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Cooking braised beef tacos in advance

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I'm having some people over for tacos, and I want to braise beef in beer and and chillies. Since I don't have a lot of time the day the guests arrive I was thinking I'd make it in advance. But how should I store it?

1. Braise, store, defat, reheat, shred.
2. Braise, store, defat, shred, reheat.
3. Braise, shred, store, defat, reheat.

I'm leaning towards 1, but I'm not sure if reheating the whole piece of meat is optimal?

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  1. I do #3 with beef and pork. I'll add more cooking juices when reheating. If 1 or 2 are better methods per other posters, I'm open to try.

    Just noticed - I switch 3c and 3d. So braise, shred, defat, store, reheat.

      1. I agree with #3 - the meat shreds easily when it has been freshly cooked.

        1. Meat shreds much more easily when it's warm.

          I'd braise, shred, defat and store.

          I do that with pulled pork regularly. Tastes better the next day anyway.

          1. I do #3 all the time although I separate the rendered fat from the braising liquid via fat separator to save time and minimize the loss of good liquid with congealed fat if I waited until everything chilled. I shred the pork while it is still very warm and pull out any pieces of solid fat or connective tissue at that time. Typically add up to a cup of well-reduced, homemade veal stock into the braising liquid just to boost the level and keep the pork submerged while refrigerated. When time to reheat simply remove the meat (but keep it pretty wet) and enclose in a sealed parchment to steam gently OR it can be nuked in a spare covered tortilla warmer. I do believe a one day holdover results in deeper flavors but may need a quick spritz of fresh lime to brighten the acid notes which seem to dull over time and with chilling.

              1. Thanks for the input. Will shred when warm then, that makes sense. I was thinking it'd be a lot easier to defat when chilled, as you just lift it off. Guess I can run it through a cheesecloth-lined sieve first too.

                A kind of related question: Vegetables/mire poix, do you puré them into the braising liquid, or discard? I typically discard them, thinking most of their flavor has been extracted into the liquid anyway.

                2 Replies
                1. re: cjohansen

                  I'd recommend Thanksville's defatted method. A gravy separator makes it very easy.

                  1. re: cjohansen

                    I just put it in a bowl, the shredded meat, the liquid, then scrape/lift the fat off the top when I pull it out to use it. It kind of acts as a cover while in the fridge. I may not get every speck of fat off, but enough.
                    If the veggies are large, I might lift them out, but if they are diced, I just "smoosh" them into the broth.