Chile-Rubbed Braised Beef
The Tex-Mex flavors of this fork-tender meat make it perfect for shredding and using in tacos, burritos, and even nachos. It’s also tasty on its own topped with the chunky slow-cooked sauce made right in the pot and served with rice. For best flavor, season the beef at least a day ahead.
For the spice rub
1/4 cup chili powder
4-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbs. light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 3-1/2-lb. to 4-1/2-lb. beef chuck roast, preferably bone-in
For the braise
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Season the beef
Combine the chili powder, salt, sugar, cumin, oregano, and allspice in a small bowl.
Using a paring knife, trace the fat seams of the roast and around the bone, if there is one, to make a series of deep incisions on both sides, without completely separating the muscles. coat the meat all over with the rub, massaging it between the muscles and on all sides of the roast.
Put the meat in a Dutch oven or high-sided skillet that fits it snugly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.
Braise the beef
Remove the meat from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 to 1-1/2 hours before cooking.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 300°F. Uncover the beef, and add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and 1/2 cup water. cover tightly and cook until the meat is fork-tender, 3 to 3-1/2 hours.
Leaving the liquid and vegetables in the pot, transfer the meat to a rimmed baking sheet to cool slightly. Separate the meat into large chunks, and remove and discard any fat.
Skim the fat from the broth. Return the meat to the pot and arrange the pieces in a single layer. (The dish can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days. Reheat the meat at 300°F, covered, for 30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.)
Raise the oven temperature to 425°F. cook the beef, uncovered, until the exposed surface is deeply browned, flipping once, about 40 minutes. Serve with the vegetables and sauce, and season to taste with salt.