Spicy pulled beef tortillas

2013-01-03_09-04-36_875Quite some time ago, a very dear friend of mine gave me a tin of Mexican chilpotle chillies in adobo sauce. I knew they were a rare treat in Australia and she had just found them since coming back from Mexico. But I hadn’t a clue what to do with them till yesterday.

I grew up loving the Australian version of tacos, with slow cooked mince-meat in a crisp corn shell with chopped iceberg lettuce, fresh tomato, and sour cream. I still think those are delicious, but I understand they have little connection to good Mexican fare.

Spicy pulled beef tortillas

Spicy pulled beef tortillas

I recently decided to start learning about traditional Mexican cooking. I didn’t quite know where to begin, but I’ve been trying to come up with summer recipes to make with cheaper cuts of meat so I thought I could slow cook some beef cheeks. I considered cooking them with a range of wonderful, dried, fruity Mexican chillies, when it occurred to me I could cook them with my tin of adobo sauce. I cooked the beef cheeks into soft submission (they were falling off the fork when I pulled them from the sauce). I knew I had a match made in heaven when I found some baby kale at the supermarket. I pulled the can of black beans from the pantry that I’d been hiding for just such a purpose and picked up some sour cream to make the combination complete. I don’t know how suitable this would be to the Mexican palate, but the dark and earthy filling of these tortillas did it for me.

Makes 6

2 teaspoons olive oil
500 grams beef cheeks
1 tablespoon chilpotles in adobo sauce
2 cups water
6 tortillas
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
60 grams baby kale*
1 cup canned black beans

*I think the baby kale worked PERFECTLY in this, but I guess you could use baby spinach if you needed to.

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. Brown the beef cheeks thoroughly, all over. Discard any remaining fat. Add the chilpotles in adobo sauce to the saucepan and cover with water. Simmer very gently for 4-6 hours. Remove the chilpotles. If you want to make the meat in advance, allow the cheeks to cool in the sauce. Reduce the sauce right down. Taste the sauce and chop and add some of the reserved chilpotles to suit your palate. Shred the beef with two forks.

Drain the beans and heat.

Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat. Toast the tortillas on both sides till golden brown.

Place a generous handful of baby kale on half a tortilla, scatter with grated cheese. Then arrange a portion of the meat and some black beans on top. Spread the remaining half of the tortilla with sour cream and fold in half. Serve immediately.

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About Susan

Susan is the ACT Convenor of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She is currently undertaking a PhD in International Relations. Susan continues to work on the Annual Civil Society Dialogue on Women, Peace and Security.
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3 Responses to Spicy pulled beef tortillas

  1. Pingback: Chicken and corn quesadilla with salad | Susan's Sumptuous Suppers

  2. lynd0r says:

    There’s a Food Safari on Mexican food if you can find it. SBS On Demand streams them if they’ve been on the telly recently and they seem to repeat pretty often. I loved seeing all of the Mexican groceries they looked at! Some magic supermarket in Sydney, but I have no clue where. I have seen masa flour on shelf in Canberra, but I can’t remember what store. The fruit store/deli next to the Manuka Coles has some of the tinned goods.

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