Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mexican Shredded Beef

I hope you're in the mood for Mexican this week, because my next 3 recipes were what I made for a Mexican dinner party I threw the last weekend of February break!  And I'll just preface it all by saying that everyone - Rachael, Alex, Sam, Susie and Maggie - loved everything, so be excited.

Yes, I actually made meat for this dinner party.  Mexican shredded beef, to be exact.  It's a chuck roast that gets browned in a Dutch oven; then it takes a break while the onion, carrot, garlic, poblano, and jalapeño peppers get sautéed in the same pan.  Add in some tomatoes, and then everything roasts together for 2 hours, spiced with cumin, bay leaves, oregano, fresh thyme, and cilantro. By the time you take it out, the meat is falling apart and the vegetables and broth have turned into a flavorful stock.  Hopefully you believe that good things are worth waiting for, because it's not yet time to eat.

Once the meat is shredded, it then gets cooked one more time on the stove, mixed with some of the stock it cooked in, salsa, and more spices like chili and garlic powder.  By then, the carnivores in the house will be salivating, so luckily, it's time to eat at that point.

The options for this beef are pretty endless.  I used them as a topping for sopes, which you;ll hear about later this week.  I also used the leftovers to make two batches of fairly amazing nachos that were inhaled by Mark and my family (see picture below).  I can imagine them in tacos, enchiladas, burritos... wherever your heart desires Mexican shredded beef.  Yes, it takes a while, but the carnivore all agreed that it was worth it.


Mexican shredded beef
from Fill Your Belly
serves 8

3 pounds chuck roast, cut into 4 large chunks
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
7 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 poblanos, 1 seeded, stemmed and roughly chopped, 1 roasted, skinned, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano, divided (I could only find regular)
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
2 bay leaves
1 small bunch cilantro
7 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup condenses beef broth
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup medium chunky salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


1)  Salt and pepper the meat.  Add 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and brown the meat on all sides, about 12 minutes.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the meat to a plate and add the onion, carrot, garlic, the unfrosted poblano, and jalapeño to the pot. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to soften.  Add the tomatoes, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 tablespoon cumin, bay leaves, 1 bunch cilantro (reserving 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro), thyme, beef broth, and chicken stock.  Stir to combine, then add the beef back in.  Bring to a boil, then cover and cook in oven for 2 hours.

3) After 2 hours, remove the pot to the stovetop and let the meat cool in the stock for 1 hour (I waited 30 minutes).  After it is cool, remove the meat and shred.  Reserve 2 cups of the liquid for later.

4) In a large pan, add the beef, salsa, roasted poblano, chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, and 2 cups cooking liquid.  Stir to combine and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until most of the juices have evaporated.  Serve however you'd like!

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