These beef tacos would make a great addition to your Mexican fiesta, or to enjoy at a Sunday afternoon football party (which is where I served them)! Save yourself time the day of your party and make both the beef and pickled onions the day before!
The following makes 8 servings (compliments of foodnetwork.com and This Girl):
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp adobo seasoning
- 1 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper
- 1 lb beef shoulder top blade steaks or roast
- 8 small corn tortillas, warmed
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or shredded monterey jack cheese
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
For pickled onions: combine sliced onion, vinegar, salt and honey in a medium bowl; stir well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (can be prepared a day in advance).
Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl. (If you can’t find adobo seasoning, combine 1 tsp seasoned salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 1/8 tsp dried oregano.)
Spread seasoning liberally over beef then brown in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Once browned on all sides, add enough water to cover beef. Cook until the meat is fork tender and comes apart with no resistance, about 2 hours. When done, remove roast and let cool; shred by hand and set aside.
I found that the meat wasn’t coming apart easily, so I shred what I could and cut the other parts and made a sauce to finish cooking it in – which helped tenderize the meat more. Here’s how I did it:
Remove the meat and set aside on a cutting board (shred/cut when it’s cool enough to handle). Strain the meat cooking liquid through a mesh strainer and add to a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, mix some cornstarch with a little water and slowly add to the boiling stock; stir constantly for a minute or so until it thickens. You may need to add more cornstarch mix depending how much liquid you started with – but just keep adding it until the liquid thickens into a sauce. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings – I added a few more dashes of cumin, chipotle chile pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt. Add the shredded/cut meat to the sauce and simmer on low, covered, for another hour or so. Taste and cook longer if needed.
Just before you’re ready to serve, drain the picked onions well and warm the tortillas.
Fill tortillas with beef, cheese, picked onions and top with cilantro.
And for leftovers the next night….Adobe Beef Quesadilla With Pickled Red Onions! Just stuff two tortillas with cheese, meat and beans and bake on a pizza stone at 425 degrees until golden brown, serve with pickled red onions, sour cream and cilantro.