People have told me that sometimes, cola is used with meat dishes to tenderise the meat particularly for beef brisket. And I thought I was the crazy one who thought of using Sprite, 7-Up or Cola when I was doing my Monthly Mystery Munchies #7 challenge earlier this month. Turned out, it’s legit! Ok – it’s on meat, not fish.
That then became my sole reason of why I ended up with a Pulled Beef Recipe. After scouring a lot of other meat recipes using Cola (indeed there are plenty!), I adapted from a trove of recipes that were tediously long. I did not have all the time in the world for all of that; I only wanted to see how my food would turn out with cola! So, shortened the process I did, eEspecially with the spices preparation. Also I used shanks instead of briskets. Lots and lots of shanks.
I’ve said it once and I’m saying it again that I am not a professional chef in any way. I experiment a lot with ingredients and processes to make something edible. And sometimes, when the stars are aligned, I managed something just a tad extra-ordinary and then I forget what went into all of that. With this, I remember it all, because what turned out surprised me.
My only mistake with making this dish was that I had forgotten to turn down the fire when I put the kids to bed…and almost burnt it! Goes without saying, right! Luckily, we managed to salvage it in time. The only thing I was unhappy with, thanks to me, was that the sauce was a little too dry. Otherwise, it tasted heavenly…the meat just feel apart and was nicely seasoned. I’m told that it’s definitely a dish worth repeating.
Here goes my first ever dish using Coca Cola! Yes. Really.
Pulled Beef with Cola
Tender, beefy dish where all the meat just fell apart!
2 cubes of beef stock cubes mixed in 400 ml of water
For the sauce
250 ml red vinegar
70g dark brown sugar
250ml tomato ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Juices from the beef shanks
2 potatoes, peeled and wedged
1 carrot, peeled and cut in chunks
Heat the oven to abot 160 degree celcius
Using a spice grinder, grind all the dried spices together, including the chipotle pepper
Once done, roast the powdered marinade over a small fire. be careful not to burn it. Set aside and let it cool
Score the beef shanks and then rub the cooled, roasted powdered marinade all over the beef evenly.Wrap with a cling film and leave it in the fridge for about an hour.
On an oven tray, place two long lengths of kitchen foil, one widthways and the other lengthways (forming a rather large “cross”). Place the marinated beef on top of the foil and pour over the beef stock all over the meat.
Now fold the closest piece upwards and form a pleat where the ends meet above the meat. Then fold the other piece of foil upwards and crimp and fold to create a loose parcel that allows air to circulate around the meat, but make sure that it is sealed enough to prevent moisture from escaping.
Roast for about 3-4 hours until the meat is tender. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 25 minutes. Keep all the juices.
For the sauce
While the beef is roasting, to save time, heat up a large non-stick pan over high heat.
Add in the vinegar and bring it to boil. Then slowly turn down the heat and reduce the volume by half.
Add sugar, cola, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and juices from the beef together into the pan Mix well and add in the taters and carrots.
Bring back to boil before turning it down to simmer for at least 30 minutes and make sure that the veg are softened. Add water if it gets dry.
Add in the roasted beef into the sauce and with the ladle you are using to stir, use a fork to pull the pieces of meat apart. Mix well and add any remaining juices left in the foil
Simmer and cook over low fire for another 20-25minutes. Watch that the sauce don't get too dry
Turn off the heat and serve with whatever you like!
Scrumptious little number! Who would have thought it would work so well with cola in it!
Grubbs n Critters https://grubbsncritters.com/
With whatever leftover we had, I thought it would be perfect to stuff into a pie. And I did just that!