Pulled Beef Tacos

I often find it funny on all of the posts for ‘Taco Tuesday’. Granted I love the name and the idea of it all, especially if you are planning out the weekly meals, but I feel that Monday (Meatless), Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (Fish Fry in Wisconsin), Saturday, and Sunday get left behind.  I’m sure those days are out there in terms of identifying food to a day but that is not how it goes down in our house. Sure, we try to get a meatless Monday in (and any day of the week for that matter), and hump day or Thursday results in (at least for me, ‘I’m tired of cooking) a let’s order something kind of night, but for tacos, heck, I could eat those every day of the week. So upon my wandering around the house looking for something to do or cook as I was bored, I came across a lonely poblano pepper.

Yep, one poblano pepper resulted in this Taco Thursday. The idea of the poblano made me think of the chicken poblano recipe that my wife loves, but I had just recently made that for her, hence the lonely poblano. So I came across a nice looking chuck roast that was calling my name, as was the pressure cooker for that matter.

These pulled beef tacos were super simple to make, and quick (due to the pressure cooker), and made everyone’s Thursday a very happy one.

Pulled Beef Tacos Recipe
Pulled Beef Tacos Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 4 lb beef chuck roast
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • water (or beef stock) to cover beef
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed
  • 1 poblano chile, halved, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp Berbere spice blend (or taco)
  • additional salt, to taste
  • Shredded cheese, to your liking
  • hard shell tacos
  • Taco fixings (chopped onion, avocado, cilantro, tomato, beans, etc)

I left this one pretty generic as the taco game is pretty diverse. The idea here is to get your shredded beef ready and you load however you want. This particular evening I went with hard shelled tacos with cheese, onion, and garden tomatoes, along with some hot sauce.

If you do not have a pressure cooker (I highly recommend that purchase) then feel free to use a slow cooker with less water, and cooking that on low for 6-8 hours. The pressure cooker however will get you done and ready within 45 minutes if that.

To the pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil on medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chuck roast with salt and pepper. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the chuck roast and sear it on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. You want some good browning so let it sit there, do not disturb it, then flip until both sides are seared.

Once seared, add in the garlic, onion, and poblano pepper. Cover the roast with water or beef stock, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes. Let your pressure come down before taking off the lid (follow your pressure cooker instructions). The roast should be fork tender and should easily shred with a couple of forks.

Pulled Beef Tacos Recipe
Pulled Beef Tacos Recipe

Discard the onion, garlic, and pepper.

Remove the roast onto a cutting board, and reserve a couple of cups of the liquid.

Using two forks, shred the beef and discard any of the weird fat that may still be intact. No one likes that stuff, trust me.

Next, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add in the oil, and once shimmers, add in the beef. Season with a pinch of salt, then the berbere spice. Give that a good toss, and sear the shredded beef. Something about those slightly crispy strands of beef get me every time.

Once the beef is slightly seared to your liking, add in just a bit of remaining liquid, to your liking, to moisten the beef.

Once your remaining taco ingredients are ready, it’s taco time!

Load in the beef into your desired shell whether that be hard, or soft, and load in your fillings.

The result is super tender shredded beef with awesome flavors from that berbere spice, and just all of those goodies from your taco fillings. This shredded beef taco is not only easy to make, loaded with flavor, and perfect for any day of the week, but it also is a nice change to that classic American ground beef mixture that we grew up to love. Hope you enjoy!

Other Ideas:

