Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Shredded Beef Mexican Style (Tacos de carne deshebrada)

Shredded Beef Mexican Style (Tacos de Carne Deshebrada)

My mother in law says that I cook more Mexican food than she does in Mexico, and that is probably true, considering that at her late 80's she rather but a pizza or a hot dog than having to cook. In any event, it is true: I love Mexican food as much as I love Italian food, and French food, and Argentinian food, and... you get the idea. I like to cook and I like to eat.

In this part of the globe meat is getting quite expensive, so when I see a special on meat, I just go and buy it, otherwise I cook something else. Just last week my local and favorite supermarket (it is called Fresh Street Market...and they don't pay me to say so) they had flank on special (from mega expensive to super expensive) and I bough some to cook it and make shredded beef tacos, one of the current wife's favorites. As I am a pleaser, I cooked for her that fantastic and flavorful dish. When the meat is ready, the smell on its own is so delicious that the house feels so...warm. I love it.

This is an easy to prepare dish, honest. It takes about an hour tops and the end result is great. I use my pressure cooker to make it faster and easier. It works. Way back then, when that woman who claimed to be my mother (she never was able to prove it) had couple of pressure cooker accidents involving  a huge amount of lentils or beans spilled all over the kitchen ceiling. I honestly can say that cooking with that diabolical machine made my mother mad. Similar stories I hear now and then -including my mother in law's stories. She claims that her dislike of cooking comes from that, which I highly doubt-

My ceiling is OK, my life is not in danger (from cooking mot from the current wife's evil intentions) and... the tacos just disappear. Try the recipe... the family will claim to love you more... it is as good as it is going to get. Go for it!

Shredded Beef Mexican Style (Tacos de Carne Deshebrada)

Cooking Time: 90 Minutes   Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 lb Flank steak

1/2 Onion

2 Carrots cut in half

1 Garlic clove 

1 Medium potato

1 Bay leaf

2 tbsp beef powder (Oxo or similar)

- water

Olive oil

1/2  Medium Onion cut in big slices

2 Cans of Stewed Tomatoes

2 tbsp beef powder (Oxo or similar)

To serve

Corn Tortillas (not flour!)

- Heavy cream

Cooking Instructions

1. We are going to use our pressure cooker (I have a Fagor, which I really like…but any will do), so we are going to put the beef (I don’t trim the fat as I believe it gives flavor to the meat), the onion, carrots (skin on), garlic clove, potato (skin on), bay leaf and the beef powder. Now put as much water as needed to cover the meat plus one inch, close the lid as per your pressure cooker instructions.

2. Put your pressure cooker over high heat and wait until the pressure is ready, on high setting (on mine is number 2). When starts whistling, then lower the heat to medium high and let it be for 30 minutes. Don’t worry…nowadays modern pressure cookers don’t explode!. The time is counted when the pressure has reached its high level, not before. 

3. While the meat is cooking, we are going to prepare the sauce. In a medium size pot, we are going to fry the onion until it gets a bit translucent (not brown!) and then add the stewed tomatoes. Add the beef powder, cover and let it simmer for about 15 minutes at medium-low heat.

4. Transfer the tomato and onion mix to a blender and blend it. 

5. Return the blended sauce to the pot, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Reserve.

6. By now, the pressure cooker should have done its job and the pressure indicator should show that you can open the lid (don’t do it until you are sure that you can… I can tell you stories… scary stories…). Remove the beef and allow it to cool down. *

7. Once the beef has cooled down, shred it -while it is still lukewarm, otherwise it will be double the work-. Cut the shredded meat in two or three pieces to make it easy to eat. 

8. Combine the shredded beef with the sauce, mix well and on low heat and finish cooking it for another 10 to 15 minutes. If the sauce gets too dry, just add some of the beef stock you got from the pressure cooker.

9. Serve with warm corn tortillas, make some tacos and add to each taco a dollop of heavy cream and some chipotle sauce if you want (I don’t do it as I can’t eat spicy food).

10. Enjoy!

* You can use the beef broth for a later use. I also like the carrots and the potatoes because they have tons of flavor. Do a small dish with them.

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