Friday, September 02, 2011

Carnita-Style Beef Tacos

I found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman, courtesy of Pam Anderson. It looked SO delicious, I knew I had to try it. I am so thankful that God "fixed" me and I miraculously now love peppers! I altered the recipe a bit to make it in my slow-cooker.  I was excited to use a lot of my garden produce in this recipe!


1 boneless chuck roast, 2 1/2 to 3 pounds (* I used two chuck steaks 1 1/5 lbs each)
3 tablespoons pure olive oil, divided
1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper
1 can (4.5 ounces each) chopped green chiles (* I used 3 fresh jalapenos from my garden)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 medium-large onions, ends left in tact, peeled and each onion cut into 8 wedges
2  medium multi-colored peppers, each cut into 8 wedges
(* Next time I will double the onions and peppers because they were SO yummy!)
1 dozen medium flour tortillas
1 container (8 ounces) light or regular sour cream
1 bunch cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges


Heat a 5 to 6-quart heavy oven-safe Dutch oven or large cast iron skillet over low heat.

Meanwhile, place roast in a large bowl; coat with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with 1 tablespoon of the cumin and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Mix chiles, chili powder, remaining 1 teaspoon of cumin, and oregano in a small bowl.

A few minutes before searing, increase heat to a strong medium-high until wisps of smoke start to rise from the pan. Add roast; sear, turning only once, until both sides form an impressive brown crust, about 8 minutes total. Transfer roast to a plate; set aside. Add garlic to the now empty pot; sauté until fragrant and golden, about 30 seconds. Add chili mixture; sauté to intensify flavor, another 30 seconds. Add chicken broth, bring to a simmer.

Transfer roasts to crockpot and pour broth over it.  Cover and turn on high for 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Return roasts to pot. Using 2 potholders to protect hands, place a sheet of heavy-duty foil over the pot, pressing on the foil so that it touches the stew. Seal foil around the edges; repeat with a second sheet of foil to completely seal. Turn burner on medium-high until you hear juices bubble. Set pot on middle oven rack; cook for a total of 1 1/2 hours.

Remove roast from oven/crockpot, cool to room temperature, and shred into bite size pieces. About 30 minutes before roast is done, toss onions and peppers with remaining 2 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper on a baking sheet large enough for vegetables to fit in a single layer. Place pan on bottom oven rack; cook until tender-crisp, about 30 minutes. (* If you double the peppers and onions you will need two pans. I used my Silpat for this - worked like a charm.)

When ready to serve, gently warm meat and peppers and onions over low heat. Serve with warm tortillas*, bowls of sour cream, cilantro sprigs, and lime wedges.

*We have taken to heating our tortillas over the gas flames on our range and flipping with tongs. It really gives it more of a homemade taste.


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