Save time and money, while getting a nutritious, protein-packed, balanced meal on the table quickly for yourself or your family.
It’s as simple as throwing a roast in a slow cooker — you’ll have enough for up to 12 pre-planned meals for lunch or dinner.
And when it comes to high-quality protein, beef provides some nutrients in a smaller serving size than some other protein choices. One 3-oz cooked serving of beef provides 50% of your daily value of protein (25 grams). When it comes to iron, you would have to eat at least 8 oz. of cooked chicken breast to get the same amount in just 3 oz. of cooked beef.
One of the good things about shredded beef is it’s versatility. You can use it right away in a wide range of dishes, including soups, fajitas, tacos, wraps, BBQ beef sandwiches, and salads. It’s also easy to portion and freeze for later use. Just pull it out the night before you need it, or microwave it on the ‘defrost’ setting until it’s thawed, and use it to make a quick meal.
This article explains how you can make shredded beef using a slow-cooker, also widely known as a crock-pot. You’ll also find a recipe for Cuban Crispy Shredded Beef and a video that shows how you can make 3 different meals using the same slow-cooked shredded beef.
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How to Batch Cook Shredded Beef
1. Choose Your Cut
Start with a cut that’s ideal for slow cooking, such as: Chuck Roast, Shoulder Pot Roast or Bottom Round Roast. Keep in mind that a 2 to 3 lb. roast makes approximately 8 to 12 three-ounce portions.
2. Cook Your Roast
Shredded Beef Slow Cooker Recipe
- 1 beef Shoulder Roast, Arm Chuck Roast Boneless or Blade Chuck Roast Boneless (2 to 2-1/2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- Salt and pepper
- For optional browning, heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Brown beef roast on all sides.
- Place onion and garlic in 3-1/2 to 5 quart slow cooker; place roast on top. Cover and cook on LOW 9 to 10 hours or on HIGH 5 to 6 hours or until roast is fork-tender.
3. Shred Your Roast
- Remove roast from slow cooker. Skim fat from cooking liquid, if necessary and reserve 1 cup onion mixture. Shred beef with 2 forks. Combine shredded beef and reserved onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
4. Assemble Your Meals
- Portion into 3-oz. servings, about the size of a smart phone. A 3-oz portion provides about 25 grams of protein, 4 grams total fat and zero carbs. Transfer each portion to reusable storage containers.
- Optional Meal Kit: Add your choice of 1/2 cup of starchy vegetable or whole grain, like sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice, and 1 cup of your favorite vegetable, like broccoli, asparagus or green beans. Seal your containers and place in the fridge for convenient, balanced and nutritious meals on the go. Make sure to eat your batch-cooked beef within 3 to 4 days if refrigerated, or freeze in single serving batches for later use.
Cuban Crispy Shredded Beef
A few simple ingredients can take leftover Pot Roast to the next level. Sauteed with bell pepper, onion and lime juice. Serve with rice and black beans. Delicious!
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- 12 ounces shredded cooked beef Chuck Pot Roast
- 1 cup sliced green bell pepper
- 1 cup sliced onion
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Hot cooked rice, black beans and lime wedges
- Combine the beef pot roast, bell pepper, onion, lime juice, oil, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper in large bowl. Marinate in refrigerator for 15 minutes or up to 1-1/2 hours.
- Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Spread 1/3 of beef mixture in thin layer in skillet. Cook until crispy in spots, turning several times, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from skillet. Repeat twice with remaining beef mixture.
- Season beef with remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Serve with rice, black beans and lime wedges as desired.
Nutrition information Per Serving (does not include rice or beans)
13g Total Fat
3g Saturated Fat
8g Monounsaturated Fat
7g Total carbohydrate
0.6mg Vitamin B6
2.9mcg Vitamin B12
A 1/4 cup serving of white rice would provide an additional 51 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram protein. A 1/4 cup of black beans would provide about 55 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein.
Asian, Mexican and Indian – 3 Takes on Slow Cooked Beef
With simple slow cooking magic, you can turn a classic Chuck Roast into three amazing family favorites. Fresh salsa and cilantro add an authentic Mexican flair while crisp lettuce cups and chili sauce take you to the exotic flavors of Asia. And with a little masala spice, pistachios, and warm naan, India is just a bite away. With tender and savory beef as your base, you’ll get the nutrients you need and the taste you crave.
Source: USDA, The Beef Checkoff; YouTube