Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Beef BBQ

Zeina's BBQ Chicken Pizza got me craving that sweet and smoky BBQ flavor.  I love BBQ... in fact our rehearsal dinner, the day before Sonny and I got married, consisted of pulled pork BBQ that was made by my father in law, with the help of my Dad and Texas Dad.  One of my favorite meals EVER!

Now I can't come close to the tangy finger-licking, melt in your mouth yumminess that is created by all the awesome dads I know, especially without the intense grilling set-ups they all have in their back yards.  But, I think I did pretty dang good with my slow cooker and a crazy delish homemade sauce. 

A pretty crucial ingredient to homemade BBQ sauces is ketchup.  Yes, SHOCKER!  For those of you who know me well, you know I can not stand ketchup- the smell, the appearance, and everything else about it grosses me out.  But I put my feelings aside and sure enough used ketchup in my BBQ sauce.  I added some vinegar (I've always been a fan of more vinegar-based BBQ's), Dijon, cayenne and worchestershire.  Here's my secret ingredients- instead of using brown sugar or anything else to sweeten my BBQ sauce, I found this awesome product from South Mountain Veggies.  Hickory syrup is kind of like maple syrup, but has a smoky, hickory flavor- perfect for sauces or marinades (not something you would pour over your pancakes).  If you can't find this, you can of course use a bit of maple syrup as a substitute.  My second secret ingredient is liquid smoke- this is a great tool for bringing the taste of outdoor grilled foods inside when you can't light up the charcoal. 

So, I whisked up my sauce and set it aside.   I set my chuck roast in the bottom of my crock-pot, then thinly sliced a red onion and spread it over the meat.

Then I poured my yummy sauce overtop...

Cover that sucker up and let it cook at low heat for about 6-8 hours (or internal temperature reaches 145).  Then you can remove the roast from the sauce, place on a cutting board, and shred the meat using two forks, discarding any fat and connective tissue.  Alternately, you can use a knife to chop the meat into small pieces.  As you can see, Buddy was sure to stand close in case any delicious beef came his way!  After shredding your beef, place it back in the crock-pot with the sauce and let it set under the warm setting for at least 30 minutes. 

What better to go with BBQ, then coleslaw.  But no boring coleslaw here!  I wanted some vibrant colors and bright flavors on my plate.  I started with half a red cabbage and sliced it into thin slices...

Then I used the large side of the box grater to shred up my carrots...

Then I mixed in red pepper, scallions and jalepeno.  Lastly, I added some fresh Asian flavors including rice vinegar, peanut oil, soy sauce, agave nectar and lime juice.  This was the perfect compliment to my BBQ Beef which I served on a whole wheat bun.  It was a wonderfully balanced meal and many of the ingredients are items that can be found in you cupboard.  I highly recommend trying my recipes!

BBQ Beef Sandwich
2lb Chuck Roast
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 Tb worchestershire
2 Tb Hickory syrup (or use maple syrup)
2 Tb dijon mustard
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp cayenne pepper sauce

1- Place the chuck roast in a crock-pot and place sliced onions over top.
2- Pour your sauce on top of the roast.  Cook at low heat in your slow cooker for 6-8 hours (internal temperature should be at 145).
3- Shred the beef with two forks or chop into small pieces with a knife. 
4- Put shredded meat back in the slow cooker, with the sauce, and set at "warm" or low setting for another 30 minutes.
5- Serve beef on whole wheat buns or kaiser rolls.

Asian Slaw
1/2 red cabbage, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
4 carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1 small bunch scallions, diced
1 jalepeno, minced
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tb peanut oil
2 Tb low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tb agave nectar (or honey)
1 Tb lime juice
1/4 tsp black pepper

1- Place cabbage, carrots, red pepper, scallions, jalepeno, and peanuts in a large bowl.
2- Whisk together vinegar, oil, soy sauce, agave nectar, lime juice and black pepper. 
3- Drizzle sauce over your veggie mix.
4- Cover slaw and chill for at least 1 hour before serving (to let the flavors develop).

1 comment:

  1. PS... You can use the leftover BBQ meat to make a pizza like Zeina made!

    Just take a homemade or store-bought whole wheat pizza dough rolled out. Top with the BBQ meat, some sliced bell peppers and cover with low-fat cheese (I used a mix of mozzarella and cheddar). Bake in preheated 475 degree oven for about 10 minutes. YUMMY!