Friday, April 22, 2011

Spice Rub for Beef/Chicken/Pork

I've been wanting to post this recipe for a long time but have been so busy.  This recipe is more of a technique than an actual recipe.  I typed it up to show you how I made this recipe, but there's a lot of room for creativity.  When my husband had his sandwich, he said two times... yep, TWO times: 
"Wow, this is like something you'd have in a restaurant!" 

Taste of the Southwest Sandwiches with Sauteed Sweet Onions

2 to 2 1/2 pounds trimmed boneless beef short ribs (or an equal amount of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or 2 pork tenderloins)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
several grinds of black pepper (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
1 1/2 to 2 large sweet onions (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla Sweet) cut in half and then cut into thin slices
1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
a few pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper
Sliced provolone or any cheese of your choosing (provolone, Swiss, Monterrey jack, or pepper jack are all good choices)
Fresh hoagie rolls, whole wheat hamburger buns... really, any bun of your choice... might also be nice in a whole wheat tortilla wrap.  Be creative!

Trim beef (or chicken or pork) of visible fat and place in slow cooker.  Add 1/2 cup water. 
In a small bowl, combine the next seven ingredients (the spices). Sprinkle the spice mixture over the beef (or chicken or pork) in the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until the meat shreds easily. 

Just prior to serving, for the sauteed onions, heat butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced onions and a few pinches of salt and pepper (the salt is necessary to help draw the moisture out of the onions).  Cook the onions, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, translucent and beginning turn brown. If the pan becomes dry while cooking, add a few tablespoons of water to keep the onions from sticking to the pan (instead of adding more butter/oil).

Remove the beef (or chicken or pork) from the slow cooker and shred with two forks.  To make sandwiches, place sliced cheese in bun/hoagie rolls, and top with shredded meat, and sauteed onions. If desired, strain cooking liquids from the slow cooker through a fine mesh sieve or strainer.  Serve sandwiches with the cooking liquid just like a French Dip sandwich with Au Jus on the side. 

As for me, I am a dunker; I like to dunk my sandwich in the flavorful "Au Jus".  My husband and son ate their sandwiches without the Au Jus.    

In the oven right now, I have an experiment... Vegan Quinoa Muffins with Blackberries and Banana... topped with a cinnamon oat streusal.  My kitchen smells yummy!

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