Texas Shredded Barbecued Beef

March 23, 2010

A sunny 75-degree Sunday in mid-March can mean only one thing; a barbecue.  Even though I had to spend $90 on a new Weber Grill to replace my decade-old rust bucket, there was no way I was going to miss the best barbecue opportunity since last fall.

Six hours in the making for just a sandwich (but what a sandwich).

I’ve been wanting to make this Shredded Barbecued Beef since I saw it on Cook’s Country about 6 months ago.  It looks like pulled pork, but using beef. Often these can be dry, and rely on tons of BBQ sauce to compensate for the overcooked meat.  The secret here is to use the relatively high fat content of the chuck roast to self-braise for the entire 4-1/2 hours cooking time.  The results was a delicious, 5-star sandwich. (Q) Am I crazy to spend 6 hours just to make a sandwich? (A) Probably, but I will do it over again soon.

I started at 9AM by trimming the excess fat and seasoning the beef with salt and cayenne, then put it in the fridge for 3 hours. I barbecued the 5-1/2 pounds of chuck roast in an aluminum roasting pan over indirect heat for 2 hours. Then finished cooking in a 300-degree oven for 2-1/2 more hours. The homemade BBQ sauce only took about 30 minutes to make. I sauteed an onion for 10 minutes, added garlic, chili powder, 3/4-cup coffee, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and ketchup. Finally I shredded the beef and added a cup of BBQ sauce in the beef, and used the rest of the sauce to top the sandwich.

Problems:

  1. Ouch!! After 2-1/2 hours in the oven, I burned my finger from the escaping steam as I removed the foil.  It was bad enough that I couldn’t wash dishes until the next day, and even then it was still quite painful.  Next time I will be sure to uncover the far-side, so that the steam goes away from my body, and fold the foil to protect my fingers.
  2. My 50 coals didn’t have quite enough power. I need to either allocate and extra 30-minutes or boost the coal count to 60 to 65.

Rating: 5-star.
Cost: $19.50. Fed 6 adults and 5 kids.
How much work? Medium
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Started: Noon.  Ready:  6:00 pm.

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