Pulled Beef ‘Do it Yourself’ Sandwiches

New Year’s Eve, again…! Last year we did lots of little bites for a drinks party, and this year we are going to take a different approach – make a big pot of something that requires no input from the chef on party night and let the guests help themselves to tasty little sandwiches that will fill a small gap or a big gap, depending on whether your guests ate ahead of coming out for the evening.

This recipe uses a very inexpensive cut of beef and uses up any leftover cola in the house before you start the New Year Detox!

If you have any gluten free guests in the house, you can omit the bread rolls and let them service themselves in little bowls with the slaw and maybe a few lettuce leaves…certainly no need to do a special alternate dish.

Pulled Beef.jpg

What you Need…

 2.5kg Rump of Beef, or a Housekeepers Cut, Round Roast – any stewing cut which will be inexpensive but very flavoursome after a few hours braising

 4 Onions, Sliced or Grated

 600ml of Coke a Cola or other Cola

300ml of Tomato Ketchup

1 Tsp Cumin Seeds

Level Tablespoon of Mustard Seeds, or Yellow Mustard

2 Tbsp of White Wine Vinegar

 4 Tbsp of Lea Perrins Worcestershire Sauce

 ½ Tbsp of chilli flakes

(Add a Glass of Red Wine or a Dash of Brandy if you have it lying around which will add another layer of depth to your sauce, but don’t sweat if it you’re saving it for the guests!)

Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Fresh Crusty Bread, or Soft Bread Rolls to serve sandwich style

What you Do…

This one couldn’t be easier – Slice your onions by hand or using a mandoline, or just grate them if its easier – they will soften down to form part of the sauce by the time your finished anyway so don’t be precious about it. That’s the work done! Now putting the onions at the bottom of either a slow oven, or an oven proof lidded casserole, add the cumin, chilli, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, wine, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and stir through completely mixing the thicker ketchup through the looser cola liquids. Add your beef piece which will likely be completely covered and pop in the fridge overnight to marinate.

If you are using a slow oven, give this 12 hours on low, or 4 hours on high depending on your timing for the party. If you are using a casserole in your regular over like I do, then you’ll be popping it in a preheated oven at 160C for about 5 hours – for a 7pm party start, it will go into the oven between 1 & 2pm and that will give you plenty of time to check it after 4-5 hours and give it an extra hour if necessary, but this dish will happily sit for an hour or two before serving. When cooked – and you’ll know because two fork will pull the meat apart into delicate soft threads really easily.  Use the forks to break up the joint on a service plate. If you sauce is much reduced you probably won’t need to do anything further, but if it’s quite runny, then pour it into a saucepan and cook on medium high until the sauce thickens a little. Pour this over your pulled meat.

Service on the serving platter with a bread bowl and the fresh slaw below. Think about little ramekins of mayo if you fancy it and leave plenty of side plates and serviettes around the room!

What you Need…for the accompanying Fresh Slaw

1 Head of Red Cabbage Finely Sliced (or half red and half white)

2 Small Finely Sliced Red Onion

1 Grated Sharp Green Apple, like a Granny Smith

Juice of 2 Lime

Bunch Chopped Corriander

Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper


What you Do…

Slice the red cabbage and red onion and mix with the lime juice and coriander seasoning well with salt & pepper. Mix well and set aside to allow the flavours come together.