Shredded Beef Tacos with Pineapple and Raw Cacao Beans

A seduction of Mexican flavors, sweet fruity and spicy, a tacos to remember!

Every time I’m in the mood for Mexican food I try to get authentic ingredients as much as possible. It’s not always easy but today you can get some good products online.

Cooking with these ingredients is a real game changer, a different world of flavors I would say.

This recipe is not an easy one so keep in mind that you will spent some time in your kitchen.

I would say; it’s worth doing once and awhile, just to have taste of Mexico!

Ingredients and spices;

1 pineapple, 2 tangerines, 6 garlic cloves, 1 black radish, 2 red onions, 2 limes or lemons, 20cl yuzu juice, 40gr raw cacao beans, 100gr achiote paste, 5cm ginger root, 2 bay rum leaves, 2 tbsp muscovado sugar, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tbsp cumin , 1 nutmeg, 1 black or brown cardamom, 3cm dried turmeric roots (or powder), 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 5 long black peppers, 4 dried hibiscus flowers, 2 tbsp Mexican oregano, ½ tbsp rock salt, 1 tbsp epazote, 1 tbsp allspice berries.

Meat and chillies;

2kg beef (cheap cuts 20% fat), 2 ancho chillies, 2 mulato chillies, 2 pasilla chillies, 3 chipotle morita, 4 to 5 chile de Arbol.

Seed the chillies and soak the in warm water (not too much) for 1 ½ hour.

You can also do this the evening before and soak them overnight.

Take a dry skillet and start toasting the cacao beans for 15 minutes on medium heat, stir them regularly so they won’t burn.

Then add the rest of the dry spices (not the herbs) and toast for two minutes more

Use a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to ground your spices, turmeric root and rock salt in to a rough powder and reserve in a bowl.

Now add the garlic, achiote paste, sugar and the juice of two pressed tangerines, ground it in to a paste.

Add the soaked chillies, the muscovado sugar and continue until you have a smooth creamy paste.

Put the paste with the ground spices; add the grated ginger, the dry herbs (not the epazote) and the remaining water of the chillies also and mix well.

Coat the chunks of beef with your mixture and reserve.

Peel and slice the pineapple then cut the slices in four parts.

Take your favourite cooking pot and add a few slices pine apple on the bottom and add a layer of meat, another layer of pineapple and again a layer of beef; place the pine apple peel on top.

Put the lid on the pot and let simmer on the lowest heat for 5 to 6 hours.

The beef and the pineapple are releasing moisture but you have to check out once and awhile if it does not become dry and add some water if necessary.

Cut the onions in slices and the radish in julienne.

Marinate the onions in the yuzu juice and the radish in lime or lemon, reserve in your refrigerator.

When the beef is tender enough to be pulled, separate them from the pineapple.

Discard all the bones and start pulling or shredding the beef while adding the gravy little by little.

Add the epazote and mix all well with the beef, add some more gravy until you have the consistency you like.

Let the beef rest for awhile and warm up in your oven for ten minutes just before serving.

Serve your tacos with the marinated radish and onions, hot sauce and don’t hesitate to place some sliced tomatoes and salad greens on your table.

I think the rest of this culinary story is for you to complete!

“Bon Appetite” and see you soon!


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© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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