BBQ Beef Brisket Slow Cooker Style

If you have the time then a beef brisket should be cooked in a smoker, low and ever so slow ….. 10 hours minimum. If, however, that doesn’t work for you, and for lots of us at times it just doesn’t. Try this … perhaps not as authentic, but absolutely delicious.

Combine in slow cooker:
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 chipotles in adobo sauce – finely chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Rub the brisket with:
1/4 cup paprika
1 tbsp chile powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 5 lb beef brisket – cut in half width wise.

Place rubbed brisket onto sauce in slow cooker and allow to cook on low for 10 hours.

If you have the time, and ability – allow beef to rest out of the liquid, then grill quickly on each side to get a bit of crunchy texture. Slice and return to sauce in slow cooker.

Serve on fresh buns with some nice crunchy cole slaw on top.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

We have a smoker, so when time and weather permits, we love to do a pork butt roast in the smoker – but let’s be honest, that doesn’t always work. The whole point of a slow cooker is simplicity, and being able to walk away ….. This recipe allows you to do just that, and still enjoy amazing pulled pork flavour.

  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 pound pork butt roast
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar or molasses
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 3″ piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • In slow cooker, place sliced onions and garlic.

If the mixture needs to be thinned out a bit, add 1/2 cup of chicken stock.

Combine the dry ingredients, and give the pork a massage with the seasonings .. after all, it isn’t called a rub for nothing!
(If you want to make things really easy in the morning, rub the pork up the night before and allow those seasonings to penetrate the pork)

Place seasoned pork on top of the onion garlic mixture. Stir soy sauce, vinegar, barbecue together (add chicken stock if it needs it) and pour over pork.

Allow pork to cook on high (6-8 hours) or low (8-10 hours). Remove from cooker, and allow to rest.

Use immersion blender and create sauce out of mixture in cooker – reduce to about half.

Shred pork with 2 forks, and return both pork and sauce to cooker.

Serve on fresh buns with a bit of crunchy cole slaw.

I will update with a photo next time I make this …. with our crowd, before I knew it, the serving was happening and there was no opportunity to take that shot!

Barbacoa (Mexican Beef Tacos)

If you love beef tacos, don’t look any further than this recipe.  We have enjoyed more than our fair share of Mexican street tacos, and these fit right in there.

6-8 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp mexican chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup cider vinegar

3 chipotle chiles, in adobo sauce

1 tbsp mexican oregano

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/2-3/4 cup chicken stock

Blend all ingredients together in food processor – be sure to taste it and adjust seasonings.  You really want it tangy and full of taste – if you are cooking this the next day put roast in a ziplock bag with the adobo sauce and marinate overnight.

Taste the sauce before putting it over the beef – if necessary you may have to adjust a bit – keep tasting for balance of flavour!

3 pound bone in chuck roast – MAKE SURE YOU USE A CUT WITH SOME FAT RUNNING THROUGH IT – a leaner cut of beef won’t give the same result!

Put roast in the bottom of a slow cooker, and then pour adobo sauce over.  Add enough water to come half way up the roast.  Put lid on and cook on slow for 6 hours.

Remove liquid from cooker and reduce in saucepan until sauce has thickened and is deliciously rich.  Shred beef with two forks.  When liquid has reduced by about half, return liquid to meat.

Serve with fresh tortillas, cole slaw, pickled red onions, and slices of avocado.  You will think you are on the streets of Mexico City!

Italian Pot Roast


1 stick cinnamon

3 all spice berries

4 whole cloves

8 peppercorns

Combine spices in blender and process until a fine powder – set aside.

3 # outside round, or other less tender cut of beef

olive oil

salt and pepper

3 carrots, sliced

3 stalks celery, sliced

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves

28 oz can of tomatoes

1 cup of good red wine (make sure it is one you would like to drink!)

While oil is heating in fry pan, season beef with salt and pepper – brown all sides in fry pan and place in slow cooker. (you can also use a good braising pan to do this in the oven)

In the same fry pan, saute onions until tender.  Add the rest of the vegetables and saute until just starting to carmelize.  Add the spice mixture, stir well until all the vegetables are coated and cook for a few minutes.  Add the red wine and cook until it has reduced about 1/3.  Add tomatoes, and salt to taste.

Pour sauce over meat.  In a slow cooker this will take about 8 hours, but if you are using a braising method it will take 3-4 hours (keep tasting for flavour and tenderness).  The meat should be fork tender.

The sauce is quite thick so if you are using a braising method, you may need to add a bit more cooking liquid as it cooks, eg a good beef stock.

When cooked, and your beef is falling apart tender, shred with 2 forks and stir in with the sauce.  I love to serve with hand made pasta – in which case I remove the sauce from the cooking pot and add to a sauce pan.  As soon as my pasta is cooked I turn it into the pan to allow it to be fully seasoned by the yummy flavours.  Turn into serving platter and pile your shredded beef on top.

Not only will your house smell fantastic while this is cooking you will be rewarded with a fantastic dinner.