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Crocking up

Slow cookers are great. But I do find that if you over-use them, everything that comes out of them starts to taste the same and it gets really boring, really fast. I probably only use mine once or twice a month.

Most often, I put a chicken or turkey carcass in overnight with some water and wake up to chicken stock to freeze for later use in recipes. It’s also my favorite way to use up a ham bone for split pea soup and a great way to cook beans with minimal tending. My other favorite use it to make relatively cheap cuts of beef or pork tender and delicious.

The local supermarket had roasts half off this weekend, so I grabbed a tri-tip, planning to season and grill it. But life got a little crazy, it didnt get grilled and it needed to be used or frozen. I decided that with my hubby gone the next couple of nights, I would cook it in the crock pot and have shredded meat for use in tacos, enchiladas, and I might possibly even make some tamales. Best shredded beef ever. Like, seriously. I can’t stop eating it. I love when Plan B works out! Wanna see how? Of course you do!

First gather and measure out your spices. It sucks to be mid-recipe and find that you need, say 2 tsp of something and only have 1.5 left in your jar. Ask me how I know this… nevermind. Let’s not go there. Here you see one dish with my McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning and one dish with a mix of black pepper, cayenne pepper and ancho chili pepper.

Next prepare your onions and garlic. You could use any onions for this. Red was what I had on hand. Chop and set aside. I see now that a piece of garlic got into my onions and despite the fact they cook together, it’s really bothering me, so pretend not to see that, k?

Season your tri-tip with the steak seasoning. This stuff is awesome. I use it on steaks and burgers, and even to season veggies for grilling.

Pour a bit of olive oil into a skillet and get it good and hot over medium to medium high heat. Add roast to skillet and allow to brown, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer to slow cooker crock with fatty side up.

Add onions and garlic to your skillet. Saute about 5 minutes, then add your ground peppers.

Keep cooking a few minutes more, until the spices become fragrant. Add to crock.

Add your can of crushed tomatoes and beer.

Cover and cook on low 8 hours.

Remove meat from slow cooker to rest on cutting board 10 minutes. Trim fat by scraping a sharp knife along the top of the roast. The fat layer should peel right off. Use a fork to shred the beef and toss shreds back into the sauce.

Fold meat into sauce, then cover to keep warm until time to serve.

Serve in warm tortillas as tacos, wrapped in tortillas and smothered in sauce for enchiladas, piled into a bowl with rice and beans, or alongside eggs for breakfast. Yes, I would eat this with breakfast. Best part is all of these are gluten-free. Yay!

Be warned it has a little kick all by itself. If flavor and spice intimidate you, you may wish to cut back the cayenne, or substitute plain old regular chili powder for about half the cayenne.

Chili Colorado Tri-tip

1 beef tri-tip roast, approximately 3 pounds
2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning

3 TBSP minced fresh garlic
1.5 C chopped onion

2 tsp ground ancho chile pepper
2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground black pepper

6 ounces beer
1 can crushed tomatoes, 28oz

Season roast with steak seasoning. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium to medium-high heat and brown tri-tip approximately 4-5 minutes each side. Place fat side up in slow cooker crock. Saute onion and garlic in skillet about 4-5 minutes, add peppers and continue cooking a few minutes until fragrant. Add to crock. Add beer and tomatoes to crock. Cook on low 8 hours. Remove meat and allow to rest 10 minutes before shredding and returning to sauce. Serve with rice and/or beans or use as a filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas or tamales.

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