Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Little Vacation... AAAND We’re Back, NOW WITH MORE PULLED BEEF!

Over the last week, my wife and I took a wonderful vacation together.  We spent time doing yucky romantic things like watching movies, fixing the lawnmower and taking a long walk on the beach holding hands (SERIOUSLY!).  It was enchanting.  We also had time to cook.  A lot.  I’ll be posting over the next few days so as to not overwhelm the internet with all my news and info.  ;)

I’m really excited to share that we hit 1000 viewers this last week.  I know, it’s not much.  But it’s thrilling.  If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends about it with the lovely share buttons we have available.  I really want to hit 10,000 page views before the end of the year.  See, if you read the blog and tell two friends, and your friend tells two friends...

A few weeks ago, I signed on to do the food for a summer youth camp, UM ARMY, that the church I work for is attending.  It’s been several years since I went, and it’s my first time to run the kitchen for this particular organization (though certainly not my first cooking rodeo).  I decided that it would be a good idea to try out some recipes that I could use on the kids I live with.  After all, what better guinea pigs than my own family.

North Carolina-Style Pulled Beef
One of my favorite places on earth is North Carolina.  I don’t get to go nearly often enough, but it is (other than Disney World) the happiest place on earth.  Though my family on my Mom’s side is small, that’s where they’re from.

In honor of our family there, I decided to do a North Carolina-style BBQ beef.  Traditional “southern” BBQ is fine, but there’s something about the zip that comes with a vinegar-based sauce that you just don’t get from the tomato or mustard based sauces.

I started, as I do often do, with a recipe that already existed, and made it up from there.  Though the allrecipes.com version was okay, it was WAAY to spicy and there just wasn’t much in terms of depth to the flavor.  It was very one-note, and it didn’t sing very well.  So here we go with MY version.

1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tsp garlic (or garlic powder)
3 tsp onion flakes
1/4 cup ketchup
beef roast

You’ll Need:
a sauce pan
a slow cooker

Combine the vinegar, salt, red pepper, brown sugar, garlic and onion together in a sauce pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes to release all the flavors in the sugar and meld them with the other ingredients.  Salt and pepper your meat as you wish and put into your slow cooker.  Pour your sauce over the meat and cook for 2-3 hours.  Then, turn your meat and add your ketchup to the sauce and mix well.  Cook for another 1-2 hours.

You can also add some extra brown sugar to the top of the meat toward the end of the cooking cycle if you wish to add a caramelized taste to it.

When you’re done cooking, remove and place the meat on a cutting board.  Remove any fat that you may have on the meat (as it is not desirable in a sandwich) and then shred the beef.  Take some of your sauce that has reduced and place aside to go on top of the meat.  You can also store the beef in the sauce to help keep it moist.

I thought my children were going to eat the Corningware, they liked it so much.  I guess we have a hit on our hands.

My Moo Rating: 4/5

It probably deserves better, but I think I can improve on the recipe even more.  Next time... PORK!

As always... happy eating!


  1. Yes, you're absolutely correct. But trying to get access to smoker wasn't possible for this particular recipe. Probably won't be for UM ARMY, either. Though the recipe would certainly have been better with it. Thanks, Howard. As always, I can trust in the foodie to add something poignant. ;)