Whoever started Taco Tuesday is an evil genius. Each Tuesday when someone says the day of the week, I immediately think, TACOS!
Knowing that I would be craving the soft or crunchy stuffed shell treat, it was time to raid the pantry and freezer. Shells, check. Cheese, check. Lettuce, check. Rotel, bonus! Now for the meat. Ground beef, nope. When shopping for supplies last week, ground beef was hard to find. However, Chuck Roast was, you guessed it, BOGO.
Chuck Roast or Pot Roast isn’t my first choice for taco meat, but this is pantry-style cooking. So my craving for flavors south of the border just took a turn at Albuquerque and became Tex Mex. Bring on the smoke!
The basics of cooking a Chuck Roast properly is low heat with slow cooking in a flavorful liquid such as a stock. Employing two of the important parts, low and slow, I decided to slow smoke the roast in a dry heat. Best part is it worked. Here is how I did it.
Using the “brisket style” of cooking I seasoned the beef with simple ingredients. Salt, pepper, granulated garlic and onion powder. A nice dusting of each all the way around the beef. I allowed the meat to soak in the flavor while I fired up the smoker. After proper cleaning and heating, I set the dial for 225 degrees. I placed a temperature probe into the thickest center of the meat and then placed the beef just off from the hottest part of my smoker.
Time and temperature are your friends here. Budget at least 6 hours for 3-4 pound roast.
The temperatures you need to remember are 225 degrees for cooking, 180 degrees for wrapping, 205 degrees for done.
Once the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees, leaving the probe in place, wrap the beef in foil. Finish cooking until the thermometer reaches 205 degrees. At this time remove meat from the smoker and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. This often proves to be the toughest part because it smells so good.
There is usually more than one section of chuck roast thanks to its fat and marbling. Select your portion and shred the beef with the grain using two forks.
Since we seasoned simply, you can add additional flavors if you choose, when you use the remaining beef for leftovers. Or you can do like we’ll be doing tonight: Taco Wednesday!