Inspiration: I love salads that are just chock-full of all kinds of good stuff. At our favorite pub in town, they have this great cherry chicken salad that I frequently order. Chicken marinated in Bell’s Cherry Stout beer, Michigan cherries, bleu cheese, and more vegetables than you can list. It’s just fabulous (as is most of the local food at our pubs!). That said, I’ve never really made many main dish salads at home. I think it’s time to change that!
What We Loved: Wow, what a great shredded beef recipe. It’s so rich and intense with flavor (with all of the slow-cooked Mexican flavors of chili powder, garlic, cumin, and all of the other spices that I so often associate with Mexican food). I could eat it straight from the crockpot and be happy with that! It’s also incredibly tender, and it’s coated in such a wonderful sauce. You can’t tell from the pictures, but the sauce is thick and just coats the meat and clumps it together in all kinds of great flavor. I don’t think that I need to look any further for a standard recipe to use when I need shredded beef – this is absolutely wonderful. And in this particular meal, the creamy goat cheese pairs so beautifully with the shredded beef. The cheese just melts into the meat and is such a fantastic, rich combination. And of course, the big pile of crisp greens, cilantro, and grape tomatoes are the base of this salad, and they provide a great bed of light, fresh flavors for the other richer flavors. Rich and decadent yet light and refreshing. Perfect!
Helpful Hints: I always wonder about variations on cooking times, etc. when you are using slow cooker recipes. The original recipe uses a boneless roast and cooks for 8-10 hours on low. I went a little crazy and used a bone-in roast and cooked for two hours on high and five on low. So if you’re just a *little* short on time, that worked perfectly for me.
Mexican Shredded Beef Salad with Goat Cheese and Grape Tomatoes
Source: Shredded beef from Elly Says Opa
2 lb beef roast
1 onion, cut into quarters and sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teasoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Mixed salad greens
1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the beef roast liberally with salt and pepper, and add it to the pan. Brown the roast on both sides, and place it in the crockpot.
2. Add the onions to the saute pan, and cook for a few minutes until softened and browning. Mix in the garlic and tomato paste, and cook for another minute. Mix in the beef broth and the spices, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
3. Pour the sauce over the roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours (I actually did mine for 2 hours on high and 5 hours on low).
4. Shred the beef with two forks, removing any fat, and return to the crockpot. To soak up any extra liquid, turn the crockpot to high after shredding the beef.
5. Serve the shredded beef atop mixed greens and sprinkled with grape tomatoes, goat cheese, and cilantro.