The Meal Planner

While I may be on maternity leave and at home with my 3 kids, life can still be busy at times!  Tuesdays are the busiest since I drop off my 5 year old at Kindergarten, drive my 3 year old to preschool, come home and feed my baby, go back and pick up my daughter from preschool, lunch, playtime, naptime, go pick up my kindergartener, then drive to ballet so my 3 year old can dance.  Whew!  We don't walk in the door until 5:15pm so I'm finding my slow cooker to be my best friend on these days.  

I'm picky picky when it comes to my slow cooker meals.  I hate mushy vegetables and that taste of "overcooked" meat.  The thing I love about this recipe is the tangy/earthy coleslaw that wakes up the shredded beef.  It not only adds great freshness but a nice crunch too.  And the addition of the jalapenos are spot on.  Even if you don't like spice I think the pickled jalapenos are worth it to add.  Jalapenos, once they have been pickled aren't really that spicy; they have great tanginess and only a little bit of warmth.  All three of these together rolled into a soft tortilla shell is perfect. 

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes about 20 tacos

3 lbs beef beef blade roast or brisket
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 to 2 chipotle chiles en adobo
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup molasses

Season the beef generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat just until beginning to smoke. Add the meat and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker and leave the skillet on the heat. Add garlic, onion, chili powder, coriander, and cumin to drippings in the skillet and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add vinegar and boil until it’s almost gone (be careful not to breathe in the steaming vinegar fumes), scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in water and pour the mixture over the brisket. Add the tomatoes, chipotles, bay leaves, and molasses. Cover the cooker, set it on LOW, and cook the beef until it pulls apart easily with a fork, about 8 to 10 hours.

Green Onion Slaw:
1 cup green onions, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup pure olive oil
1 head cabbage, finely shredded (or a bag of coleslaw)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Blend green onions, vinegar,  mayonnaise, salt, pepper and oil in a blender until emulsified. Place cabbage in a bowl, add the dressing and stir until combined. Fold in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

For serving:
Small Soft Tortillas
Pickled Jalapeños
Green Onion Slaw

Pull the meat out of the slow cooker and place on a cutting board.  Remove and discard bay leaves from the sauce.  Pull the meat apart with two forks and place shredded beef back in the slow cooker with the sauce.  Stir to combine.

To serve, use a slotted spoon and scoop about a 1/4 cup of shredded beef onto your tortilla.  Top with about a 1/4 cup of green onion slaw and some pickled jalapenos.

Click here for printable version of Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Tacos with Green Onion Slaw


I love these things!  The original recipe called for beef brisket, which you can definitely use if you can find.  But here in Western Canada, this is something that just isn't available in our grocery stores.  Blade roast makes a great substitute, but I've also used a sirloin roast that worked out great as well.  Basically whatever beef roast you like to use and can find on sale will work.

Being two months post-partum with my third child means I'm also working on shedding my baby weight.  Two of these tacos work out to be about 530 calories.  I'm stoked to eat such a delicious meal and not go overboard either.  The hubby and me loved these as well as our two kids.  Happy bellies all around!

Leftover Idea:
You can turn leftover sauce and shredded beef into a yummy Southwestern Beef and Rice Soup.  Saute some onions, garlic, carrots, celery, etc in a large soup pot.  Basically whatever you have in your fridge.  I also had some mushrooms and yellow pepper, so I tossed those in too.  Then pour in the beef/sauce.  I'd say I had probably about a 1/2-3/4 cup of shredded beef (which I cut up smaller before adding) and maybe about a cup of sauce.  My crushed tomatoes came in a 28 oz can so I poured the rest of the tomatoes into the pot along with about 6 cups of water.  I brought it up to a boil and then added about a 1/2 cup of rice.  Turn down to medium low, put a lid on and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Season to taste. Add more water or beef stock if you need to. I added a bit more chili powder and cumin to mimic the flavors of the original sauce.  You could also add beans or corn.  I garnished with some leftover cilantro.  Easy-use up your leftovers-soup!

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5 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Just...yum. I was super skeptical because when you make these they don't look like a typical taco, but seriously these are amazing! The flavors go so well together, and the pickled jalapenos are a MUST (and I don't even normally like pickled jalapenos)!!! I'm saving this one :)

  2. Something like this when you do not like a typical taco, but seriously amazing, so I was skeptical! Super taste good move.

  3. Eliquid Says:

    I like pulled beef tacos but I haven’t tried it with green onion. Thanks for your recipe. It looks yummy.

  4. This must be a delicious recipe. I’m in a hurry to try this out. I like especially the onion slaw. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    these were the best tacos i have ever had, me and my girkfriend aboslutely loved them, i made them with a small venison roast an black angus beef roast instead of just a beef roast and they turned out phenomenal!