Today I made a big batch of shredded beef as a “base recipe” for which I’ll provide various uses throughout the next week or two. This is a basic shredded beef with neutral, plain beef flavor, that will have other flavors added to it later on for each recipe. By keeping the flavor plain, I’ll be able to use this is Asian recipes, Tex-Mex recipes, or with any other flavor profile.
This is super simple to make and you can do it while you’re at work or even while you sleep. The shredded beef can then be frozen and quickly reheated for use in recipes any night of the week. Below I’ve provided cooking and freezing instructions. Shredded beef like this can be used for basic BBQ sandwiches, burritos, tacos, and more, but I’m going to post a few new ideas over the next week or two. Look for the first recipe using the shredded beef tomorrow!
Recipes Using Multi-Purpose Shredded Beef:
- BBQ Beef Stuffed Potatoes
- Hoisin Beef Tacos with Sweet & Sour Slaw
- Beef Ragout with Mashed Cauliflower
- (not) Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches
One word on portions – as with most of my meat recipes, I use meat in small portions combined with vegetables and grains to stretch it out across many servings. I estimate that I’ll use 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the shredded beef per serving in the future recipes. I’ll be freezing the beef in 2 cup portions, so that I can thaw/reheat one recipe’s worth at a time (or 4-6 servings of the beef).
Multi-Purpose Shredded Beef
- 4 lbs. boneless beef rump roast $17.91
- 2 cups beef broth* $0.30
- Cut the rump roast into chunks approximately 3 inches each. This will allow the meat to cook evenly and come up to a safe temperature faster in the slow cooker. Place the beef into the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour the beef broth over the meat, place the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or until the meat is fork tender. The beef should be so tender that it shreds with the slightest pressure of a fork.
- Pull the chunks of beef out of the cooking liquid and shred it with two forks. Divide the shredded beef into freezer safe containers (approximately 2 cups of shredded beef per container) and pour some of the cooking juices over top. The juices will help prevent the beef from drying and getting freezer burn while stored in the freezer. Refrigerate the beef until completely cooled before transferring to the freezer. Always label and date packages before freezing. Keep the beef in the freezer for up to three months for best flavor and quality.
- To reheat the beef, simply transfer it from the freezer container to a small pot and heat over medium-low until fully thawed and reheated. Strain the shredded beef from the cooking liquid and season according to the recipe it is being used in.
Step By Step Photos
I bought this boneless beef rump roast because it was the least expensive (per pound) beef roast at my local store. Anything that is labeled “roast” is meant to be cooked long and slow to achieve a tender texture. Mine was about 3.75 pounds and yielded 7 cups of shredded beef. This will vary, of course, depending on how much fat your particular roast has.
Cut the roast into 3-inch chunks and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cutting it into chunks allows the heat to distribute and cook more evenly than one large piece of beef. Don’t cut the chunks too small, though, so that your shredded beef isn’t in super small pieces. Also, I didn’t bother trimming the fat because that will mostly cook off into the juice, but you certainly could if you want to.
You’ll need two cups of beef broth to help keep the meat moist and act as a heat conductor. You can use any brand, but Better Than Bouillon is my fav.
Pour the broth over the beef and wiggle the pieces down so that they’re as submerged as possible. It’s okay if they’re not totally submerged, though.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or until the beef is EASILY shreddable with a fork. I checked mine at 4 hours and it was still a little tough, so I let it go for another hour. At five hours I barely had to touch it for the beef to shred into nice strands. You probably could cook it on low for 8 hours, although I always suggest cooking raw meat on high for at least one hour to make sure it comes up to a safe temperature quickly.
Pull the cooked beef chunks from the cooking liquid and shred them with a fork. Again, it should easily fall apart when pressure is applied with the fork. If not, put it back in the cooker and let it go for a little bit longer.
I divided my shredded beef into two cup portions because I estimate that’s what I’ll use for recipes with 4-6 servings. I then poured a cup or so of the cooking liquid back over the shredded beef to ensure that it stays moist while in the freezer. Make sure to cool the beef completely in the refrigerator before transferring it to the freezer, and always label and date frozen foods.
To reheat your frozen beef, simply transfer it to a small pot and heat over medium-low until it is fully thawed and reheated. You can also freeze the beef in quart-sized freezer bags and lay them flat as they freeze to make nice “bricks” of frozen beef. Then, just cut the bag away and place the contents in a pot to reheat.
Stay tuned for uses for your Multi-Purpose Beef! I’ll update this post with the recipes as the’re posted!