Pulled Beef Tacos
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 4 lb beef chuck roast
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • water (or beef stock) to cover beef
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed
  • 1 poblano chile, halved, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp Berbere spice blend (or taco)
  • additional salt, to taste
  • Shredded cheese, to your liking
  • hard shell tacos
  • Taco fixings (chopped onion, avocado, cilantro, tomato, beans, etc)
Instructions
  1. I left this one pretty generic as the taco game is pretty diverse. The idea here is to get your shredded beef ready and you load however you want. This particular evening I went with hard shelled tacos with cheese, onion, and garden tomatoes, along with some hot sauce.
  2. If you do not have a pressure cooker (I highly recommend that purchase) then feel free to use a slow cooker with less water, and cooking that on low for 6-8 hours. The pressure cooker however will get you done and ready within 45 minutes if that.
  3. To the pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil on medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chuck roast with salt and pepper. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the chuck roast and sear it on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. You want some good browning so let it sit there, do not disturb it, then flip until both sides are seared.
  4. Once seared, add in the garlic, onion, and poblano pepper. Cover the roast with water or beef stock, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes. Let your pressure come down before taking off the lid (follow your pressure cooker instructions). The roast should be fork tender and should easily shred with a couple of forks.
  5. Discard the onion, garlic, and pepper.
  6. Remove the roast onto a cutting board, and reserve a couple of cups of the liquid.
  7. Using two forks, shred the beef and discard any of the weird fat that may still be intact. No one likes that stuff, trust me.
  8. Next, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add in the oil, and once shimmers, add in the beef. Season with a pinch of salt, then the berbere spice. Give that a good toss, and sear the shredded beef. Something about those slightly crispy strands of beef get me every time.
  9. Once the beef is slightly seared to your liking, add in just a bit of remaining liquid, to your liking, to moisten the beef.
  10. Once your remaining taco ingredients are ready, it’s taco time!
  11. Load in the beef into your desired shell whether that be hard, or soft, and load in your fillings.

 

Indian Style Red Onions

As you probably know, I am a fan of all sorts of ethnic cuisines, probably more so than the standard American foods (granted my last meal will be fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sweet corn), and that is saying a lot as I do love great American food.  I could, and probably get away with it, eat some different ethnic food on a daily basis whether that be Greek, Italian, Mexican, Thai, or Filipino. You name it, I’m in. Lately, however, I am really craving Indian food. Maybe it is that simple, yet complex, notion of lentils cooked down in a curry gravy only to be swiped through with delicious warm naan bread, or maybe it is something like chicken tikka masala served alongside some rice, and well these Indian style red onions. It’s the simple things that get me.

It was years ago when I fell in love with Indian food, or Pakistani food for that matter. These platters would arrive and there would always, or most likely, be a small mound of simple red onions on the platter and I often scooted those to the side. That is until recently. I dabbled in them and low and behold those onions were definitely not there for garnish, they were there to boost the dish and cut through some of the richness of the dish. Not only that but they exploded in flavor, and that really intrigued me. Intrigued me so much I think about serving them along side most meals.

Indian Red Onions Condiment
Indian Red Onions Condiment

After dissecting the ingredients, I thought I would offer them up to my family during a recent hummus, grilled chicken, and pita party at the dinner table. I think they liked them. I know my wife did, all of the kids tried them, and I was eating them like chips alongside the rest of the meal.

These Indian style red onions are much like those trendy pickled red onions you are starting to see on like every burger nowadays (something I made back in 2009), but a bit more simple to make (believe it or not) and to me, loaded with more flavor. Addicting if you will.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp chaat masala (find at your local Indian store)
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

That’s it. Your only challenge, and a minor one at that is to get the chaat masala. You can Google it and make your own, but it is a lot easier to buy the store bought. Chaat masala is essentially a blend of Indian spices including cumin, coriander, ginger, dried mango powder, hing, and some chili powder, among other spices. The flavor profile is incredible to say the least.

Indian Style Red Onions Ingredients
Indian Style Red Onions Ingredients

Soak the onions in cold water for about 20 minutes, then strain the water.

Add the onions, lemon juice, salt, chaat masala, and cayenne pepper to a bowl. Stir well. Cover and let them marinade for about 1 hour until you are ready to serve.

Soaking the onions takes that ‘bite’ out of the onions which is great in my opinion and you are not walking around after eating them with onion breath. Serve the onions alongside your meal and dabble in there, grabbing a few and include them after some bites. Talk about snap, crackle, and pop! These Indian style onions are sure to please and go really, really well alongside grilled meats, or heck even a bowl of great hummus, pita, and olives. Feel free to cover and refrigerate any leftovers for about a week. Hope you enjoy!

