I’m not really a big fan of Cola as a drink. It’s great as a mixer, especially with Bourbon, but by itself I don’t find it very refreshing and the regular stuff is overly sweet. But, that sweetness is what makes it brilliant as an ingredient and perfect for using as a marinade for meats as it adds a great flavour and makes it wonderfully tender, especially when left overnight.
When it comes to “pulled” meat recipes, a lot of people go for pork first, but in this case I’ve gone for beef as I feel the cola flavour goes a lot better with beef than pork, but it’s great for both and there’s no reason why couldn’t use this recipe for pork instead. It requires a lot of time, but it’s dead easy and absolutely worth it. Plus, you can keep the marinade and reduce it down to make an amazingly sweet, spicy and sticky sauce.
Slow Cooker Cola Pulled BeefPrint Recipe
- 1.25kg Beef Brisket
- 1.75l Coca-Cola
- 500ml Beef Stock
- 1tbsp Smoked Paprika
- 1tsp Onion Granules
- 1tsp Garlic Granules
- ½tsp Cayenne
- 1tsp Salt
- 1tsp Black Pepper
- 4 Red Onions
- 4 Bulbs Garlic
Rub the beef thoroughly with the smoked paprika, onion granules, garlic granules, cayenne, salt and pepper. Place into a large bowl or dish and cover with 500ml of cola, making sure the meat is completely submerged. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to marinade overnight.
The next day, turn your slow cooker on to heat up, and finely chop the onions into strips (not diced) and crush the garlic and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Remove the beef from the marinade - but don't discard the marinade - and then in a very hot pan sear the beef on both sides for about a minute until it picks up a bit of charring, this will add an extra flavour.
Lay the beef onto the onions and garlic in the slow cooker and pour over the rest of the cola (which should be 1.25l) and the beef stock.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 8 hours when the beef will be lovely and tender and will just fall apart.
Towards the end of the cooking time, take the marinade you reserved and pour into a saucepan on a medium heat and let it reduce until it becomes a thick, syrupy sauce. Don't let it cook out too much otherwise it'll be just sugar, but if you need more than the marinade, you can use some of the stock mixture from the slow cooker.
After 8 hours, remove the beef from the slow cooker onto a large plate and simply pulled it apart with two forks. You'll probably find it'll start to fall apart as you pick it up out from the slow cooker - this is good!
Serve the beef with whatever you like - I find it best served in a roll with the reduced marinade sauce and with a side of coleslaw and fries.