Slow cooked shredded beef – melt-in your mouth pulled beef to use for burritos, burgers, sliders, & more. It’s inexpensive and delicious using cuts like chuck, blade and brisket.
Slow cooked shredded beef
The slow cooker (or crock pot) is my best friend, especially when it makes slow cooked shredded beef.
Alright so I might exaggerate slightly but you’ve probably heard me say before just how much I like it.
In our house it’s not something that only comes out in winter. It gets a workout all-year-round.
How can you not like something that you can literally put two ingredients in (or one ingredient if you’re making my slow cooker caramelised onion), turn it on and walk away then come back to it 8 hours later and have the most amazingly mouth-watering slow cooked shredded beef that you can make into a multitude of meals just waiting for you?
The other thing I love is that you can turn the least expensive cuts of meat into an amazing meal which means it makes buying organic meat much more affordable.
Yes I buy organic meat.
It’s a personal choice and one I’m very happy to share.
Why I buy organic meat
1 – It’s better for us. Several studies have found that organic meat contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally-raised meat. Organic meat is also free of artificial hormones and antibiotics (so we’re not ingesting them!) and fed a diet that is exactly what they should be fed to thrive.
2 – It’s more environmentally-friendly. Studies have shown that organic farming can have a
Organic meat and really just meat in general can be really expensive if you’re buying the premium cuts.
So technically, the slow cooker makes organic meat affordable especially when you’re cooking one giant chunk of meat and shredding it like I’m talking about today.
Here’s why I love cooking a big chunk of meat for shredded beef:
- The actual cut of meat is less expensive. Because the slow cooker or crockpot cooks things low and slow it tenderises the really tough pieces of meat that you can’t really make tasty cooking them other ways. That makes them less popular and less popular = less expensive.
- It works out even less expensive because shredded meat goes a lot further than diced meat or something like a steak or fillet.
- It’s ridiculously easy to cook and you can’t stuff it up by over-cooking it.
- You can make enough for several meals in one go – saving time, energy and electricity.
- The slow cooker is actually really energy-efficient even when you have it on for up to 10 hours at a time. Compared with using the oven for 1h, it costs a third of the price to run the slow cooker.
I make up a big batch of shredded beef (you can use the same method for lamb) about once a fortnight and always have portions of it stashed away in the freezer.
It makes dinner time so easy because the protein portion is already cooked.
A few ideas for using pulled beef
- Burritos/tacos/nachos – this is all we use for burritos. I don’t even add any flavouring these days because it’s so tasty just as is.
- Stews and curries – I just make up the curry sauce as usual and add the meat at the end.
- Lunches – sometimes I’ll use it in sandwiches, other times I’ll make a buddah bowl with meat and an assortment of veggies and some brown rice or quinoa.
- Sliders – load up a roll with shredded beef and kaleslaw and I’m happy!
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- tbsp olive oil
- 1-2kg chunk of beef (chuck, blade, shin, neck or brisket all work well), trimmed
- 2 brown onions (or red if that’s all you have)
- Salt & pepper
- A slow cooker (you can also cook this in a casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid in the oven).
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or in your slow cooker if it goes on the stove or has a frying option.
- Cook the meat for a couple of minutes on each side just to brown it. When you first put it in, season the upside with salt and pepper. Repeat when you flip it.
- Meanwhile roughly slice the onions and place them in the bowl of your slow cooker or baking dish.
- Once the meat is sealed on all sides pop it on top of the onions (if you used your slow cooker bowl to seal the meat then lift the meat and throw the onions underneath).
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high or 4-5 hours or until the meat falls apart when you poke it with a fork.
- Gently take the chunk of meat out of the slow cooker and use two forks to shred it up.
- Return the meat to the slow cooker and cook on low with the lid removed for another hour. This step is just to cook off excess juice but you can skip it if you’re ok with the juice.