Happy new year, everyone! Welcome to 2012! It’s going to be quite a year around Casa P, I think. Lots of changes coming up, with the new jobs and the big move and the need to sell the house! All of which makes my yearning to simplify, not to mention my eyelid, start to twitch...
Fortunately, today’s recipe is super simple. It was a favorite of mine as a kid (my mom called it “crocked beast”) but I’d forgotten about it. Thank goodness my friend posted about it not too long ago to remind me how wonderful slow-cooked beef with peppers is! It really has just those two ingredients (yes, two), and it uses my favorite no-fuss appliance, the crockpot. And not only is it easy to make, it also makes a simply delicious roast, worthy of a cold winter’s night by itself or in sandwiches (like those here today), stews, or even tacos. So, I’d better keep this post simple as well by cutting straight to the chase!
You need a beef roast. I know nothing about beef cuts, so I just took a picture of the label for you. Apparently this is a boneless shoulder roast.
Honestly, I have no idea if this is even the best sort of roast for this – I bought it because it was on sale (I’m a sucker for boneless meat under $2/lb). It turned out super tasty and tender, though, so I guess it was good enough!
Then you need a jar of these.
I don’t think the size matters much, but I used a 16 oz. jar for a 3+ pound roast. Our Kroger had quite the variety of pepperocinis, with different combinations of mild, hot, whole, and sliced. The mild whole ones were just fine with us; there wasn’t a lot of heat, just flavor. In general, though, I like to buy “mild” rather than “hot” ingredients – I can always add heat with extra spice but I can’t take it away. A good rule to have when debating which to purchase!
The night before, I unloaded the roast in the crockpot and seasoned it with salt, pepper, and garlic. Then in the morning I dumped in the whole jar of peppers and juice. The cornea-searing tennis-ball-grellow in the morning light of our eastern-exposure kitchen can really wake you up:
Note that I waited to add the peppers until morning because I wasn’t sure about the beef marinating in the vinegar all night long – the acid in the vinegar could soften up the beef too much before cooking.
Once the beef and the peppers are in, it’s time to plug in the crockpot, set it on low for six to eight hours, and go to work. Then, when you get home...
Dang. Crockpot? Seriously? You are the best.
I trimmed that big chunk of fat off from the side, then shredded up the beef in the juice. You could also shred the peppers if you want (I did a few unintentionaly - they just fall apart, too):
This is delicious by itself, of course, but I wanted to dress it up into some tasty sandwiches. I couldn’t find the exact crusty sandwich rolls I wanted, but I did find these mini-rolls that could easily become buns for sliders:
I cut each in half and added a bit of horseradish mayo and mozzarella (for mine, at least, as Mr. P does not have quite the shredded cheese intake that I do):
I used the broiler on our toaster oven to crisp up the buns just a bit. Then we piled on the beef (with little chunks of peppers, mmm) to make some super delicious sliders:
Whether you call it “crocked beast” like my mom did or just a pepper beef roast, whether you serve it alone or on a sandwich, this beef is fantastic. We had the sliders with fries and a salad, but I added the leftover beef into tacos and chili. It’s so versatile, so delicious, and so simple! Hope you enjoy this in the new year!