I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Shredded Beef

I can't believe I'm doing this.  I'm making a blog post without pictures (gasp!).  I have been meaning to put this recipe up for a good long time now, and I've had several people ask me for it.  I made it today with the expectation of taking lots of pretty pictures to illustrate just how each step looks, but my lovely 36 week pregnant brain forgot to start taking pictures until it was too dark outside for them to look lovely...so eventually, I'll make this again and tell the story in photographs.  For now, if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

I started making this recipe to stuff inside tamales.  That's really what it's used best for, but the tamale recipe I use is a bit too much to put into one big long post.  Lately, I've been making this and using it just for tacos (later this week I'm going to try rolling it in corn tortillas and frying them to make taquitos..stay tuned...).  I love love love this stuff.  I make it and then eat it straight out of the pan.  It's much closer to "authentic" Mexican food than anything you can make from a packet and ground beef, so it's a wonderful addition to taco night.  It also stores really well to be reheated later, so it's perfect to make a huge batch and keep it in the fridge for a quick meal all week long!

What you'll need:
(for the first part)
4 lbs of rump roast
2 cups of water
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
2 tsp of garlic powder
2 tsp of onion flakes (or half of an onion not chopped up)

(for the second part)
Beef you've shredded
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp red pepper flakes

This is a genuinely simple recipe, but be prepared that it does take some time.

First, you're going to throw your roast as well as all your spices and water into the crock pot.  I don't even stir it or anything.  Turn it on low and cook it a good 12 hours.  If you don't have a crock pot, you can do this in the oven.  Cook it for a few hours at 325 until it's cooked through completely and is super tender.  The longer you cook it, the more tender it will be.

Once your roast is cooked, pull it out and let it cool.  Then put on a movie because this is where that time comes in.  It takes me at least an hour to shred all of that beef because I take very special care to get rid of ALL the fat that clings to it.

Here's where you start part 2.

Gather all your spices and measure them all out into one bowl.  That's the chili powder, oregano, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes.  Measuring them now will make it easier on you in a minute.

In a large pan, heat your oil.  Add your flour and whisk it together, getting rid of any lumps.  This is called a rue, and it's not something you'll taste later, but it's what thickens the "gravy" part of this recipe.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes while you whisk it to make sure and cook that flour taste out.  Slowly add in your beef broth while still whisking out any lumps.  Congratulations...you just made gravy.  Add your bowl of premeasured spices and the vinegar.  Stir it together, and it should be thickened.  If it's not pourable, add more beef brother and stir.  Add in the shredded beef very last, and give it a good stir to completely coat the beef with the gravy.  It shouldn't be too gloppy...just slightly moistened and yummy and full of spicy flavor!

Add to a homemade flour tortilla with some cheese, and promise me you'll never buy another "taco seasoning" packet again.