To achieve that tender, juicy consistency, pulled beef must be cooked slowly at a low temperature. While a slow cooker is helpful in preparing this dish, it isn't necessary. You can achieve the same effect by slow cooking the meat at a low temperature in the oven or on the stove top. The preparation is essentially the same for each method, but oven cooking requires a dutch oven. If you don't have a dutch oven, simply use a large pot on the stove instead.
Pat the surface of the roast dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the entire roast with salt and pepper. If you wish, you may also rub the meat with a combination of dried herbs and spices like garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, oregano or cumin.
Coat the bottom of a dutch oven or a large pot with cooking oil and place it on the stove over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, place the roast in the pot and brown the meat on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Known as the Maillard reaction, this method of searing the meat before cooking it produces a smorgasbord of complex flavors. Without it, meat dishes can taste flat and relatively bland.
Add the beef broth to the browned meat in the pot. Use about 1/2 cup of broth for every one pound of meat. If you wish, you may also add flavorful aromatics to the pot. Try using coarsely chopped onion, shallots or whole cloves of garlic. You may also add whole sprigs of hardy fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme or bay leaves.
Cover the pot. If you're using a dutch oven, you can transfer it to a preheated 275-degree Fahrenheit oven. If you're using a pot, simmer the meat on low. Allow the meat to cook until it easily pulls apart with a fork, about 5 to 6 hours.
Remove the roast from the pot and transfer it to a cutting board. Shred the meat into bite-sized pieces using two forks.
Strain out any leftover solids, like onions or herbs, from the cooking liquid in the pot. Skim any excess fat from the top of the liquid.
Transfer the shredded beef back to the pot with the cooking liquid and serve.
- Dutch ovens are oven-safe, but most pots are not. Do not place any pots in the oven.
- The USDA recommends cooking whole cuts of beef to a minimum temperature of 145 degrees F to kill off any harmful bacteria.
Irena Eaves began writing professionally in 2005. She has been published on several websites including RedPlum, CollegeDegreeReport.com and AutoInsuranceTips.com. Eaves holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University.