My daughter's friend hates her birthday already, at the age of 12 she's already hating her birthday. That's just not right. I'm 44 going on 45 and I still love my birthday! A 12 year old should most definitely like her birthday, especially since she is now one more year closer to being a teenager. When I was 11 turning 12, I could not wait for my next birthday because I would officially be a teenager.
So I had to do a little something to make her birthday special. This girl LOVES taco's. So a few days before her birthday my daughter and I set up a little special taco birthday dinner for her friend. Me being who I am, I could not bring myself to do the silly hard shell, hamburger cooked with packaged taco spice and grated cheddar cheese tacos. If it was coming from me, it had to be the real deal. So I pulled out my trusty Taqueria Tech recipe collection and made homemade shredded beef tacos.
My homemade pickled Mexican Vegies
The beef boil
Sides for the tacos
And the taco dinner!
Now for the recipes:
2 1/2 lbs rump or any other beef cut
6 oz dark Mexican beer
1 11 1/2 oz jar of hot Mexican veggies - I used my homemade pickled Mexican veggies (verduras escabeche) with 1/2 cup of the pickling liquid
3 or 4 dried pasilla chilies
1 peeled orange
1/2 tablespoon California chili powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp Mexican Oregano
4 or more cursed garlic cloves
Use fatty meat - fat equals flavor. Prepare the chilies by roasting them on an open flame until they just begin to brown, then soak them, completely covered in hot water until slightly pliable, about 20 minutes. Slit them down one side, rinse out the seeds, and lay them flat open on a paper towel.
Cut the beef into quarters and put all ingredients in a large pot and stir. Add enough beer or water to just barely cover the surface of the meat. lay the soft chilies over the top of the meat chunks and bring to a rapid boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the cooked meat and place it on a large cookie sheet, reserving the liquid and veggies. With two forks shred the meat and arrange it on the sheet so it will bake evenly. Ladle some of the cooking liquid onto the tray and place it in the oven. Bake the meat, turning once, for about half an hour. Make sure it doesn't burn.
Strain and reserve the cooking liquid from the veggies. Remove the orange and peppers. Puree the veggies with a bit of the liquid. Save half for something else like enchilada sauce. When the meat is deep brown, return it to the puree mixture and cook it down until it's almost dry. Keep some of the juice so the meat will be easier to reheat later. Keep the beef covered in a warm oven until ready to use for tacos.
Taqueria Beans from canned refrieds:
1 30 oz can of "spicy" refried beans.
1 sliced onion
2 or 3 garlic cloves
2 to 3 tablespoons lard
1 small package cream cheese
1 medium handful of jack or cheddar cheese - or Mexican cheese
canned green chilies or minced jalapenos.
Prepare the lard by melting it in a large pan. Lightly saute' the sliced onion and garlic cloves. The plan is to flavor the lard only. Don't let the garlic and onion brown. Remove them and place the canned beans and their liquid in the hot lard. Be careful not to splatter the hot lard on yourself. Add the chilies or jalapeno's, unless you want the beans mild. Add the cream cheese and grated cheese, turn on medium heat and stir until all is melted and mixed together.
Arroz a la Mexicana (Mexican rice)
1 cup rice
1/3 cup chopped white onions
2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 to 1/2 tablespoon pasilla or New Mexico chili powder
2 peeled, seeded finely chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped pimiento
1/3 cup peanut oil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the rice until golden. About 10 minutes. Drain oil from the rice. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, and the chili powder and saute', stirring continually for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, peas, pimiento, and tomatoes. Cook covered until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Sides for the taco's - salsa, sour cream, avocado, shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, crumbled Mexican cheese or shredded cheddar, and limes.
Along with this I served sliced cucumbers with sliced lemons and kosher salt.
To drink? Negra Modelo and Mexican Coca Cola
And there is one yummy Taco Birthday party!