Kitchen Adventures of a Saudi Nomad: Shredded BBQ Beef

By Norah Alwalan

Hello, everyone. As you might know, I’m a Saudi woman currently studying in the US. My time is pretty much all study, all the time.

I’m also a passionate (self-proclaimed) foodie, who lives in a very small town in Indiana where not many restaurants are available. While we might have a few food gems here in my small college town, it’s nothing like my treasure trove of amazing restaurants; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. So instead of relying on restaurants to give me good food, I’ve taken to learning how to cook. One little issue I’ve faced, however, is that all the food I like requires a significant amount of time dedicated in the kitchen. While I would be happy to dedicate all that time for a meal, I just simply don’t have it, what with my mountains of homework, projects, and exams. I did recently hear of a machine that could help me with this issue, The Slow Cooker.

The existence of this machine was news to me, because we never had one at home. All you have to do is add all your ingredients to it, let it sit for a few hours, and your meal is prepared. It’s apparently been around since the 70s, but it still continues to amaze. I decided to go on an online hunt for Slow Cooker recipes to understand how recipes for this machine work. one common thing I found on many blogs, pinterest boards, and food websites is that you can use this machine to slow cook your meats and make them shreddable. I also found that many recipes like to use different barbecue sauces to cook the meats in. I am not personally a fan of the standard barbecue sauce you find in the grocery store, so I decided to opt in for a more tomato-y barbecue-esque sauce for the meat to cook in. So here is my recipe for shredded BBQ-ish beef.



As you can see, the tomato sauce is a bit more liquid than tomato paste usually is. If you can’t find tomato sauce in the store, you can add water to tomato paste in a pot over low heat, mix well, and use in place of the tomato sauce.


Add all the ingredients except for the meat to a bowl and mix well.


Once your mixture is done, add your meat to the slow cooker and pour your mixture over it. Make sure that the meat is fully coated with the mixture from all sides then cover the slow cooker.


Next, you want to set your slow cooker on HIGH for 8 hours. My slow cooker does not have an 8 hour option on the high setting, so I set it for 4 hours on high and once the 4 hours were up, I set it on 4 hours again.


After the 7th hour, keep you slow cooker on and move the meat to a plate. Then proceed to shred the meat with two forks. Once done, add the shredded meat back into the slow cooker to finish cooking.


Once the time is up, the dish is ready to serve. I chose to serve it with white long grain basmati rice, but you could serve it as a sandwich if you like.


This is, in my opinion, one of the best dishes I have ever made. I think I will be making this dish for many times to come. I hope you enjoy this dish, and also join me in the love of the slow cooker.

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