Overnight Taco Meat and Dripping Tortilla Non-recipe

Overnight Taco Meat and Dripping Tortilla Non-recipe

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This is an easy, and my first “non-recipe” that I’m leaving you with before heading off to Scotland on a hubby-forced whiskey tour.

What’s a non-recipe you ask.  Well, to my understanding, it means it’s a general guideline of techniques that one can use to adapt to a variety of ingredients.  In fact, I wasn’t really planning on publishing this as a post, as I was simply putting a random dinner together and mid-way through, thought that this is actually a great way of anxiety-free entertaining  so why not share it.

So essentially, blah blah blah, what I’m talking about is this.  You take a big hunk of fatty cut of meat, in this case, beef short ribs, but it could be pork belly, whole duck, ox tongue or whatever available in other marvelous circumstances.  Then you leave this hunk of meat alone in its marinate for a good 12 hours, in this case, a red wine concoction, but it could be whatever bath of flavors that you could humanly imagine.  Then the night before you serve, you wrap it in foil and throw it in utter abandonment inside a low-heat oven and then, you go to sleep.  The next morning, it is removed from the oven and left in neglect in room-temperature until two hours before your serve this baby, you take its insanely aromatic fat from the dripping to make a stack of beautiful flour tortilla before you return the meat back into a blazing oven, just briefly, until the exterior of the roast is gloriously caramelized and the interior is warmed through.  Chop chop chop with a big scissor and toss loosely and triflingly with mustard and pickled peppercorns, then salsa, hot sauce, nadi-nadi-nah, you know the drill.

I don’t feel like I need to explain to you what happens when a well-marinated fatty protein gets broken down low and slow inside its own rendered fat and dripping, and that liquid roast really, is recycled into the carbohydrate that’s going to be used to wrap the protein as a vehicle into your mouth.  I don’t.  I really don’t.

So as a token of gratitude, please leave in the comments of places where a pissed wife stuck with a drunk husband can go for a good haggis in Edinburgh.

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Overnight Taco Meat Non-recipe

This being a "non-recipe" means that it's a general guideline/technique which you can adapt to many other types of proteins and marinates, as long as the protein of your choice has a good ratio of fat and is suitable for roasting. For example, instead of beef short ribs, you can use beef tongues, pork belly, or pork butt/shoulder, or fattier cuts of lamb. Marinate them however you see fit, and cook them and the tortilla the same way according to the instruction.


  • 3.5 lbs (1.5 kg) bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 small onion, roughly cut
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 3" (7.5 cm) rosemary sprig
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pickling spice, or black peppercorns if unavailable
  • 5 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp pickled green peppercorns, drained and finely crushed
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp (56 grams) fat from the dripping
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (150 grams) warm water at 120 F/50 C


  1. YOU NEED TO START ONE OR TWO DAYS BEFORE SERVING: When choosing short ribs, pick parts that has a good fat-slab covering the top surface. In a blender, blend red wine, onion, garlics, rosemary sprigs, bay leaves, kosher salt, fish sauce, light brown sugar and pickling spice (or black peppercorns) until smooth. Place the short ribs in a heavy-duty zip-lock bag and pour the marinate inside. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air inside as possible, and give it a gentle, even rub. Place on a tray and inside the fridge for at least 12 or up to 24 hours.
  2. THE NIGHT BEFORE SERVING: One hour before you go to bed, preheat the oven on 215 F/100 C. Remove the short ribs from the marinate and wipe off any excess liquid all around. Place them on large sheets of triple-layered aluminum foil and rub 3 tbsp of Dijon mustard evenly on the entire surface. Bring the foil upward and tightly wrap the short ribs inside, then place on a baking sheet on the middle rack inside the oven, and slow-roast for 8 hours. This is when you go to sleep and completely forget about it.
  3. THE DAY OF SERVING: In the morning, take the baking sheet out of the oven, do not remove the foil, and just leave the whole thing at room-temperature.
  4. 2 hours before serving, remove the short ribs from the foils and place inside another baking sheet. Position nubs of foils underneath the ribs so that the top fat surface is facing upward, and cover with a plastic wrap. Collect all drippings from the roasting pan and inside the foil into a bowl. You should have a thick layer of fat floating on top of some roasting juice. Skim off the fat from the juice, and keep both in separate bowls.
  5. MAKE THE TORTILLA: In a large bowl, mix AP flour, 4 tbsp of the fat from the dripping, light brown sugar, kosher salt and warm water (120 F/50 C water would be 2 cups of water microwaved on high for 1 minute, or the hottest tap water). Knead vigorously for 5 minutes until a sticky and elastic dough forms. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions, and roll it in between your palms into a smooth ball, dusting with a little flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Heat a flat skillet over medium heat. Roll the ball out into an extremely thin, flat disk. Toast on the skillet, flipping a couple times, until both sides are spotted with brown spots and puffy. Repeat with the rest. Cover with a towel to keep warm until needed.
  7. 45 minutes before serving, preheat the oven on 450 F/230 C. Remove the plastic wrap and roast the short ribs in the middle rack of the oven for 10~15 minutes until the exteriors are browned and the interiors are warmed through. Remove the bone and place the meats inside a large bowl, add the remaining 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard and pickled green peppercorns, and the reserved roasting juice. Use a large scissor to cut the meat into random big and small pieces, then toss evenly.
  8. Serve the taco meat with the meat dripping tortilla, along with your favorite salsa and hot sauces. This kiwi salsa verde recipe, https://ladyandpups.com/2015/03/25/jerked-sriracha-roast-pork-tacos-w-kiwi-salsa-verde, for your consideration.
  • gregory anderson

