Easy BBQ Pulled Beef Sandwiches
This is an amazingly quick and easy meal, and since Tyler and I have basically been living at our new jiu jitsu gym, Airlock Jiu Jitsu, this has been one of our go-to dinners. And before you say “that’s not real barbecue!” – I know, but it’s my favorite way to pretend like I’m having barbecue with very little time and effort! Of course, if you are a barbecue aficionado or would like to step this meal up, you can cook the beef roast on a grill or smoker and pair with the barbecue sauce.
Side note: the beef can easily be substituted with pork for a pulled pork sandwich. I find that it’s much more difficult to find high-quality pork than beef (humanely raised, antibiotic-free, etc.), so I usually stick with beef!
The real star of this meal is the barbecue sauce – it is sweet and tangy and contains no refined sugars, nightshades, garlic, onion, thickening agents, or seed oils. The recipe is inspired by the Carnivore Code Cookbook, but I found that sauce a little too mild, so I adjusted the ratios to make my sauce stronger and a tad bit sweeter. I like to make my barbecue sauce in big double batches to save time, and I’ve found that it will keep for a remarkably long time in the fridge, probably because of its high acidity.
BBQ Pulled Beef Sandwiches
Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
Jar for storing extra sauce
- Chuck Roast or Bottom Round Roast
- 1 tbsp cooking fat such as tallow or lard
- 1/2 cup water (or more depending on your pressure cooker)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 15 oz can pumpkin
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 3/4 tsp salt
Sourdough Bread (or Carnivore Bread to stay animal based)
Provolone Cheese for Topping
What I love about preparing the beef in the instant pot (even though it’s not real barbecue) is that I can completely set it and forget it. Then 2 hours later I’ve got dinner!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1-2 hours (depending on roast size and allowing time for pressurization and depressurization)
- Turn on the instant pot to the sauté setting (or heat a pan over medium heat) and add the cooking fat
- Cut the roast into 6 pieces and salt each piece on all sides
- Once the instant pot says “hot” (or the pan is hot), add the roast. I try to get a good brown on at least one side of each piece
- Cancel the sauté function (or move the roast to the pressure cooker)
- Add the water – I will sometimes also try to add the blood from the beef package as well. Who knows if it does anything, but I like the idea of getting all those nutrients and not being wasteful!
- Close the lid and set the instant pot to high pressure for 20 minutes per pound of meat. Let it depressurize naturally when finished and shred the beef.
This is the longest part of this meal, so I recommend making the sauce in advance if you are looking for a quick and easy meal!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 min – 1 hr
- Add applesauce and pumpkin to blender. Depending on the size of your blender & the size of the batch, you may be able to add some of the other ingredients as well. I usually make such a big batch that I can’t fit anything else!
- Pour blended mixture into a sauce pot. Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Simmer until sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 min – 1 hr depending on batch size.
This will usually make about 3 cups when reduced down.
Directions Assemble the Sandwiches:
Mix the beef and barbecue sauce (if the sauce was made in advance, heat it up before mixing so that it doesn’t cool the beef too much), cut the bread, and assemble the sandwiches! Since we like to eat a lot of meat, I like to make open face sandwiches, or even add an extra scoop of barbecue beef on the side – it’s pretty good on its own, too. The sharp, full taste of the sourdough combined with the sweet tang of the barbecue beef and the smoky provolone is just heaven if you ask me!
Tyler & Andrea
If there’s one thing we know in the Hixson household, it’s that we want our lives to be wild, free, and lived intentionally. With that as our motto, it makes sense that our resume is pretty eclectic; we’ve started and successfully run our own marketing company, we’ve lived in an RV and traveled the country, we’ve created documentaries, hosted podcasts, learned to hunt and fight, and most recently helped build a no gi jiu jitsu gym in our new home of Bastrop, Texas.
We love doing things ourselves and finding self-sufficiency and independence in unexpected places. From the food we cook all the way up to the businesses we run, we put a lot of thought into everything we do (probably too much thought!) and we feel strongly that that’s what makes our life extraordinary.
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