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Anniversary Tacos

It’s been a month since Kyle and I celebrated 3 wonderful years of marriage to one another. Which is another example of how long it takes me to get the recipes from our dinner table to the blog. But they get here, so I’m glad that no one is really complaining. Thanks for your patience friends!

For anniversary dinners we could spend a fortune on a fancy-plated feast and an overpriced bottle of wine at a crowded restaurant, or even spend a day of roasting and braising and sauteing and all sorts of kitchen techniques to get a 5-star menu dish on our own table. But that’s not us. Yes, we enjoy that food immensely – when we’re in the mood, but for anniversaries, why not eat the food that reflects who are? If you have perused this site often, you’ve likely deciphered that tacos are a favourite of ours, and for good reason. They could easily describe our relationship: easy (but requiring a little elbow grease to be really good); spicy; sometimes soft (like gentle embraces), sometimes hard-shelled (like we both can be when we’re both right…); full of contrasting and complimentary ingredients; and never boring.

Now, of course I wasn’t thinking about all those things when I decided to make Braised Beef Tacos for our anniversary dinner. I was thinking: “Hey, it’s a weekday, so I want something quick and requiring little thought; but I want something good and that we love.” So a large hunk of beef rib roast was purchased and coddled into submission in my slowcooker. After many hours of braising away in a smokey chipotle sauce, I shredded the beef and returned it to sop up all the flavourful juices. Then I opened a bottle of our favourite red to let it breathe while I awaited Kyle’s late-night return from from a week-long trip for work (great way to build up anticipation for an anniversary eh?!?).

Braised Beef Tacos

For the Beef
1 sweet onion, sliced
3 lb beef rib roast
kosher salt & pepper
1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 chipotle chilis (canned), chopped
1 cup beef broth (gluten free)
19 oz can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp worchestershire sauce (gluten free)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano

For the Tacos
10-12 6″ corn tortillas
1/2 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
jar of tomatillo (green) salsa
1/2 lime, cut into wedges

Line the bottom of a slow cooker with the sliced onions.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium-high heat. Generously season the beef with salt and pepper. Add the beef roast to the pan and brown, turning once (no need to brown all sides – but go to town if you’d like to). This should take about 8-10 minutes total, as you want to get a good crust on the meat. Remove the meat to the slow cooker, placing on top of the sliced onions.

In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (garlic through oregano). Pour this mixture over the beef rib roast. Place lid on slow cooker and turn onto LOW. Cook for 8-10 hours, until the beef roast pulls apart easily with a fork (Alternatively, you can cook this for 5-6 hours on HIGH if you’re in a rush).

Remove the beef from the slow cooker to a large cutting board or platter. Allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, strain the juices from the slow cooker into a saucepan. Strain as much of the fat from the top of the juices as you can (if you have a gravy separator, use it here to drain the fat). Bring the juices to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. While the sauce is reducing, shred the beef using two forks. Return the beef and sauce to the slow cooker and place on WARM until ready to eat. You can add some of the strained tomatoes and onions if you like as well. *You can also skip the step of straining the juices and reducing the sauce and simply add the shredded beef back into the slow cooker if you please.

To serve: prepare corn tortillas according to directions. Top tortillas with some of the shredded beef and some juices, and top with any toppings you desire – I suggested some above (cabbage through cilantro), but feel free to add what you like.

Makes 10-12 tacos.

You may have some beef leftover; so throw it in some chili or enchiladas; or eat it with some eggs in the morning – whatever your little heart desires.

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