As of November 1st of this year, deer (gun) season has officially begun in the great state of Texas. My husband was there the first weekend with what I'm sure is a ton of other people. Our freezer will soon be filled up with packages of lean, tasty venison to take us through another year.
There are just a few packages of meat left from last year's hunting season. I purposefully saved one backstrap (the piece d' resistance of venison lovers) to do something special with for my husband when he returned home. I am very sure that he's going to be a happy guy when he gets home <3
Barbacoa is shredded meat that you find in the "street taco" style tacos. Oh. My. Gosh! I have found a little slice of Heaven on my little piece of East Texas!
The ingredients are things that you probably already have at home (well, if you love Mexican food you probably do) and the best part...IT CAN BE MADE IN THE CROCKPOT!! Yes!!!!! I love being able to put something together in the morning and having it ready to eat in the evening!
Onion and garlic....how can anything be wrong with this? I'm also proud that this is an onion from our garden this summer! This was the first year that I had onions cure out well enough to store - probably won't ever happen again :)
I love the smokey, little bit of heat chiptoles add to this dish.
All the ingredients before mixing in the meat. If you'll notice in the upper right of the crockpot, there's some brown stuff. That is the beef base. My original intent was to use beef broth. I totally grabbed the wrong carton at the store and didn't realize that I had picked up chicken stock instead. So in trying to fix it, I used the chicken stock then added the beef base to "beef up" the flavor. Sometimes our mistakes can turn into our triumphs!
This is the backstrap after I trimmed the little bit of silver skin that was still on it. I know there's a little left but, oh well :D
Cubed pieces of the venison. I cut them in about 1 1/2" to 2" cubes.
All mixed up and ready to cook away while I do all the boring things I need to do on a Saturday. Too bad there isn't a magic fairy that lives in my house to do it for me.
The smell is amazing!!
After the shredding has taken place. Venison doesn't really shred, it kinda just breaks apart. Hey, whatever works. Most of the liquid is absorbed into the meat. It was so moist!
All dressed up and ready to go!
4 cloves minced garlic
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 heaping teaspoons beef base
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
small to medium onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
black pepper (not sure how much to tell you here, I use fresh ground and did about 20 turns with the grinder)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Add all the ingredients to the crockpot except for the backstrap. Mix them well then add in the backstrap. I mixed the meat in with my hands that way I could make sure that each piece was coated well with all those wonderful bits of joy! Put on the lid and let it cook on high for about 3-4 hours or low for around 6 to 7 hours, the meat should be falling apart. Take the meat out (don't drain it!!) and shred it with two forks, or, if you're like me, use your fingers. It's hot but it just does so much better for me that dealing with the forks! Put the meat back in the juice and let it cook for another 10 to 20 minutes to absorb some of the liquid.
Serve this with tortillas (corn or flour), a wedge of lime, some diced onions, and of course, guacamole! YUMMMMMO!