Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

From my blog, Total Noms. http://totalnoms.com

Football Sundays are back! WOO HOO!

Growing up, I was raised on the Jets (I know, that may qualify as child abuse, right?), and lucky for me, my fiance is a fan of Gang Green too. Sure, it’s not easy being a Jets fan (although heyo, good game yesterday!), but that’s what loyalty is all about, right?

You know I love busting out the slow cooker on football Sundays, so here’s another great recipe that’s so easy to “set it and forget it”! And of course, I had to go and stick the beef in a taco, because that’s just how I roll.

Shredded Beef Tacos

I originally wanted to try making barbacoa-style shredded beef a la Chipotle… however, I realized after I got home from grocery shopping that I had forgotten the chipotle peppers in adobo… whoops. That was momentarily disheartening until I decided to wing it and create my own spin on things. Tomatoes, onion, garlic, lime juice, cilantro and lots of spice combine to make a braising liquid that has tons of flavor and enough kick without being too overpowering. I am really happy with how this all came out from start to finish- the finish being me slurping up all the leftover juices in the slow cooker with a large spoon. Yikes.

Speaking of spoons, I finally unpacked all my shower gifts this weekend! Hello, new square plates! What do you think?

Shredded Beef Tacos
 
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Serves: 8

Ingredients
  • 2-3 lbs beef rump roast
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • corn tortillas, for serving
  • lime wedges, for garnish
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish

Instructions
  1. Trim beef of any excess fat. Place in the slow cooker. Slice half the onion lengthwise into strips and add to the slow cooker with the beef.
  2. In a blender, add diced tomatoes, garlic, the other half of the onion, lime juice, cilantro, crushed red pepper flakes, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Pulse to blend a few times until consistency is smooth and everything is incorporated. Pour the tomato mixture over the beef and onions.
  3. Set slow cooker to low and cook for 7 hours.
  4. Turn on your broiler. Once cooking is done, shred the beef with two forks. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to an oven proof dish, and broil the meat for 5 minutes to get it crispy. While beef is broiling, toast up corn tortillas and prepare your garnishes.
  5. Remove beef from the broiler, serve with tortillas and garnishes and enjoy!

Shredded Beef Tacos

Is your family a football family? What are your favorite game day eats?

Happy Eating πŸ™‚
mally

Classic Beef Stew – Slow Cooker Style

Classic Beef Stew

Holy sheesh it’s getting cold outside around here. We’re talking huge down parka + scarf + gloves + furry boots + another sweater just-in-case kinda cold. The kind of cold where you might just stay inside even if Justin Timberlake was outside begging you to come out for just one drink at the bar down the street because he’s sorry he did you wrong and can he please just sing you one last song?

What? He’s married? And I’m engaged?

OK, fine, how about the kind of cold that makes your tongue stick to the pole like that kid in A Christmas Story?

Better? Topical, less weird? Check.

When am I going to take the hint and move to Hawaii?

Well, the one good thing about frigid weather is that I get to indulge in delicious dishes like hot soups and roasts and root vegetables. There is something so comforting about a big bowl of stew when it’s starting to snow/sleet/icy rain outside, right?

This is more of a hungry man’s version of Boeuf Bourguignon– literally a meat and potatoes kind of meal. It has a little bit more prep involved than your standard set-it-and-forget-it slow-cooker meal, but it’s all worth it in my opinion. If you are in a rush, you don’t have to sear the meat to begin with- But I felt this really helped add flavor to the meal.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Classic Beef Stew
 
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Ingredients
  • 3-4 lbs bottom round, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅓ cup olive oil (plus more if needed)
  • 2 large onions, diced (2 cups)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 lb potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • ½ lb baby carrots (about 2 cups), sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions
  1. Coat the beef in the flour. Heat a few tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meat, a few pieces at a time, adding more oil as necessary. Transfer to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and coat the onions; transfer to the slow cooker.
  3. Pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up any browned bits; add to the slow cooker. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, mushrooms broth, salt, thyme, and bay leaf.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat for 7½ hours, or on high for 4 hours. Add the peas and heat through.
  5. Ladle into bowls, garnish with parsley and serve alongside egg noodles.

Adapted from Real Simple.

A few odds and ends:

  • I’m going to be a speaker at BlogHer Food ’13 next year in Austin! My panel is called Blog on the Run, and it’s all about maintaining your blog from afar on your mobile devices. I am SO excited about this opportunity, and if you are going to BlogHer Food, PLEASE let me know so we can meet up!

food13_hdr

  • In January we’re going to have our next Food Bloggers in NYC Meetup. No solid details yet, but get excited and join here if you haven’t yet!600_161164892
  • Hmm… this isn’t food related, but since y’all are my friends, I figured I’d share – we have set the date! October 11th, 2013- I’ll become a Mrs! Party at the Pearl River Hilton, which looks like a castle:

stdate

YAY! I cannot WAIT for 2013!!!!!!!

