We all know that I love my crockpot, right? Somehow, it always slips my mind in the summertime. Maybe it’s because I typically make soup, roasts and other “comfort” foods in it… things that seem completely out of season when it’s 75 degrees and sunny.
But let’s face it: aren’t we all busier in the summer than we are in the winter? The days are longer, and we’re trying to cram more into this wonderful, warm season. And when you think about it, the crockpot’s ideal for those days when it’s too hot to stand over the stove. Especially when you’re making shredded beef for tacos. The meat hangs out all day, and you come home to a house full of wonderful smells. Then, all you have to do is shred some cheese, wash some lettuce, warm some tortillas in the microwaves and get out the salsa and guac. Bam! Taco night is ready!
I saw this recipe on Elly Says Opa! and was very excited to discover that not only is it low-maintenance, it’s very tasty. (Of course, now I see her recipe for shredded Cuban pork, and I may have to try that too…) And giant pot of meat is a great addition to those taco nights with some of your closest friends. (Wait, are we the only ones who do this? Hmm. If you don’t have a regularly scheduled taco night, you’re missing out.)
Shredded Beef for Tacos
2 pound boneless roast (I’ve used rump roasts and chuck roasts with great success. I’ve also used bone-in roasts. In that case, I usually use two roasts so I’m ending up with the same amount of meat.)
1 tablespoon canola oil
salt and pepper
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste (I can’t say enough about the tomato paste in a tube. I realize it’s more expensive than a can, but since I only use a few teaspoons at a time, it’s totally worth it. They say the tube keeps for forever in the fridge.)
3/4 cup beef stock
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Don’t panic, this does not make it too hot to handle. Trust me.)
1/2 teaspoon paprika (I’ve been using smoked paprika, and I am in love with the way it tastes/smells.)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Required Suggested Recommended Toppings
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the roast with salt and pepper, and then add to skillet. Brown the roast on all sides, then place in the crockpot. Add the onions to the skillet, and cook for a minute or two, then add the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for another minute or so, then add the beef stock and spices, scrapping up all of the tasty browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for a minute, then pour the liquid over the roast in the crockpot.
Place the lid on the crockpot. Cook the meat on low for 8-10 hours. (I would assume that you could get the same results if you cooked it on high for half the time, but since I’m at work all day, I’ve never tried this.) Remove the roasts from the crockpot, place in a large bowl, and shred the meat with two forks. (This is the point where you’d remove the bones, if your roast had them.) Return the shredded meat to the crockpot, and turn the heat up to high for about 20 minutes, to soak up additional liquid if desired.
Serve with your favorite taco fixings!
From Elly Says Opa!