Monday, March 10, 2014

Machaca {Shredded Beef Tacos}

This time of year always makes me crave Mexican and Southwest flavors. Part of it is seeing my twitter and Facebook feeds filled with scenes from SXSW in Austin, Texas, and part of it is that we’re finally starting to see a few signs of spring: cherry blossoms, later sunrises. Spring means summer is just around the corner, and summer means sunshine and tacos.

Machaca {Shredded Beef Tacos}// Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Today we’re making machaca! Machaca (which I had never heard of until now) is slow cooked beef, flavored with peppers and spices, shredded for tacos or taquitos. It satisfies my summer cravings, but is warm and hearty enough for the chilly March weather. Perfect for early spring!

Machaca {Shredded Beef Tacos}// Loves Food, Loves to Eat

This recipe comes from my friend Jessica. From birth until I was about eight years old, Amanda and I spent nearly as much time with Jessica (Amanda’s age) and her brother Jared (my age) as we did with each other. They were our first best friends, and we’ve always had a connection with them, regardless of time and miles. They moved away from Washington to Arizona the summer before I went into second grade—my first heartbreak.

Machaca {Shredded Beef Tacos}// Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Obviously their years in the Southwest have paid off, because this recipe is awesome. Jessica said it was a labor of love, and through tons of trial and error, she finally came up with this recipe. The meat marinates in lime juice and spices overnight, then slow cooks all day. When it’s time to eat, you have juicy, tender shreds of beef that fall apart with the poke of a fork.

Machaca {Shredded Beef Tacos}// Loves Food, Loves to Eat

I’m always so busy creating new recipes that sometimes I forget how good family recipes are—one bite and I felt like I was sitting around the table with Jessica and her husband and four kids. Or, like I was six years old, with Jared, Jessica, and Amanda frantically helping me clean my plate so we could all go play. 

PS. I have no trouble finishing my dinner these days.

Beef Machaca
Recipe from Jessica Gilmore

Plan ahead. This needs to marinate overnight, and then cook for at least 6 hours. If you’re making taquitos, Jessica recommends letting the cooked meat sit in the fridge overnight (a 2nd night…torture!) to bind. 

2-3 lb chuck roast
¼ cup Worcestershire
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup oil (canola or olive oil)

1 large sweet onion, diced
½ green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalepeno, minced
1 14oz can diced tomatoes (and juice)
½ cup beef broth
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt & pepper
Hot sauce

Trim beef and cut in two to three pieces, and lay in a baking dish or in a large ziplock bag. Whisk together marinade ingredients, and pour over meat. Seal bag (or cover dish with plastic wrap) and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, add marinated beef and remaining marinade to slow cooker, along with all remaining ingredients except salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred and stir into juices. Add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.

Serve with warm tortillas and taco fixings.

For baked taquitos: Refrigerate shredded beef and juices in an airtight container overnight. Roll inside flour or corn tortillas, and bake in a 425 degree oven for approx. 10 minutes (until crispy, but not burned).
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