 

 

Easy Loaded Baked Beans

Summer is almost over, and many of us in Wisconsin are starting to feel that gloom upon us. In all honesty my wife love summer, but love fall even more. We welcome fall with open arms but again sad to see summer weather retire. There are things I will miss during the summer months, in particular food, and one of those things is baked beans. Yes, I know… I can make baked beans all year round, and I do but for whatever reason baked beans just remind me of grilling outdoors, sitting around a smoker or eating smoked meat that has been cooked for 12 or more hours, or hanging out with family and friends. They almost are up there with sweet corn on the cob and garden tomatoes for me. The problem with baked beans in my family is that not really one of my kids, or my wife enjoy baked beans as much as I do.

So with a recent get together, I decided it was my time to make some easy loaded baked beans that not only I could enjoy but I knew that other party goers would enjoy as well. I was right about that as the majority of those beans were consumed during the party.

Easy Loaded Baked Beans
Easy Loaded Baked Beans

These look like normal baked beans, but every spoonful results in simple, yet complex flavors that may have you question ‘What are in these things?’. Easy, and loaded, these are great to make before (or after) summer ends.

Ingredients:

  • 32 oz can of your favorite canned baked beans (Maple Cured for me)
  • 16 oz can original baked beans
  • 3 slices of cooked bacon, grease reserved
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole jalapeno (seeds optional), roasted in bacon grease, diced
  • 3 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp Jufran Banana Ketchup (Filipino Ketchup)
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

Let’s start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add in your bacon slices and your whole jalapeno pepper. Cook slowly to release the fat and to crisp up your bacon while at the same time cooking and charring your jalapeno pepper. You will want to blister the skin on the chili pepper throughout the time you cook your bacon.

During this time, prepare your remaining ingredients as the rest will go by rather quickly.

Once the bacon is cooked, remove and place on a paper lined plate, along with the jalapeno. Keep the skillet on medium heat, and add in the onion, cooking for about 5 minutes or so until they soften.

Easy Baked Beans Ingredients
Easy Baked Beans Ingredients

While the onion is cooking, chop up your bacon, and your jalapeno. Once the onion is softened, add in the cans of beans, jalapeno, and bacon, and give that a good stir. Cook this mixture for about 5 minutes, then squirt on the mustard, worchestershire sauce, and Filipino ketchup.

If you have never had or tried Filipino ketchup, go find it. I love this stuff. To me it is not as sweet as regular ketchup and actually provides some little kick to it.

Give another good stir, reduce the heat, and cook for about 30 minutes until everything jives, and gets a bit sticky. Taste and season with any salt or black pepper to your liking.

Easy Loaded Baked Beans
Easy Loaded Baked Beans

Serve into a bowl, and provide to your family and friends.

The result is a great bowl of beans, and one that has some mysterious flavors. Sure you can get that flavor of bacon, and see the onions and jalapenos, but they might have your friends and family guessing on those wonderful mustard and ketchup flavors. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and hope you enjoy the beans!

Easy Loaded Baked Beans
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 32 oz can of your favorite canned baked beans (Maple Cured for me)
  • 16 oz can original baked beans
  • 3 slices of cooked bacon, grease reserved
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole jalapeno (seeds optional), roasted in bacon grease, diced
  • 3 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp Jufran Banana Ketchup (Filipino Ketchup)
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Let’s start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add in your bacon slices and your whole jalapeno pepper. Cook slowly to release the fat and to crisp up your bacon while at the same time cooking and charring your jalapeno pepper. You will want to blister the skin on the chili pepper throughout the time you cook your bacon.
  2. During this time, prepare your remaining ingredients as the rest will go by rather quickly.
  3. Once the bacon is cooked, remove and place on a paper lined plate, along with the jalapeno. Keep the skillet on medium heat, and add in the onion, cooking for about 5 minutes or so until they soften.
  4. While the onion is cooking, chop up your bacon, and your jalapeno. Once the onion is softened, add in the cans of beans, jalapeno, and bacon, and give that a good stir. Cook this mixture for about 5 minutes, then squirt on the mustard, worchestershire sauce, and Filipino ketchup.
  5. If you have never had or tried Filipino ketchup, go find it. I love this stuff. To me it is not as sweet as regular ketchup and actually provides some little kick to it.
  6. Give another good stir, reduce the heat, and cook for about 30 minutes until everything jives, and gets a bit sticky. Taste and season with any salt or black pepper to your liking.

