Monday, April 26, 2010

Taco's and the weekend

Photos from Food and Wine

So I spent my weekend catching up on yard work duties. I live on a busy street so it really pains me to work in my front yard, as it is like gardening next to the freeway. My backyard is always well cared for and pretty and my front yard is always neglected, but the past few years I have made an effort to pay more attention to the curb appeal.  That was my weekend... pulling up grass, trimming trees, cleaning the garage and raking (thanks Mac)!

But, I did cook a lot this weekend and once recipe in particular was given to me by a co-worker and we (other co-workers) have affectionately named it Bo's Mexican Meat, in reality it is Tyler Florence's Mexican Pot Roast and it is delicious!

I got a hankering for taco's after reading the Taco World article in this months Food and Wine... I love taco's more than any other food and I could eat them every single day. There are so many varieties that one could never grow tired of the tasty taco treat, but I will tell you I won't be trying the L.A. Gas Station Taco Recipe in F&W... I am sorry that sounds gross.    I am hoping to make the Crunchy Tofu Taco's very soon, I always vow that I would like to become better tofu chef... but it never happens... so I am making a resolution to cook with tofu four times in the month of May... there I said it... Mac get ready.   Please let me know if there are any recipes you think I should try.

I, of course, used the pot roast meat to make tacos... but Bo tells me that he uses it the first night for taco's and then makes enchiladas the second night reserving the juice for the enchilada sauce.   I would never use it for enchiladas - I don't like beef enchiladas - I am a cheese or chicken kind of girl.   But, I did save the cooking liquid, because it was delicious, and I have been thinking of uses for it and I will let you know what comes of that.   I think I might try a Tortilla Soup... I stuck it in the fridge so I can make sure it isn't too greasy.
Mexican Pot Roast (from Tyler Florence)
2 pounds beef shoulder (pot roast-style) (I couldn't find a shoulder so I used a rump roast)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large onion, sliced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin

* Taco or enchilada fixings (depending on your final dish)

Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, or other heavy pot that has a tight cover, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over moderately high heat. Add the garlic and the beef to the pot, browning the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice sear on the outside. Add the onion and allow to lightly brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, plus 1 tomato can of water, spices, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer with a lid for 3 hours until the meat is fork tender. Let meat cool in the liquid. Shred meat and set aside. While you shred the meat, bring sauce back up to a light boil. Take sauce off heat.

If you make tacos with the meat, put a couple ladles of sauce onto the meat and incorporate. Use as much sauce to moisten the meat (you don't want runny taco meat). Use the meat as you would any other taco meat, with the toppings you like.

If you make enchiladas, follow the step above, but you can add more sauce, if you like. Place the meat inside corn tortillas, rolling and placing side-by-side in baking pan. Pour sauce over the pan of enchiladas, top with cheese, and bake. (Use more sauce than you think you would. The first time I made enchiladas, I thought I used enough and they came out on the dry side. But -- I kept the sauce on the stove so when I plated them, I poured more sauce over and they ended up perfect. So, if you don't use enough when baking, keep the sauce around, just in case.)

Thank you Bo!   And Tyler.

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