Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa is a Mexican cooking method that produces a tender and crispy shredded beef. Barbacoa Tacos with Salsa Verde Cruda is flavorful alternative to the more typical tacos presentations. Salsa Verde Cruda is a fresh, bright green mixture that is spicy and slightly acidic.

Save the braising liquid and freeze for use in place of beef broth in a future meal preparation.

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Barbacoa Tacos with Salsa Verde Cruda
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of FoodandWine.com, June 2014)

Serves 4 to 6

4 large poblano pepper, stemmed and seeded
4 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded
4 celery ribs, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
15 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
8 bay leaves
6 lbs. bone-in beef short ribs
3 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne
1 12 oz. bottle Negro Modelo
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Warm corn tortillas
Lime wedges, for serving

Salsa Verde Cruda (see recipe below)

Broil poblanos on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet until skin is blackened. Allow to cool and then coarsely chop and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a Dutch oven, combine the poblanos, chipotles, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the beef ribs with the oregano, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper to coat. Place the seasoned ribs over the vegetables. Pour the beer into the vessel and then add enough water so that the ribs are almost completely covered with liquid. Cover tightly and braise for about 3 ½ hours, until the meat is fork-tender.

Heat grill to high. Working in batches, quickly grill the ribs over high heat until charred and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and chop or shred; discard any excess fat and the bones.

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Serve the barbacoa warm with Salsa Verde Cruda and favorite toppings like guacamole, sour cream, chopped cilantro and shredded cheese.

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Salsa Verde Cruda
Makes about 1 ¼ cups

½ lb. tomatillos, husked rinsed and quartered
½ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Juice of ½ lime
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.

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