You know how sometimes the culinary gods intervene? This dish came about because those gods were playing and romping through my life. However, as happens now and again, those gods led me to deliciousness! This is redolent with Mexican flavors, it’s filling and it’s flexible! While browsing through the meat counter…you do that, right? Anyway, I did something I just never do; I purchased a package of some in-store pre-seasoned beef. This was supposed to be used for grilling. When I looked at the package, the meat looked like it had some marbling and was cut into chunky strips. So I thought I can grill these quickly, over high heat and they will be charred on the outside, but still nice and pink on the inside. Turns out, I was so wrong. The meat was round steak, and thinly sliced. But, because of the way it was “folded” in the package, the pieces looked chunkier. So, I grilled them as best I could, but they were waaaay too well-done for our taste. Here in the South, I’ve observed that people tend to like their meat more well-done. I tend to prefer meat still walking around my plate, may stumbling a bit. I had gotten 2 packages, so I decided that I would braise the second package. The pre-seasoning was rather nice, though innocuous. After I browned the pieces well, I pulled them out of the pan,
and added the onions and garlic. Sautéed them until they began to wilt a bit, added the cumin, paprika and coriander, poured in the tomatoes, added a half can of water and the frozen orange juice concentrate. I let the mixture come to the boil, slid the meat back in, pushing the pieces under the liquid. I lowered the heat and simmered until the meat was relatively tender, at least an hour. I did cover the pan loosely. Then I added the chili powder, oregano, cocoa and cinnamon. Wow! I’m a messy cook, huh? I let it cook for another 5 or 10 minutes. Then, I removed the meat and set it aside until it was cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, I added the beans and chiles and a good, big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper, then let the mixture simmer until it was slightly reduced, maybe 5-8 minutes. While that mixture simmered, I ripped the meat apart; just tore it to shreds. I dumped the meat into the skillet, lowered the heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes. You might to need to add a bit of extra liquid. It depends on how “soupy” you want the mixture to be. I served it over rice, sprinkled with chopped cilantro, some slices of very ripe avocado and wedges of lime on the sides. It was very tasty. A couple of days later, I reheated the meat, dropped some into taco shells and topped with diced tomatoes, scallions and sour cream. Then, I froze the rest. Today, was a lazy cook’s day; I thawed out the cache in my freezer. I roasted some mini-tater bits, topped it with our meat mixture, some shredded Jack and cheddar cheese, scallions, diced tomatoes and more cheese. I popped it back into the oven for about 5 minutes and when the cheese was all melty and good, we dined. I sprinkled some cilantro over, and served sour cream and salsa on the side. Ahhhh…I love leftovers!
Shredded Mexican-Style Beef with Onions, Beans and Green Chiles
The flavors are best when this is made ahead and reheated. It also freezes well.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast or round
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced top to bottom
- 4 large cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/4-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 can water or beer
- 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 2 teaspoons light chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
- Large pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 15.5-ounce can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 7-ounce can undrained, diced green chiles
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
Bring the meat to room temperature. Brown the pieces, in the oil, in a heavy skillet. When browned, remove from the pan; set aside. Add the onions and garlic to the pan. Sauté until they began to wilt a bit, about 2 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika and coriander, give it a stir, then pour in the tomatoes, add a half can of beer or water and the frozen orange juice concentrate. Bring the mixture to the boil, return the meat to the pan, pushing the pieces under the liquid. Lower the heat and simmer until the meat is relatively tender. I cover the pan; it will take about an hour, maybe more. Add the chili powder, oregano, cocoa and cinnamon, stirring in as best you can. Continue to simmer for another 5 or 10 minutes. Remove the meat; set it aside. Let cool until you can handle it.
Meanwhile, raise the heat to medium; add the beans and chiles, good, big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Give the mixture a good stir; let the mixture simmer until it is slightly reduced, 5-10 minutes. While the mixture simmers, tear the meat into shreds. Return the meat into the skillet, lower the heat, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. You may need to add a bit of extra liquid. It depends on how “soupy” you want the mixture to be when you serve it. Serve alone, or over rice, sprinkled with chopped cilantro and wedges of lime on the sides. This is excellent made ahead and reheated and it freezes.
Shredded Mexican-Style Beef with Onions, Beans and Green Chiles Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019. All rights reserved.