I recently mentioned that I had debated between making barbacoa or pork carnitas for quite some time. The pork carnitas tacos won out, but like … WHAT?! BOTH of these recipes are SO good! Why did I ever wait so long to attempt either of them?! Rather than naming these barbacoa, I went with slow cooker spicy shredded beef. It just seemed more fitting, but the ingredients are nearly the same as most barbacoa recipes I’ve seen. And, of course, it is conveniently made in your slow cooker. 🙂
For the slow cooker spicy shredded beef, I took a little of everything from various barbacoa recipes I found via the interwebs. I tried a few different versions before settling on this particular one, which is a very straight-forward spicy beef recipe. No underlying sweetness, no extreme heat, and minimal smoky flavor. Just solid, versatile, spicy shredded beef.
This stuff has the potential to be the next greatest hit in your household. We made quesadillas last night, and I instantly fell in love with the cheesy, meaty combination. Normally, I cannot eat the same thing two nights in a row (ridiculous, I know). But kind of like the pork carnitas tacos I made a couple of months ago, the slow cooker spicy shredded beef is something I could eat for maybe every single meal of the day.
The prep work is fairly simple, which is always a plus. First, season the chuck roast with salt and pepper. Be as liberal or cautious as you want with this. Personally, I prefer more seasoning, but you can always adjust later if necessary! Next, sear the chuck roast in a sauté pan over medium heat for a few minutes on each side. Allow it to develop a nice, crispy brown exterior before moving on. Once it is browned, gently place it into your slow cooker. (I am still a HUGE advocate for these slow cooker liners if you haven’t tried them!) Set the heat to low, and place the lid on the slow cooker. In the same pan you used to brown the chuck roast, add veggies, seasonings, adobo sauce, apple cider vinegar, and beef broth.
Let everything simmer together for a while before pouring it directly on top of the chuck roast into the slow cooker.
Now it’s time for the best part! Set your slow cooker to “low” and walk away for eight hours. *ta da* Or, if you’re around, turn the roast over every few hours, so all sides get a chance to cook in the veggies and juice.
After eight hours, the spicy beef should shred apart easily. You know when you visit a restaurant, and the shredded beef is so thinly shredded that it’s basically just tiny shreds of succulent meat that nearly melt in your mouth? Consider this slow cooker spicy shredded beef to be the thing restaurant dreams are made of. It should shred with ease once it’s fully ready, and shredding it in the slow cooker allows the shreds to absorb a little more juicy flavor.
I’ve got at least a pound and a half of this stuff left in my refrigerator. Looks like more quesadillas are in my future and I CANNOT WAIT.