Man, it’s been a while since I’ve given you all a recipe, huh? I’ve been so absorbed with sewing and sharing my stuff with you, I haven’t been showing you any foodstuffs lately. I swear, we’re still eating! I’ll be honest, I’ve scaled back our grocery shopping budget a bit and have gotten back to front-loading my weeks on the weekend by either grilling a bunch of extra meat, or making a big pasta or slaw salad, or putting some pasta sauce aside for the freezer so we can whip dinner together fast. The impetus of this is, the less I have to do to get dinner ready, the more time I have to sew in the weekday evenings. Selfish motives!
This weekend I made a big ol’ crock of shredded beef for sandwiches. I do frequent the special discount section of the meat departments looking for gems, and found a great big pack of boneless beef roast for a song. It was nice and lean, and I thought it would be good as shredded beef in the crock pot. A big pot of stuff like this goes a long way, as we’ve talked about in the past, and can be used in tacos, sandwiches, as a baked potato topper, with a bit of rice or noodles, as a nacho topper (OMG, nachooossss) or even by its saucy self with a salad or some fruit. A two pound pack of meaty something makes for at least two if not three meals for us.
When I crock things, I end up doing Mexican style stuff a lot, it’s just the easiest thing to do. Meat with salsa or tomatoes and Mexican seasonings, a few hours on low, voila, Mexi Meat Shreds. If it’s not Mexican, it’s BBQ shredded something-or-other, or soup, all of which get boring. BO-ring. I’m trying to get more creative with my crock repertoire, if you have anything fun please send it!
In an effort to get out of my rut, I consulted Cooking Light and found a great recipe for shredded Italian style beef, which I altered a wee bit to accommodate what I had on hand. Just far enough away from my norm to be interesting! With only a handful of ingredients that are all shelf stable and live in my pantry this is an easy one to make when you don’t want to go to the store for an extra thing to add. Perfecto! The change I made was to the peppers that were required in the recipe as I didn’t have any fresh banana or Anaheim type peppers in my fridge (and rarely do I have these just laying around), instead I used a couple forksful of pickled mild banana pepper rings. Worked out great! I also added a bit more liquid as the recipe didn’t call for anything but the vinegar, and I felt it just needed a bit more to get the right. The results were shredded lovely beefy yumminess. Make immediately.
Tangy Italian Beef
2 ½ lbs. boneless beef roast, on the lean side, cut into cubes
1 t. olive oil
¼ c. pickled pepperoncini slices (I use Mezzetta brand)
¼ c. pickled banana pepper slices (again, I use Mezzetta brand)
½ c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 t. Beef Better than Boullion dissolved in ½ c. hot water, or ½ c. beef stock
1 T. onion powder
1 T. garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, beef stock or water/Better than Boullion, onion powder and garlic powder. Set aside.
Heat a medium sized heavy skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil and swirl to coat. Working in batches, gently salt and pepper the beef bits and sear them on all sides in the hot pan, a couple of minutes per side. Remove from the skillet to your crockpot insert. Repeat until all beef bits are browned.
To the beef in the crockpot, add the water/vinegar mixture and sprinkle on the peppers. Cover and cook on low setting of the crock for 7-8 hours, until beef is tender and can easily be shredded with a fork. Shred the meat, and serve on your favorite buns (we like ours lightly buttered and toasted under the boiler for added flavor