Grass-Fed Beef Chuck Roast Barbacoa Style

I’ve been experimenting with chuck roast for a few years because we always get so many cuts when we harvest our cows. I made this version for Mr. Bob Hammer’s birthday bash and it was a hit through and through. Spicy, rich, salty, shredded chuck roast that is ready to pair with roasted squash, or thrown in a handmade tortilla, this preparation is satisfying on a cold winter day. I measure the true success of my meaty dishes by my oldest brother’s enthusiasm level and intake. It’s fair to say he ate an impressive quantity of this dish with obvious vocalizations of joy. Thanks for the parameter of tastiness, Nick.

Grass-fed Beef Chuck Roast Barbacoa Style
1 3-4 lb grass-fed chuck roast, bone in
Sea salt
Pepper

Barbacoa Sauce
8-10 dried chili peppers, I used a mix of 3 chipotle, 1 cayenne, 5 guajillo.
2 tablespoons maple syrup
I can organic, peeled tomatoes (28 oz)
1 tablespoon cumin seed
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1 in season orange, mandarin, or another citrus, sliced

Method:

  1. Generously salt the chuck roast as many hours in advance as possible. Let the chuck come to room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting. During this time, make the sauce.
  2. Heat a large cast iron and place the dried peppers in the hot pan until slightly blackened. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with warm water. Toast the cumin seeds in the cast iron until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Place the garlic, cumin, maple syrup, tomatoes, vinegar, and 2 tsp sea salt in a blender. After the peppers have rehydrated for 10 minutes, toss them in the blender with the soaking water and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness and saltiness as desired, but keep in mind this sauce will cook down, so be careful not to over salt.
  4. Turn the oven to 450F. When the oven is preheated, place the chuck roast in the oven and roast for around 10 minutes to slightly brown.
  5. Take the roast out of the oven and turn it down to 350F.
  6. Pour the sauce over the chuck roast, and cover with aluminum foil. Roast the chuck for 2-3 hours.
  7. Take the roast out of the oven and shred with a fork and knife. Pour the sauce into a separate saucepan and add the orange slices. Ladle a few ladlefulls of sauce over the meat and place back in the oven uncovered. Reduce the sauce on medium-low in the saucepan while the meat continues to caramelize and brown for another 20 minutes or so.
  8. Serve the barbacoa in tacos like we did on Bob’s birthday, or eat it ladled over roasted butternut or other squash with winter greens, yogurt and extra sauce spooned on top.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

IMG_5355-001

I like incorporating squash into every meal while its so plentiful and this worked beautifully. The squash is very sweet, so I like to make sure my tortillas and kale are extra salty to off set the sweetness. I put cilantro on almost everything, it just adds a level of complexity and freshness to my meals. The vibrant orange of the squash, black beans, green kale and cilantro looked really beautiful. I ate these straight from the cast iron. This is the best when the house is cold as it keeps the food nice and hot (and you don’t have to get another plate dirty).

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

2 corn tortillas 1 small yellow onion sliced ¼ cup black beans 1-cup butternut squash cubed 1 handful kale Cilantro Raw cheddar Salt & pepper Greek yogurt or crème fraiche Olive oil Lemon juice

Method:

 Soak beans for 24 hours. I usually make a cup or two, and soak them in about 5 cups of water. After soaking, drain the water. Add new water and bring to a boil. Turn off burner once they boil, then let sit for a few hours. They’re ready when they feel soft.

Oven 400. Cut the skin off the butternut squash and cut into cubes. Drizzle these with olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast in the oven until tender, about 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, sauté the onion in a cast iron, add the beans after a few minutes and cook on  medium-high for a few minutes. Remove the onion and beans from the pan and add more oil.

Place the tortillas in the oil and set a few slices of cheddar on them. Add the roasted butternut squash, the beans and onion, and finally rip up the kale and place it on top. Squeeze a little lemon juice on top, sprinkle with a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper. Roast the tacos at 400 for around 10 or 15 minutes, until the kale is crispy.

Garnish with plenty of cilantro and Greek yogurt.