Yesterday we picked up a little 2 pound chuck roast at the market and it was magically transformed into a pulled beef taco courtesy of a recipe from Foodnetwork studmuffin, Tyler Florence.
It was pretty darn tasty too for something that was basically braised stovetop. I much prefer doing dishes like this in the oven because they seem to have a deeper, richer flavor but it was a rather hot, humid monsoon day so the burner won out over the oven. The key to success is to brown the meat very well before adding the other ingredients and cook the whole shebang on a slow simmer until it's beyond tender.
I pretty much followed Tyler's recipe as given although I changed the method slightly and the end result is really quite delicious although I wish I'd added less water to the braising liquid (beer would have been a better choice). I was left with a huge pot of leftover sauce - way too much for the little nubbin of meat. Once the meat was removed to cool slightly before shredding, I increased the heat under the pot and reduced the sauce by about half. It was tasty, really tasty but about 2/3 of all that yummy goodness ended up feeding the garbage disposal instead of us. I hate when that happens.
We opted for soft tacos instead of Tyler's hard crispy version as the soft ones are a heck of a lot easier to eat and without the deep frying, a lot easier on the calories too. The leftover beef's going to be fabulous in some quesadillas, a burrito or another taco too. As well, we really love the color, flavors and crunchiness provided by broccoli slaw instead of regular shredded cabbage so we switched that out too.
Give this one a try if you're craving a touch of Mexico. It makes your house smell sublime while it's cooking and your taste buds say "hola"!
Mexican Pot Roast in Soft Tacos (adapted from Foodnetwork.com Tyler Florence)
2 pound chuck roast
Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 bay leaves
1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
Water (or beer) as required
Small corn or flour tortillas
Heat a heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat. Meanwhile season roast well with salt and pepper. Add oil to Dutch oven and when shimmering, add roast and brown well on all sides. Move the roast to one side and add the onion and garlic and cook briefly until onion softens and starts to brown slightly. Add chile powder, cayenne, cumin and bay leaves and stir to combine with onion. Cook for a minute or two, stirring often. Add crushed tomatoes and enough water (or beer) to almost cover roast. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer, cover pot and cook for 3 hours or until meat is very tender. Remove meat and set aside to cool briefly. Increase heat under pot and boil sauce until it is reduced by one half. Remove bay leaves. Shred beef and coat with some of the sauce. Serve in warmed tortillas with slaw, guacamole and salsa.
A year ago - Pizza con Proscuitto Cotto
Two years ago - Spicy Curried Lentil Stew