Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Beef Barbacoa

August 2, 2014

Yesterday I tried something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and made Beef Barbacoa in my slow cooker.  It tasted perfect!  The only way it could have been better is if I could have started with the right cut of meat and been able to actually shred it.  But with stew meat in the freezer, and not a nice roast, I used what I had available.

Beef Barbacoa is a very simple dish to prepare.  Measurements are approximate because I eyeball stuff instead of dragging the proper tools out and assume about 6-8 pounds of meat are being used.  Simply brown your meat (cut the roast into manageable pieces) in a frying pan and then place in your slow cooker or crockpot.  Add a small jar of your favorite salsa and enough beef broth (or water and bullion or beef base) to submerge meat.  You don’t want it fully covered just submerged because you are going to, over the course of the day, cook off 90% of the liquid.  Heat on high until it is bubbling consistently then turn to low and let simmer for 6-8 hours.  A couple of hours before you are ready to serve, pull the meat out and shred it.  Return to the cooker with just enough brown sugar to cut the acid from the salsa and give a mildly sweet flavor to the remaining liquid.  Stir occasionally until dinner time.

I imagine a couple of you are mentally raising your hands with questions already… Yes, 6-8 pounds of roast is a lot of meat.  This is what I call a ‘Planned-Over’ kind of recipe.  What you don’t use right away can be frozen for quick meals later on.  And, yes, you can use pork roast if you prefer and it comes out just as perfectly delightful!

5 ways to serve Beef Barbacoa…

In a Mexican Style Salad
Place a big flour tortilla in the bottom of a large shallow bowl.  Add in this order:
Scoop of Green Rice (recipe at end of post)
Scoop of black beans
Scoop of Beef Barbacoa
A big handful of lettuce or mixed salad greens
Tomato and avocado wedges
Squeeze juice of ¼ lime over the top
A sprinkling of queso fresco
A few fried tortilla strips
Dress with ranch (or Google “Café Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing” for something absolutely drool inducing!)

In a Burrito
Place a scoop of Beef Barbacoa and a bit of shredded cheese on a large flour tortilla.  Roll up like a burrito.   Serve as is or top with Salsa Verde and grated cheese and place under the broiler until heated.  Serve with Green Rice, black beans, and salad greens on the side.

On an American Style Salad
Place a healthy serving of shredded lettuce or mixed salad greens on your dish.  Top with tomato wedges, grated cheese, thinly sliced red onion, a scoop of Beef Barbacoa and a handful of onion straws.  Dress with your favorite salad dressing and a drizzle of barbeque sauce.

On Southern BBQ Joint Mac ‘n Cheese
Go all out and make homemade Macaroni & Cheese with your favorite recipe.  Place a dinner-sized serving in a shallow bowl and top with a scoop of Beef Barbacoa, a drizzle of barbeque sauce, thinly sliced red onion, grated cheddar cheese, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

In a Sandwich
Place a scoop of Beef Barbacoa in a toasted hamburger bun.  Top the meat with a bit of shredded green cabbage (or coleslaw if you like it) or a thin slice of cheddar cheese and onion straws.  Especially good served with potato salad and pickle wedges.

To make Green Rice, I put a bit of olive oil in a frying pan and add long cooking white rice.  Toast it over medium high until the kernels of rice become mostly opaque (the heat turns them from translucent to a creamy solid white and acts to set the starch so that the rice doesn't come out sticky).  Add chicken broth (or water and bullion or chicken base) to cover.  Don’t worry about having enough water to fully cook it at this point, you will add more later.  When it comes to a boil, add half a jar of Salsa Verde, a small can of mild diced green chiles and 6-8 roughly chopped tomatillos.  Cook until rice is nearly tender adding water as needed.  When it’s almost done, add the rest of the Salsa Verde, a handful of chopped cilantro, appx. 1 tsp cumin, and some chopped green onion or chives.  Test for salt.  Let sit covered until the last of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender and fluffy.

Happy eating!

1 comment:

Jessie said...

Kathy this sounds wonderful! I am adding to my grocery list for next week.