Bright flavors, meet beef.
Smoked meat is a blank canvas for all sorts of delicious combinations, that’s why I love barbecue so much. Shredded beef is so delicious and savory, loaded with umami and deep-roasted flavors. This recipe for spiced shredded beef with chile peanut sauce brings bright flavors, texture, and compels me to roll my eyes with each bite.
Eye-rolling means it’s amazing.
Let’s take a quick tangent to discuss. Bright spices, shredded beef, peanuts? What the heck am I thinking?
West African BBQ
Studying global barbecue is a hobby of mine, a method of trying to understand different flavor combinations that I have not yet consumed. It’s no secret that West Africa has been getting much more love in recent years.
Last year I created my first recipe inspired by those flavors, using ingredients that are locally available in the States: my interpretation of Beef Suya. Authentic & traditional are words that aren’t used very often in my work. “Inspired by” is a much healthier approach, and more accurate, as I’m completely intoxicated by the research of spice and flavor combinations.
Bold flavors of chiles, ginger, turmeric, and roasted peanuts came together, inspiring this new spin on beef suya. Thankfully we have access to delicious spice blends, making the creation accessible.
Simple start with chuck roast.
Smoked chuck roast is the best for shredding beef. There, I said it. The BEST.
It’s affordable, which in my opinion goes a long way when we’re discussing quality of meats for shredding. It has fat, also important for flavor. It’s ridiculously simple to make!
Master Recipe: Shredded Beef
You’ll want to start with this recipe for Smoked Chuck Roast: Simple, Moist, Pulled Beef.
Simply swap out the spices used and you’ll be ready to rock for this spiced shredded beef sandwich. The Master recipe linked above is your guide, no, your sage to the most succulent shredded beef. Print it off, memorize it, and eat it.
OK, don’t actually eat the recipe. Eat the sandwich.
Don’t forget the chile peanut sauce.
This sauce is not anything traditional, it’s inspired by salsa de cacahuate (peanut salsa) and flavors used in West African cuisine. You can use roasted peanuts or peanut butter, chunkiness will vary. Personally, I like roasted peanuts but I can stand behind either variation.
This spiced shredded beef is packed with flavors, the perfect meat for sandwiches or tacos. Serving it with sliced red onions and fresh tomatoes will brighten all of the flavors.
- 1 chuck roast (3–4 lb)
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
- 1 tbsp harissa powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Chile Peanut Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 dried arbol chiles, stemmed
- 1/2 cup white onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1” fresh ginger, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 c peanut butter
- 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp allspice powder
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- water (about 1/2 cup, or as needed)
Spiced Pulled Beef
- Use the recipe for Smoked Chuck Roast, swapping out the spices for the recipe above.
For the sauce
- Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add chiles, onion, garlic, ginger, and thyme and cook, stirring a few minutes until the onion is soft. Transfer mixture to a blender and add the peanut butter, pepper, allspice, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, salt, and about 1/2 cup of water. Blend until smooth and allow to cool.
If you do not have harissa powder, you can use spicy chile powder with a pinch of cumin.
Keywords: smoked chuck roast