Pulled Beef is the Current “Thing”
In restaurants and barbecue joints everywhere, pulled beef is having its moment. Also known as shredded beef, pulled beef is essentially slow-cooked meat, prepared over time in a mouth-watering sauce, which is then shredded into stringy deliciousness. Having pulled beef on hand means never having to wonder about tonight’s menu or how to feed a hungry crowd.
About Pulled Beef
Commonly referred to as shredded beef or pulled beef, this method of preparation involves slow and lengthy cooking of beef cuts to create individual strands of tender meat for various food dishes. A traditional way to prepare shredded beef is to cook the chuck or brisket cut of beef for a long period of time in a slow cooker or an oven in order to tenderize the meat and allow it to fall apart into narrow pieces of meat. After being cooked, the meat is then often mixed with seasoned sauces to be served on sandwich buns, in tacos or in burritos, over hummus, on a slider, or alone, as a main dish of tenderized beef.
What Cuts to Use for Shredded Meats
Many recipes for pulled meat call for beef chuck pot roast or shoulder roast. These cuts, from the shoulder of the animal, contain extensive marbling and connective tissue, which soften during cooking, making it easy to pull the meat apart into moist, tender pieces. Beef brisket, from the fore-shank part of the cow, is also sometimes used for pulled beef. These inexpensive cuts require long, slow cooking. While the cooking can be done on the stove top in a sauce, or baked in the oven, perhaps the most convenient and hassle-free way to prepare pulled beef is in a slow cooker (crock pot), which does an excellent job and requires little attention.
A Time to Shred
Pulled beef may seem complicated but, in reality, it’s a cinch to make. Using a slow cooker makes pulled beef a do-ahead meal that requires almost no work on your part. Over the course of 8 to 10 hours with almost no prep time, the beef is transformed from an everyday piece of meat into a melt-in-your-mouth delight.
Once the meat is ready it’s time to “pull.” To shred, place two dinner forks, with their backs facing each other, next to each other in the center part of the meat. Pull the forks in opposite directions (outward), breaking up the meat into pieces or strings as you pull. If cooked sufficiently, the meat should just about fall apart, forming bite-size shreds of heavenly, delectable meat.
Pulled Beef Sliders Recipe
Pulled beef is nothing if not versatile and one of the best ways to put it to good use is in pulled beef sliders. Better than a burger – or certainly less ordinary – these little sliders pack a ton of deliciousness in each bite.
- 2–3 pounds shoulder roast
- 2 small onions, sliced into thin strips
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on low for 8–10 hours.
- Use a fork to gently pull apart beef to a shredded consistency.
- To assemble your pulled beef slider, load the beef onto a slider bun and add your favorite toppings, like mustard, sauerkraut, ketchup, tomatoes, lettuce and pickles.
Pulled Beef Egg Rolls
Pulled beef can loaded onto a taco or, for a Texan version of a classic Chinese dish, fried up in an egg roll wrapper.
- 2 pounds beef roast
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 (12 ounce) can or bottle of beer
- 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 cups water
- 1 bottle prepared barbecue sauce
- 12 – 15 egg roll wrappers
- Pulled beef, as prepared below
- Oil, for frying
- Place meat in a slow cooker and scatter chopped onions on top.
- In a large bowl, combine the beer, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, pepper and salt and water, and pour over meat.
- Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
- When meat is cooked, shred meat with two forks, add barbecue sauce, and mix well. Let cool slightly.
- Lay egg roll wrapper out like a diamond and place pulled beef brisket in the center.
- Wet the edges of the wrapper with water or egg wash and fold bottom corner of wrapper toward the top corner of the egg roll wrapper.
- Fold the two side corners toward the center and roll the egg roll toward the top corner until sealed. Repeat with remaining egg rolls.
- Heat oil on medium-high heat, and fry egg rolls until golden brown.
Pulled Beef is the Rage
Pulled beef is everywhere now and for good reason. It’s fun, easy, and versatile; perfect for an everyday meal, a casual get together, a do-it-yourself buffet, or a Super Bowl bash. All this great food needs is a little planning – overnight cooking would probably be the best use of your time – and with so little effort, a great meal is born.