March 12, 2014

Mexican Braised Beef

Mexican Braised Beef

I have a secret love affair with Chipotle.  It's a secret because I would eat there every day if I didn't control myself a little bit. And even though I can normally eat 2 meals from one Chipotle burrito bowl, it still is going to become a rather expensive love affair.

And so I decided to try to recreate Chipotle's barbacoa, one of my favorites.  One of the things I found researching barbacoa is that Chipotle's isn't actually authentic barbacoa, which is why my delicious Mexican braised beef isn't called barbacoa.  Because technically it isn't.

Braised Beef like Chipotle's Barbacoa

My Mexican braised beef is braised in chipotle peppers, beer, and spices.  The braising liquid creates a meltingly delicious spicy beef.  I used it to make tacos, Dustin made braised beef sandwiches, and it's dinner tonight over polenta!

Delicious and Melty Mexican Braised Beef

Mexican Braised Beef
Author: Happy Food Happy Home

Chuck Roast, 5-7 pounds
salt and pepper
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil (high heat)
Onion, small, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup wheat beer
4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (from a can)
2 tablespoons of adobo sauce from pepper can
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup lime juice
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat until oil is shiny. 
  2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  3. Generously season roast with salt and pepper.  You have a lot of meat to season so don't skimp.
  4. When oil is shiny add roast to pot.  Sear meat until dark brown on all sides, about 4 minutes per side.  You want a decent crust, don't worry, it will soften while braising.
  5. While the meat is searing slice your small onion and smash your garlic cloves. 
  6. One meat has seared remove to a plate. If needed add another tablespoon of oil to the pot.
  7. Reduce heat to medium and add onion and garlic.  Cook onion and garlic until deep  brown and starting to blacken, approx 5 minutes.
  8. While onions and garlic are cooking prepare the braising liquid.  Combine chicken broth, beer, adobo sauce, apple cider vinegar, and lime juice. Use kitchen shears to slice the chipotle peppers into the mixture.
  9. Add chili powder, cumin, cloves, and oregano to the cooking onions.  Toast for 30 seconds.
  10. Add the braising liquid mixture to the pot. 
  11. Add roast back to the pot.  Nestle down into the liquid.  Cover pot with lid and bring mixture to a boil.
  12.  Place lidded pot into the oven and cook for 4 hours. 
  13. Halfway through the cooking time flip the roast over in the braising liquid.  I pulled my roast apart a little, it was falling apart any way.
  14. Four hours through braising time your meat should be falling apart and completely tender.  Use tongs or two forks to shred meat.  Pull out any connective tissue that hasn't broken down and throw that away.
  15. Toss shredded meat into braising liquid.  Mine was super juicy and delicious!
  16. Serve with tortillas, pico de gallo, cheese, black beans, avocado and any other taco toppings you love.  You could also serve this over polenta, and Dustin had it on a sandwich bun with pico on top. 
Mexican braised beef was delicious, and after putting everything together made a super delicious meal with pretty minimal effort.  

Do you love Chipotle? I really can't get enough.  Braised beef was a great solution for my love affair. Will your try to make Chipotle braised beef at home?

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