Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

I've been making this beef Barbacoa recipe a lot lately and normally I make it in the oven in my Le Creuset, because, I always look for an excuse to use it! I do love the flavor of roasting it in the oven. It's richer, slightly crispier and overall delicious. Meals like that require time, like a lazy Sunday but for weeknight cooking it's not so practical. Recently, I'm taken a huge fascination with my slow cooker and decided to try the same recipe in that instead, hoping to make things a little easier. It was good...but wasn't as flavorful as the original version. I decided to make it again but sear the meat first-adding more flavor and depth. So much better! If I have the time, I'll still make this in the oven, but this is a great alternative and much easier for busy weeknight meals.

When I tested the recipe on Sunday we had Sean's cousin stop by (Jen from Jenplans) and she loved the idea of capturing the prep in action on periscope! It was my first time on the app and it was a pretty unique experience! If you witnessed that, thank you for coming back to get the recipe! (If your on Periscope you can find me with the same social media handle, cookinginpearls!)

Problem is, after periscoping the whole process from start to finish I realized I didn't take any pictures. Such a rookie. So here I am, 2 days later, making the same dish again! Thank goodness it was a chuck roast and not a beef tenderloin...that would have been an expensive mistake!

This is a great recipe that's easy and flexible using what you have on hand. Better yet, you can prep the whole thing the night before and pop it in your slow cooker the next day! That's what I did today and my husband was happy to "cook dinner" tonight, aka, place the insert in the slow cooker and press start! 

You'll need:
2.5-3 pounds of boneless beef chuck 
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Olive oil (coconut oil, canola, etc. is fine too!)
1/2 cup Mexican beer or red wine
1/4 cup beef broth
1/2 onion (red or yellow), diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-2 jalapeños, seeded and minced (use as much heat as you like!)
2 bay leaves
1tbl Cumin
1tbl Chili powder
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes 
1/2 tsp Oregano, dried
Hot sauce, a few dashes 
(Optional) 1/2 cup salsa

Start by preheating your pan/skillet on high heat for about 2 minutes or until wisps of smoke start arising. Season your chuck roast with about a tbl of salt and pepper. This gives it a nice crust and flavors a lot of meat-so don't be stingy! Drizzle in a little oil (olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, whatever you prefer) and sear the meat on all sides, about 2 minutes on each.
When the beef is caramelized, remove it from the pan and place it into your slow cooker insert. You'll want to deglaze your pan you seared the beef in so go ahead and pour in some beer or wine. Keep the heat on medium and scrape the bottom of the pan to lift up those yummy bits! You'll also want to add about 1/4 cup of beef broth. This creates nice rich beefy flavor!

Pour that over the beef and add in your onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Next, add in your seasonings and hot sauce. If you have salsa on hand, that adds nice flavor too. If you don't, no sweat!
If you plan on cooking this now, cook it on low for about 7 hours. Otherwise, cover the insert and pop it in the fridge until tomorrow morning. I would definitely pull this out of the fridge at least a half hour before putting it in your slow cooker. The drastic temperature change may overwork your slow cooker and take awhile for your meat to come to room temperature.

Check the meat every few hours (if you're home) to be sure there's enough moisture in the slow cooker. I had Sean flip the meat now and again to evenly distribute the flavors, but if you don't have a husband that works from home, it's not too crucial of a step! In about 7 hours you'll find fall-apart tender meat that is so so good!! 
Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred, on a plate or cutting board. Not too finely, just running your fork through it and  removing any fat as you see it. 
Take a spoon and a small bowl and skim the surface of the broth to remove any fat that will surface at the top. I removed about 1/4-1/2 cup worth. Don't go crazy, you just don't want it too greasy! Add the luscious meat back to the broth liquid and it's ready to go! Taste for seasoning, you can always add more!

Serve in a tortilla and top with any taco fixin's you like. I love shredded pepper jack cheese, some avocado, fresh cilantro, and diced tomatoes. Heck, I love jalapeños, black olives, hot sauce, onions, and guac too! Whatever you like will be perfect!
Enjoy, and as always, I love to see your pictures and hear your feedback! Feel free to send me an email, tag me on Instagram, or comment below.


1 comment:

  1. Do you have to serve it in a tortilla or could you serve it over noodles or rice? Would it change the dish drastically?