 hour. Brush top with 1/4 cup marinara mixed with 3 tablespoons brown sugar and broil until bubbly.
21. Asian Gingered Beef Salad (pictured)
Marinate 1 1/2 pounds flank steak in 2 tablespoons grated ginger, 1/3 cup brown sugar, some crushed garlic, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/4 cup lime juice, and olive oil. Drain and grill or broil about 6 minutes per side. Slice meat and serve with a salad of baby greens, sliced cucumber, scallions, sesame seeds, and cilantro. Dress with an Asian vinaigrette.
22. Blue Cheese and Steak Salad
Season and cook skirt steak to desired doneness. Whisk together 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, a pinch of sugar, and 5 tablespoons olive oil. Toss dressing with salad greens, sliced steak, and some blue cheese.
23. German-Style Roast Beef
Pour 1 cup ketchup and one 12-ounce can beer over a salted 3-pound boneless rump roast in a Dutch oven. Bake, covered, at 325 degrees F. for 2 1/2 hours. Stir 1 tablespoon brown sugar into drippings; simmer 10 minutes. Slice and serve with sauce.
24. Chipotle Apricot Pot Roast
In a slow cooker, combine a salted 3-pound boneless chuck roast with 1/2 cup dried apricots, 1 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo, and 1/2 cup water; cook for 5 hours on high. To make sauce, simmer cooking liquid with 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water until thick.
25. French Dip Sandwiches
Saute 8 ounces sliced mushrooms and a sliced red onion with olive oil until tender; season with salt and pepper. Serve on 4 toasted rolls with sliced deli roast beef and prepared au jus.
26. Roast Beef Pita Pockets
Spread prepared roasted-garlic hummus inside pita halves. Fill with sliced deli roast beef, sliced tomatoes, and chopped lettuce. Top with 1/2 cup plain yogurt mixed with 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup chopped cucumber, and 1/4 teaspoon cumin.
27. Italian Bunless Burger
Combine 2 pounds ground beef, 8 ounces spicy Italian sausage, 1/2 cup chopped roasted bell peppers, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Form into patties and grill. Serve with mozzarella and lettuce leaves or with a salad.
28. Black Bean and Beef Tacos
Saute 1 pound ground beef and a chopped onion until cooked through. Add a can of drained black beans, 1 cup frozen corn and taco seasoning; heat through. Serve in taco shells with salsa, grated cheese, and avocado.
29. Garlic-Spice Rubbed Steak
Combine 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt, paprika, cumin, and coriander, 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Rub mixture onto a 2-pound skirt steak; marinate 1 to 6 hours, then grill. Serve with salad and roasted sweet-potato fries.