Does anyone have a good recipe for Slow Cooked Beef for Tacos?
What you want is called "barbacoa" here in Sinaloa (although "real" barbacoa is often different meats, like pork or mutton, cooked in a pit in banana leaves). A Mazatleca friend makes the best I have had, in a big pot on the stove, but what she does could be done perfectly in a slow cooker, I think. Since I don't have her recipe (which is "a little of this and a little of that;" I googled and came up with this one, made for a slow cooker. http://recipes.epicurean.com/recipe/1...
which looks like an easy recipe. When they call for chile powder, I would use plain ground chile, NOT the blend you might use to make American chile con carne! And, I probably would substitute the tomato with some chopped fresh romas, and add them both in the beginning. It shouldn't taste tomatoey at the end. And forget the jalapeño juice and even the roasted peppers. This is a Texas recipe, after all, and I ain't from there! When Chuy described her recipe to me, she said she first sprinkled the beef with vinegar and let it marinate for a while, which is why this recipe looked sorta ok. Chuy doesn't speak any English, and I don't think could give me measurements if I paid her! She probably learned by watching her mamí or her tia or whatever. I have never tried to make it myself, because there is Chuy's, which is perfect! On the other hand, I should mention that I made Cochinita Pibil for tacos in my slow cooker recently, and the meat came out just wonderful. And Chuy and her mazatleca friend thought so too! (Am I proud? jeje!) I basically used DKs recipe, and just cooked on low for 8 hours or so. The same should be true of barbacoa, but the DK, Bayless and other Mexican cookbooks I looked at tonight don't have a beef barbacoa recipe. If you try this one, let me know.
The best barbacoa that I've had is made with borrego (ram--or mutton, but they don't kill the sheep for food, they're better used for breeding and milk). It is the specialty in the State of Mexico outside of DF. They use maguey or mezcal leaves and not banana there--for obvious reasons--roughly 1.5 miles high makes banana leaves scarce.
Anyway, what MazDee is mentioning sounds good, as is cochinita pibil in the slow cooker--I don't use the slow cooker--rather I braise in the oven but either way will work.
I do mine using beef cheeks and it's awesome. Here's a recipe very similar to mine that I found online, sorry it's in Spanish--I'll translate a little bit--it's essentially a beef cheek braise:
Tacos de cabeza
(Receta para 10 personas) Serves 10
* 2 Kg de carne de cachete de res, 4lbs beef cheeks
* 1 cabeza grande de ajo, 1 large whole head of garlic
* ½ cebolla blanca, white onion
* 1 chile verde, 1-2 chile serranos or jalapeno
* 1 cucharada chica de orégano, tsp of mexican oregano
* 1 cucharada chica de laurel 1-2 bay leaves
* 1 cucharada chica de pimienta entera, teaspoon whole black pepper
* Sal al gusto Salt to taste
1) Los dientes de ajo se pelan; la cebolla y el chile verde se cortan en dos partes y las especies se licúan con un poco de agua (orégano, laurel y pimienta).
2) En una olla “PRESTO” de presión se coloca la carne, el ajo, la cebolla, el chile verde, las especies licuadas, la sal y una cantidad de agua suficiente que cubra totalmente la carne,
3) Se cocina por 1 hora 30 minutos (en una olla normal el cocimiento será de 3 horas aproximadamente) y al final se desmenuza la carne con un tenedor o moledor, procediendo a servirse en tacos con repollo, cilantro, cebolla y salsa al gusto.
4) En caso de que la cabeza quede muy grasosa, si lo prefiere puede desengrasarla dejándola enfriar los suficiente hasta que la misma se cuaje, procediendo a retirarla con una cuchara.
You can probably gather what to do with the rest. You braise it (they say 1.5 hrs, but they are calling for a pressure cooker--common in Mexico City with the high elevation). I gather if you braise it in the oven, it'll take about 2.5-3hours at 325. Key to this recipe is that you make a good salsa--usually two different for the tacos (green and red).
Hi! I put mine in a crockpot with a packet of taco seasoning mix, some chopped onion, a tablespoon of white vinegar and a small can of chopped green chilis. Can add jalapeno and extra seasonings if desired. Remove meat when done and shred - we love this recipe for tacos -