mexican Tag

Overnight Taco Meat and Dripping Tortilla Non-recipe

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.

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.

Ingredients

    SHORT RIBS AND MARINATE:
  • 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
  • MEAT DRIPPING FLOUR TORTILLA:
  • 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

Instructions

  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, http://ladyandpups.com/2015/03/25/jerked-sriracha-roast-pork-tacos-w-kiwi-salsa-verde, for your consideration.
https://ladyandpups.com/2019/06/25/overnight-taco-meat-and-dripping-tortilla-non-recipe/
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EASY MOLE-D BEEF TOSTADAS

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I have never been to Mexico.

To clarify further, I have never even been close to any of the states next to Mexico except maybe LA, which I’m not even going to use as my pathetic credentials on real Mexican cooking which is to say, zero to none.  I’ve heard that Taco Bell is about as close to real Mexican food as fortune cookies are to being Chinese.  I’ve also heard that they don’t actually “nacho” much over there.  Aside from that, Mexican food has remained quite a romantic mystery.

But even though I don’t know enough to say what’s Mexican food, whatever it is, that tasteless borderline-inedible crap we were served with the other day near Beijing’s embassy area, was definitely not it.  Given that it was a very hot day hence we weren’t feeling particular choosey, we thought those more-than-a-handful patrons who were present during off-meal hours were a good indicator that the restaurant at least serves human food.  WROOONG!  I mean seriously, seriously, how inhumanly difficult is it to serve passable tacos to someone who’s never had a real taco!  Not so freaking hard is it?  Why!?

We left the place feeling psychologically hungry.  The trauma only left me wanting more of what I’ve never had – dainty Mexican tacos good enough to fool myself.  Then before long, my discontent took my memory back to a cookbook I’ve owned forever but never cooked from – Off the Menu: Staff Meals from America’s Top Restaurants, which features A.O.C in LA and a recipe for their tostadas-tuesday.  OK, the critically acclaimed restaurant is not Mexican, and tostadas are not tacos but more like tacos with fried tortillas.  Do I have problem with any of that?  I mean do you?

Since this is starting to look like someone with no Mexican cooking experience, starting off from a recipe by a non-Mexican restaurant, I thought it won’t hurt much more to impose further ungrounded twists.  A.O.C’s recipe sauté the ground beef with aromatics and spices, but I want it to be more “Mexican-y”… whatever that is.  So I made a puree with soften dried chilis, onions, garlic and thyme, and a spice-mixture that includes something I’ve never used before in savoury dishes – unsweetened cocoa power.


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VIETNAMESE Chả Cá FISH TACO

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WE FOUND OUR WEAKENED FOOTSTEPS AT ITS TURQUOISE COLORED DOORWAY

THE official statement is, that like all other celebratory spirits who paint golden eggs on Easter, play Frank Sinatra on X’mas and wash their faces with Buffalo wings on Superbowl, we the family of forever-festivity, ate tacos on Cinco de Mayo and danced to a whirlpool of margaritas this past Sunday.

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MEXICAN CHORIZO + GARLIC SHRIMP BURGER

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“BOYS WILL BE BOYS?”

What happens when you practice general lawlessness between a 6-pounds white prince who has, for his entire 14-years of life, consistently mistaken himself as a Magnificent Pit Bull, and a 26-pounds mutt boy who, constantly subjected to his ambiguous status in the house, has quietly developed some sort of combative inferiority-complex?

Sibling rivalries? Boys will be boys? I don’t think so… there’s a hole on Dumpling’s neck right now that looks like my ultimate parental failure.

I know, I know, Cesar Millan, that it’s my fault and not theirs. So now allow me to present you this fresh pork chorizo burger with melted manchego cheese with garlic shrimps and paprika mayo, while I run off to to get some really dirty looks from the vets. Enjoy.

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