Beef Tacos for Busy Summer Nights

Are your summer days packed with activities and dinner becomes a big headache? The 3T crew is busy with ranch construction projects, fixing fences, transporting cattle to summer pastures and the kids have their own summer activities. Plus, we have decided to get not one, but two puppies.. I know, who does that? Their parents are great cattle working dogs and we could always use help to work our cows. So, I don't know about you, but by dinnertime, I'm pretty tired.

Here is an easy summer recipe, so you can enjoy dinner on your deck or patio. Nobody wants to spend a couple of hours making dinner. Even better.. The InstaPot or CrockPot will do the cooking for you in this recipe, so you can enjoy a Margarita while dinner is cooking on its own!

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs 3T Ranch Beef Roast (you can also use  flank or skirt steak)
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground pepper
  • 1 diced medium sweet onion
  • 1 diced bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 can (7.76 oz) LaCostena Chipotle Sauce or Chile in Adobo Sauce (if using Chile in Adobo Sauce - use two peppers and scrape out the seeds, then use all of the sauce from the can and discard the rest of the peppers It would be too spicy to use all of the peppers).
  • 1 cup beef broth (2 cups of beef broth for CrockPot version)

Directions for InstaPot: Preferred 3T method 

  • Cut up your roast into bigger chunks. (I think the beef cooks better vs just putting in the whole roast).
  • Set your InstaPot on "sear" and pour in 1/4 cup of canola oil.
  • Dry off your beef chunks with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  • Now, that the pot is hot, sear the beef chunks on all sides. Take out the beef.
  • Time to sauté the onion and bell peppers. Give it a couple of minutes to sauté the veggies before adding the garlic.  You don't want the garlic to burn. Cook until all veggies are tender.
  • TIP: if your onion is getting a little burned before being tender add a little bit of water to the pot.
  • Add oregano, one can of Chipotle Sauce and one cup of beef broth and stir all together.
  • Beef goes back in the pot, close the lid and set your InstaPot on "Beef Stew". Depending on your InstaPot setting, your beef will be done in about 60 minutes. If you are using steaks, you can cut down the cooking to 35 minutes.

Directions for CrockPot: This recipe 

  • You can certainly use CrockPot for this recipe as well.
  • Dry off your beef chunks with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat your skillet and add 1/4 cup of oil.
  • Sear the beef in a skillet on all sides. Take out.
  • Time to sauté the onion and bell peppers. Give it a couple of minutes to sauté the veggies before adding the garlic.  You don't want the garlic to burn. Cook until all veggies are tender.
  • TIP: if your onion is getting a little burned before being tender add a little bit of water to the pot.
  • Put in the CrockPot - oregano, one can of Chipotle Sauce and two cups of beef broth and stir all together.
  • Beef goes in the CrockPot.
  • Set you CrockPot for high for 4 hours. (I don't like to cook my beef on low in the CrockPot. I think the beef gets too dry on the low setting).
  • Make sure to check your liquid levels during cooking.

Beef is done, time to serve it to your crowd. You can certainly shred the beef, but we do like the beef in chunks. You can cut the beef into bitesize chunks. The beef is juicy and tender, you can discard the sauce the beef was cooking in. (Or you can certainly skim off the fat and reduce the liquid in a sauce pan. It will have a kick. The beef on its own is not spicy). I typically serve the beef with rice, guacamole, salsa, pepper jack cheese and Costco uncooked flour tortillas. I know it adds another step to your cooking, but it is so worth it! And if you really want to step it up.. Here is a recipe for Homemade Corn Tortillas!

Homemade Corn Tortillas:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups masa harina, more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fat such as melted lard, butter or canola oil
  • 1 cup hot water, plus more as needed

Directions:

  • Place masa and salt in a bowl and throughly combine with the fat, mixing with fingers or a whisk. (KitchenAid works great for this). Slowly stream in the water while mixing until the dough comes together into a ball.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Divide the dough into 12 portions and form each into a smooth ball.
  • Place masa balls on a baking sheet, cover with plastic, rest for 30 minutes.
  • After the dough has rested, preheat a cast iron skillet over medium-high for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium.
  • If the dough has dried slightly during resting, wet hands and roll each ball again to moisten. Place the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and place directly in the center of the tortilla press. Press down firmly, then durn the tortilla 90 degrees and press again.
  • Transfer it into the hot skillet. Cook the tortilla until brown spots appear on the bottom, about 1 minute. Flip with a thin metal spatula, and do the same on the other side.

TIP: Sur La Table has many great gadgets how to keep you tortillas warm while you are cooking the rest. The homemade tortillas might sound intimidating, but they are really easy. I have taken a class at Sur La Table with my friend and the tortillas were piece a cake to make and the flavor was amazing!!

 

Dobrou Chut!

 

 

 


Crisis turned into one heck of a tasty dinner! 1)good story, 2)tasty recipe 3)defrosting and cooking tips!

We are counting down the days for our next round of beef sales. Customers come first "they say" and it is true at the 3T Ranch. Beef orders from our customers are fulfilled first and the 3T crew's beef package is typically last one in the freezer. I opened the freezer today and realized we were out of ground beef. I'm a big "week ahead meal planner" and cheeseburgers were on the menu. Hmm.. let's try quickly to come up with plan B while the two small kids are still napping.

Let me tell you, it is hard to cook holding "two babies". That is our daughter's favorite saying these days after she wakes up from her nap. "Mommy, two babies", which means she wants to be picked up and snuggled along side our littlest cowboy. I love that time with our kiddos, they are both still waking up from their naps and want some snuggles, but it doesn't last long before they turned into little tornadoes. I needed to seize the situation!

I guess one good thing about running low on beef is that you don't have to dig through your freezer to see what cuts you have. (Will talk freezer organization soon, I promise)! Roast can be grinned up into ground beef. I have found my winner, chuck roast it is! You would be surprised, but it really doesn't take long to defrost the beef. 1) unwrap the meat from the butcher's plastic and paper 2) put it into a ziplock bag and squeeze out the air 3)put it into a sink filled with cold water. 4) flip the roast in the water every 20 minutes. My beef was defrosted in less than an hour.

I love love my KitchenAid, I use it every day. I use it so much that my Cowboss bought me a new one to replace my "rusty old mixer". I had the chuck roast grind up in now time without any mess or extra trips to the grocery stores.

Tips for tasty cheeseburgers: 1 pound of 3T ground beef, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard. The mustard really makes it!

Healthy version of mashed potatoes: Your choice of potatoes, 2 teaspoons of Lowry's seasoning salt, 1 teaspoon of garlic and pepper seasoning and 1/2 tablespoon of caraway seeds. Trust me, it just works with the potatoes. Make sure to include all of the seasonings while you are boiling the potatoes. When the taters are done, save about 1/2 cup of the liquid. I have used my KitchenAid to whip the potatoes and slowly included the 1/2 of the liquid. The potatoes don't need any milk or butter. No extra calories and you are not scarifying the taste.

I hope you will try the recipe as well as our beef!