Tag Archives: gravy beef

Mexico revisited – Carne Asada (Shredded Beef)

23 Jun

pulled beef

Whether it’s pork, beef or chicken, shredded meat (pulled) is an essential filling for tortillas. I’m a big fan of shredded beef and have made it numerous times. The key is the gravy which should end up thick and include a hint of earthy spices.

For vegetarians, I have used a variety of bell peppers, white and red onion, and, sometimes potato as a filling sautéed in a skillet with the basics (garlic, Mexican oregano, ground cumin, coriander) as an alternate with great success. Cooking time is significantly reduced as there is no need for stewing.

I’ve used Chipotle chilli to take this dish to the next level but Poblano would work well too. The smokiness of either of these chillies adds depth and tones. A Chipotle is essentially a Jalapeno chilli that has been smoke dried. As a result of this process, it ends up with a tan complexion and leathery skin.

The cut of beef should be preferably sub-primal and not too lean. Gravy beef or chuck steak is ideal but trim the visible fat as it’s not really needed. The end result should be a moist but not wet mixture. This dish works well with chicken thigh fillets or chicken pieces too if you’re not keen on beef.

  • 750g piece of chuck or flank steak
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • 2 Tablespoons of ghee, butter, lard or oil
  • 2 Cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 Teaspoon of each of Mexican Oregano, Ground Cumin and Ground Coriander (dry fry them and grind, it makes such a difference)
  • 1 to 2 Chipotle chillies deseeded if you prefer mild
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1lt or so of hot water

In a heavy base pot, seal and brown the beef then set aside in a plate.

On medium heat, saute onion in ghee, butter, lard or oil and add a good pinch of salt to ensure onions don’t brown.

Add garlic and fry until the aroma fills the air, stirring occasionally and ensuring it doesn’t brown.

Add herbs and spices stirring occasionally. I like to rub the oregano and sprinkle it in.

Add meat and Chipotle chillies then top with hot water, cover and simmer until meat is tender adding water as required.

Once the meat is cooked, remove, place on a plate and shred using two forks by pulling the fibers outwards.

Blend the remaining stock with a stick blender (handheld) then return shredded meat to the pot simmering uncovered over low heat until the gravy thickens.

Add cracked black pepper and some additional salt if required.

Pulled Pork Shoulder

pulled pork

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