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  • 4 - 6 mesquite wood chunks
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 4 pound boneless beef chuck roast
  • Banana leaves*
  • 1/4 cup beef broth or water
  • 24 6 - 7 inches corn tortillas, warmed
  • Shredded romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, avocado slices, shredded radish, sliced green onions, salsa, crumbled queso fresco, lime wedges, and/or snipped fresh cilantro
At least 1 hour before smoking, soak wood chunks in enough water to cover. Drain before using.
In a small bowl stir together vinegar, garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, cracked black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves to make a paste. Spoon spice paste onto all sides of the roast; rub in with your fingers. Wrap roast in banana leaves; tie with 100%-cotton kitchen string to secure.
In a smoker arrange preheated coals, drained wood chunks, and water pan according to the manufacturer's directions. Pour water into pan. Place roast on the grill rack over water pan. Cover; smoke for 4 hours. Add additional coals and water as needed to maintain temperature and moisture. After 4 hours, remove roast from smoker. Place roast in the center of an 18-inch square of heavy foil. Drizzle the beef broth over roast. Bring up two opposite edges of the foil; seal with a double fold. Fold the remaining ends to completely enclose roast, leaving space for steam to build. Return the roast to the smoker and smoke for an additional 3 hours or until the internal temperature registers 190 degrees F to 200 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove roast from smoker. Let stand for 15 minutes. Unwrap; using two forks, pull meat apart into shreds. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve with tortillas and desired toppings.


  • *Test Kitchen Tip:

    Look for fresh or frozen banana leaves at Mexican or Asian specialty markets.


  • Slow-Cooker Method:

    Prepare roast as directed in Step 2, except do not wrap in banana leaves. Place meat in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the broth. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or until meat is tender. Continue as directed in Step 4.

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