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July 16, 2014

Slow cooker shredded hoisin beef, for sandwiches, sliders, or lettuce wraps

Slow cooker shredded beef wrapped in lettuce leaves: sweet and light.

Although the kitchen has been hot, hot, hot for the past few weeks, I'm keeping my cool, with a little help from the slow cooker. In the summer, I eat cold salads more often than not, but when I do cook, I make enough to stash in the freezer, to carry me through the dog days. This shredded hoisin beef appeals to eaters of all ages, it freezes perfectly, and it's a flexible filling for sandwiches or sliders, or light and lean lettuce wraps, depending on who wants what. Hoisin sauce contains sugar, and though rice vinegar cuts the sweetness a bit, we still call this "hoisin beef candy" in our house. When you're slow cooking to shred, please try my technique of cutting the meat into quarters, and browning each piece on all sides. With more surface area, the edges get nice and "burnt", almost like barbecue. The lip-smacking sweet sauce will dribble down your chin, also just like barbecue. Top sandwiches or wraps with some raw crunchy vegetables (I like radishes and carrots) for contrast.

Shredded hoisin beef, made in the crockpot.

Slow cooker shredded hoisin beef

From the pantry, you'll need: hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, fresh ginger root, onion, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.

Serves 8 or more.

Ingredients

2-1/2 to 3 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of most fat
1/2 tsp each: kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1 tsp vegetable, canola or rice bran oil
1 large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 tsp chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
3/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar

Shredded radishes, carrots or cucumbers, for garnish (optional)

Directions

In a frying pan, heat the oil. Cut the brisket into fourths, and season each piece with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, brown the meat on all sides. (Note: if you have a Ninja cooker or other CrockPot with a stove-top insert, you can brown the meat right in the cooker, then proceed with the recipe.)

Place the pieces of meat in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker.

In the frying pan, cook the onion, garlic and ginger for 1 minute, then add those to the slow cooker.

Pour in the hoisin sauce and rice vinegar, and turn the pieces of brisket to coat the meat.

Cook on LOW for 8 hours, until the meat is quite tender. Remove the meat to a platter, and shred with two forks. Return the shredded meat to the cooker, and toss with the sauce and onions.

Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold. Try this in a sandwich with cole slaw or thinly sliced raw or pickled vegetables. Can be made ahead and frozen.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More ways to use hoisin sauce:

Grilled tofu with soba noodles
Steamed baby bok choy with spicy hoisin glaze
Slow cooker hoisin chicken and slaw sandwiches
Asparagus wonton wraps with hoisin, wasabi or mustard filling

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Hoisin glazed salmon, from Simply Recipes
Brussels sprouts and avocado winter rolls with grapefruit hoisin dipping sauce, from Half Baked Harvest
Stir-fried marinated tofu and mushrooms, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Hoisin chicken drumsticks, from Recipe Girl
Hoisin ginger burgers with lime pickled onions, from No Recipes

Slow cooker shredded hoisin beef in lettuce wraps. #crockpot

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Comments

Can recipe be used with pork? Sounds delish

I love the sound of this, and also the idea of using radishes as a garnish! Bookmarked!

Fred, I imagine so, but I don't eat pork, so I've never tried it. If you do, please let us know how it comes out!

Kalyn, this was so good in lettuce wraps, and I also had some in the low-carb pita bread. The radishes add a nice crunch.

This recipe looks great and I want to try it. But I have two questions. First, does the shredded beef go back to the cooker to cook, re-heat, or just to mix? And secondly, if I half the quantities of the ingredients, any thoughts on how I should adjust the cooking time--or should I be safe and prepare the full amount and freeze half?

Cousin, the beef is fully cooked by the time you shred it; it just mingles with the sauce, but doesn't need to cook more. If you halve the quantities, you need to use a much smaller slow cooker, in order to make sure the meat fills the cooker by at least half (two-thirds is a good rule to follow). However, I guarantee you will love this, so please make the whole amount, and freeze it!

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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