I have never been to Mexico but I have been to many Taco Bells and that gives me proper authority to culturally appropriate this recipe. Give me a break if that last sentence made little to no sense, I am typing in a stream of consciousness people! Full disclosure, I was originally writing this for Taco Tuesday but after work on Tuesday I decided eating another one of those crumble bars and writing proved to be more difficult than previously thought. Spoiler alert, cancel the rest of your day if you eat one of those bars.
Two of my favorite kinds of food are spicy and portable, tacos checks both those boxes. I often will go the lazy route with tacos, via a pound of 90% lean ground beef and a packet of dry taco mix. However sometimes my body craves something a little more extravagant. Don't get it twisted, this recipe is super easy and requires very little preparation or expertise. You could even do this in an electric crock-pot but we at TDM would advise against that as that sort of laziness.
- 3-5 pounds of beef top round (commonly referred to as the London broil cut)
(Dry Rub Marinade)
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili pepper, ground to a course/fine powder
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander seed, ground to a fine powder
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 quart low sodium beef broth
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce, I love Tapatío and it also keep this ethnically accurate
- (1) 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 5 cloves of garlic
- (1) yellow onion, sliced thinly
- water to cover
Use a paper towel to pat your meat dry.
Take your ancho chili peppers and remove the stem & seeds. Grind the flesh part of the pepper to a course to fine powder (either work, I went slightly course), you can also buy this ground however a bag of whole peppers is cheaper and last forever.
Combine all the spaces and apply to the dry meat.
Place into a plastic storage bag for a few days in your refrigerator before beginning the braise.
No free ads! Except Tapatío, you're cool.
Coat the bottom of your pan with oil and brown both sides of your meat. Remove & set aside, leaving all the oil and brown bits in the pan.
Saute your onions and leave the garlic cloves whole, toss in at the very end to slightly brown.
Add liquids and meat, bring to a boil. After liquid comes to a boil, cover and place into a preheated oven at 275° F for 3 hours.
Remove meat and shred.
At this point lesser food blogs would stop and end with a pretty plate full of tacos, not at TDM. That liquid? It might as well be the tears of regular old angels or the sweat of Victoria secret angels. Add your braising liquid back to a burner on medium and let the volume reduce in half whilst stirring frequently.
Use a spoon to skim of the excess fat. If this proves difficult, you're unsure what is bad stuff (fat) and what is the good stuff, wait until your braise cools down. Place the cooled down pot in the fridge overnight, the fat will eventually form a thin solid layer on top of the braising liquids. This beef fat can be saved and reused as a flavorful oil/butter substitute while making eggs or toasting burger buns.
The consistency of your reduced braising liquid should be not unlike a thick pasta Ragù. Add a few scoops of the braising liquid to your shredded beef. Add enough that the meat becomes coated but not to much where you have a soup like consistency. This will help your beef from drying out in your refrigerator and should keep for 10-14 days.
Don't throw away that braising liquid, wait for the leftovers to pile up. Wink wink.