We landed in my brothers hometown of Puerto Escondido, in Oaxaca Mexico. Think beautiful beaches surrounded by lush tropical forest. My sister greeted us with giant bubbles floating down the street and my brother took us out for breakfast... Mexican street tacos. I couldn't wait. We zig zagged through pot holed streets, scooters and stray dogs to pull up to a little street vendor under an umbrella and a table that seats max 8 people. The taco man aka taco nazi glares at you from under his furrowed brow. You're not sure if it's because you are westerners or if he is just not happy that soon his precious pile of beef will run out. Either way you pull up a plastic seat and wait for taco man to award you with a nod. On this occasion my brother ordered in fluent Spanish with a thick Aussie accent. It was very cute.
The taco was served. It was simply slow cooked beef, on a soft tortilla with pickled onion, coriander, wedges of lime and chilli sauce. The slow cooked beef is anything but simple, it has slightly earthy flavours with a zing of citrus yet the flavour of the beef is king. The meat melts in your mouth, the lime dances on your taste buds and chilli finishes you off with a warm hug. Let's just say that for the price and convenience we went back quite a few times, much to the disapointment of taco man. And so began the task of recreating this deliciousness. Here is my version of taco nazi's beef tacos.
I was cooking for a crowd so you could easily halve the recipe. It fed 12 people with heaps of leftovers.
4 kiwis (to tenderise the beef and adds a nice zing to it too)
3-4kgs of beef
2 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of cumin powder
2 table spoons of dried oregano
2 table spoons of coriander powder
4 teaspoons of salt
1 beef stock cube
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of chipotle paste *see note
2tabs apple cider vinegar
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup water
1 red onion
3 hours before cooking
Blend the kiwis and salt in a bullet or a blender.
Place the beef in a large container and rub all over with the kiwi mix. give the beef a good massage.
Marinate in the fridge overnight or for at least 3 hours.
Put all the beef and kiwi in the slow cooker. Add all the other flavour ingredients to the slow cooker and stir. Put your slow cooker on for 16 hours on low. You may need to set the program twice depending on your slowcooker.
While your beef is cooking, Make the pickle. finely chop your red onion, as small as you can get it. put it in a jar with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Top with white vinegar until the onion is just covered. Allow to pickle. Pickle will keep for about two weeks.
Once your beef is cooked you should be able to shred it with two forks. I reccomend shredding and allow it to sit and soak in the juices for an hour. If you have heaps of excess liquid or it seems soupy strain some of the liquid and set it aside. You can add some of it back in after you have shredded the beef if you think it looks to dry.
When your beef is cooked, put some on a soft taco and top with pickled red onions and coriander
*chipotles are hard to find in Australia. I use Harris farm fresh chipotle chiles. They come whole but I just put them in the bullet and blend. They keep in a jar in your fridge for ages. Mix it with some mayo for chipotle aioli.