BBQ Beef Sandwich

When we lived in Massachusetts, there was this great local butcher shop. They prided themselves on being known only by word of mouth. Living on a tight newly-wed budget, we would buy one of their "budget stretcher plans" every month or two. Basically, the plans offered a box package of a variety of meats and cuts for a set, discounted price. Not only did the plans save us money, but they also introduced me to new cuts of meat. "London broil? Okay, will look up how to use that." (It is delicious, by the way. Steak for almost nothing.) But most often, I'd think: "Gosh. More beef cubes." Which led to, "Is there anything else I can do with these besides making stew?"

I eventually found this recipe and have come back to it again and again. Even though we're not getting those budget stretcher plans anymore, we do get half a cow once a year. So, I still have different cuts of meat to make use of, beef cubes not least among them! Plus, with young kids and several adults to cook for, it's nice for the recipe to be a crowd pleaser. And this one is.

So, while you might not have beef cubes thrust upon you in the same manner, this is a good meal to make use of those economical cuts. And who doesn't enjoy a BBQ sandwich?

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BBq beef sandwich

Should serve 12 (...if there aren't any teenage boys, of course...)

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs beef cubes*
  • 1-2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 28 oz strained tomatoes* (I used Pomi brand.)
  • 18 oz favorite BBQ sauce (or homemade)
  • 1 tsp salt

Toppings (optional):

  • Bread & butter pickles
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Hot sauce or cayenne pepper

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven* over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onions to dutch oven and cook until translucent, about 5 min. Add tomatoes, BBQ sauce, and salt. Bring to boil, then let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add beef cubes. Cook mostly covered on low at a very slight simmer for 3 hours (maybe more) until meat is tender and easily pulls apart with two forks. 
  4. When meat is done cooking, take all the pieces out and shred with two forks.
  5. Take a look at your sauce. If there is still plenty of it in the pot (it didn't stick to most of the pieces you took out) and a bit watery, simmer at low heat and reduce until it is thick. This is also a time to taste the sauce with a little bit of meat and adjust seasoning if necessary. (That is, maybe add more salt.)
  6. Add shredded meat back to dutch oven and mix altogether, thoroughly coating it in sauce.
  7. Serve on hamburger buns (Maria posted a great recipe) with toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • The original recipe calls for a 3 lb chuck roast. Another economical cut that you could easily substitute!
  • The original recipe calls for whole tomatoes. I have used these in the past, but when I used strained tomatoes, the sauce got thicker, cutting out the extra step of reducing the sauce. Since the meat sometimes takes longer than I think and I am pressed to serve dinner on time, I often used to skip the reducing step. But, a thicker sauce is more tasty in my mind. 
  • "Anything made in the red pot is good." A loose quoting of my brother-in-law regarding our dutch oven. Can't disagree. But, this recipe could easily be translated to a slow cooker. Just start the sauce in a pan, then transfer with the meat to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Expect a more watery sauce, however, that will most likely need reducing.

 

Adapted from Simply Recipes