Mexican Beef Barbacoa – 3T Test Kitchen

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I enjoy watching the FB cooking videos, it gives me ideas on what to cook for my family. Last weekend, I have seen a tasty looking Mexican Beef Barbacoa. Our family likes beef and we like Mexican food, so I had to try it out. It came out delish and it is definitely on our dinner rotation list! I have made a few tweaks to suit our family’s taste buds, but the core of the recipe was awesome. My Cowboss is on a roll to decrease the amount of sugar we eat, so I have omitted the sugar in this recipe all together.

Here is the link to the original recipe and below you can find our tweaks and tips!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Chile De Ristra (mild) – dry chile peppers – The original recipe calls for a couple of different chile peppers, but I was only able to find Chile De Ristra at our grocery store. It was a great substitution. (soaked, stemmed and seeded)
  • 1 (3 lb) beef chuck roast – I have used Eye of the Round Roast – this type of roast is very lean and great for this recipe as it has to cook for some time.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon – I have increased the amount of the spices. You need flavor, don’t be afraid of it!
  • 1/2 cup water – I have used the water that was left over from my Chile De Ristra soaking

 

Directions:

  1. Place dried peppers into a bowl or jar and fill with water until covered. Soak for 20 minutes until softened.
  2. Bring the roast to room temperature – about 30 minutes. Season roast with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron pot over high heat. Add in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sear roast on all sides. Once seared, remove pot from heat and set aside.
  3. In a blender, add in Chile De Ristra peppers, chipotle, garlic, cider vinegar, salt, oregano, cinnamon, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and water. Blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary to thin it out enough to blend.
  4. Pour sauce over chuck roast in the crock pot or insta pot. See specific directions for the crock pot or insta pot below.
  5. Shred and serve. If you are using Eye of the Round Roast – thinly slice the meat after you are done cooking the beef and put back into the sauce. The beef will absorb a good amount of the sauce and it will be nice and tender.
Notes
CROCK POT: Place seasoned roast in a crock pot. Make sauce according to directions and pour over meat. Cook on high 6 hours, or low 8 to 10 hours. Thinly slice the beef and put back into the sauce for another 20 minutes.

INSTANT POT: 3T’s preferred method. Use the sear setting to sear seasoned roast. Make sauce and pour over meat. Cook on the beef/stew setting for about 70 minutes. Take out, thinly slice the meat, put it back into the insta pot and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes on the sear setting. Make sure to stir around and don’t walk away!

 

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Tips for a Successful Stir Fry 

Prep ahead!

  • Make your marinade/sauce.
  • Marinate your meat – sirloin is a great cut for a stir fry.
  • Thinly slice your veggies.
  • Slice your meat thinly and against the grain.

Heat up your wok! 

  • Yes, the wok makes a big difference. Invest in it, it will pay you back by producing wonderful dinners.
  • Heat up your wok. Use 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil. Add this oil combo for each batch as well as the veggies. 

Don’t overcrowd your wok with beef!

  • Sear your beef slices in batches. Each piece of beef needs its own space. If you overcrowd your pan, you will end up steaming your meat and that will make the beef tough. 
  • It usually takes me 3-4 batches of beef to sear it properly. 
  • Put your seared meat in a bowl while you are working on your other batches.
  • Between each batch of beef let your wok heat up again. Add extra oil.  

Don’t cook your beef all the way through!

  • Cook your beef slices for about 30 seconds on each side. Get a nice brown crust. 
  • Don’t stir your beef. One side 30 seconds, flip, second side 30 seconds.
  • It is ok to still see some pink/red. Your beef will finish cooking in the sauce. 

Veggies next!

  • Add more oil to your wok, let it heat up again and add veggies. 
  • Our favorite combo is bok choy, carrots, broccoli, onion, green onions.
  • Stir away the veggies!

Final touch!

  • Add beef and sauce to the veggies and heat through – couple of minutes is plenty! 

Tips from the Cowboss!

  • Omit the brown sugar in any of your sauce/marinate recipes. Trust him, you won’t miss the sweetness. Let the taste of the beef shine.
  • Add extra garlic or ginger to your Asian recipes and you won’t miss the brown sugar. 

Everything in Moderation

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Some of us come up with new year’s resolutions as we strive to make the best of the new year. This year, our family is coming up with achievable goals for 2018. It is great to dream big, but this year, we want our resolutions to come through for us.

Christmas cookies were a big temptation for me over the holidays. I probably had too many.. So, my new year resolution is to eat with moderation. I know myself.. I start with a big workout goal, set calories per day and later in the spring I feel like I just couldn’t do it. So, this year, I do it all with moderation!

My friends and I joined the FIT MOMS workout. Twice a week, kiddos tackle along and we hold each other accountable. We are going, we catch up, our kids play and everyone is happy and tired after the workout.

Instead of a strict diet, we eat in moderation. Here is what we did last night. Burgers are a big hit at our household. French fries, BBQ sauce, ketchup, bacon.. you name it. Instead, we have opted for baked potato wedges, I had my burger with a lettuce “bun”and the boys went with wheat buns and plenty of vegetables on their plates. We also like a “fry sauce”, but I have made it with greek yogurt instead of mayo as well as used 50% less sugar ketchup. Small moderations, yet big drop in calories. At the end of the night, everyone was happy with their burger dinner and we didn’t feel like we just ate too much.

What is the best way to season our beef burgers?

  • 1 lb 3T ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard (this really makes the burgers delicious!!!)

Well, we are sticking to our “eat in moderation” resolution!