Taco Tuesday (On Saturday)

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I’ve been jonesing for tacos like my mother used to make us when my brothers and I were kids. You know the kind; ground beef, onions, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin. Prepackaged taco seasoning was WAY too expensive for my mother. She made them with fried corn tortillas, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese and shredded iceberg lettuce. Chili stained oil running down your hand and arm when you ate them. Dang they were good. So, I headed to the market to get the ingredients for some good ol’ comfort food tacos. Then the chef side of me kicked in. I bought beef stew meat for shredded beef tacos; a pork shoulder for pork tacos and a rotisserie chicken for chicken tacos. They were great but didn’t provide the comfort food experience. I missed the oil running down my hand and arm.

 

 

Beef Tacos

Recipe courtesy Canuck Chef

Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 ¼ pounds lean beef stew meat

Salt and pepper

½ large onion, sliced

1 cup water, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried oregano

15 oz canned tomato sauce

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

8 medium corn tortillas

Toppings:

Tomato, seeded and chopped

Sliced black olives

Pickled onions

Roasted red pepper

Sliced avocado

Shredded cabbage

Cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup sour cream

Chopped cilantro

Lime quarters

Preheat oven to 250o F.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven set over medium high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper and add to the Dutch oven in a single layer. Sear on all sides until nicely browned. Remove to a plate. Add the onion and ½ cup of water to deglaze the pan. Cook until the water has evaporated and the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander and oregano. Sauté for a minute, add the remaining ½ cup of water, tomato sauce, vinegar and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Cover and place in the preheated oven and slow cook for 3 hours or until the meat can be easily shredded.

Remove the meat from the Dutch oven and mash the cubes of meat with a wooden spoon until broken down and shredded. Add enough of the braising liquid to make the mixture as saucy as you like. Adjust salt levels to personal taste.

Serve on corn tortillas with choice of toppings.

Chicken Tacos

Recipe courtesy The Canuck Chef

Yield: 4 servings

2 Poblano chilies, stem, ribs and seeds removed, rough chopped

2 Jalapeño chilies, stem, ribs and seeds removed, rough chopped

1 onion, rough chopped

3 cloves garlic

1/3 cup cilantro

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 store bought rotisserie chicken

Salt and pepper to taste

8 corn tortillas

Toppings:

Tomato, seeded and chopped

Sliced black olives

Pickled onions

Roasted red pepper

Sliced avocado

Shredded cabbage

Cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup sour cream

Chopped cilantro

Lime quarters

Combine Poblano chilies, jalapeno chilies, onion, garlic and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to finely chop (be sure not to puree).

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium high heat. Add the chopped chili/onion mixture. Sauté until the vegetables are soft. Add the cumin and sauté for another couple of minutes. Add the vinegar and white wine. Bring to a boil and cook until half of the liquids have evaporated.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat. Add to the sautéed vegetables and return to medium high heat and cook until the chicken is warmed through. Adjust salt levels to personal taste.

Serve on corn tortillas with choice of toppings.

Pork Tacos

Recipe courtesy Canuck Chef

Yield: 4 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 ½ pounds pork shoulder

Salt and pepper

½ yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

12 oz can Coca-Cola

8 medium corn tortillas

Toppings:

Tomato, seeded and chopped

Sliced black olives

Pickled onions

Roasted red pepper

Sliced avocado

Shredded cabbage

Cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup sour cream

Chopped cilantro

Lime quarters

Preheat oven to 250o F.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven set over medium high heat. Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the Dutch oven and sear on all sides. Remove to a plate.  Remove  all but 1 tablespoon of the oil/fat in the Dutch oven. Add the onions and sauté until soft and beginning to caramelize. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the cumin and sauté another minute. Add the oregano, fire roasted tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. Nestle the pork shoulder into the onion/tomato mixture and pour the Coca-Cola over the meat. Cover the Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid and place in the preheated oven. Let braise for 3 hours or until the meat shreds easily.

Remove the meat from the pan, set aside to let cool slightly and then shred the meat with a fork. Whilst the meat is cooling, de-fat the braising liquid, bring to a simmer over medium high heat on the stove top and reduce the liquid by half. Add the shredded meat to the braising liquid and mix well to combine. Adjust salt levels to personal taste.

Serve on corn tortillas with choice of toppings.

One thought

  1. The ground beef, fried corn tortillas tacos were a staple in my mom’s cuisine and I continued the tradition cooking these tacos for my kids. I confess to using Lawry’s taco seasoning, although I am going to give some of these recipes a try! Thank you Canuck Chef!

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