The season of frolicking is upon us. As I have written about before, we really get into the Christmas spirit here. Decorating, eating, drinking, hanging out with family and friends - all of which we lump into the general term "frolicking." Last weekend the frolicking began in earnest when we hosted both of our families over for tree trimming and dinner. I have been known to go a little overboard when guests are eating with us (see Vegan Dumplings post of late), but in the holidays I do my best not to make things overly complicated.
To that end, I am all about the slow cooker for parties. For this event, I made bbq beef. In a couple of weeks I will pull out the slow cooker again so Dave can make his famous pulled pork. Pulled meats are the best for parties: they are almost entirely hands off in terms of preparation; they taste delicious; they look impressive (ie people will have a totally unrealistic view of your work ethic).
Here is what I did for the beef:
-I used a chuck roast, a rump roast and a round roast. Yes, I was also cleaning out my freezer. I am not sure about the weight of all this beef but I am going to say it was quite a bit.
-Chop up one large onion, a few cloves of garlic and toss into the slow cooker.
-Salt and pepper the meat and throw it in.
-Pour in one bottle of dark beer. We used Magic Hat Howl which was yummy by itself as well.
-In a small mixing bowl I combined a can of tomato sauce, 1 cup brown sugar, scant 1/4 cup mustard, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, garlic powder and some cumin. Basically, I made a raw bbq sauce.
-Dump the sauce over the meat. Turn the cooker to high and go do something productive/unproductive. I stuffed so much meat in the cooker, it took almost 7 hrs on high. Just check on it every hour or so. You want it all to fall off the bone.
-When the meat is done, take it out and shred it up. Pour out the liquid in the cooker, but reserve some in case your meat gets dry later. Return the meat to the cooker and stir in about a cup of bbq sauce. Add enough sauce to get the taste and moistness that suits you.
We served this up with coleslaw on little dinner rolls that I got from Costco. I have been known to make my own rolls, too, but I was feeling sane this time so I went with store-bought. A good decision because they were delicious. An ideal holiday party meal.