Once upon a time, there was a good who loved red meat. That girl is me. Just so we're clear.
Last week, I picked up a quarter-of-a-steer, locally purchased and bound for our freezer. It's from one of my favorite local ranches, bred, born, raised, and slaughtered right on the ranch. Though it's primarily grass fed, it's also fed fermented corn silage during the last few months of it's life – this yields a wonderful, tender, healthy, fatty meat. I. Am. In. Love.
And one can only fully appreciate this red meat when one has been seriously lacking red meat for quite some time. That one is me. Just so we're still clear.
When we were in Alabama last year, money was extreeeeemly tight. The few times we ate red meat were the few times that my parents were kind enough to send us a “go buy some red meat” check. Thanks Mom. Thanks Dad.
Now that the financial burden has been slightly lifted (thanks to the good Lord's providence and the success of From Scratch!) I feel extremely blessed to have a freezer full of this fantastic beef. Seriously. I sort of feel like crying just thinking about it. If you've purchased a book, I sincerely thank you for helping us eat this. And Amen.
One of the big “never-gunna-be-able-to-buy-that” beef cuts that we had to avoid last year were roasts. Even though we could stretch them over multiple meals, it still took too much of our grocery budget to buy it all at once.
So now that we have our freezer stocked with beef…
And now that I have all these delicious options…
Guess what I am pretty dang excited about shoving my face into.
Ground beef!!! … Just kidding. What am I, a fool?
We've cooked roast a few ways here before: Roasts like THIS and THIS. But this roast is a new beast all together. This roast is slow-simmered, slathered in homemade barbeque sauce, and then piled onto a homemade bun. Yes, my friends. I'm talking about a barbecue beef sandwich.
What's that? Barbecue is for summer? And it's officially autumn? Well you know me – I'm always a few years, or at least seasons, behind. I tend to post great Christmas present ideas in February. And expect that 4th of July recipe roundup to show up somewhere around October. It's just the way I roll.
Plus, who says you can't enjoy barbecue in the fall? Not this ‘ol lady.
– 1 teaspoon olive oil
– 1 onion, minced
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 teaspoon sea salt
– 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
– 6 cups fresh tomatoes, minced OR 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
– 4 tablespoons organic tomato paste
– 1/2 cup vinegar (I used raw apple cider)
– 1/3 cup organic molasses
– 1 tablespoon dehydrated cane sugar
– 1 tablespoon high-quality mustard
Step One: In a super-duper crockpot (like THIS ONE!) combine the roast, sea salt, black pepper, and sweet paprika. Turn on low and allow the roast to slowly simmer for about 8 hours, or until fork tender. (Note: The roast can be cooked on high for 4 hours but the resulting roast will not be nearly as tender. Plan ahead and stick it in the crockpot in the morning, if possible.)
Step Two: While the roast is cooking, add the olive oil to a large pan and turn the heat up to medium. When the oil is warm, add in the onion and garlic. Soften and gently cook for 5 minutes.
Step Three: After the onion and garlic have softened, add in the sea salt, red pepper flakes, sweet paprika, minced tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, molasses, cane sugar, and mustard. Stir to combine (seriously, where was my whisk when I needed it?).
Step Four: Cover and gently simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes. Taste. Really taste. Does it need more vinegar? More cane sugar? It's rare to find anyone who likes their barbeque sauce the same as the next person, so adapt it a bit to your tastes.
Step Five: Once the roast is fork tender, carefully remove it from the crockpot. Set on a plate and let it cool for a few minutes before you get in there and try and do your business. Ain't nobody need any burnt fingers, man. Once it's slightly cooled, use two forks to shred it. Remove any extra pieces of fat or bone (and save for stock!). Remove any extra liquid from the crockpot (save this for stock too!) and add the shredded beef back into the warm pot.
Step Six: Pour in the sauce. Yes. All of it. Let the beef warm up for about twenty minutes before serving. Because when it's warm it's gooooooood.
Step Seven: Serve a healthy pile of the succulent shredded barbecue beef atop your bun of choice (I've been making these ones, with a few adaptations, and have grown quite fond of them). I also topped each sandwich with a handful of freshly shredded cabbage and a bit of homemade sauerkraut.
I'm not trying to be bossy. Or tell you what to do.
But make these. Now. NOW!!!!
Sorry. I couldn't help myself. Beef brings out my inner passions and controlling nature.
Consider yourself warned.
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.