We eat a lot of Tex-Mex and Mexican influenced food. In fact, since I’ve started cooking and photographing for this blog, I have already made two dishes that involve tortillas. This is the first one for you.
I remember worrying that we wouldn’t be able to eat as much Mexican food in Singapore and that I wouldn’t be able to find the ingredients and condiments that I like. Turns out, like most of the things that I worry (ok whinge) about I had nothing to be concerned about. I can actually get a lot more here compared to Australia. That includes these babies for $3.50SGD. I know for a fact that you can get this exact brand of chipotle in adobo sauce in Canberra, as I often shelled out around $11.00AUD for a can at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets. That’s ELEVEN dollars. I was so excited when I found out they were so cheap here, that I sent Key a message immediately to tell him. He did his best to act excited for me :)
That being said, I’d happily pay $11.00 for them here too, as they have such an amazing flavour and you can use both the chillies and the rich sauce together, or, individually in a recipe. Once the can has been opened, the rest of it also lasts really well in the fridge in a sealed container.
There is always a bit of confusion for me around Tex-Mex vs. Mexican cuisine and while I love learning about (and eating) food, I don’t pretend to be an expert. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this shredded beef is more Mexican but is definitely served in a Tex-Mex style burrito. So for arguments sake, I’m going to make a Tex-Mex tag on here and just leave it at that.
I used 2 pieces of what was labelled here as chuck tender. To me, it seemed as though it was chuck steak before it’s diced up and sold the way I have seen it in Aus. Any diced, tough or casserole beef will work for this, but if you can, try and get larger pieces as they will be much easier to shred. If using smaller pieces of meat, you may be able to reduce the slow cooking time a bit.
You can add some salt to the spice mix and it will replace those packets of taco seasoning. Ok, I use those packets too sometimes, but I prefer using this mix so I can control the salt level more.
I love adding cocoa powder to dishes like this. It gives such richness to the sauce. I feel like sometimes I have to sneak it in though as I once put heaps in a chili con carne and Key gave me weird looks. Damn, I’ll be sprung if he reads this now ;)
Mmm…food porn! You can see how much the sauce reduces and intensifies after 2 hours in the oven.
There will be enough heat in the pot to keep the sauce warm while you shred the meat. You want the meat to have a gloss from the sauce, but not be too wet.
You could by all means just make this shredded beef and serve it by itself with some salad and elote (yum!) but I really love it wrapped up in a tortilla with crispy, sweet iceberg lettuce. Wrap it up and inevitably spill it everywhere when you eat it anyway. Yum.
Mexican Chipotle Shredded Beef – Served in Burritos
Ingredients – serves 4-5
- 700g beef chuck tenders, seasoned all over with salt and pepper
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 cups of beef stock
- ½ cup passata or tomato puree
- 1 tbs cocoa powder
- 1 tbs chopped, jarred jalapeno peppers
- 1 chipotle pepper from a can, diced
- 1 tbs dried onion flakes
- 1 tbs ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried chili flakes
- 1 tbs sweet paprika
- ½ tsp hot cayenne
- 1 tbs dried oregano
To serve – Optional
- Diced red onion
- Diced tomatoes
- Grated cheese
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
- Sour Cream
- Mashed avocado
- Preheat the oven to 150°C.
- On medium heat, add a good slosh of olive oil to either an oven proof and heavy based saucepan or an enamel casserole dish.
- Brown the meat on all sides, then remove from the pot and set aside.
- Still on medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic till they pick up a bit of colour.
- Add the spice mix to the pan and stir with the onion mix until the spices become fragrant. This should take about 1 minute.
- Deglaze with the beef stock then add the rest of the ingredients and return the meat to the pan.
- Bring to a boil, then remove from the stove top, cover with a heavy lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
- After cooking time has completed and the meat can be easily pulled apart, remove from the oven. Remove the meat from the pot and shred with two forks, then place into a bowl.
- Test the sauce for seasoning. It will probably be salty enough already from the reduced stock, but add some salt if needed.
- Add around 3 tbs of the sauce to the meat and mix through.
- Either discard the rest of the cooking sauce, or like me, freeze it to make enchiladas or to mix with browned minced beef for another meal.
- To serve, layer your meat and burrito ingredients on a warmed tortilla.