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Slow Cooked Steak & Bean Tacos

02 Feb

Today’s recipe is going to be a big cluster of photos because I felt like doing a step by step post today. If you’re on a slow internet connection or a download limit….my bad.

I haven’t decided if I like this format or not, but sometimes a visual does make explaining things a little easier.

I love Mexican food, love the flavours of beans, mouth watering shredded meats, tart lime juice, corn, avocado- yum, I drool just thinking about it.

I’m not trying to pretend to be some super awesome authentic Mexican cook, because I’m not. Let’s be real, for the first 18 years of my life, any Mexican food I ate was made from an Old El Paso burrito kit or in a food court, made by a pimple-faced teenager who couldn’t even pronounce jalapeno.

This is how we make it in my house and this is how we like it. Authentic or not, the flavours are good and everything tastes that much better when you make it yourself. You know what’s in it and you appreciate it more when you know what you went through to make it.

You can substitute chicken for the beef in this recipe and it’s just as delish.

My favourite part of this recipe though is the handmade soft corn tortillas. The meal looks a little more ‘rustic’ (my tortilla making technique isn’t the best without a tortilla press), but the taste is worth it!

With the guacamole, I believe the traditional recipe calls for chopped coriander. I personally hate coriander so have avoided it in this recipe.

As usual, my measurements are approximate. I go by taste and feel most times, but I’ve done my best to be accurate. We had leftovers for lunch.

Ingredients

For the steak & bean mixture

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or 2 tbsp of minced garlic)
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds/powder
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp chilli flakes or powder
  • Tabasco sauce (to taste! You don’t want to know how much I put in- my husband LOVES it spicy)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 can of peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 Porterhouse steak, trimmed

For the soft corn tortillas

  • 2 cups of masa
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

For the filling

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups of shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (I used Monterey Jack, you can use Tasty or Cheddar as well)
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream

For the guacamole

  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Method

Start with a heavy based, cast iron pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add your olive oil to the pan and allow it to heat.

Next, throw in your onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes to soften, making sure that the garlic doesn’t stick to the base of the pan.

Add the cumin to the garlic and onion mixture.

Add the crushed chilli or chilli powder.

Toss in the oregano. Smells delish!

Stir to combine and cook gently until onions are soft and becoming translucent.

Add the chopped tomato

And a generous lashing of Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes until soft and fragrant.

Now that we’ve established our flavour base, we’re going to remove it from the pan and set it aside.

Look at all that deliciousness. Scrape all the remnants that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. You can just taste it can’t you?!

Rinse your kidney beans in a colander under water until you’ve removed all the starch.

Bring the heat up to high and once the pan is at it’s hottest, throw in your steak. Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, YEAH! Seal the steak on all sides. The goal isn’t to cook it through, it’s to seal all those juices in and brown the outsides.

Flip it over and seal the other side. At this point, my dogs were practically humping my legs trying to get to this meat, so if you have dogs, maybe they should go outside for a while!

Don’t forget to seal the sides of the meat also.

Turn the heat down to the lowest possible and then add your tomato and onion mix back to the pan.

Pour in the beans….

Next comes the ever so attractive looking canned tomatoes. Pour in the contents of the can and then fill the can up with water and pour that in too.

Also, add the tomato paste. My squeeze tube makes an awkward farting sound that STILL amuses my husband to this day…. Awkward.

Season!!!

This is what you should have- the steak is at the bottom of this red abyss, drinking up all those flavours and juice- it will be worth the wait.

Pop the lid on, make sure the heat is on low and go and find something to do for 2.5 hours. This could include Facebook stalking, watching transvestites throw chairs at each other on Jerry Springer or catch up on the laundry. I love multitasker meals.

2.5 hours have passed. I’ve had a shower, watched Jerry Springer, done my daily Facebook rounds and played with my dogs outside. I’ve been trying to stay away from the kitchen because the smell threatens to awaken the savage beast in me and I’m afraid I’ll rip the lid off and start eating from the pot. Believe me, it took great restraint to come in once every half an hour or so to stir things around and check on it.

Remove the meat from the pan. It will fall apart between the tongs, so be careful. Set it on a chopping board. Try not to eat it.

Shred the meat between 2 forks. Smells SO good.

Add the meat back into the thickening sauce, give it a good stir around to make sure it is well incorporated. My mouth is seriously watering.

Turn the heat up and keep an eye on it, with regular stirring while you start on your tortillas.

Combine water and masa flour in a large bowl. Mix it in with your hands or a wooden spoon and allow it to soak in for about 5 minutes.

Knead the dough like bread until it comes together. If the dough seems dry, add a little bit of water. If it’s too wet, add some more masa flour. Work it with your hands until the texture is just right.

Go back to your steak and beans, be sure to be constantly scraping down the sides of the pan and stirring the mixture to ensure it’s not sticking and burning at the bottom of the pan. It will begin to thicken up considerably, so it’s important you keep an eye on it.

This is the part where I pulled out a packet of corn chips and started dipping them into the mixture. I am such a pig. Lucky my husband and dogs still love me.

If you can drag yourself away from the pan, chop up some green onions. They don’t have to be perfect, it’s not a chopping competition.

Add the onion to the steak and beans and stir them through. If you were using coriander in your recipe, you would add it now.

Now it’s tortilla time! Take sections of the dough and roll into nectarine/plum sized balls. Lay them on a piece of baking paper, sprinkled with a little extra masa flour.

Now this is the part I call ‘rustic’ which is translation for ‘I’m really bad at this so please be kind’.

If you have a tortilla press, use it now!

If not, this method will have to suffice.

Place another sheet of baking paper over the top of your ball and then press it down with a flat chopping board.

This is what it will look like. This shape would be fine if you were making plain tortillas or pupusas, but we want it to be flatter and more pliable.

So, cover it up with the sheet of baking paper again and roll it out with a rolling pin until it’s flat and thin.

If you’re hung up on looks, trim around the outside with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to clean it up. I personally don’t care if they’re irregularly shaped, I’m just HUNGRY!

Cook the tortillas on a lightly oiled cast iron pan/skillet/griddle. They need about a minute or so on each side. Don’t panic if little air pockets form- that’s half the fun.

Set your cooked tortillas aside and cover them with a clean dishtowel. You may be freaking out because they’re quite crispy coming off the grill, but after a few minutes stacked up under the dishtowel, they soften up.

Turn the heat off on your steak and beans and get started on the last stretch- chopping up all your fresh vegetables.

Chop some tomatoes and set them aside in a bowl.

Chop up some lettuce and set aside in a bowl. You can use iceberg lettuce, but I used a mix of salad leaves (or weeds as my husband calls them) cos that’s what I had.

Grate cheese. Slap dirty paws of lingering husband who wants to pick at said cheese. Bad boy.

Guacamole time!!

Cut your avocados in half, take out the stone and spoon out the flesh into a large bowl.

Add the green onions, tomatoes, lime juice and salt and pepper and mash it up baby.

Now the fun part- compiling the tortillas. If you’re feeding a family or serving this for a group, putting all the ingredients in bowls for self-serving may be ideal.

Everyone has their own way of making up their tacos- this is how I do mine.

First I spread some guacamole over the middle of the tortilla.

Spoon on some of that mouth watering steak and bean mixture.

Tomatoes!

Weeds. Lettuce.

Yummy cheese. Pile it up.

Top it off with a dollop of sour cream, fold it over and tuck in. Goodness.

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2 Comments

Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Delish Dinners, Luscious Lunches

 

2 responses to “Slow Cooked Steak & Bean Tacos

  1. cc11

    February 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Whilst I also graduated from the El Paso kits I have never made my own taco wraps, way to go Miss Lady!

     
  2. delishdinners

    February 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    It was definitely worth the extra effort! 🙂

     

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