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Looking for a Mexican Beef Dish idea

Good day, this is my first time here and I hope I am posting this in the correct place, my apologizes if I am not

I'm throwing a big Mexican Fiesta and am looking for some kind of Mexican beef dish (authenic not tex-mex) I could serve buffet style,
maybe something I could make a couple hours before people arrive and keep warm at a low heat
I already am making a chicken chile verde dish and a pork tinga which leads me into a second question.....

I am thinking of smoking a pork shoulder then shredding to use in the tinga......how would the smoke flavour work in it?

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  1. If you are doing a pork tinga, I would try to reduce the number of smokey peppers you use in the salsa, that means less ancho, less chipotle. Try to play up the vinegar and the fruity notes in other peppers and perhaps add spices like cinnamon, cloves and oregano to mimic what you would miss in the adobo.

    If you want to do beef, you could do albondigas in a beautifully spiced tomato sauce, bistec enchilada, barbacoa de res in red salsa, milanesa, poblano chiles filled with a spicy picadillo and Oaxaca cheese, although now that I think of it, something slowly braised like the barbacoa might be best.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      Thanks for the tips JungMann
      I like the albondigas idea, what are some other peppers I could use in the tomoto sauce as opposed to the chipotle??

      1. re: Max Webster

        Check out New Mexico chiles, anchos, guajillos, pasillas, pequins, maybe even Aleppo pepper. I think you want a hint of fruit and some nuttiness with underlying earthiness and complexity along with some heat. A combination of the above or a take on a thin, red salsa should work.

    2. Birria, with the beef subbing for lamb or goat, would probably work also.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Naco

        Thanks Naco, I'm googling Birria right now

      2. My friends loved the albondigas I served at a party. Got the recipe out of a book from Mexico.

        1 Reply
        1. Chile Colorado is a favorite in these parts, Max. If you'd like a recipe, I'll be glad to post it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mamachef

            sure I would love to see that recipe...

          2. "I am thinking of smoking a pork shoulder then shredding to use in the tinga....."
            Tex-mex is out for the beef, but carolina-mex is ok for the pork? :)

            5 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              yeah sorry, I guess I was thinking of mexican barbacoa

              1. re: Max Webster

                Mexican barbacoa, as I have encountered it, has either been beef, lamb, or goat.

                Mexicans do see the value of good eastern NC barbecue, though. Every time I go to the Skylight Inn, there are a decent number in there. It's smoky pork with chicharrones!

                1. re: Max Webster

                  Do you want the beef and pork dishes to be similar, or quite different. If you go the slow-cooked (pit smoked or not) for both, you can end up with something similar. You could put more distance between the two by drawing on souther Mexico (Yucatan) for the pork flavorings (achiote paste etc), and northern for the beef.

                  Do you have Mexican carniceria around? They are likely to sell both beef and pork 'adobada', thinly sliced and marinated in a chile paste. It's best grilled right before serving, but could cooked earlier, cut into strips, and rewarmed at serving.

                  How about beef tongue?

                  Machaca is northern Mexico/Arizona shredded beef, originally made from jerky, but can also be made from a cut like chuck. Similar, though, to your shredded pork.

                  1. re: paulj

                    will be using the achiote on some pork shoulder so I like the idea of using a northern recipe for the beef.
                    will look further into the Machaca idea, I like that
                    I thought about tongue, wasn't sure how many people would even try it...it may be fun to make a small side of it.

                    1. re: Max Webster

                      I have a recipe for achiote pulled pork that I've made many times and it always gets raves. It is easy, slowly cooked in the oven and succulent and delicious. And being from North Carolina - I can tell you that it in no way compares to Carolina BBQ pork.

              2. Albondigas is a pretty good idea, they're very versatile. You could serve them in soup a la the well know Sopa de Albondigas, or cook them off and serve them in a tomato/chipotle based sacue.

                Picadillo is a multi purpose meat dish using finely chopped meats (beef, pork or a combo of the 2) along with aromatics, spices, dried fruits. It's got many uses, but is a frequent filling for chile relleno. You can fill chile poblanos with it, and, while battering and frying is the most typical way to finish them, they don't hold very well on a buffet. You do not have to batter and fry, in fact, Mexico's national dish - Chiles en Nogada - is a chile relleno served at room temp with a walnut sauce. Chiles en Nogada is a very impressive dish, it's also a lot of work, tho' parts of it can be done in advance.

                An easy beef dish is Caldo de Res (also known as Cocido), which is kind of a brothy, stewy preparation. Probably not the ideal for a buffet unless you want to include a soup course.

                There's a dish called Pajaros (parrots/birds) from (IIRC) central Mexico which is thin slices of beef stuffed with juilenned vegetables, tied and then simmered in a mild chile sauce. This dish could be made in advance and would hold well for buffet.

                Barbacoa in Mexico is considerably different than here in the U.S. It's an option but would require a little bit more work than you probably want to do.

                There is a funky ground beef dish in one of Diana Kennedy's books called Res con Col, which is literally beef and cabbage. The recipe is from Chiapas and is used as a tostada topping there. It's better than it sounds - grd. beef, onions, tomato, jalapño (leve the seeds in) all finely mince, cilantro and finely shredded cabbage. It's certianly not a very fancy dish, but it will hold well on a buffet and if used for it's original purpose - tostado topping - it could work. The beauty of the recipe is that you can sub any meat for the grd. beef. I know it's been made with lamb, turkey, pork, venison and finely diced steak instead of grd. beef.

                If you've got the time and the inclination, you could stop by your local library or bookstore and take a look at any of the cookbooks by Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless and see if you like any of the beef recipes in them. Most libararies have copy machines so you could just copy any recipe in which you're interested.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DiningDiva

                  wow, very helpful, thank you
                  looking at a few books right now
                  I like the Res con Col idea though it all sounds great

                2. My Mom makes a delicious guisada. It is a type of Mexican beef stew, with chiles, beef, potatoes and tomatoes. Hearty and delicious!

                  1. In my house, the only response is grilled carne asada.

                    That's not something you'd make a couple of hours before (you did say "maybe" -- LOL)

                    We buy marinated carne asada and grill it up. Takes only a few minutes it's cut so thin. Then we warm tortillas, put out guacamole, pico de gallo and hot sauce and that's that.