Tag Archives: Braising

Street Tacos – Barbacoa Beef

Some friends made street tacos for us a while back, and we fell in love!  ‘Street’ tacos are one item in a long list of ‘street foods’ that are becoming popular in restaurants across the U.S.  In our kitchen, street tacos consist of hand-made small tortillas (sometimes corn, sometimes wheat) with the following fillings/toppings:  some kind of slow cooked meat, fresh pico de gallo, queso cotija, avacados (or guacamole), sour cream, pickled red onions, and homemade beans (pinto, red, or black) on the side.

We’ll try to get to each component of our beloved street tacos, but for now let’s focus on barbacoa beef.  The original recipe I tried can be found here.  It’s a Chipotle Mexican Grill barbacoa knock off recipe and it’s quite good.  I’m posting with the changes I’ve made.

Barbacoa Beef

1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

4 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

6 Chipotle Peppers canned in adobo sauce

1 Yellow Onion

7 Cloves Garlic

6 tsp Ground Cumin

7 Sprigs Fresh Oregano (Leaves plucked, discard stems)

1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Ground Clove

2 Tbsp Honey

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

3-4 lb Beef Roast (we used a shoulder cut)

3 Dried Bay Leaves

5 Juniper Berries slightly crushed

1 Cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth

1/4 Cup Dry Vermouth

Cut roast into larger chunks, salt and pepper.

Combine first eleven ingredients in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add this sauce to crock pot along with Bay Leaves, Juniper Berries, and Broth.  Turn heat to high.

Heat Olive Oil in large pan.  Lightly brown roast pieces and transfer to sauce mixture.

Deglaze pan with the Vermouth and add this to crockpot.  Stir to cover beef with sauce.

Cover and Simmer meat until tender and easily torn apart with fork (this takes us about 5 hours), adjusting heat during cook time as necesasry.  To reduce sauce, turn lid on crockpot a little for last hour or so of cook time.

We increased the amount of several of the ingredients…we wanted a bit more ‘pop’.  We also added the honey and vermouth for a little sweetness in an attempt to offset the heat/vinegar acidity a little.  You could definitely increase the heat of this dish by adding more chipotle peppers or some other hot pepper.  I think it would probably be good with some roasted red bell peppers (a little sweet and roasty would probably compliment) as well.  Stay tuned for the whole enchilada street taco!  Up next Beans…

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