This recipe happened by unlucky chance. Last week, while first emerging from the bedroom, still groggy with sleep, I heard a loud voice from the kitchen exclaim, ” Oh no! The freezer was open all night!”

It was my fault. I put something in the freezer right before bed and apparently had not closed the door all the way. I stumbled into the kitchen to assess the damage. The majority of the freezer contents were mostly thawed. Amongst the previously frozen packages of meat was a huge rack of beef short ribs – not exactly something I would think about serving for dinner on 80 degree, humid days. Not wanting to waste them, I threw the beef into the crock pot before leaving for work.

During the day, I remembered a dish we ate on our vacation to Mexico called Salpicon. It was shredded beef, served cold with a distinct spicy, lime flavor. Thrilled with the possibility of salvaging my short ribs and concocting an appropriate summer meal, I researched online and found a number of recipes. I changed a few things here and there and was thrilled with the result. This would be a perfect recipe for a summer gathering because everything can be made ahead of time.

(Note: Do not touch chipotle chilies then cut onions and rub your runny, onion eyes. Doing this may delay your cooking about 10 minutes while you repeatedly flush your eyes with water while mumbling profanities.)

3-4 lbs. beef brisket (or short ribs)
4-6 cups beef stock
1 onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper

1/4 cup chopped chipotle chilies en adobo sauce (find in Mexican section of grocery)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 T white wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red onion, minced
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper

For Serving:
3 medium ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges
2 avocados, cut in wedges
1 bunch radishes, cut in the thin slices
1 head romaine lettuce, leaves cleaned and dried

For Beef:
Brown beef in a skillet. Put in crock pot with all other ingredients with enough beef stock to cover at least half of the meat. Cook until meat is falling apart and can be easily shredded. Remove beef from broth and discard onion and spices and let cool. Finely shred meat.

For Dressing:
Put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.


To Serve:
Put enough dressing over meat so it is moist but not dripping. Mix together with a fork coating all meat. Serve warm or cold on top of lettuce leaves and with tomatoes, radishes and avocado.