    June 25, 2019 at 9:57 PM Reply

    I love the concept of “non-recipe”. It represents a lot of meals my wife and I have made in our marriage, but not as well put together or explained as your recipe and techniques here. I also enjoy your fusion foods, pushing forward with seeming abandon. Have fun on your Scotch journey you two.

    I’ve taken to utilizing scissors more often, so I was encouraged that you chop, chop, chop away. I found that when I’m using a limited amount of a variety of items that scissors are quicker for the moment. I will tackle the overnight tacos with homemade tortillas. Arriba!

  • Dayle Golden

    June 25, 2019 at 11:06 PM Reply

    It all sounded fabulous until I read that the meat should sit at room temperature all day. If the meat cooks all night and I remove it from the oven and let it sit at room temperature until two hours before serving, that would mean the meat would be sitting out for 8 hours or more. Wouldn’t this be a health concern? Did I misread this?

    Our friend went to Edinborough last year. He is a non drinker and loved his trip. I hope you will too.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      June 26, 2019 at 12:28 AM Reply

      Dayle, we are talking about approx 9 hour window here which in our hot summer in HK, wasn’t a problem. Remember that the meat will be still very hot for a couple hours after leaving the oven, making it not a hospitable place for micros.

  • Hilary

    June 25, 2019 at 11:14 PM Reply

    Wildfire has excellent haggis and if you’re in the mood for something a little lighter, Ondine has a magnificent seafood selection.

  • Peter Berglund

    June 26, 2019 at 12:38 AM Reply

    I stayed here years ago while working nearby, it was very run down then but it had great fod and lots of drink. It looks a bit more upmarket these days but its in a beautiful spot on the coast of Loch Lomond. Enjoy.

  • John Shane

    June 26, 2019 at 1:40 AM Reply

    Best Haggis I ever had was in a little pub in Inverness. The chef enclosed perfect haggis in a very thin crust, and topped it with a whisky sauce. Maybe you can convince your husband that a trip a bit further north is worth both your whiles…

  • Mindy Rawls

    June 26, 2019 at 1:42 AM Reply

    The Arcade Bar has great haggis! If you’re feeling fancy and want to take a peek inside The Balmoral, Hadrian’s Brasserie also has good haggis. Edinburgh has a ton of fantastic restaurants! I hope you (and your whisky-infused husband) have a wonderful trip!

  • Dulcistella

    June 26, 2019 at 3:42 AM Reply

    Well, I don’t know in Edinburgh, but are you heading to Skye Island? There was a small pub in the middle of nowhere where I had a haggis strudel that really blew my mind…
    P.S.: Scotland is beautiful, just leave your husband drinking alone and go exploring! I loved it more than Ireland.

  • david cates

    June 26, 2019 at 6:26 AM Reply

    Amber Restaurant and Whisky Bar @ The Scotch Whisky Experience. A refined haggis, and lots of fine whiskies to try.

    Terrific dish, I have to try it.

  • Carrie Evans

    July 9, 2019 at 12:12 AM Reply

    This is a very basic question, but I’m a cooking neebie, so please forgive. How do I know which cuts of meat are fatty when I can’t see the fat? That is, I can see the fat on ribs, but I would never have known that tongue is fatty as well. And it never would have occurred to me that duck is fatty and could therefore be used. I hope this isn’t too dumb a question. Thank you!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      July 9, 2019 at 5:47 AM Reply

      Carrie, no prob! The answer to your question, I guess, is that you’ll have to either know by experience or have a Boucher who can coach you through these things. Duck meat is not fatty but the skin that surrounds the meat is super fatty. Specific types of cooking method is best suit for specific types of cuts. Once you’ve worked with enough ingredients you’ll have a good sense of it. Sorry there’s no shortcut answer here

  • Cheri

    July 10, 2019 at 2:52 AM Reply

    This looks so yummy and healthy. Going to try it soon.
    Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  • Marina Rubio Ruiz

    October 12, 2019 at 10:56 PM Reply

    Hello! I love this recipe and want to try make in it but I’d like to know about how many hours you left it in the oven overnight?
    Our sleep hours can be very different!! ?

  • Max

    April 27, 2020 at 1:33 AM Reply

    Hey, I cook for a living and obviously have alot of time and energy on my hands during quarantine. I’ve made the tortilla recipe 4 times in the last 2 weeks and I can’t recommend it more highly! Brilliant result and the method is described extremely well. I also broke out a jar of instant noodle crack slurp I forgot I’d made over Xmas and it is also a winner.

    As a professional cook and an amateur cookbook hoarder I routinely find your recipes are better described and work perfectly compared to some, perhaps, ‘better known’ cookbook writers. Thanks for the work!

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