in addition, my closest friends flew into town from all parts of the country for a visit! what better way to celebrate, then with a party filled with friends and food (and a bit of booze). after a week filled with sliced fingers and seared flesh, i decided to braise some meat. inspired by a recipe provided by culinary school and our recent work with chutneys and salsas, i threw a taco party. (we even bought a keg, haha.) i asked some folks to bring their own version of a salsa or a chutney and voila, partay!
shredded beef ("ropa vieja") tacos:
(this is only half the recipe i served. i had to doubled this as to feed at least a good 20 people.)
2# flank steak
4 cloves garlic, minced
16oz can of tomatoes (drained)
1 bell pepper (green/red), diced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
2 bay leaves
1 quart (32oz) chicken stock
flour, as needed
salt and pepper, to taste
super easy guys! basically, salt and pepper your flank steak (fat and all) and lightly dredge it in flour. get a pan hot and put a little oil in it to coat. sear off the flank steaks so that they are brown on each side. add stock straight to the pan so that it surrounds but doesn't completely cover. you want it just peaking out over the surface. bring it up to a simmer, cover it and let it braise until it gets tender (basically falling apart or shredable; a couple hours at most). once it gets to that point, remove the meat from the pan (save about a cup or so of the liquid) and shred the meat using a couple of forks. in a new pan, saute onions, garlic, bell peppers and throw the meat back in. add the spices, the wine, the tomatoes and a bit of the cooking liquid. cook until the liquid gets thick and coats the beef. done.
serve with tortillas, shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, grated cheese, limes and an assortment of salsa type condiments.