Drunken Braised Beef Tacos Topped with Guacamole and Guatemalan Slaw on Homemade Tortillas

I made this dish for a cooking challenge ( waves to the FoodTribers at https://foodtribe.com/) The challenge was to make something that you had never made before so I choose to make homemade tortillas. I’ve watched my mother in law make tortillas and I’ve seen it done in many places, but I was always a little intermediated by it. But a challenge is to push yourself right? I choose to do a beef shoulder roast. I dry brined it over night in a mix of salt and some seasonings then braised in a beer and beef stock medley. Then it’s topped off with some crispy Guatemalan slaw, homemade guacamole and cilantro. I was very pleased at how it all turned out, but I will be honest that some sacrifices were made while making the tortillas…..why do I feel like there should be a “some tortillas were harmed during this process” warning? But it’s the end result that matters right? So lets get to it shall we

Here’s how you can challenge yourself as well:

* 2 1/2 IB beef shoulder roast; I wanted one a little bigger, but that was all that they had at the store. If you are getting a bigger cut, you will want to double the dry rub.

*cilantro

For the Dry Rub/ Brine:

*2 tsp. salt

*2 tsp. brown sugar

*1/2 tsp. dried Chipotle chili, or more to taste

*1 tsp. garlic powder

*1 tsp. onion powder

*1/2 tsp. Cumin

*1/2 tsp. coriander

For the braising liquid:

*1 C. beef stock

*1 1/4 C. beer or ale

*1/4 C. orange juice

*1/4 C. lime juice

*2 tsp. worstershiresauce

*2 tsp. soy sauce

*2 TBS olive oil + more for browning the beef

*1 small onion, chopped

*3 garlic cloves, minced

For the Tortillas:

*1 3/4 C. Maseca

Maseca is a ground corn flour that is used to make corn tortillas. It is usually found in the International food isle at the grocery store or you can find it at pretty much any Latin market.

*1/2 tsp. salt

* 1 tsp. lard or Crisco

*1 tsp. chicken stock base; I like to use Better than Bullion brand. It has a really rich flavor

*1C. + 1 TBS hot water; or more if needed

For the Guatemalan Slaw:

See Slow Cooker Apple Whiskey BBQ Pulled Pork with Guatemalan Slaw

For the Guacamole

See Cheeseburger with Guacamole, a Fried Egg and Cilantro Mayo

Mix all of the ingredients together for the dry rub.

Pat on the dry rub on all sides of the beef.

Leave uncovered in the refrigerator over night or at least a few hours before cooking.

Take out of the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking so the beef can come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 325°.

Mix together all of the braising liquid ingredients, except for the onion and the garlic; set aside.

Heat a dutch oven to medium high heat, add a a little olive oil to the bottom of the pot. Brown the beef on all sides.

Turn the heat down to medium and add in the onions and the garlic, add more oil if the pot seems dry at the bottom.

Cook for about 1 minute, stirring often so the garlic does not burn. Take the pot off of the heat and carefully add in the braising liquid.

Cover and cook for 50 minutes for a 2 IB roast; for a 3 or more cook for aprox 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature is 135°.

While the roast is cooking, make the Guatemalan Slaw and the tortillas.

When the beef is done, take out of the pot and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into bite size pieces. Serve on the homemade tortillas and top with the Guacamole , slaw and any other taco toppings you might like.

To make the tortillas:

In a large bowl, add the Maseca, salt, Lard or Crisco and the chicken stock base. Corn tortillas can be a little bland, so that’s why my mother in law adds chicken stock base to hers… I do the same because she knows how to make these a lot more than I do.

Add in the water and begin mixing it with your hands. You can use a large spoon, but its better to mix it with your hands because you want to kneed the dough as you mix it. If the dough seems too dry, add more hot water 1 TBS at a time. The texture of the dough should not be sticky or too dry. It should have almost the texture of cookie dough. Cover the dough with plastic and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet….I used a cast iron skillet…to medium heat.

Line a tortilla press with plastic; cut off the top of a zip top bag then cut down both side leaving the bottom connected. It will make a long rectangle. Place the “bag” over the top and bottom part of the press.

Divide the dough into balls, the size of a ping pong ball. Place the dough ball onto the bottom of the press.

Gently press the top of the press down, but not too hard.

Leave the tortilla incased in the plastic and pick it up. This is where I said lots of prayers and held my breath. After several attempts and sacrifices, this seemed to work out the best for getting the tortilla off the plastic without it tearing.

Flip the tortilla over onto your hand. The top of the tortilla should now be on the bottom, gently peel the plastic off, then peel off the tortilla off of the remaining piece of plastic. Lay the tortilla on the griddle (or skillet) by letting bottom of tortilla touch griddle, then lowering your hand slightly and moving it away from you. Do not flip it onto the pan or it will crease.

This was not one of my prettiest ones, but by the time they started looking really nice, I was so excited that I forgot to take more pictures.

Cook about 40 to 60 seconds, when the tortilla starts to pull slightly away from the skillet and turn a little brown in places, flip and cook for another 40 to 60 seconds. Place on a clean towel and wrap. Repeat until each one is cooked. I found out that letting them steam in the towel for about 5 minutes, helped them stay together while eating. If they cool off too much, you can place the wrapped towel in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Serve and Enjoy!

Meatball Marinara Quesadillas

I made this using some leftover Slow Cooker Meatballs with Marinara Sauce that I had. You can use just the meatballs if you prefer, but the marinara sauce really adds a lot of flavor to these quesadillas. They can get a little messy if some of the sauce oozes out, but good things are usually a little messy right? Most quesadillas are cooked on a griddle or in a pan, but I baked these bad boys in the oven. You can get more made by using a baking sheet, rather than only doing a few at a time in a pan.

Here’s what you need:

*8 inch four tortillas, or larger

*Slow Cooker Meatballs with Marinara Sauce; cut the meatballs in half or even smaller if your meatballs are pretty big. You want them to fit nicely in the tortillas. *Note: If you are using leftover meatballs and marinara sauce, warm them up slightly in the microwave. This helps them warm up faster in the quesadilla rather than if they were cold.

*shredded cheese; I used a Colby Monterrey Jack blend

*non stick spray

Preheat oven to 400°

Spray a large baking sheet with no stick spray. Lay a flour tortilla on the baking sheet. Place a few meatballs and some of the marinara sauce on the tortilla close to the center.

Sprinkle on the cheese over the meatballs.

Fold over the side to enclose the tortilla, pressing down gently to help hold the sides together. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.

Bake for 5 minutes. Turn each tortilla over and continue to bake 3 to 4 minutes more or until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are a light golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!