The first issue of Cooks Country magazine suggested making a slow cooker pot roast with a Tex-Mex flavor profile, and this is now my favorite way to make pot roast. It combines the best part of a pot roast, the tender beef chuck covered with a thick sauce, and adds the punchy flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine - chili powder, tortillas, oregano and jalapenos.
The result is a meal I can use a couple of times during the week. The first night I serve it as a straight-up pot roast. Then, a couple of days later, I shred the leftovers, reheat them, and serve them as shredded beef tacos. If that doesn't finish off the meat, it freezes well, so I can save some for a weeknight whey I'm rushed to get dinner on the table. I can thaw some shredded beef in the microwave, add some store bought tortillas and dinner's ready in no time at all.
And...don't ask me why*, but I always make pot roast in the slow cooker. Stews, chilis, other braises that take a long time? Sometimes I make them in the slow cooker, sometimes in the pressure cooker, sometimes in a regular pot. But for years I have only made my pot roast in the slow cooker.
*Really, don't ask me. I don't know why.
Recipe: Slow Cooker Pot Roast, Tex-Mex Style
Adapted From: Cooks Country Magazine
Cook time: 10 hours
- 5 lbs boneless beef shoulder roast (I used two 2 ½ lb roasts)
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- A handful of tortilla chips, crushed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably mexican oregano)
- 8 oz beer (Drink the other 4 ounces. Yes, that's part of the recipe.)
- 28oz can diced tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
- 1 whole pickled jalapeno (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbps chopped cilantro leaves
1. Brown the beef: Heat a 12 inch fry pan over medium-high heat until hot, about 3 minutes. While the pan is heating, sprinkle the beef roast with the 2 teaspoon kosher salt, pepper, and chili powder. Once the pan is hot, sear the beef for 3 minutes on one side, or until well browned. Flip the roast, and sear for another 3 minutes on the other side. Put the crushed tortilla chips in the slow cooker crock, and add the beef on top.
2. Saute the aromatics: Reduce the heat in the fry pan to medium and add the vegetable oil. Heat for a minute, then add the onion and ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and stir to combine. Saute the onion for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned, scraping any browned bits of the beef into the onions. Once the onions are lightly browned, make a hole in the middle of the onions and add the crushed garlic, cumin and oregano. Let toast for about 1 minute, or until you can smell the garlic, then stir into the onions. Add the beer and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, then add to the crock with the beef.
3. Slow cook the roast: Submerge the pickled jalapeno and bay leaf in the liquid in the crock, then cover and cook on low heat for 10 hours or high heat for 6 hours.
4. Serve the roast: Remove the beef to a carving board, let rest for five minutes, then slice into ½" thick slices or pull apart. For a rustic style roast, serve the sauce left in the crock as it is; for a more refined sauce, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce before serving. Top the sliced beef with some of the sauce, then sprinkle the cilantro on top. Serve, passing the rest of the sauce on the side.
*To make this a meal, I pull out my other slow cooker and make a side dish of slow cooker pinto beans. I usually serve it with tortillas; they just seem like the right starch to serve, though cornbread is another good choice. Sometimes I thin-slice red onions for as a topping, and I will always have a selection of hot sauces on the table. I usually serve this with corn and/or a tossed salad as my vegetable side.
|Dueling crock pots - pot roast in one, beans in the other
*As I said in the opening, this recipe begs to be used for leftovers. Shredded beef tacos is my default for the leftovers, but Cooks Country used it as the filling for a tamale pie, shredded and mixed with the leftover sauce and some pinto beans, then topped with cornmeal mush and baked in the oven until warm. It also makes a great, if messy, sandwich - shred or slice the pot roast and pile it on a hamburger bun, then top with the sauce.
*Any leftovers that I don't use I shred, mix with just enough of the sauce to moisten, and freeze in quart sized zip-top bags. Then, when I need a quick pile of shredded beef, I can pull it out of the freezer and microwave the bag for two minutes. Voila - instant shredded beef leftovers.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Cooks Country Magazine
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