my eyes were puffy & swollen when i woke up this morning. as i wondered what on earth my generally happy soul could have been crying about, i remembered the fact that i sliced EIGHT onions last night & was sobbing hysterically by onion #2. i was suddenly overcome by a strong feeling of never wanting to see an onion again, but alas i plodded barefoot to my tiny kitchen to prep tonight’s dinner in my favorite kitchen appliance: the slow cooker. my apprentice stayed in bed, making a big show of stretching & yawning to show me just how tired she was:
tonight’s dinner consisted of spicy shredded beef tacos, adapted from gimme some oven. i also made what i like to call “vomit chili” — not because of its taste, which is stellar, but because of its appearance. i will share the vomit chili recipe, which i am sure you are just dying to have, later in the week. lastly, i made a simple, fresh salsa to go atop the tacos.
as for the tacos, the prep time (including chopping everything) was probably about a half hour. i used double the spices from the original recipe because the amount suggested was not enough to coat the beef. i also added in an extra chipotle. lastly, i used tomato sauce instead of tomato paste simply because i didn’t have it on hand. to compensate for this, i reduced the amount of liquid (beef stock) by 1/4 cup. it turned out pretty spicy, but not too spicy, & delicious. my friend kari & i devoured our tacos, both wanting more but remembering how uncomfortable our late-night hot yoga class can be after overeating…
-1-2 tbsp. olive oil
-2 lbs. beef (boneless chuck roast)
-2 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
-1 tsp. cumin
-1 tsp. paprika
-3/4 cup beef stock
-6 tbsp. tomato sauce (i used the 364 label from whole foods)
-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
-1/2 large sweet onion, diced
-5 cloves garlic, minced
-flour tortillas (i like the handmade ones from trader joe’s)
-toppings: i used avocado, sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream & smitten kitchen’s salsa fresca, which she adapted from the new york times. it consists of two diced tomatoes, 1/2 a white onion (also diced), a chopped seeded jalapeno, 1/4 chopped cilantro, the juice of one lime, & salt/pepper to taste. just throw it all together & mix it up (i used my hands). we were eating it plain, it was so good.
1. heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. meanwhile, combine the chili pepper flakes, cumin & paprika in a small bowl.
2. rub the spice mixture into the beef, covering each side evenly. once the oil is hot (it will smoke or make popping noises), place the beef in the skillet & brown it by searing each side.
3. place the browned beef in the bottom of a slow cooker. leave the pan on the heat & add the beef stock to deglaze the skillet by scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan (i did not have much).
4. add in tomato sauce & chipotle, whisking the ingredients into a sauce. bring the sauce to a boil for about five minutes, then let it simmer until the sauce has reduced & thickened slightly.
5. meanwhile, dice your onion & mince your garlic before tossing them into the slow cooker, atop the beef.
6. when the sauce has thickened & reduced, add it to the slow cooker & cook on low for 6-8 hours. shred beef with two forks before serving with flour tortillas & your favorite toppings.