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May 28, 2008 08:20 PM

Mexican help

A co-worker of mine always brings me in burrito which his mom makes "homemade" He can never describe to me how the meat is made or what exactly goes into it because he isn't a cook himself. Also the cheese he says they get directly from mexico in huge portions. Does anyone have any idea what kind of cheese it might be, seem like the texture of mozzarella almost but has more flavor. I am thinking the meat is pork or chicken mixed with beef then seasoned. Any suggestions ?? I think the meat is actually slow cooked in broth until it falls apart, is that how it is made??

Ok I am really lost and any help would be appreciated, I do make some of my own but they don't compare in the least. Mine are more like Fajitas.

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  1. The cheese is called Queso Oaxaca or Quesillo. Its good stuff, fo sure.

    Re meat: ask your friend what they call it in Spanish and write it here.

    4 Replies
    1. re: kare_raisu

      I am guessing it is a Carne Asada Burrito with rice and cheese added. I am basically looking for the way the meat is marinated and cooked and the methods used if anyone can advise.


      1. re: Jimbosox04

        If you think it's chicken and pork mixed with beef, then it is definitely not carne asada which would be ONLY beef. I'll bet my life that your co-worker's mother would be absolutely THRILLED if you would somehow relay to her that you really like her cooking, and would love to know how it's made. Stop guessing. You have access to the recipe. Take advantage. Maybe send your co-worker home with something you make well, and ask them to share it with their mother. You will reap some serious rewards. Not only are there regional differences in Mexican cooking, but withing each region, each family makes things differently. It's going to be tough for anyone to know what's in what you are eating. All you really know is it might be pork, chicken, and beef with rice and cheese and the meat is possibly slow cooked in broth until it falls apart? That's probably what it is. Red sauce? then it's probably chile/tomato based. Green sauce? tomatillo/chile based. Clear sauce? then I dunno. Get the info straight from the source. I'm positive she will be THRILLED to share her secrets.

        If you just wanna try something, I'd suggest to buy some beef stew meat, pork stew meat, and chicken thighs. Go with 1lb of each. I'd have them all with bone, but that's me. Brown them all in a skillet in high heat, and set them aside.

        Turn the skillet down to a med heat, and sweat an onion. When the onio n is soft and translucent, add some chopped garlic, a few tsp of dried ancho powder, and a few tsp of ground cumin. Dice in a jalapeno if you want some extra heat. Get this mixture heated through just for the spices to release their aromas. Add in some canned diced tomatoes. Two of the regular sized cans like the size of canned vegetables. Or one of the big ones. Let this mixture warm up in the pan, and then transfer it all to a crockpot, or, an oven safe stewing vessel. Get the meat stirred well, and slow cook low in the crock or oven braise at a low heat 325/350 ish. Check it in 2 hours. When the meat shreds with a couple of forks, you're good. let it cool a little, and shred away, get rid of the bones, and put the meat back into the sauce. I'd add some lime juice, and salt to taste, and let it sit in the fridge overnight before using it.

        1. re: gordeaux

          Thanks very much gordeaux, I am going to try your recipe at the bottom.

          Funny how you mention to make what I do well and send it along to his mom, that is exactly what I plan to do, I am going to smoke a few racks of ribs and send them along with some homemade coleslaw and also some homemade baked beans. I think that is a surefire way to get all the recipes I need.

          I asked my friend to videotape what she does next time she is cooking with close-ups of the seasoning bottles, LOL !!! That would work for me and I could also see the techniques used.

        2. re: Jimbosox04

          Carne asada is also typically grilled and cut into chunks, so it wouldn't have the shredded "falling apart" texture that the OP described. It's probably more like a chile colorado or a carne deschebrada or machaca.

          Rick Bayless has several recipes for these kinds of dishes. Here's one:

          1 lb. boneless beef chuck, flank or brisket, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes.
          1 tsp + 1/2 tsp salt
          1 med. onion
          3 garlic cloves, peeled
          3 T. lard or vegetable oil
          2 med. ripe tomatoes, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped or 1 15 oz can of tomatoes, drained and chopped
          2 green onions, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
          2-3 chiles serranos or 1-2 chiles jalepenos, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

          Bring 2 qts of water to a boil and add meat and 1 tsp salt. Skim off foam that rises to the top. Slice 1/2 the onion and 1/2 a garlic clove and add to the pot. Simmer over med-low heat for 45 mins to 1-1/2 hours, until meat is very tender. Cool, then remove meat and strain and de-fat broth, setting aside. Shred meat with a fork until finely shredded and drain on paper towels.

          Dice remaining onion and mince remaining garlic. Heat the lard/oil in a heavy skillet, and add onion and shredded beef and saute over med-high heat for 8-10 mins, stirring frequently until well-browned. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, toamto, green ion and chiles, and cook for around 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until tomatoes are softened. Stir in around 2/3 C. reserved broth, then simmer 10-15 mins. until broth has evaporated. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt to taste.

          This same recipe can be made with chicken, starting with two large chicken breasts poached in 6 c. water, 1/2 onion, 1 tsp salt, dried herbs such as majoram, and 2 bay leaves.

      2. There is another possibility for the meat filling - Carne adovada. The way I was taught (in ABQ) was to make a red chili sauce from dried Hatch chilis (also called New Mexico chilis). Cover a pork shoulder with the sauce and marinate for 48 hours, turning when you remember. After 48 hours roast, in the sauce, at 300 degrees for 2 - 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling apart. This meat can be used in many ways. I usually serve it in pozole.