Monday, January 18, 2010

BBQ Sandwiches: Perfect for Winter

I don't know how any parent manages to put meals on the table week after week for a family without having a crockpot or another type of slow-cooker. I don't have kids, and even I am using my slow-cooker more and more. Last night, our meal was a simple one: barbecue beef sandwiches.

Some people think of barbecue as a summer entree, but not me. On a cold, wet winter afternoon or evening, few meals hit the spot more than barbecue. Here is the recipe I used with my slow-cooker:

SHREDDED BEEF BARBECUE (makes 7 to 10 sandwiches)
  • 1 beef chuck roast or beef sirloin tip roast (3 lbs.)

  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil

  • 1 cup of ketchup

  • 2/3 cup of water or beer

  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion

  • 4 tablespoons of molasses

  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons of dry mustard*

  • 2 teaspoons of celery seed

  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder (optional)

  • Kaiser rolls or toasted hamburger buns

* - feel free to substitute 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard.

NOTE: I prefer using chuck roast, but either cut of beef will work. An ingredient such as celery seed may seem like something you could do without. Think again. I've made this recipe both ways -- with and without the celery seed, and I strongly encourage you to add it, even if it means an extra trip to the grocery store. It definitely enhances the flavor. I also think the beer adds a depth of flavor to the beef, but either water or beer will work fine.


1. Sprinkle the beef roast with the salt and pepper. In a nonstick skillet, add the canola oil and turn the burner on medium-high heat. Wait until the skillet and oil are hot -- then add the beef, browning it on all sides. This should take a total of 7 or 8 minutes.

2. Place the beef roast into a 5-quart slow-cooker. Turn the slow-cooker on low. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients (except the rolls) and stir together.

3. Pour the barbecue sauce over the beef roast and cover the slow-cooker. Set the timer for 8 hours. After eight hours, test for doneness. The meat should be tender enough that it shreds without much effort.

4. Remove the meat from the slow-cooker and turn the temperature down to "warm." Use two forks, one to stab and hold the meat, and the other to shred the fibers of the beef. Shred the beef into small pieces or strands. Then return the shredded meat to the slow-cooker and stir it well with the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

5. Wait 10 to 15 minutes and then spoon the meat onto the Kaiser rolls. Use a slotted spoon if the sauce is a bit watery. Baked beans, potato salad or cole slaw are excellent side dishes to consider.

No comments: