Friday, May 29, 2015

Crock Pot Cook: Shredded Beef Tacos

Okay, so I know people are huge fans of crock pots. "You can't mess up," they tell me. "Works every time," they say.

Well. I'm here to say that I've messed up and had things not work in the crock pot before. But this is not one of them. I love making this meat mixture. It's so versatile. I made tacos one night, layered it with cheese and tortillas for a beef quesadilla the next, put it on sourdough with cheese for an amazing beef grilled cheese the third.

It makes so much, I took half of it to my friend who had just had surgery (and her family of 6!) and still had enough to do all of the above.

This is a recipe from the American Heart Association cookbook. I've made exactly one thing from it: this, but it was worth buying the thick volume. I've made a few changes according to my tastes, and I'll note those below.

Shredded Beef Tacos:
2 lb. top round steak
1 bell pepper (recipe calls for green; I use whatever color I have in my fridge), diced
3 large onions, diced (I only use two, and it seems to have plenty of onion)
1/4 c. water (recipe calls for dry red wine, but I don't cook with alcohol)
1/2 c. ketchup (recipe calls for low-sodium, but yeah. I use the regular stuff)
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 T. cider vinegar
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. cumin
3/4 t. liquid smoke
1/2 t. hot sauce (I'm a wimp, and don't put this much in. I do a couple of shakes and call it good)
2 medium bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, minced (I adore garlic and may or may not add more than this...)

1 t. brown sugar
1/2 t. cumin

Taco toppings (sour cream, ranch dressing, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, guac -- whatever you like!)

I use those raw tortillas, cook them and add cheese before I start building my taco. That way, the cheese is melty and everything's warm. #mmm

1. Place the steak in the crock pot. Dice the onions and pepper and layer over meat.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the water, ketchup, bouillon cubes, pepper, cumin, liquid smoke, hot sauce, bay leaves, and garlic. Whisk together and pour over the meat and vegetables. Stir to coat.
3. Turn the crock pot on low and let it go for 6-8 hours.
4. With one hour of cooking time left, add the additional 1 t. cumin and 1 t. brown sugar. Shred meat, remove bay leaves, and stir well. Let stand for one hour so the flavors will marry.
5. Assemble tacos, or quesadillas, or enchiladas, or chimichangas, or... the list is endless!



Julie Tuovi said...

Oh my gosh this looks so yummy!!! I love crock pot recipes.... they make me look like a good cook! HA! Definitely going to have to try this one!

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Wow, this looks fantastic! Just copied and printed to try. Thanks, Elana!! After 30-something years cooking dinner I'm always good for a new recipe. :-)

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