I adore my crockpot. What could be better than tossing your raw ingredients in the pot and knowing dinner will emerge (mostly hands-free) hours later? I know some people claim to bake cakes or roast whole chickens in them, but I tend to stick to the sure-fire standards like these Shredded Beef Tacos. They make enough for a crowd of hungry eaters and would be a tasty addition to a potluck dinner or even a graduation party buffet.
My kids are in 3rd and 6th grade. You wouldn’t think I’d be worrying about a high school graduation party yet, but you’d be wrong. A few weeks ago Max, Eva and I joined a group of other kids and their moms to play, chat and eat our way through another school-free day. A goofy game of dress-up was a photo opportunity one mom couldn’t resist. "I’ll send you the pictures—this is definitely going on my son’s graduation poster," she stated cheerfully. "What?!?!" I silently screamed to myself. How am I already behind in preparing for an event that’s nine years in the future?
I worship people who not only photograph their families throughout the year, but also organize these mementos in gorgeous scrapbooks and photo albums. I still haven’t managed to put all my wedding photos in one place. Baby books? Nope. I know the day will come when my kids will say, "Where are my school pictures from Kindergarten?" and I’ll have to admit they’re probably in a jumbled box in my basement. The guilt is thick.
And then I tell myself I’m making a different sort of memory for them. When we reminisce about momentous events in our family, the foods we shared are an important piece of that recollection. Eva can remember what we ate three Christmases ago, or what I made when she was sick last year. It’s not something they can hold in their hands and admire, but the scent of a favorite food can bring back so many wonderful feelings.
Do I know what their graduation party will look like? Not a clue…but I’m sure the food will be delicious.
To make these party-perfect Shredded Beef Tacos you’ll need to dust off your slow cooker and gather your ingredients.
Cut the chuck roast into smaller chunks to make it easier to shred when it’s finished cooking.
Place the meat, onion, garlic, salsa and chiles into a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.
Combine water and taco seasoning in a small bowl .
Then pour the mixture over the meat.
Cover and cook on the Low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours, or until meat is tender. If you prefer, you can cook it on High heat for about 5 hours.
While the meat cooks, prepare your favorite toppings. Shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce and chopped avocado with lime wedges are my standard offerings.
Remove the meat from the slow cooker and place it into a bowl.
Shred the meat using two forks. Pull pieces of the beef into shreds.
Return the meat back into the reserved juices in the slow cooker and keep it warm until ready to serve.
Using a slotted spoon, place the meat in soft, warmed flour tortillas and have your favorite toppings ready for everyone to customize their own tacos.
I’m sure this dish will pass the test of time and will feed a crowd at our future graduation parties. Oh, and yeah, you boys…
Give these Shredded Beef Tacos a try next time you want a quick dinner or party meal, and make sure to come back and let me know how they turned out.
Looking for another dinner idea? Come back in a few days when Vicky will share a comforting soup recipe.
Emily is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.