I like Mexican food. Good, authentic Mexican food that is… which seems to be quite en vogue in Brisbane at the moment. Having said that, Montezuma’s is a guilty pleasure of mine (and a couple of my good friends). A few years ago, Gourmet Traveller magazine (another guilty pleasure) had a fantastic feature on homestyle mexican cooking – La Cantina. This is where my recipe for Shredded Beef Tacos is sourced. It has proven to be very popular with my family and friends, and has even impressed a friend who was decidedly anti-mexican food. Be warned however, this is a long cooking process best started a day before you want to serve the meat, but it is definitely worth it. AND best of all, it freezes well so you can do this once in a blue moon, and have delicious taco beef at the beep of a microwave.
SHREDDED BEEF TACOS
Adapted from Shredded Beef Brisket Tacos, GT January 2008.
1kg beef (topside, chuck, or brisket) cut in to big chunks
2 brown onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil (not olive oil)
3 large tomatoes, de-seeded and roughly chopped
3 or 4 green onions thinly sliced
1 tsp chilli powder
1 long green chilli, finely chopped
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
1 cup beef stock
Soft tortillas, salad, guacamole and sides to serve.
- In a really big pot, put in the beef and enough water to cover it along with 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and skim the scum from the pot for the next 5 – 10 mins.
- Add 1/4 of an onion, along with 1 garlic clove that has been bruised with a knife. Partially cover the pot with the lid, I tend to 3/4 cover it, and simmer for 3 – 4 hours or until the meat is falling apart.
- Remove the beef from the broth. KEEP THE BROTH THOUGH – strain it and put in a bowl for later. Shred the beef with two forks or with your fingers – whatever works for you, and set it aside for now.
- Heat the lard or oil in the same pot or a large heavy based pan (think Le Creuset). Add the rest of the onion, and the beef to the pan and cook for 5 or so minutes until the beef browns a little (I’m not talking crispy beef here, but you do want the onion to soften and be translucent-ish).
- Add the garlic (minced), tomato, green onion, chilli powder and cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are fragrant, and the tomato slightly softened.
- Add the broth, and the beef stock and simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid is reduced by two thirds. Season to taste.
- Serve piping hot with salads and sides (and maybe a bit of chopped coriander).
For New Year’s Eve, I headed to a good friend’s place along two dishes – my Mexican beef, and my Mexican rice, for a Mexican Fiesta. My dishes joined a Mexican Lasagna, a Frittata, and some amazing salads which were enjoyed with cold beverages, cake and great company, and helped us ring in the New Year. Ole.