I put out a call on Twitter and Facebook the other week for recipe ideas for beef cubes. I didn’t realize I had a couple of pounds left in the freezer when I placed my meat order with Hillacres Pride last month, and I ended up with 4 pounds of beef cubes. I make a good beef stew, but I wanted to try to use beef cubes in another way.
The two suggestions I received the most were to make them into beef stroganoff or to cook them and shred them for taco meat. I thought that would be a nice change of pace from my regular ground beef tacos, so I cooked them up in the slow cooker with some dried spices, tomato paste and beef broth.
My husband, who gets a little tired of our regular taco night, said this shredded beef was a big improvement. The kids liked it, too, but my older son said he’d like a little more heat. He ended up pouring Tabasco sauce on his. I liked the flavor of the shredded beef, and I liked how easy it was.
- 2 pounds of beef cubes, organic or sustainably raised preferred
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup beef broth, organic preferred
- 2 heaping teaspoons of jarred minced garlic, or fresh if preferred
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat until hot.
- Mix dried spices and salt in a large bowl. Add the beef cubes and mix them all together.
- When skillet is hot, add olive oil to the skillet and swirl the pan until the bottom of the skillet is coated.
- Immediately add coated beef cubes to brown them on all sides (if they all don’t fit; do them in two batches, adding a little more olive oil if necessary)
- Remove beef cubes from heat and set aside.
- Add beef broth, garlic and tomato paste to a slow cooker. Mix together well.
- Add browned beef cubes to the slow cooker and mix with the broth.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours, or until beef is cooked through and shreds easily when removed.
- Remove beef cubes with a slotted spoon and shred between two forks.
- Place shredded beef back into the broth and keep warm until time to serve.
- This made a mildly spiced shredded beef. If you like a little more heat, add some more of each of the spices (except for the salt) or some Tabasco sauce.
- Like many dishes done in the slow cooker, flavors will continue to meld together over a day or so. This could be made a day ahead of time, and probably be even more flavorful when reheated the next day.