The Sociopath’s Guide to Smoking (Meat): Shredded Beef Tacos -by Ted Pettingell

Teddy Pettingell

When Ted isn’t busy giving Unsolicited Advice, he loves to kill animals and smoke them until they are delicious. Now you can too!




Happy Fourth of July weekend everyone! What better way to celebrate America than with Beef, Barbecue, and Tacos?


Yes, on this week’s edition of Meat Cactus, that’s what I’m calling these articles from now on, editorial staff be damned, (Editor’s Note: Seriously, Ted? That doesn’t even make any sense. Meat Cactus doesn’t sound appetizing, it sounds like a dude with a particularly nasty venial disease.) on this week’s Meat Cactus we are talking smoked beef tacos. Why?

Because what is more American than appropriating the cultures of other people?




Selecting your beef is important. Put down the Rib Eye! What are you some kind or rich idiot? Of course you aren’t, you are a pauper of an idiot. You need a rough cut of meat, a working man’s piece of beef, a piece of meat called Chuck.

Why is it called Chuck? Because beef Charles sounds too fancy.




I may write an entire article explaining beef cuts to all you dummies but until the I’ll keep it simple. The more a cow uses a muscle the tougher but more flavorful it is, the less they work the more tender and tasteless it becomes.  Tasteless probably isn’t the right word. That’s more how I would describe Rich Karski’s sense of humor.


Beef Chuck is the cow’s shoulder, the same way pork butt is actually the pig’s shoulder.  Which is a good thing because we are also going to pull this meat. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, it will be a while before that. We’ve got our chuck roast and now we need to marinade it and that’s where the chipotles come in.



IMG_4793I know you are saying, ‘Mr. Meat Cactus I hear all about chipotles but I have no idea what they are.’  Well, you would say that my simple friend. Chipoltes, another thing I could write a whole article on, are smoked, dried jalapeno peppers. They are a great ingredient to use if you want a smokey flavor even if you don’t have a smoker, because they are already smoked.


If you have any sort of ethnic section in your local super market then you should be able to find canned chipotles in adobo. What is adobo?  Man, I must be blowing your minds with all these answers.  Adobo is liquid made up of various spices and herbs and tastes a lot like barbecue sauce.




Get yourself a couple cans of chipotles and dump all the contents, adobo, included into your blender. Now add some Mexican spices, some fruit juices and what not and you got a rockin’ marinade. Make a lot of it and only use half as a marinade and ad some more junk to it to make into a real spicy smokey barbecue sauce. Combine chuck with marinade and let them get to know each other in your fridge over night.




Again, chuck, like pork butt is going to take about an hour and a half per pound. So if you got a four pound roast you are going to need 6 hours to smoke it. I’d let you do the math but I don’t trust you.  Pull your beef out of the fridge and then rub it down with what every you would use to season tacos. See how its all starting to come together? Of course you don’t, you dummy.




To smoke I would suggest using pecan, mesquite, hickory, or some combination of two or all three. We need a pungent smoke that is really going to penetrate the meat. It’s hard to penetrate Chuck, remember, he’s a real tough guy.




Six hours have gone by but you aren’t done yet. Now take the meat out of the smoker. It should look like a giant beautiful steak at this point. Put it in your handy crock pot and start to pull it apart.







Good bye chuck and hello shredded beef!  At this point you could start to make your tacos, but you’ve already invested all this time in it so why start half assing it now? I added enchilada sauce and diced chillies and let the meat stew in that for a couple more hours. Now we are ready for tacos.






Serve with the traditional taco fixings and that rocking Barbecue sauce you made. Enjoy, America!

Know that you were born here because you are a better than everyone else, so look down on them because the deserve it.





(Editors Note: The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of UnScene Comedy, although lets face it, there’s nothing more American than xenophobia.)




Ted is a contributor at Ted loves comedy. He hates writing short Bios about himself. Ted is very good at comedy. He is not very good at writing his Bio. Ted is constantly working on his comedy. Ted rarely works on writing his Bio. Ted tell his jokes at all the major clubs in Boston. Ted writes his Bio on his home computer. Ted has appeared in several comedy festivals. His Bio has not. Ted was the Comic in Residence at the Comedy Studio in December 2010. His Bio took the month off to spend time with family. Lets review Comedy Good, Bios Bad.

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