What to do with Chuck?

Pulled beef BBQ & pot roast using as cheap a cut of meat as possible.

If you’ve read this blog with any regularity, you know that at various times I have talked about cheap cuts of meat. So, I was in the store the other day, & wandered by the discount section, & picked up this great slab of lean (no marbling) beef (chuck roast). I couldn’t resist the price, & am always good for throwing something together with what I have.

meat cuts postP
eye-of-round-roast as chuckP
It was about 4 pounds, so I split it in two, but rubbed each section & placed both pieces into a vacuum bag. Then I put that in the freezer for a couple days. When I was ready for it, I let it thaw overnight in the fridge, so that it’s ready the next day.

One section I stuck in the slow cooker ala pot roast, the other I made in to a pulled beef, with homemade bbq sauce, for sandwiches, in the pressure cooker.

pot roast001 postP
On the slow cooker, I put the meat in, peeled & cut up the ingredients & turned the slow cooker to high (4-6 hours). I wasn’t thrilled with the tenderness of the beef, nor the taste. So, I tossed it in the pressure cooker, with some beef bullion paste (about 1/2 Tbsp) & Worcestershire (2 tsp) sauce. I then cooked it for 15 minutes under pressure. It wasn’t all tender & mushy (I didn’t quite expect this cut to be), but it wasn’t bad. Made a nice roast beef, & certainly makes a great roast beef for breakfast hash!

The rub I use can be found here. It’s pretty much the same rub I always use, save for sometimes I like to add white pepper to the mix.

The recipe for the pot roast is pretty basic

Your cut of meat @ about 3-7 pounds I used cheap Charlie here

3-5 pounds of peeled potatoes

1-2 medium large onions sliced & chopped (I like to mix it up when I cut them)

5 large carrots peeled & “quartered”

The above beef base & Worcestershire sauce [beef bullion paste (about 1/2 Tbsp) & Worcestershire (2 tsp) sauce]

Traditionally you slow cook this for dinner when you come home (eight or so hours). You can fast cook it, but as I said above, the meat does need a little extra love & attention, so best done slow.

Now, to the BBQ pulled beef.

This fared a bit better than it’s turned into a roast counterpart. I did brown the meat a bit, then I split it. Some recipes call for cubing the meat, but it’s going to be fall apart soft & be put onto a sandwich ‘pulled’; so I just split it down the middle. I placed the “raw” ends on the bottom, & covered the meat.

I only put about half of the “bbq” sauce base in with the meat. The rest I left out to thicken the infused sauce when it was done (see frying pan pix).

Sauce postP

Being that this was a tough cut of meat, I gave it an hour. Actually, I did it for 30 minutes twice, as I’m still learning how to use “my new” pressure cooker. So add to the pressure up & depressurize time frame, or about 75-90 minutes.

Seeing that the meat (see pix) had very little fat on it, there wasn’t much (flavor) moisturizing. This I “let” the ingredients do. They didn’t do badly. You can always use apple juice in place of water, to give the meat a moisture boost.

meat postP

I added 1/4 C up tap water to the pressure cooker, & this recipe.

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp chill powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground mustard
3 lbs beef
medium sweet bell pepper

Mix all top ingredients together, to make sauce. Set aside to “marry”. In the meantime sear (brown) beef on all ends. In about 3 Tbsp oil. Remove from heat, split in half (butterfly), let rest. Pour in 1/4 C tap water or apple juice to cooling pan, to lift browning.
Slice, & dice pepper & onion, put in pressure cooker. Add meat & about half of the bbq sauce. Pressurize & cook for around 60 minutes (45 minutes for more premium cuts of beef), depending on your pressure cooker.

Fast vent & remove meat to serving plate. Pour everything else in to a frying pan. Mix with reserved bbq sauce & reduce.

Reducing a liquid can be done several ways. The large frying pan give you more surface to work with & makes reduction much faster. You can do this on high heat if you keep stirring the sauce. If you’re in a real rush (date night); put 3 Tbsp of flour or 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch in a jar (to shake) with about 8 Tbsp water. once mixed, slowly stir in to sauce to thicken. it will thicken quickly, so use a medium low setting to start; bringing it up to med high after. You’ll know when it’s thick.

Pull beef apart into strips, put in reduced bbq sauce to heat.

Place sandwich rolls on plate, spoon bbq beef on top. Add cheese if you’d like, or Cole Slaw (remember you only need a dab of sauce to bind the cabbage), even crispy “fried” onions are great.

container postP

Very, very yummy!


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