Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Feed Your Friends

For many people there is a very busy weekend on deck.  Between St. Paddy's Day and basketball there's a chance that you might need some good grub to share with your friends.  I've got just the thing.  It's not even a little bit Irish though.  Besides, I have no interest in eating cabbage and blood sausage with my friends.  This recipe started as Giada De Laurentis' Short Rib Chili but with all the adjustments, substitutions and omissions I made, she probably wouldn't recognize it as her own.  I call it ~ Shredded Beef (I do love my shredded meats you know). 
There are a couple of ingredients in this recipe that are likely out of the norm if you don't do much cooking but I've scaled that down too.  These chiles in the picture are pretty great.  They're dried New Mexico chiles and I found and used a 1oz pkg (4 chiles).  The other unusual ingredient is instant espresso coffee.  I don't know why on earth anyone would drink the stuff but it was a nice addition to this recipe!
So check this out, you put those New Mexico Chiles in about 1 Cup of water in a sauce pan and simmer until tender and then pop them in a blender and puree until smooth.  Look at how amazing that color is!  Those are the same chiles as pictured above.  So after you brown some chuck roast (much more cost effective than short ribs but with the same effect), you cook up some onions and spices and and then add some beef broth, these blended chiles and if you're us, a shot of tequila (optional) and the espresso. 
Return the meat and it's juices to the pot and bring to a simmer.  Then you cover the pot and put it in a preheated 350 oven for 2 hours and 30 minutes.  Go watch some hoops and clean the bathroom.
Next, remove from the oven and shred the meat with two forks either right in the pot or remove the chunks of meat to a cutting board and return when shredded.  Then you add some black beans, canned tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice.  This stuff smells De-Lish!  Season with a little salt and pepper to taste and keep it on low on the stove until you're ready to eat. 

Technically this started out as a chili recipe but personally I feel like its a lot of meat and not enough other stuff to eat by itself.  Use it to make burritos and add avocado, chopped fresh spinach and a little grated cheese.  Or make a plate of nachos by spooning some over multi-grain chips and top with a little shredded cheddar and melt in the oven for a couple of minutes....Don't forget the guacamole!

Shredded Beef

2.5 to 3 lb chuck roast trimmed and cut into 6-8 pieces
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 oz pkg dried New Mexico chiles (about 4) stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces.
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
6 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs fresh or dried oregano
1 cup beef broth
1 tsp instant espresso coffee
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
juice of 1/2 a lime
a handful of fresh cilantro chopped.

Preheat oven to 350.  After trimming and cutting beef into pieces, season with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.

Bring New Mexico chiles and 1 Cup water to a simmer over high heat.  Cover and reduce to med-low and simmer until just tender about 5-6 min.  Transfer to a blender, puree until smooth (hold that lid on tight!). 

Heat oil in a large pot over med-high heat and add beef in batches and brown on all sides, transferring to a bowl each time.

Add garlic and red onion to the pot and saute in the drippings until onions soften, about 5 min.  Mix in the cumin and oregano.  Add the chile puree, 1 cup of broth and espresso; stir to blend.  Return the meat and juices to the pot; stir to coat.  Bring to a simmer.  Cover and place in the oven and braise until meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

Once out of the oven shred meat with two forks either in the pot or transfer to a cutting board to shred and then return to the pot.  Mix in the black beans, tomatoes, a handful of chopped cilantro and the juice of 1/2 a lime.  If you're eating it straight up, you may want to add a little extra broth at this point.

Serve in bowls with corn bread and top with chopped scallions, diced avocado and shredded cheese.  Or use as burrito/taco fillings or nacho toppers...very versatile!


  1. Great post although I'm not that into the shredded beef, lol! I will definitely try the chilies though. I will be bringing braised cabbage to our next brunch and you will love it!!

    1. I'm interested to know what you'll do with the chiles. I can't wait to try some braised cabbage :)