Tuesday, July 17, 2012

BBQ Pulled Beef

BBQ Pulled Beef

This week, as I was pondering the age old question of what to cook for dinner I had an urge for BBQ pulled beef. I've been seeing a lot of recipes for pulled pork and BBQ'd meats. I've even seen recipes for slow cooker briskets. But I don't have a slow cooker and none of those recipes were exactly what I had in mind. I did a search but still no exact matches. Oh, well. It seemed as if I was going to have to invent the recipe.

BBQ Pulled Beef
While I don't have a slow cooker, I do have a lovely red Dutch oven pot from Lodge that has served me very well these past few years. So I had the vessel but now I needed to choose the cut of meat and I decided to get an expert opinion. The Ottomanelli's Butcher Shop is just a few blocks away from our apartment. So my pup and I headed over there and she rested on the shaded bench outside while I went in to have a chat with the butcher. As soon as I told him what I had in mind he immediately nodded and suggested a nicely marbled center cut chuck roast and was happy to cut it to the size I needed. And man, was he ever right!

BBQ Pulled Beef
I really wasn't sure what ingredients to add so I relied on intuition and various barbecue shows I've seen on the Food Network. It always seems like they add nearly every spice in the world and everyone has a recipe for their own secret sauce. Well, if you have an amazing secret recipe for homemade BBQ sauce than, by all means, use that but I relied on a bit of help from the store.

BBQ Pulled Beef
I totally guessed at proportions and as it turned out, I guessed right! This dish is so...so...so damn delicious! Succulent and juicy and unctuous and every other adjective I can think of. Seriously, you need to make this dish. Go to Ottomanelli's, tell them you want that center cut chuck, tell them Anita said so, bring it home, cook it and watch yourself standing over the pot, "tasting" half the roast in a foodie trance. You can put the second half on a nice toasted roll and serve it up with some cole slaw. Here's a homemade cole slaw recipe worthy of this meat. Hurry! They might be running out of this roast as we speak. Enjoy!

3 lb. Center cut chuck roast
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Large onion
1 Large carrot
4 Cloves garlic
1 Stalk celery
1 Cup BBQ sauce (your own or store bought)
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon pepper
1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 Teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 Teaspoon cumin
4 Sprigs fresh thyme
2 Sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 Cup red wine
4 cups beef broth (I used low sodium)

In a food processor, add the thyme leaves, rosemary, onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Pulse until pureed and set aside. Add the olive oil to a large Dutch oven pot and sear the roast for a few minutes on each side until a light brown crust forms. Add the pureed vegetables into the pot along with all the dried seasonings. Add the beef broth, red wine and BBQ sauce and stir until combined.

BBQ Pulled Beef
My favorite Dutch oven pot
Cover the pot and cook in a 350 degree oven for 4 hours, turning the roast at the half way point. Note that when it's done, you can shred the roast with two forks (it will pull apart easily) and serve it immediately. But I noticed quite a bit of grease in the sauce and wanted to remove most of it. So I removed the roast from the pot, tented it with aluminum foil and when it cooled, wrapped it in the aluminum foil and refrigerated it overnight. I moved the sauce to a smaller pot that would fit in my refrigerator and also stored that overnight so that the fat layer rose and solidified on top.

BBQ Pulled Beef
Yummy Cole Slaw
The next day I removed most of the fat, shredded the roast and warmed it in the sauce. The roast shrunk during cooking so this size meat made about 4-5 generous (and ridiculously delicious) servings.

You can find the Ottomanelli Brothers butcher shop at 1549 York Avenue, 212-772-7900, www.nycotto.com


  1. I'm going to have to try this! I've made pulled pork in my crock pot before, and it's always wonderful, but I haven't done pulled beef or brisket. We have a Dutch oven, though, so your recipe sounds great, and I love all the seasonings you used!

  2. I thought you were from New York? Are you sure you're not a Texan with this beautiful meal???

    Anyways, totally Texas approved!

  3. Sounds totally perfect for summer! I can't wait to get back to cooking!!

  4. It looks damn delicious! I want one of these right now. Thank you for sharing such a tempting recipe. I love when you guess right :-)

  5. BBQ beef is one of our favorites. Pure comfort food!

  6. That is so awesome how you just intuited the way to make this! It looks tender and deeeelicious!

  7. Looks amazing! Not having a slow cooker is a problem for me too but I guess I'll try using my Dutch oven now :)

  8. I may be a vegetarian, but I've got a mother who loves pulled pork. I've got to show this to her. It looks killer! And in response to your comment on my site, no, I've never tried ricotta cheese cake, but I'd like to. My issue with standard cheesecake is the cream cheese.

  9. The recipe is gorgeous! I love the photos and fantastic guessing at proportions because is looks fantastic and I'm sure sure tastes even better. Nicely done!

  10. Wow! Well done on these beef burgers! My husband just asked me to make these for dinner!

  11. This bbq beef looks great and so does the cole slaw. Would you be able to direct me to the recipe for the cole slaw. Then my sandwich will be complete. Many thanks.

    1. I'm glad you like the beef. The cole slaw recipe is actually in the blog post but here it is again. Thanks for commenting and enjoy!

  12. i have tried this a number of times because i do not eat pork. you created what looks like a very tasty and very comforting sandwich.

  13. Anita, You had me with the Cornbread which led me to this post, and heaven! This looks amazing and I can taste the gravy from my desk! Awesome!


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