I bought a slow cooker! And I’m in love. The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure I didn’t know what a slow cooker was when I was growing up. My mom never used it because whenever she cooked falling-of-the-bone tender meat, it was in a pressure cooker. But I gotta tell ya, pressure cookers scare me! I’m not sure I understand all the science behind those things. So instead, I bought a slow cooker. Ceramic pot. Electric plug-in. Simple.
The first thing I wanted to do was turn a big chunk of meat all tender and juicy, like I’ve heard all about from my Minnesotan friends who have owned crock pots since they were like, 5. But first, here’s a little story: I made a roast in the oven before and it was
sort of a huge kitchen failure. The meat was dry and rubbery and the flavors didn’t penetrate the whole roast. Has anyone ever been there? You stand in front of the oven taking in the delicious smells of what has been sitting in there for hours, while you prepare all the side dishes, only to find that the nucleus of the meal sucks. Bleh.
So naturally, I wanted to redeem myself from that hard-to-chew meal. But as I was researching recipes, I got hungry and I started craving mexican food. I remembered this amazing spicy and tangy barbacoa meat I had at one of my friend’s New Years Eve party. The barbacoa coupled with warm, soft corn tortillas and fresh pico de gallo was starting to make my mouth water big time. And, I found out that the whole thing starts with a big ol’ chunk of meat. Yay, I found my mission!
This is the moment I fell in love with my crock pot. The meat pulled apart effortlessly and it was so so juicy. The flavors were so well incorporated considering it was only a 3 step process:
- Add all ingredients except the meat + broth to a blender. Blend.
- Place meat+broth in crockpot and pour blended ingredients over it.
- Turn the crock pot on and watch the magic happen before your eyes. (Or, don’t watch it. Go shopping, get your nails done, watch a movie, whatever. Dinner is making itself!)
PS. I ate this for 5 days straight in different variations. Tacos, Burrito bowls, you name it!
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 5 garlic cloves
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3-4 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (I used ¾ of a small can)
- 3/4 cup beef stock
- 3.5 lbs. beef chuck roast
- In a blender, combine vinegar, onion, lime juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt, cloves, allspice and chilis with adobo sauce and blend until smooth.
- Trim any excess fat off the roast and place it in a slow cooker.
- Pour the broth over the meat, then pour the pureed sauce.
- Cook on high heat for 6 hours. If you want to cook it longer, do it on low for 8 hours.
- Shred the meat in the juices and serve hot.
- If freezing leftovers, make sure you retain all the juices. I put my leftovers in large gallon ziploc bags.