Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef is one of my all-time favorite recipes, and it’s stupid-easy to make!
The flavors of fall always inspire me. Roasted root vegetables, soups and stews, and slow-cooked roasts are highlights, meant to warm you up on a cold day.
Pomegranates are coming into season now, so I decided to make a beef roast with the juice – for a bit of sweetness – and balanced it out with some heat from the habanero pepper. (I get the juice with no added sugar.)
Customize to how spicy you like it. If you want it hotter, leave in the seeds or use jalapeño pepper instead. Or, you can leave the pepper out completely.
I used my Dutch oven, but I’m sure you could make it in the slow cooker…I just haven’t tested it yet! Be sure to use a cut of beef roast with enough fat so it turns out tender and not dry.
In December 2016, I created an Instant Pot adaptation of this Pomegranate Habanero Shredded Beef.
You can find those instructions below the original.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Pat the roast VERY dry with paper towels and season with the salt. You want the meat to be very dry so that a nice crust will form when you sear it. Otherwise the surface will steam instead of brown.
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then add the ghee. (Ghee is great for searing meat because it has such a high smoke point.) Sear all sides for about 4 to 6 minutes each or until a golden brown crust forms.
- Turn off the heat, and add the habanero (or jalapeño), beef broth, and pomegranate juice. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and put the pot into the oven.
- Bake for about 3 hrs or until the meat is very tender. Shred with two forks. It’s great served over roasted sweet potatoes. Bonus points for serving with a drizzle of pomegranate reduction. To make that, pour ½ cup pomegranate juice into a small pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until the juice has reduced by about half and coats the back of a spoon. Just keep an eye on it because it can burn quite easily. If you’re on Whole30 I would avoid the reduction because of sugar content.
- Add the ghee to the bottom of the Instant Pot insert, and set it to Sauté. Heat the fat until it’s shimmering.
- Pat the chuck roast dry with paper towel, and sprinkle it with salt. Place the roast into the Instant Pot, and sear on each side for a few minutes until it’s nicely browned. (Alternatively, you can sear the meat in a cast iron skillet then deglaze with half the juice…then move the meat and the rest of the juice to the Instant Pot. I find the Instant Pot isn’t super great at browning meat.)
- Turn off the Sauté function and add the pomegranate juice and habanero pepper. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot. Press the Manual button and set the timer for 60 minutes.
- When the time is finished, do not quick release the steam. Let the pressure release naturally by waiting at least 15 minutes. If you quick release the steam, the meat will toughen up.
- Remove the roast to a large plate and shred the meat between two forks. Meanwhile, if you want to reduce the liquid, set the Instant Pot to Sauté once more. Keep the lid off. Allow the liquid to boil until it reduces by about half. Serve on top of the shredded beef. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
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