Yet another – I have no time what can I throw together meal. Can anyone else sense a theme in my life right now? I usually do slow cooker meals on Wednesday since I have class, but I knew Tuesday night I was basically going to spend the whole time studying so when I woke up I threw together another slow cooker meal.
And yes I use my slow cooker a lot, especially during times like these. Plus slow cooker’s are perfect for summer (and winter…and every other season really). I hate heating up the house by using the oven/stove when it’s 90 something degrees outside.
This meal is not gourmet rocket science. But this is the kind of meal you want/come up with when you have a 2 lb piece of eye of round and a slow cooker (I could have made a pot roast but that doesn’t really match with the current season). Plus as a bonus I needed to use more of my CSA vegetables/anything else in the fridge – so matching them all together in a side dish was perfect.
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef with a Summer Vegetable Sauté
Serves: 8 (although the vegetable sauté will only make 4 servings) – There was so much of it like, way too much for just lunches, etc. that I ended up freezing half of it. Time: 6 hours on high or 12 hours on low. Or if you’re like me when I had to leave for work it ended up being 9 hours on low, then switched to high for 1 and a half hours.
For the Beef:
- 2 lb eye of round
- 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
- 3 teaspoons barbecue seasoning – I use a homemade blend that consists of onion powder, sugar, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne but use whatever you prefer.
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
- 2 (100 calorie) thin buns
For the Sauce:
- 1 onion, minced (I used my food processor to get it really fine)
- 1/2 cup of coffee, black
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hoisin
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup beef stock
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Summer Vegetable Sauté:
- 4 ears of corn, kernels cut from cob – my corn was pretty small so if you have big cobs then you might only need 3 ears
- 2 leeks, thinly sliced (or 1 small onion, I just had leeks from last week’s CSA)
- 2 tomatoes, diced (from CSA)
- 2 bell peppers, diced (I had two small ones from the CSA)
- 1 jalapeno, minced (I didn’t de-seed mine but feel free to if you want to. Note: Please wear gloves when working with hot peppers. I got a horrible pepper burn before where I literally slept with my hand in a bowl of ice milk and I always wear gloves now)
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 3/4 cup sliced okra (I was trying to use what I had left in my freezer, but make sure to thaw it if you use frozen)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon barbecue seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons southwestern blend (I used Ginny’s from Colonel De – it contains: garlic, oregano, cumin, tomato, cilantro, coriander, and chives)
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 oz of fresh mozzarella (I actually had fresh buffalo milk mozzarella in my fridge – and now the leftover will be a nice snack for me – from another recipe that I had intended on making, but fresh is not necessary. You can just use 1/4 cup of part-skim shredded mozzarella here)
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil and/or nonstick spray
Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Rub beef with spices, then sprinkle with flour. Brown roast on both sides until a nice “crust” forms then place in slow cooker.
Place minced onions over top of roast. Pour liquid sauce mixture over meat. Start slow cooker.
When beef is close to finished start the summer vegetable sauté. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté leeks, bell peppers, jalapeno, and garlic for 3 minutes of until vegetables have softened.
Add in okra, cook for another 1 – 2 minutes. Add in corn, tomatoes, and seasonings; cook for another 4 – 5 minutes or until vegetables are done to your liking.
Empty vegetable skillet into a bowl, taste and adjust seasonings. Add in mozzarella and toss rapidly so that the heat from the vegetable melts the mozzarella a bit and forms a creamy “sauce” for the vegetables.
Meanwhile, remove beef (you know it’s done when it’s tender and almost falling apart) from the slow cooker. Pour liquid into fat separator. Using two forks, shred beef. Use 1 cup of de-fatted liquid and combine with 1 cup of ketchup in a small sauce pan. Add in 1 teaspoon of butter. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixed together and warmed through. Pour over shredded beef and toss until most of the sauce is absorbed back into the meat.
Toast buns if using. Place half of bun down, top with 1/3 cup of beef. Divide summer vegetables between 4 plates.
This is not the prettiest dinner ever but it ended up being really good. Rather, this is the type of meal that has probably been showing up on American tables for decades. I had meant for the vegetables to be a succotash but since I had no lima beans/edamame, and I didn’t want to use canned it became a sauté. My husband loved the beef (duh, he is a guy) and I actually preferred the veggies.
As far as eating, we just picked up the bread and ate it that way, almost as a shredded beef mini pizzas. As I mentioned previously, this recipe makes a lot. Even with nicely generous 1/3 cup servings for 4 meals (I packed 2 lunches with it) I was left with almost a full pound of beef (it was 15.9 oz if you want an exact measurement). I packed the remaining beef in a freezer safe container and put it away. I’m not sure how I’ll use it again (and I will), but I’m envisioning taquitos, or maybe in a pasta sauce.
What would you do with the leftover beef?