For this month's swap, Kristina sent me a care package of: dried chilis, chinese five-spice, shallots, & garlic. Although the ingredients seemed to go together, I was struggling to come up with an idea that encompassed all of them... so I used my tried-and-true method of throwing random stuff together and was really happy with the result. I love crockpot cooking, especially in winter (yes, it may be March but Chicago was in the 20's with 25mph winds!) so I created Five-Spice Barbacoa in my handy crockpot :)
Crockpot Five-Spice Barbacoa
2-3 lb beef roast
3-5 dried chilis (depending on how spicy you like it :P)
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp lime juice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp s&p
1 yellow onion, chopped
Fire-roasted peppers, chopped (I used red & yellow from a jar)
2 tbsp chinese five-spice
1/4 c chicken broth
2 bay leaves, optional
1. Soak chilis in water for at least 30 minutes (but the longer the better; I did 2 hours). Cut chilis in half; remove some or all seeds if you don't like it spicy. The actual chili pepper itself isn't too hot.
2. In a high-speed blender or food processor, toss in the chilis, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, garlic, shallot, and spices (except five-spice). Whip up until thoroughly combined (it should be a liquid) and chilis have been all broken up.
3. In your crockpot, put the chopped onion & peppers on the bottom. Pour in chicken broth.
4. Sprinkle beef with chinese five-spice on all sides and place on top of onion/peppers.
5. Pour chili mixture over beef. Add bay leaves if you'd like.
6. Cook on low for 7-8+ hours. Remove bay leaves. Using two forks, shred beef.
7. Serve with salsa, guac (see below for my 2-easy, 2-ingredient guac!), or whatever else your little heart desires.
2-Easy 2-Ingredient Guac
1 ripe avocado
1/2 c fresh salsa (sold in the produce dept)
1. In a medium-small bowl, mash avocado with a fork.
2. Add fresh salsa and mix all that goodness together.
3. Chow down! Phew, that was hard.