skillet fajitas with rajas con crema, saffron rice, black beans, chips & salsa, and shredded beef tacos with cabbage & carrot slaw. With the exception of cracking open the can of black beans and cooking the rice, everything was pre-made and reheated at the beach house. I preferred to be on island time rather than kitchen time during my stay.
Shredded Beef Tacos
source: Cook's Illustrated no. 127
1 1/2 cups Dos Equis, or other full bodied lager
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 ounces dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Salt & Pepper
1 large onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 pounds chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
18 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
4 ounces queso fresco, crumble
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine beer, vinegar, anchos, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cloves, and cinnamon in Dutch oven. Arrange onion rounds in single layer on bottom of pot. Place beef on top of onion rounds in single layer. Cover tightly and cook until meat is well browned and tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to a large bowl, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and set aside. Strain liquid through fin-mesh strainer into 2-cup liquid measuring cup (do not wash pot). Discard onion rounds and bay leaves. Let liquid sit for 5 minutes and skim any fat off surface. Add water if needed to equal 1 cup. Pour liquid back into unwashed pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, you can pour liquid into blender and blend until smooth.
- Using two forks, shred beef into bite-size pieces. Bring sauce to simmer over medium heat. Add shredded beef and stir to coat. Season with salt to taste. (Beef can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; gently reheat before serving.)
- Spoon small amount of beef into each warm tortilla and serve, passing slaw, queso fresco, and lime wedges separately.
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and sliced thin (6 cups)
1 onion, sliced thin
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Whisk vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add cabbage, onion, carrot, jalapeno, and oregano and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Drain slaw and stir in cilantro right before serving.