Is it wrong that when I got yet another holiday party invitation in the mail I wanted to book the next flight to Cancun and emerge, tanned and rested, in January? Don't get me wrong, I put up lights on the house yesterday, love the smell of pine, and I haven't even gotten sick of Christmas carols in the stores yet. But sometimes the holidays can be a little overwhelming - this party, that open house, presents to buy, cold winds to brave, family jostling and busy airports and train stations.
But if I'm a bit of a grinch about everyone else's holiday party, it's only because I'm so excited about mine. A friend and I are co-hosting a holiday open house, and I'm determined to make everything, from blini to eggnog to triffle, from scratch. Problem is, it's still two weeks away, and we already have over sixty RSVP's. Maybe you're understanding why I'm a grinch now? Luckily, I have multiple spreadsheets and calendar reminders to keep me in line.
Which is why I'm telling you about pulled beef barbeque today. No, not Christmas cookies (recipes coming), or roasts, nor those blini (which will be made the week ahead and frozen), but that most summer-sounding of recipes: beef barbeque. And here's why: it's super easy, this stuff is delicious, and it can feed a huge crowd. And as much as I love good old Carolina-style vinegar 'cue, I have enough Muslim and Jewish friends to make me shy away from serving too much pork.
For our party I've made bite-sized brioche rolls, and I'll be toasting them for slider-style beef barbeque sandwiches. Cute and dainty but rich and comforting as well. The barbeque is also great spooned over tortillas and topped with sour cream or made into big sloppy joe style sandwiches. It's only one of our elaborate menu items I hope to share with you as I work towards the party. And yes, I will be going to those other holiday parties and events, if only in the hopes that everyone will do the same for mine.
Pulled Beef Barbeque
Adapted from Simply Recipes. Makes 12 large sandwiches, can easily be doubled or trippled.
One 3-pound bone-in chuck roast, rinsed and dried
2 medium onions, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 18-ounce bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (or 2 1/4 cups of your favorite homemade barbecue sauce)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Place all the ingredients in a large deep pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pot, and slow cook for 3 hours, or until meat is completely tender.
2. Use tongs to remove meat to a cutting board. Meanwhile, use a knife and fork to pull the meat away from the bones and pull apart into small pieces.
3. Increase the heat on the pot to medium/medium-high, uncover, and reduce the liquid until thick. Stir often to prevent burning.
4. Return the meat to the liquid in the pan. Warm both thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.