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From 6 - 10 hours to 36 hours tacos. 
Jan. 20, 2013 5:26 pm 
Updated: Jan. 21, 2013 5:22 pm
I'm the first to admit I don't always time things correctly. My Thanksgiving turkey that gets in the oven by 8:00 a.m. usually gets pulled out of the oven and served as dessert around 4:00 p.m. This past year, I was spot on with timing. I even impressed myself!

Yesterday's project included signing up for (the Pro version) and building my recipe collection. I decided to try the No Fuss Shredded Beef Tacos which ended up being very good (after, of course, my habitual tweaking). I had it all in the CrockPot before noon. 

My first mistake was buying a new CrockPot. Since the family meals are getting smaller as the kids are at their own jobs, school, or out on fun dates, I decided a smaller slow cooker would meet our needs better than the large, digital, state-of-the art CrockPot. I opted for the 4 Qt option--still large enough to cook a roast. 

I was very good and washed the appliance before use. I followed the directions by placing half the onions on the bottom, then the chuck roast, and then the remaining ingredients. All I had to do now was sit back, watch, and smell. 

I am a hooverer. I want to make sure everything is going as planned (call it my Type A personality). After having teenagers, I excel at micro-managing. I monitored the food throughout the day to make sure the CrockPot was behaving. Periodically, I would remove the lid to get that good "waft" of smell that permeates the house from good food. However, by 5:00 p.m. the onions were still white, the liquid hadn't boiled, and no fragrant smell other than onions came from the CrockPot. We switched gears and had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.

Not to be dismayed, I decided to wait a few hours longer. After all, at 10:00 p.m., it would officially be the 10 hour mark for cooking so the food would be done, right? Wrong. The meat wouldn't even pull apart. I thought about whether or not to leave the food cooking all night and see what it looked like in the morning and decided it would be okay. I went to bed. 

Early this morning I lifted the lid of the CrockPot and small bubbles were coming from the edges. The onions were now translucent and the meat fell apart. Perfection! Following the recipe, I removed the onions and shredded the meat. The liquid looked thin and unappetizing so I brought out my hand blender, threw the onions back in the pot and pureed the veggies. Once I had a nice sauce, I added the beef back into the CrockPot and simmered the rest of the day.

Truth be told, that was the best taco meat! The flavor was not overpowering but surrounded the beef just enough to enhance the rest of the taco condiments. Would I do this again? Absolutely! I will, however, plan ahead for 36 hours later.
No Fuss Shredded Beef Tacos
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Jan. 21, 2013 5:22 pm
When I was first married I had no idea how to time things. Our dinners were all night affairs, perhaps a vegetable, then potatoes and meat just before bed. I gravitated to casseroles and one pot meals, but my DH wasn't a fan and he was willing to put up with my learning curve. I finally thought to chart my meals out so I got a sense of when to start the components. We survived.
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Boise, Idaho, USA

Member Since
Jan. 2013

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Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Southern, Nouvelle, Mediterranean, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
I'm a look cook. If the ingredient looks about the right quantity, I cook it. Unless I am baking, the recipe is only a suggestion.
My favorite things to cook
Meat and vegetables (but don't ask me to eat the vegetables). After watching Julie and Julia I fell in love with cooking with wine. My kids ask me to fix Julia's hamburgers with a tarragon wine sauce -- that's my absolute favorite, too!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Saturday and Sunday I cook all day. The rest of the week gets leftovers or quick meals but the fancy things are on the weekend when I'm not working and have more time to experiment. I will make food for the troops even when there are only three of us at home for the night.
My cooking triumphs
My best feat is making yummy food for the family get together and have people ask for the recipe.
My cooking tragedies
Curry and tofu. I don't even want to remember the two nights in the past 11 years of marriage that my husband was disgusted with the food I made. Statistically, he said I have a good average.
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