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Loteria grill beef question

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I've been to loteria a few times when I'm in the neighborhood, and each time I've gotten the shredded beef, which I think is very flavorful. It also has a certain something in it that I just can't quite put my finger on, but which makes the burrito rather addicting. My question is to all chowhounds is, does anyone have an idea about what that secret ingredient is in Loteria's shredded beef is that gives it it's unique flavor...or am i just off my rocker? thanks.

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  1. I agree that there's a certain something and I wish that I could help you out with it, but I'm in the dark as well. If I had to try and place it, I'd say it has a certain stewed/pot roast quality (in a good way) to it. I'm a sucker for the shredded beef tacos.

    1. If we are referring to the same thing... an almost musky, earthy richness about the meat... I am almost certain we are tasting a little bit of rendered lard (the pork fat that is leftover from making chicharrones).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        Sadly Loteria doesn't use Lard... or so they shout to to the top of their lungs to the folks at the Farmer's market...

        --Dommy!

        1. re: Dommy

          That is true they do claim not to use lard... I am not sure what else it would be.

      2. Nopal, I def. agree with you about the musky earthy richness. But I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS!!! ahhh one day I'll get to the bottom of this. Has anyone experienced this flavor sensation anywhere else?

        1. Cumin?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ernie

            I would second that guess, if what you're describing is a machaca(shredded beef)burrito, then cumin is possibly one of the staple spices added to the dish to give it a distinct flavor when stewing.

          2. c'mon now son, i hope i know what cumin tastes like :)

            1. Epazote?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ernie

                No... Epazote is more of an herbal flavor... this is more like a little bit of Truffle Oil + MSG!

                Anthony... I have experienced that flavor before. I just experienced it at a place called Equus in Santa Rosa over the weekend... it was in the Carnitas Empanadas... and I have experienced it hundreds of other times in various pork dishes and also if you have ever had an authentic Chalupa in Puebla (not to be at all confused with the Taco Bell versions). In every, case there is one common denominator.... roasted pork fat!

              2. so is it lard? any further investigation? anyone nearby to ask?

                1. I haven't had their shredded beef, but could it be chipotle in adobo sauce?

                  1. musky and earthy could be achiote

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: pjsace

                      Heading over to Loteria soon. What are their best dishes? I like meat, seafood, etc.

                      Thanks, Hounds!

                      1. re: Liquid Sky

                        i enjoyed the chicken tinga

                        1. re: kare_raisu

                          Kare: What's tinga?

                          1. re: Liquid Sky

                            Tinga is the traditional dish of Puebla. It can be made with chicken or pork. The meat is braised till tender then added to a sauce of onions, garlic, chorizo, roasted tomatatoes, and chipotles. Potatoes are often included as well.

                            I actully make this dish at home quite often, so simple: 4 or 5 ingredients but so much depth from the chipotle and chorizo. Gloriously juicy wrapped in a warm corn tortilla!

                        2. re: Liquid Sky

                          get the beef burrito, try to figure out the flavor!

                      2. We've moved the discussion on making lard to the Home Cooking board

                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                        1. Loteria's black bean are really awesome as well. I can make some great black beans but I always use a little ham hock, their's are vegetarian and also have an ingredient that I can't put my finger on.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: pjsace

                            i think this one is epazote

                          2. Thanks to all! I will report back after I figure out The Beef Situation and after I try the tinga.

                            Cheers!