Happy Eating πŸ™‚
mally

Slow Cooker Chicken and Pineapple Rice Bowl

Slow Cooker Chicken & Pineapple Rice Bowl

Lately, Sundays are in the running for my favorite day of the week. Sure, on Sunday it’s a bummer that Monday is just around the corner, but with football in season, I feel like Sundays are made for relaxing- watching the game, doing a crossword, reading a good book, and of course, eating well.

If Sundays are made for relaxing, then it naturally follows that slow cookers are made for Sundays. They make delicious meals such a snap to put together, with minimal effort. Just assemble a few quick ingredients, walk away for a few hours, come back, and you’re good to go! What could be easier?

This simple slow cooker chicken shares the spotlight with a light, crisp and tangy pineapple salad, tossed with a cilantro lime vinaigrette. Combined with rice and the heat of crushed red pepper flakes, this is a dish that combines flavors, colors and textures perfectly.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Pineapple Rice Bowl

Slow Cooker Chicken and Pineapple Rice Bowl
 
Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the chicken:
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups salsa verde
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
For the rest of the rice bowl:
  • ½ a large cucumber, diced
  • ½ a fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
  • ½ a red bell pepper, diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1½ cup rice

Instructions
  1. Add chicken breasts and salsa verde to your slow cooker. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes, to your liking. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  2. About a half hour before chicken is done, cook your favorite rice according to package directions (if you’re using a rice cooker, use 3 cups water for 1½ cups rice).
  3. Once the chicken is cooked through, shred with two forks and allow to cool slightly while you assemble the salad.
  4. Combine chopped pineapple, cucumber and red pepper in a medium bowl. In another bowl, combine lime juice, cilantro and crushed red pepper flakes, and whisk in olive oil to make a dressing. Add the dressing to the pineapple salad and toss.
  5. Make your rice bowl: Start with a base of rice, then add a spoonful of shredded chicken. Garnish with the pineapple salad, and enjoy!

Inspired by The Gracious Pantry.

Happy Eating πŸ™‚
mally

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Slow Cooker Carnitas

I love my slow cooker. It takes a lot of the work out of cooking, and makes things taste good and your home smell amazing. If you don’t have one, I sincerely encourage getting one as soon as you possibly can- they’re relatively inexpensive and so worth it. You can make fantastic dishes like chicken tortilla soup, or these unreal carnitas tacos. And with winter coming, it’s a great investment.

Mmmmmmm… carnitas. Slow roasted pork, cooked under low heat for hours until it’s falling apart and filled with flavor. Say it with me… total. noms.

OK, so maybe this is my 3rd taco post in 3 months. Maybe I have a bit of a problem. But I can’t help it. They are just TOO GOOD!

Slow Cooker Carnitas

What makes these carnitas really special is broiling the meat after it’s been shredded. This makes it crispy while maintaining the scrumptious moist and pulled texture of the braised pork.

I mean, seriously. If this isn’t food porn, I’m not sure what is.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

5.0 from 1 reviews

Slow Cooker Carnitas
 
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Serves: 8

Ingredients
  • 5 lb boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup salsa verde
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, cut in half then cut into quarters
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • corn tortillas
For garnish:
  • 3-4 radishes, sliced into matchsticks
  • cilantro
  • limes, cut into wedges
  • salsa verde
  • diced fresh jalapenos

Instructions
  1. Place pork chunks, salt, salsa verde, garlic, onion, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes into the bowl of a slow-cooker and toss to coat the pork in all the seasonings. Cook for 7 hours on low or 3 hours on high.
  2. When the pork is done cooking, remove pieces with a slotted spoon to an oven-safe baking dish and shred with two forks into smaller pieces. Move an oven rack on the top slot closest to the broiler, and turn on the broiler. Bake/broil the meat for 5-7 minutes, until the top starts to crisp up. While meat is broiling, heat up your corn tortillas in the toaster oven over low heat. When done, remove from oven and let cool slightly, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Now comes the fun part: Make your tacos! I scooped a nice couple spoonfuls of carnitas in a tortilla with salsa verde, sliced radishes, diced jalapenos, cilantro and a squirt of lime juice on top- but feel free to substitute with your favorite toppings! Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Carnitas

This recipe is PERFECT for a football game day. Get everything cooking in the morning, and by kickoff, you’re ready with a super delicious meal that serves a crowd.

I myself may or may not have eaten 4 of these tacos. In one sitting. Whatever. You heard it here first- #tacolife!

Happy Eating πŸ™‚
mally

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Happy 2012, everybody! I hope your New Year’s was great, wherever you celebrated it. Mine was very low-key, but really nice. My man and I stayed here in NJ and went out for an awesome steak dinner before heading home to watch Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper on CNN to ring in the New Year. Have you seen those two on camera together? It was a hysterical sight, for sure- Kathy ended up taking her clothes off at one point and continued making questionably appropriate jokes, while Anderson just kept on giggling nervously, which is reason #402 why I love him. [Read more…]