12 June 2011

Carne Machaca in taquitos and nachos

This month's Girls Potluck theme made up for the Cinco de Mayo celebration we didn't have last month, lol. Thus, it was Mexican Month! There were berry mojitos and carne asada (thanks Julia!) and shrimp veracruz (thanks Ang.!) and plaintain chips and watermelon margaritas (thanks Jenn!) I wanted to make tamales, per my 2011 hit list which I am horribly behind on, but I realized I don't have a steamer. So what're my other favorite Mexican restaurant meals? Easy: the carne machaca from The Torilla Factory, and my take on machaca is what I brought to the table.
What is machaca, you ask? In a couple words: spiced, shredded beef. It's full of flavor thanks to overnight marination, then cooking with onions and peppers for hours (translation: plan ahead, this recipe takes time!)... then it's shredded and cooked down even longer. It makes an excellent filling for burritos, tacos, or enchiladas, or you can eat it with eggs and/or potatoes for breakfast. I didn't use it in any of those ways today, though... today I used them to make oven taquitos and nachos, and they were AWESOME.
adapted from David Bulla

1/4 C Worcestershire sauce
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 C canola oil

3 lbs chuck roast (or skirt steak), fat and silver skin trimmed, cut into 3/4 - 1 lb pieces
2 tbsp oil
1 large Spanish or Vidalia (or other sweet yellow) onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded then diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and diced
1 serrano pepper*, seeded, deveined and diced
1 10oz can original Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
1 or 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 C beef broth
1 Tbsp dried Mexican oregano
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
few grinds of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Prepare the marinade - combine all ingredients and whisk to form an emulsion. Pour into a 1 gallon zipper bag, and add meat. Massage so meat is evenly coated. Put bag in a bowl or baking dish in case it leaks. Refrigerate overnight.

Make the machaca - Take meat out of the fridge and leave out for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Remove from marinade, pat dry, and discard the marinade. Prepare all your veggies.

In large pot (I used my 6 qt. dutch oven), heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Add meat and sear - you want each side to be a rich caramelized brown. You may have to cook in batches if there's not enough space in the pot for all pieces. Set aside on a plate.

Add the onions and peppers to the same pot and saute for about 3 minutes, scraping all the brown bits from the bottom. Add the garlic and saute another 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the meat back into the pot. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 2 to 2.5 hours.
(mmm look how brown the meat got)

Remove beef to a cutting board and shred with 2 forks. It should be tender and pull apart easily. Add back to the pot, then simmer, uncovered, until there's almost no liquid left. This took almost an hour for me., and I had it on low heat.

Taste again and add any additional seasoning/heat to your liking. (*This recipe is pretty mild with just a hint of heat from the peppers. It's a friendly recipe for people who don't like spicy stuff. Personally, the next time I make this I'm adding at least 1 more serrano pepper.)

One note - this makes a LOT of machaca, about 8 cups worth. I used half between the taquitos and nachos, then packed and froze the rest for future use.

Oven Baked Taquitos:
6" flour tortillas
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up later.

Spread 2-3 tbsp of machaca in a line about 1/4 the way up the tortilla, then roll. Repeat with as many taquitos as you want to make. Spray with cooking spray. Place on baking sheet seam side down. Bake 10 minutes. Take out of the oven, turn them so the other side browns, and bake another 5 minutes until golden brown.
Take out of oven, cut in half on the diagonal. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, and/or salsa.

Machaca Nachos
tortilla chips
cheddar jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread tortilla chips across a baking sheet. Add a spoonful of machaca to each chip. Sprinkle cheese over each chip. Bake until cheese is melted - about 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream and/or guacamole.
(not pretty, but pretty delicious)

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