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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef

I love throwing some delicious ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and letting it do all the hard work for me.  Today was definitely that kind of day.  I had holiday shopping to do and have you seen what the line at Kohl's looks like the week before Christmas???  I ended up abandoning my items because the line was ungodly (ironically.)  So upon returning to my house after a whole lot of shopping and nothing to show for it, I felt extremely unproductive...until I smelled my dinner.  At least that was a success today.

I found the following recipe for brisket, but Jim understandably didn't want me spending thirty dollars on a piece of meat...and chuck roast it is.  Brisket could not possibly have tasted better than this did, so frugality wins again.  The recipe also included cooking the beef with all the spices, but I forgot to throw them in the slow cooker.  (Did I mention I was simultaneously making pancakes for breakfast?  Proof positive...Multitasking doesn't work.)  It totally worked without it though, and I just added the spices to the sauce after the meat was done cooking.  Also, the original recipe included a good amount of cumin.  I have fallen out of love with cumin.  It happened recently.  I'm not sure exactly when, but I don't even like the smell of it anymore.  So I omitted it completely from the dish.  No cumin and all, this was a delicious way to cook beef in the slow cooker and extremely versatile.  You could shred the meat and put it over some rice or use it for tacos/enchiladas/quesadillas, or even make some barbecue beef sandwiches.  I plan on doing all of the above over the course of the next three or four days.  

Slow Cooker Southwestern Shredded Beef
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 3-lb chuck roast, visible fat removed
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 cups water
1 14-1/2 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup molasses
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat just until it begins to smoke.  Season the chuck roast liberally with salt and pepper.  Then sear both sides in the hot pan for a total of 10 minutes.  Transfer the meat to the slow cooker.  Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute for a minute.  Then add the vinegar (don't inhale the steam), scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and cook until the liquid is gone.  Stir in the water and add this mixture over the beef in the slow cooker.  Then add the tomatoes, crushing each through your fingers, the remaining juices, the chipotle peppers, bay leaves, and molasses.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  When the meat is just about done, add the remaining spices to a small saucepan on very low heat.  When the meat is done cooking, take the meat out of the slow cooker, set aside and cover to keep warm.  Strain the remaining liquid into a fat separator.  Let sit for five minutes and then pour off any excess fat.  (Mine had barely any fat whatsoever, but I'm sure every piece of meat - especially if you use a different cut - will differ.) Pour the remaining liquid into the sauce pan while whisking into the spices.  Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced.  Spoon this sauce over the beef on top of some rice or for sandwiches or tacos.  These quick and easy pickled onions and jalapenos go perfectly with this dish.  

The before picture...


1 comment:

  1. I love this dish, one of my favs. Thanks for posting this recipe.