Per my lovely daughter’s request I tried to simplify the recipe and reduce the number of steps by using a slow cooker. The experiment was very successful – you cannot tell the difference between traditional and slow cooker versions. There is only one downside – it takes longer to make. However, while meat is stewing in a slow cooker, it does not require any attention from the cook.
I could probably do even better in reducing the number of steps by eliminating the browning but I was not ready yet. I was afraid that without browning meat will get “cooked” and not “stewed” taste. May be I will go all the way to one step version next time.
2 pounds medium lean beef or pork cut into medium size cubes (approximately 2”x2”x2”)*
1 tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp chili powder
Salt to taste
1 cup of beef or chicken broth (water is OK)
3 TBS oil (corn oil is the best, olive oil is fine)
1 large onion, chopped
Heat 3 TBS of oil over high heat in a large pot or skillet. Using skillet is messier since pot has higher sides which prevent hot oil from splattering all over the stove top. Add meat few pieces at the time and brown it on high heat (I use almost maximum setting) turning once. Meat does not need to be browned all around; just some browning is enough for good “meaty” flavor.
Place browned meat in a slow cooker. Add chopped onions to the same skillet or pot that was used for meat browning without washing it. There should be still sufficient oil left for sauteing the onions. Saute the onions using medium heat stirring often until they are slightly golden. Add sauteed onions to the slow cooker.
Add cumin, chili powder and salt** to the broth or water, stir it until salt is dissolved and also add to the slow cooker. To speed up the process you can boil the broth first and then add spices and salt.
Start slow cooker on high setting and keep it going for 1 hour. Then change to the slow setting and let it stew for additional 6 hours.
When ready, meat should be extremely tender and fall apart. Remove the meat and the onions with the slotted spoon into large bowl and shed it with a fork. Add cooking broth one ladle at the time and mix well. It may take several ladles of broth to get shredded meat juicy enough. The juicier is the meat, the tastier are your chimichangas.
Cool meat down and store in refrigerator in a zip-lock bag for up to a week or frozen for up to a month.
* You can use the cheapest meat available. Beef chunks that are sold in Costco are great. Any beef on sale is good as long as it does not have too much fat. You will need to remove fat and throw it away and that increases the cost.
**Start with a teaspoon and then if it is not enough add more. Always taste first before adding more salt. It is very easy to add salt but impossible to remove once you put too much.
Assemble per instructions in the previous post:
Prepared meat and onions:
Broth with salt and spices:
Everything is in a slow cooker and ready to go:
After 7 hours of very slow stewing:
Does not it look great?
Soft and juicy shredded meat with plenty of added broth: