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.
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
Add the crushed chilli or chilli powder.
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.
Don’t forget to seal the sides of the meat also.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chop some tomatoes and set them aside in a bowl.
Cut your avocados in half, take out the stone and spoon out the flesh into a large bowl.
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.