barbacoa beef

August 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

SONY DSC*

I read an article on The Kitchn recently that extolled the virtues of summer crock-pot use. And it makes a great deal of sense– low-stress cooking that won’t heat up your kitchen OR involve lengthy discussions about whether the coals on your grill are ready.

so, for this month’s neighbor dinner (which followed closely on the heels of my dream vacation to costa rica), I decided to make tacos, with a lot of fresh ingredients as potential fillers. Instead of turning to pork, as I often do for tacos, I settled on trying a barbacoa beef recipe (as they say in the karaoke world: in the style of Chipotle). The internet has a lot of, um, opinions on the subject. Kenji Alt over at Serious Eats gives a nice run-down here, but I wanted to avoid over-the-stove cooking and embrace the crock pot, so I eventually settled on the recipe here.

And it was totally awesome, with some of my guests claiming it was better than Chipotle. Win.

the stuff:

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
4 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 small can of chipotle chiles in adobo
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup vegetable stock (or chicken)
3 bay leaves
4 -5 lbs chuck roast

the how-to:
1. cut the roast into large, manageable chunks and remove as much fat as you’re able to. place the roast in a large sautee pan over medium-high heat, and add several tablespoons of vegetable oil/canola oil/olive oil if you must, but watch the smoking. sear all sides until browned.

2. meanwhile, combine vinegar, garlic cloves, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, cloves, chilies in adobo, and lime juice and process until smooth (I used my immersion blender, which i cannot say enough nice things about, but you could also use your blender or food processor).

3. place the roast in the slow cooker and cover with sauce, broth and bay leaves.

4. cook on low for 8-10 hours (you could also do high for 6 hours, but you may lose some of the tenderness). shred with forks and serve.

5. i served it with the following “topping” options: cheddar cheese, queso fresco, sour cream, lettuce, corn salad, bean salad and rice and beans.

*Totally not my image. Borrowed from the internet. You can tell because cilantro: ew. Was having too much fun eating and playing “Celebrity” to snap a photo.

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