Now, I don’t want to freak anyone out, but I’m about to post a recipe.
Crazy, I know.
I am not what one might call gifted in the culinary arts. I can grill a mean chicken breast.Â I can steam the heck out of a broccoli floret.Â And I can make mashed potatoes that make you wanna smack your Grandma.Â But other than that one meal, it’s really hit and miss.Â I think it’s cause I’m not a detail-oriented person.Â I like the idea of cooking, but when I start actually doing it, I get side tracked and forget basic concepts.Â Such as cooking times.Â And stirring.Â The result of which is often gunk burnt to the bottom of a pot.
When I was pregnant, Chris started cooking our meals so that I could come home after work and take a much needed nap.Â And he just never stopped.Â I guess he was tired of burnt lima beans and soggy rice.Â But now that he is working full-time and I am home all day, it just seems wrong to make him come home and cook for us.Â So, I’ve been making more of an effort to cook our dinners and I have had pretty good luck because I found the key to my foodie success.
I am a Crock Pot Queen.
I haven’t messed anything up in a crock pot yet, and so now I am cooking almost all of our meals in them.Â During Bean’s morning nap, I just throw whatever we’re having for dinner in a crock pot, cover it with something saucy and then let it go.Â I haven’t been let down yet.
Yesterday I made my Dad’s shredded Mexican beef.Â It is delicious and one of my favorites that he makes.Â He doesn’t do his in a crock pot, but it’s the same principle for making the dish and it works whether you cook it low and slow in your oven, high and fast in your pressure cooker, or all day long in your crock pot.
First, you start with a big ol’ hunk a meat.Â (Vegetarians, look away…).Â Use a bottom or top round if you want to have shredded beef.Â I didn’t have this cut.Â I had a pretty tough piece of meat and it never got tender enough to shred (I think it must have been a pot roast).Â But this worked just as well, too.Â Only I didn’t shred it, I just cut it up into slices like a pot roast. But we’ll get to that later…
Season the meat with salt and pepper.Â I use Lawry’s for everything.
(Don’t I look just like my BFF, The Pioneer Woman?!?!?)
Then throw the meat into the crock pot.
Cover the meat with two cans of Rotel tomatoes, two cups of water, and a fajita seasoning packet from the store.
Now, turn your trusty, dusty crock pot on the desired cook time (I prefer six hours for this one).
Now, as I mentioned before, what happens next will be determined by what cut of beef you have.Â If you have something really fatty that becomes soft enough to shred with forks, then you take the meat out of it’s bath and shred the beef at this point.Â When you’ve shredded until you can shred no more, I put the meat back into the crock pot so that it stays moist with all those juices.
If you have a tougher cut of beef, like I did, then you take the meat out after it has cooked and you can slice it into long slices.Â I cut mine into slices and then put it into a Corningware dish and covered it with juices and tomatoes from the crock pot.Â This way, clean up was easy because I could store left overs in the dish and could go ahead and wash my crock pot (…and get it ready for tomorrow’s dinner!).
I bet you could also do this exact same recipe with chicken breasts, too, by the way…
I served this dinner with PW’s spinach and garlic chips (only instead of garlic chips, I sauteed the spinach in olive oil and minced garlic…).Â Super easy to make and delicious!Â I don’t even like spinach and I ate all of mine.Â Bean liked it, too.
And they had fresh corn at my grocery store yesterday, so we had corn on the cob, too.Â I shucked it myself, ya’ll!
(Imagine that last part in the most Southern-ist voice possible)
If you end up shredding the beef, my Dad serves it over rice.Â It’s delicious.Â Perfect.Â Do it.Â In fact, if I had my choice, I’d do the shredded beef over rice with spinach and skip the corn.Â Now, THAT’S a good meal…
Although, mine wasn’t so bad either!
The nice thing about this recipe is that it isn’t too spicy.Â I think the water dilutes the spice a little.Â Now, with Bean Man eating along with us, that’s a good thing.Â But if you like a little extra kick, you might want to use less water so that the spices are a bit more potent.Â But with 2 cups of water, it is just mild enough that Bean ate it with us and thought it was delicious!
Bon appetit, ya’ll!