 

Fresh Garden Quinoa Salad

My wife and I go through this dilemma, probably like most of you, about once every couple of weeks and that is that we really consider eating ‘more healthy’ and incorporate more fresh vegetables and ‘good’ stuff into our weekly dinner plans. This is not to say that we do not eat healthy. In my opinion we do really well and rarely go out to eat, limit our intake on junk foods, and eat fairly well balanced meals throughout the week. Granted, we are eating more meat than we probably should but I think that defaults to my kids as if it were just my wife and I eating we would most likely be very content eating a nice salad on a daily basis. So not too long ago my wife had mentioned this idea and stated that she would really like to eat more quinoa. I listen to that stuff, and felt it was my duty to turn her on to a nice fresh garden salad. A quinoa salad that was packed full of crunch vegetables, and loaded with flavor.

Fresh Garden Quinoa Salad Recipe
Fresh Garden Quinoa Salad Recipe

This quinoa salad is simple to make and is perfect as a main meal, or side dish. It’s got great crunch and an awesome citrus kick to boot.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 medium sized tomato, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cucumber, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup skillet fried chick peas, optional
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste

If you have never cooked quinoa, it could not be easier. It is as simple as rice (without the rice cooker). Simply add water, add quinoa, stir, wait, and fluff.

Let’s begin by bringing 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add in the quinoa, stir, cover, reduce heat to a medium-low, and cook for about 15 minutes.  The water should be absorbed and the quinoa should be translucent. Taste so that it is tender. Once tender, remove from the heat, dump it into a mixing bowl, and let it cool.

Quinoa Salad Ingredients
Quinoa Salad Ingredients

Next, prepare all of your diced ingredients. I will leave it up to you if you want to leave the skin on your cucumber or not. I’m a fan on skin on with my vegetables whether that be cucumbers, potatoes, or carrots. Again, I will leave it up to you. Just make sure you get rid of the seeds. Once you have all of your veggies chopped and diced, add them to the bowl of quinoa.  If you are going with a bit more protein, add the skillet fried chickpeas (great for texture).

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with a generous pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper. Give this a good stir to mix everything, and then give it a taste. Does it need more salt, pepper, or oil? If so, go for it and adjust to your liking.

Now you are ready to serve. This quinoa salad is not only super healthy for you, but darn it is delicious. A perfect side dish for a family night meal, or a great leftover to pack for your daily lunch. Enjoy!

Fresh Garden Quinoa Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salads
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 medium sized tomato, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cucumber, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup skillet fried chick peas, optional
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Let’s begin by bringing 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add in the quinoa, stir, cover, reduce heat to a medium-low, and cook for about 15 minutes. The water should be absorbed and the quinoa should be translucent. Taste so that it is tender. Once tender, remove from the heat, dump it into a mixing bowl, and let it cool.
  2. Next, prepare all of your diced ingredients. I will leave it up to you if you want to leave the skin on your cucumber or not. I’m a fan on skin on with my vegetables whether that be cucumbers, potatoes, or carrots. Again, I will leave it up to you. Just make sure you get rid of the seeds. Once you have all of your veggies chopped and diced, add them to the bowl of quinoa. If you are going with a bit more protein, add the skillet fried chickpeas (great for texture).
  3. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with a generous pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper. Give this a good stir to mix everything, and then give it a taste. Does it need more salt, pepper, or oil? If so, go for it and adjust to your liking.
  4. Now you are ready to serve.

More Quinoa Recipes: