Forget Dress to Impress, Shred to Impress: Beef BBQ Recipe

Food & Beverage

In the Kitchen

By Ashley Messick
Dating is hard. In an attempt to impress each other with their apparent creativity, new couples tend to go for the gusto when it comes to dates — rock climbing, improv class, acupuncture. It’s hard enough to seem charming in a normal setting; adding in paintball guns makes it even tougher. That’s why I turn to food in times of stress. Not eating it alone in my bed necessarily, but cooking it. I find that nothing impresses a guy used to chips and stale pizza of unknown origin than a girl who knows her way around a kitchen.
But what to make? Something too girly like a Caprese salad or a nice quiche might lead to an awkward stomach grumble later in the evening. And since I have to eat it too, I don’t necessarily want to chow down on a giant T-bone steak while trying to remain dainty and charming. So I go for something in the middle — beef barbecue. It’s easy and impressive, and most of all tasty. It takes a while to make, but the payoff is well worth it. It also makes your house smell great, in a manly sort of way.


Makes 10-12 sandwiches. It freezes like a dream, for the inevitable next date.
3 lbs. beef chuck roast
1 large onion, chopped
½ cup celery, diced
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1½ cups water

Note: A Dutch oven works best for cooking the beef.


Step 1: Put the beef in a large Dutch oven and top with the onion and celery.
Step 2: Combine the remaining ingredients and pour them over the beef. Cover and bake at 350° for 4 hours. Make sure to start checking at 3 hours, 3½ hours, and 4 hours to make sure there is still enough liquid so it doesn’t burn.
Step 3: Remove the meat from the pan. Shred it with 2 forks while it’s still hot. Make sure to get as much fat as possible from the meat and the pan before returning the shredded meat to the pan.
Step 4: Correct the seasoning. If it’s too dry, add a little bottled BBQ sauce. Serve on buns with your favorite coleslaw. Knock his socks off.
About the Author:
Author Ashley Messick
Ashley Messick is a Washington, D.C.-based food blogger dedicated to the unnatural task of eating at all of Washington’s top 100 restaurants in one year. Her psychosis is documented on From Komi to Marvin.

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