If you have a thing for tacos, you’re going to love this slow-cooked beef taco recipe. The blackened peppers, slightly caramelized onions, and red wine give this recipe a lot of depth in flavour. Because of the long cooking time the meat becomes super tender, so you don’t need to buy an expensive cut of meat. It makes enough for a crowd, and also freezes well.
The recipe called for using a slow-cooker, but I don’t have one, so I cooked it in my Le Creuset baker in a low oven for a few hours.
Serve with your favourite taco toppings. Cilantro is always good, extra lime wedges, and your favourite bottled salsa. I didn’t use the Mexican crema that the original recipe suggested. Nor did I get to serve it with the Guacamolata (avocado sauce) that I love, since there were no ripe avocados available in any of the five stores I tried!. I absolutely love X’nipek on this, a red onion topping that is really easy to make; it adds a little tartness and spice, and looks really pretty on top of a taco.
I found this recipe on the Food52 site.
What you need:
- 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 poblano/pasilla peppers
- 1 serrano chile
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium-sized sweet onion, sliced about 1/2 cm thick
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 430 mL/14.5 ounces canned diced fire-roasted tomatoes (or regular if you can’t find these)
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
- tortillas (I like the ones made with a combination of corn and flour)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- greens for garnish; I used some salad mix and cilantro
What you do:
- Take the beef out of the fridge 1/2 an hour before you begin cooking, then season generously with salt and pepper.
- If you have a gas range or a barbecue, turn it on high. Place the poblano and serrano peppers over the flame, turning from time to time, until they are blackened all over. You can also do this in the oven under the broiler. Once blackened, place the peppers in a bowl and cover with a lid. Let them sit for about 15 minutes before removing most of the skin, and cutting out the stem and seeds. It’s okay to have some blackened bits; this will give your tacos some smoky flavour, and makes it look authentic. Roughly chop the peppers.
- Preheat the oven to 250F/120C.
- Put a large skillet on high heat, then pour in a little glug of vegetable oil. Once the oil is smoking hot add the beef; let it brown on each side for about 2 minutes, then remove it from the pan, keeping the drippings to cook the onions in.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the onions, stirring often to avoid burning. Cook until they have softened and become browned. If they seem too dry you can add a bit more oil to the pan.
- Add the chopped chile peppers and garlic, and cook for about 2 – 3 minutes, making sure that the garlic does not burn.
- Add the red wine and stir to scrape up all the nice brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until the wine has reduced by half, then add the diced tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then place the beef back in the pot.
- Put the pot in the oven an cook for 2-3 hours – this will give you lots of time to prepare the toppings, or make your own tortillas, and enjoy a cerveza. My beef was done somewhere after the two hour mark. It will be easy to tell if it is done – the meat will fall apart when you pull it with a fork. When it is done, shred the beef using two forks.
- Taste, then add more salt and pepper if you think it is needed. Sprinkle the chopped fresh oregano on top.
- To warm the tortillas, wrap them in a clean damp cloth and microwave on high for 1 minute.
- To serve, place some of the shredded beef in the middle of a tortilla. Top with a little bit of the pickled onion, chopped tomato, or whatever other topping you like. It’s nice to squeeze a little lime on top.
- Enjoy! Please let me know if you enjoyed the recipe, if there are any typos, or what you did differently!