Saturday, May 11, 2013

New Ways to fill a Tortilla with Beef Barbacoa

This post is another attempt at persuading you to keep moving past the grocery aisle that displays the taco kits.  You know the ones I am referring too, just say NO.  With a little extra effort you can create new flavorful ways to fill a tortilla.

The dried guajillo peppers are easily located in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store.  The dried peppers lend a mild smoky flavor to the sauce.  The meat is simmered for a couple of hours until it is fork tender.  We moved past the typical flour tortillas and used warmed corn tortillas that provide a nice backdrop to the smoky flavor of the meat.

Beef Barbacoa 
Serves 6
Recipe from Food Network

8 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 small white onion, quartered
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
Kosher salt
2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-to-2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Corn tortillas, warmed, and assorted toppings, for serving.

1.  Heat a large cat-iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the chiles and cook, pressing them down with a spatula, 10 seconds per side: transfer to a plate.  Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are charred in spots, about 10 minutes.

2.  Peel the garlic and transfer to a blender along with the tomatoes and onion (reserve the skillet).  Tear the chiles into pieces and add to the blender along with 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon salt; pulse until smooth.  Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the skillet; pressing it through with the back of a spoon.

3.  Add the beef to the skillet and turn to coat in the chile sauce using tongs.  Cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until a crust starts to form on the meat, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle in the cumin, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and cook 1 more minute.  meanwhile, puree 2-1/2 cups water, the cilantro and thyme in the blender; add to the skillet along with the bay leaves.

4.  Reduce the heat to low.  Cover and gently simmer until the meat is very tender, about 2-hours, adding up to 1-1/2 cups water if the sauce gets to thick.  Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and black pepper.  Serve in tortillas with assorted toppings.


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TKW said...

I love nothing better than a good taco! I'll be trying this version!

Debby Foodiewife said...

Taco kits. Pssssssssh. This is a great recipe and one that I would love to make. The cinnamon would give a subtle kick to the sauce, too.

Karen said...

Delicious looking meal!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

You are right - it's actually quite easy to make something simple and delicious from scratch. So much better than pullint it out of a box. I'd really like to come for dinner...

Dining Alone said...

Guajillos are a favorite in this house, and I never use a taco kit, blasphemy!!

From the Kitchen said...

This is making me rethink my request for steak tomorrow!! I am proud to say that I've never purchased one of those "kits".

Hope you have a delicious Mother's Day.


That Girl said...

I love barbacoa. I usually use a crockpot version because I'm lazy!

Linda said...

This looks amazing!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Your taco looks divine. Rest assured I wouldn't be caught dead buying a kit of anything. Happy Mother's Day Velva.

tasteofbeirut said...

this is my kind of meal! miss Mexican food! although food here is amazing, it is rather mild and I miss the bold Mexican chilies and the awesome tortillas; here tortillas are sold in supermarkets imported from the US !

Big Dude said...

That looks so delicious Velva - I didn't know there was a taco kit.

Roz Corieri Paige said...

You're right . . . steer clear of all of those taco kits and prepare the real deal! Happy Mother's Day Velva!


Cathleen said...

This looks fantastic! I have never actually made tacos, in the kit or no.

Rambling Tart said...

Oh my, this looks SO good!!! I crave Mexican flavors here in Oz. They just don't have them around here. I've been searching seed catalogs to find good mild chilies to grow, but can't find them either! Gah! :-) I think I will order them Stateside and ask a dear friend to ship them over. I can't go another year without chilies. :-)

Kitchen Belleicious said...

that is awesome! I love barbacoa and yes - no taco kits from this house! Hope you had a great mothers day!

Ramona JapaneseRedneck said...

Yum! Can't get that from a kit.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

No need to convince me to pass up the 'kit'. These look so delicious with amazing mix of ingredients!

Mr. & Mrs. P said...

This looks so delicious!! Need to try it soon..

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

You know I may just have to try that - sure looks and sounds YUMMY!

Thank you so much for visiting me today!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

We were introduced to barbacoa when we lived in Texas and I agree, once you have the real deal, the taco kits just don't compare :) This looks fantastic!

Lori said...

So happy to have this recipe. I've been seeing barbacoa pop up on menus around here and we really like it. Now I'll be giving it a try at home!

LaDivaCucina said...

Barbacoa is my favorite meat to get at Chipotle and I eat in a salad, yum! Interesting to note that so many times the Mexican chilies are blended together with garlic, onion and tomato instead of adding "as is" to the meat. This sounds delicious! Hey Velva, I've been making a quick pickled cabbage for topping my carnitas tacos, you might like it: shredded cabbage, salt, sugar, freshly crushed whole coriander seeds and lashings of garlic habanero cider vinegar. Crunchy, spicy good. Thanks for posting!

Sue/the view from great island said...

I knew I needed to make this after scanning the ingredients list!!

WizzyTheStick said...

I always think those taco kits are a little bit odd. This is definitely so much better. Yum

Chris said...

That sounds so good, especially the chuck roast simmering down like that.

Tatiana said...

This looks so so delicious.

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